Pairings/Characters: Tommy Merlyn/Oliver Queen, Tommy Merlyn/Felicity Smoak/Oliver Queen - Tommy Merlyn, Oliver Queen, Felicity Smoak, John Diggle, Laurel Lance, Thea Queen, Malcolm Merlyn, Moira Queen
Summary: Oliver and Tommy work through their issues and come to a realization about each other, with Felicity's help. Tommy's POV.
Timeline: Starts during episode 1x19 (Unfinished Business) and re-writes the rest of the season.
Word Count: 45,000 total / ~4,435 this chapter
Disclaimer: I claim no ownership over these characters. I am merely borrowing them (and some of their words) from Greg Berlanti, Marc Guggenheim, and Andrew Kreisberg.
Betas: Big huge thank you to angelskuuipo for being the best sounding board and hand holder I could ask for. You really helped me when I was struggling with re-writing some of these chapters and this story wouldn't be what it is without your help. Thanks also to apckrfan for lending a second set of eyes.
Author's Note 1: Title from the song "The Feeling" by Justin Bieber (featuring Halsey).
Catch up on LJ or AO3.
Author's Note: Takes place during 1x23 (Sacrifice). Some dialogue borrowed from episode.
Felicity had to go into work, so it was Tommy who convinced Digg to get on the road sooner rather than later, guiding him to Oliver's destination using Felicity's tracking software. Digg was only about a half hour behind them.
Tommy could hear gunshots over the comm and prayed that they were all coming from Digg. He trusted that Digg would shoot to disable and not to kill. Finally he heard Digg say, "I take back every joke I made about you sticking a tracking device in your boot."
Digg must have given Oliver the comm Tommy had insisted he take with him because a moment later he heard Oliver loud and clear in his ear.
"I figured something like this would happen sooner or later," Oliver grunted. There were loud sounds of metal scraping against metal and then a swoosh and clang, like metal chains being dropped on the ground. Tommy guessed that Digg was helping him to get out of the warehouse they'd tracked Oliver to.
"Are you alright?" Tommy asked; his knuckles white on the desktop before him.
"Tommy," Oliver sighed. "I'm a little bruised, but I'll be fine."
"That fight didn't look fine," Tommy protested.
"You saw that?"
"Felicity hacked into the cameras in my dad's office," Tommy confirmed. "Oliver, he knows who you are."
"I know," Oliver grunted in agreement, and pain. "We had a little chat when I came to."
"About what?" Digg asked.
"Nothing we didn't already know," Oliver said, wearily. "I'm gonna rest on the way back. We'll talk soon."
Tommy tried not to let himself get too worked up while he tracked Oliver's progress back to the Foundry. He busied himself by setting out the antiseptic wipes and bandages, like he'd seen Felicity do in the past.
Finally, the door from the club clanged open.
"Felicity's at Queen Consolidated," Digg was saying. "She's still going through the data she pulled off Merlyn's network."
"Did she find anything?" Oliver asked, slowly moving into Tommy's embrace.
"Yeah, the design schematics of the earthquake generator," Digg said. "So we can shut it down. Assuming we find it in time."
Digg's cell phone rang and he answered, "Yeah, Felicity, I got him."
While Digg's back was to them, Tommy stole a kiss. It gave him the opportunity to pull Oliver tighter to him. When Oliver winced, Tommy released him.
"You're not alright," he scolded.
"I don't have time not to be," Oliver pointed out.
"Oliver, you can't fight him again, not when you're this banged up," Tommy pointed out.
"I may not have a choice," Oliver said. "He's going to go through with it."
"Felicity's on her way," Digg reported, interrupting them. "And I agree with Tommy; you're in no shape to go up against Merlyn again. I'm not even sure how you managed to take down Merlyn's men before I got to you."
Oliver glared at Digg as Tommy's head whipped around to Oliver.
"You didn't say anything about taking down his men," Tommy said, his voice accusatory.
"Because you didn't need to know about it," Oliver bit out. Oliver finally stopped staring holes through Digg, who did not look sorry for his revelation, to meet Tommy's eyes. "Once I got my chains free from the pipe in the ceiling, I had to kill them before they killed me. I'm sure Merlyn told them to not let me get out of there alive. In situations like that, it's kill or be killed."
Tommy took a disbelieving step back, pulling away from Oliver's reaching hand. This was the part that he'd tried so hard not to think about. This was the side of Oliver that he'd been so frightened of when he'd first found out that Oliver was the Hood. He didn't know how to wrap his head around the fact that his boyfriend could be a cold-blooded killer.
"He's right, you know," Digg said. "Those men were there to stop Oliver from leaving at all costs. And he couldn't leave them able to warn Merlyn that he was free."
"I get that, I do," Tommy said. Maybe his head did, but his heart was still struggling. "But I'm not like you guys; I've never had my life on the line like you have so it's harder for me to live with killing as an acceptable outcome in a situation."
"That's why it's good for us to have people like you and Felicity around to keep reminding us that killing shouldn't be a go-to solution," Digg said. "I'll give you two a moment."
Oliver waited until Digg had left the room to approach Tommy. "I know that me killing was one of the things that repulsed you the most when you found out about who I really was," Oliver said, his hand clenching beside him as he resisted the urge to touch Tommy. "Do you think you can forgive me for falling back on such ingrained instincts?"
Tommy turned around to face Oliver, so much emotion running through his eyes. "You have no idea how much I wish that killing wasn't a natural instinct to you."
His hand reached out to cup Oliver's cheek, his thumb rubbing against the ever-present stubble. Oliver sighed into the touch.
"I wish that, too," Oliver admitted. "I wish a lot of things had been different about those five years."
Bringing his other hand up to cup Oliver's other cheek, Tommy solemnly said, "Just to be clear, while I may not like it, if the choice is between them dying and you dying, I choose you doing what you have to do to come home to me."
Oliver's arms wrapped around Tommy as they met in a heated kiss, teeth clacking together in their fervor until they melted into a deeper exchange. They remained locked together until Digg cleared his throat, announcing his return.
"Felicity should have been here by now," he said, looking away until Tommy and Oliver had separated.
"Maybe she got stuck in traffic," Tommy suggested, trying to get his breathing, and libido, back under control.
Seeming not to have heard them, or ignoring the idea that something could have happened to delay Felicity, Oliver said, "We need to get people out of the Glades." He slowly moved towards Felicity's desk and the phone that sat on it. "We're going to have to go to the police with this."
"Are you sure that's a smart idea?" Tommy asked, going along with the change in topic.
"We don't have a choice," Oliver said, picking up the phone. Tommy stayed close so he could hear both sides of the conversation. "Hello, Detective."
"It's funny you should call. I got your trusty sidekick sitting right in front of me."
Oliver glanced at Tommy sideways and Tommy moved to pull up Felicity's tracking device on the computer. Sure enough, she was at the police station.
"I don't have a sidekick. When I need help, I call you," Oliver smoothly covered. "Malcolm Merlyn plans to level the Glades with a manmade earthquake using technology from Unidac Industries."
"What?" Lance huffed out a laugh. "Now you're just trying to have some fun with me."
"I don't know what Merlyn's timetable is, so you need to evacuate the Glades immediately. Get as many people to safety as you can. Whatever you think of me, Detective, please... believe this." He hung up.
"Is he going to do it?" Digg asked.
"I think he'll try," Oliver said.
"If Felicity is going to be a while longer, I am going to take you to get some food," Tommy said to Oliver.
"There's no time," Oliver protested.
Tommy moved in front of Oliver, blocking his attempts at avoidance. "You're exhausted. You're bruised and battered and I bet you can't tell me the last time you had a decent meal."
"We need to come up with a plan--"
"We will," Tommy agreed. "After Digg cleans those cuts and you've eaten something."
Oliver turned pleading eyes to Digg, who simply crossed his arms and said. "You'll need to keep up your strength if you have to fight Merlyn again."
Tommy looked smug as Oliver sighed and reached for his street clothes. "Fine. But make it quick. I should try talking to my mom one more time while we're out."
"Big Belly, here we come," Tommy said, grinning.
As they crossed the floor of the club on their way out twenty minutes later, they heard Laurel laugh harshly. "Look who it is. My exes."
"Hey, Laurel," Oliver said.
"I ignored your advice, you know," she said to Oliver. "I went to Tommy's, to apologize to him. So imagine my surprise seeing you there, kissing him." She slapped him.
Tommy winced in sympathy, having been on the receiving end of one of her slaps recently himself. He realized that he never told Oliver that he'd seen Laurel outside the apartment that night as he'd been a little distracted at the time.
"I'm sorry," Oliver said.
"No, you're not," she bit out.
Looking at Tommy, Oliver agreed, "No, I'm not."
"We're not," Tommy said, stepping closer to Oliver.
"I should have listened to my instincts and never gotten involved with you," Laurel told Tommy. Then she turned to Oliver. "I wish you would have died on that island."
"You don't mean that," Tommy protested.
"You have made a fool of me," Laurel hissed. "Both of you."
"That wasn't our intention," Oliver said.
"Just, stay away from me," Laurel said, stomping out.
Once she was gone, Tommy said, "Do you suppose it would be rude to point out that she keeps seeking us out?" Oliver simply stared at him. "Yeah, you're right. Let's get some food in you."
After a quick meal of burgers and fries, Tommy drove Oliver to the Queen Mansion. Oliver had insisted he could drive himself, but Tommy wasn't ready to let Oliver out of his sight for longer than he had to.
While Oliver went in search of his mother upstairs, Tommy settled in the living room with his phone. With everything being so crazy lately he hadn't looked at his email in ages.
"Tommy, what are you doing here?" Thea asked, wandering into the room. "Where's Ollie?"
"Thea, hi," Tommy said, standing. "He needed to talk to your mom about something private."
"Is he telling her about you?" she giddily asked.
"Not today, no," Tommy said, trying not to laugh at the disappointed look on Thea's face.
"I guess that's just as well," she said, "I do want to be present when he tells her. She's going to flip."
"I don't see how that's going to be a good thing," Tommy said.
"For you, it probably won't be," Thea agreed with a shrug. "But it'll be awesome for me."
"How so?" Tommy asked, quirking an eyebrow.
"Because then my boyfriend from the Glades won't seem so bad," she said, grinning.
Tommy crossed his arms over his chest, adopting his best disapproving older brother expression. "You're dating a boy from the Glades? Is it that guy you tried to get to work at the club who never showed up? The one the vigilante saved?"
"Yeah, that would be Roy," Thea confirmed.
"I think I may need to properly meet this Roy," Tommy said.
Thea simply rolled her eyes. "Ollie met him and already did the disapproving brother thing. He doesn't need it from you, too."
"We'll have to see about that," Tommy huffed. "Is it serious?"
Looking almost vulnerable, Thea dropped the tough girl act and shyly smiled. "Yeah, it kinda is. I think I love him."
"He's not good enough for you," Tommy said, pulling her into a light hug.
"Because he's from the Glades?" Thea demanded, pushing away from him.
"Because no one will ever be good enough for you," Tommy countered.
"I'd have to agree with that," Oliver said, entering the room.
"Not you too, Ollie," Thea groaned. "Just what I needed, two disapproving big brothers."
"Thea, I need you to do something for me. Stay out of the Glades tonight." He briefly met Tommy's eyes, letting the weight of that request sink in before looking back at his sister.
"Why?" Thea asked, her hackles rising again.
"You'll know soon. One way or the other." Oliver looked at Tommy. "We have to go."
"The Undertaking is happening tonight," Oliver announced as they entered the lair.
"Oliver, Felicity may have found something," Digg said.
Felicity held up the notebook, open to the inside cover. "This symbol is a map of the old subway tunnel system."
"That's what got us thinking the Undertaking is connected to the Glades," Oliver agreed.
"What if it's more specific than that?" Felicity postulated.
"What do you mean?" Tommy asked.
"If I had a machine that could trigger an earthquake in an otherwise geologically stable area, where would I position it?" she asked.
"Underground," Oliver guessed, catching on.
"Yeah," Felicity agreed. Turning back to her computers, she continued. "This is a U.S. geological survey of the tectonic plates running underneath Starling City. This red line here is a known fault that runs right below the Glades."
Digg picked up the narrative. "About a mile; the fault runs underneath the old Tenth Street subway line."
"Dollars to donuts, the seismic device is somewhere along there," Felicity said.
Oliver and Tommy exchanged a look. "I know where it is," Tommy said, swallowing hard.
Oliver's cell phone buzzed and he answered it, seeing it was Thea. "Now is not a good time." He frowned. "What channel? Felicity, pull up the local news, please."
On the screen, Moira was holding a press conference. "My name is Moira Dearden Queen. I am the acting CEO of Queen Consolidated and, God forgive me, I have failed the city. For the past five years, under the threat for my life and the lives of my family I have been complicit in an undertaking with one horrible purpose-- to destroy the Glades and everyone in it. I realize now that my family's safety will mean nothing if I let this dreadful act occur. But you need to know that the architect of this nightmare is Malcolm Merlyn."
Tommy slipped his hand into Oliver's, who squeezed back.
"Yes," Moira continued, "and I have proof that he has killed dozens in pursuit of this madness. Adam Hunt, Frank Chen, and my husband Robert. Please. If you reside in the Glades, you need to get out now. Your lives and the lives of your children depend on it. Please."
Felicity turned off the sound as the reporters started asking questions and they all turned to Oliver.
"I didn't think she'd actually do anything," he said in disbelief.
"She's always been a strong woman," Tommy reminded him.
"Oliver, I'm sorry," Felicity offered.
"Don't be. She gave those people a chance," Oliver said. He went over to his trunk and flipped open the lid.
Recognizing the action, Digg said, "I thought Merlyn broke your bow."
"I have another," Oliver said, removing a plain black bow.
"I was going over the device schematics," Felicity offered. "The device can be set for a timed detonation or can be remote activated by a mobile transmitter."
"Something Merlyn could have on him," Oliver acknowledged.
"Listen, Oliver, if we can just get our hands on this transmitter, maybe we don't need to track down the device," Digg suggested.
"It's too big of an 'if', Digg. I need you in the subway. Find the device, disarm it," Oliver insisted.
"So you can take on Merlyn by yourself?" Digg questioned.
"I have to," Oliver said.
"Oh, he'll kill you, Oliver," Tommy objected.
"I know. He's beaten me twice. And I don't know how to stop him," he said, resigned.
"Ok," Digg said. "Well, how about this time, you bring along something you didn't have the last time you two fought-- Me."
"I can't let you."
"I can't let you do this by yourself, man. Oliver, you are not alone, not since you brought me into this. Us into this," he added, looking to Felicity and Tommy. "Besides, Army regulations-- a soldier never lets a brother go into battle alone."
Digg held out his hand and Tommy held his breath until Oliver clasped it.
"I'm out of bows," Oliver teased.
Digg grinned. "I got my gun."
"I guess it's up to me to do the dismantling," Felicity said.
"This whole area is ground zero. I want you both out of here," Oliver said, looking at Felicity and Tommy.
Felicity moved closer to them. "If you're not leaving, I'm not leaving. Besides, if I don't deactivate the device, who will?"
"I will," Tommy insisted. "Or at least one of them. Knowing my father, we should be looking for two devices. He likes his backups. If I were him, I'd place one on either side of the Glades to ensure maximum damage." Before Oliver could voice his objection, he added, "Not. A. Damsel. I have two hands and a comm and Felicity can guide me through it."
Oliver took a deep breath and finally said, "Thank you, Tommy."
"Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to talk to my dad before the cops try to arrest him," Tommy said. "I've got my comm and will check in when I'm done with him."
"Be careful," Oliver said, kissing him briefly.
"You too," Tommy said before tearing himself away.
"Is it true?" Tommy asked by way of greeting as he marched into his father's office. "Did you kill all those people?"
"I did what I had to do," Malcolm coldly stated.
"You know, when Oliver told me you wanted to nuke the Glades, I didn't want to believe him." He poured himself a drink from the wet bar. "You know, it's funny, scotch doesn't make it any more believable."
"It's true, Tommy. It's the reason I closed your mother's clinic. I didn't want to see it leveled," Malcolm said with more tenderness than Tommy had heard from him in years.
"I have something I'd like you to listen to," Malcolm said, removing a digital player from a box on his desk. "The night your mother died, she called me. I awoke to a voicemail from her. Her final gift to me."
Tommy shivered as his mother's voice, which he hadn't heard in twenty years, trembled out of the device.
"Malcolm, I'm in trouble. I told--I told him to take everything. My money, my ring."
"Turn it off," Tommy begged. He didn't want to hear this.
Malcolm didn't even hear him.
"They shot me. I screamed for help, but no one would come. No one would come. Malcolm, I don't want to die alone."
Tommy tossed back the rest of the drink and set the glass down as his hands began to shake.
"She bled out into the pavement while people passed and did nothing." Rebecca was still crying on the recording. "Your mother built her clinic in the Glades because she wanted to save this city. It can't be saved. Because the people there don't want it to be saved."
"So you kill them all--"
Malcolm cut him off. "Yes! They deserve to die! All of them! The way she died."
Tommy had never heard his father speak with such a violent passion and it scared him in a way that his father had never scared him before.
Malcolm moved to a wall with several paintings on it and pushed one to the side to reveal a biometric pad. When he pressed his thumb to it, the wall slid open to reveal a hidden room. Tommy had known about the panic room, but he hadn't seen the Dark Archer costume in it before, or the vast array of weaponry.
Just then, several SWAT officers burst into the room. "Freeze! Malcolm Merlyn, you are under arrest. Don't move!"
Malcolm slipped into the room and gunfire erupted. Malcolm reappeared moments later, sword in hand and quickly dispatched the cops.
Tommy pulled a gun off of one of the down cops and raised it to his father. "Dad, no! Please, Dad. Stay back. I don't want to hurt you."
"You can't. And you can't stop me," Malcolm said before punching Tommy hard enough to knock him out.
"Looks like we missed him," Digg said, his voice sounding very far away.
Tommy groaned from his position on the floor.
"Tommy. Tommy!" Oliver said, his voice getting closer as he rushed across the room to his side.
"Oliver," Tommy groggily acknowledged, sitting up.
"Where's your father?" Oliver asked.
"Oh," Tommy groaned. "I don't know."
Digg spotted a gap in the wall and called out, "Oliver."
"We think we found the second device. I told Detective Lance to take the one near your mom's clinic. You can take the one near Wells Street."
"Are you going to kill him?" Tommy asked.
Oliver couldn't meet his eyes. He kissed Tommy soundly before helping him to his feet. "Go; be safe."
Tommy activated his comm as he left, afraid of which man would survive the ensuing fight and wondering how he would cope with the loss of either one.
"Felicity, I'm on my way to the Wells Street station," Tommy reported.
"Looks like a false wall," he heard Digg say.
A shiver ran down Tommy's spine at the maniacal glee in his father's voice as he said, "Welcome, gentlemen. I've been waiting for you. I wanted to see you watch your city die."
"Where's the transmitter?" Oliver demanded in his Hood voice.
"Somewhere I can easily get to it," Merlyn gloated.
"I doubt it. You'll be too dead," Digg taunted.
Tommy heard sounds of fighting - gunshots and arrows being released.
"Aaah!" Digg groaned in pain and called to Oliver, "Stairs. Go, go."
"So tell me--" Merlyn asked, "are you ready to die?"
Tommy idly wondered if his father would be so gung ho to kill Oliver if he'd told him about their relationship. Would that make him want to kill Oliver more or less? Tommy decided he didn't want to know.
Felicity's voice came over the comm. "You found it yet, Detective?"
"Not exactly sure what I'm looking for," Detective Lance admitted.
"Do you want me to describe it to you?" Felicity offered.
"No, I've got it," Lance said a few seconds later.
"You should see something that looks like a circuit board. Pull it out. Do you see a timer?" Felicity asked.
"Seven minutes," Lance reported.
Tommy accelerated towards the Glades, hoping he'd get there and be able to locate the device in time. At least he knew what it looked like from having reviewed the schematics with Felicity earlier.
Felicity audibly took a deep breath. "Ok. Well, the good news is, this is going to be a paperweight in three."
She must have muted the line to Lance as she asked, "Tommy, you getting all this? Where are you?"
"I can hear it all. Seven minutes and counting," he said. "Just pulled up outside the station, heading down now." Tommy threw the car into park and rushed to the boarded up entrance to the subway station. Luckily, enough homeless people had been using it as shelter that he was able to get in quickly and he headed down the track in the direction they'd guessed the device would be.
Having looped Lance back in, Felicity said, "There are three wires-- you need a green one, a yellow and one blue. Cut the blue."
"All right, I got it, I got it," Lance triumphantly bellowed. Then they heard loud beeping and whirring. "Oh, my God. No, no, no, no, no!"
"There must be some sort of anti-tamper safeguard," Felicity guessed. "Hold on. I'm going to try to figure out how to override it."
"Not enough time. There's not enough time!"
"Just hold on!" Felicity practically yelled.
Tommy found his device just where they'd thought it would be and quickly located the control panel.
"Felicity, I'm here and I've got the control panel open. What should I do instead of cutting the blue wire?" Tommy demanded.
"Thank goodness," Felicity said. "I've almost figured it out. Just, keep listening and do what I tell Lance to do."
"Detective Lance?" Felicity called, getting his attention. "I need you to listen to me very carefully."
Tommy did what Felicity instructed, breathing a sigh of relief when the device powered down.
Now that his part was done, Tommy allowed himself to tune in to the fight between his father and Oliver as he made his way back to the Foundry.
Malcolm was saying, "Don't struggle. It's over. There was never any doubt in the outcome. Don't worry. Your mother and sister will be joining you in death."
What? Tommy couldn't believe his ears. After killing Oliver, his father was planning on killing Moira and Thea? With a weight settling low in his gut, Tommy knew that regardless of the outcome of this fight, Malcolm Merlyn would never be his father again. His father was dead; probably had been since his mother was killed.
There was a gasp of pain, several of them in fact, and then Oliver said, "Thank you for teaching me what I'm fighting for. But my father taught me how."
Felicity's voice cut in. "Oliver, they did it." Tommy realized she must have had them muted from Oliver and Digg so as not to distract them during the fight.
"It's over," Oliver said to Malcolm.
Malcolm panted in pain. "If I've learned anything as a successful businessman, it's," he coughed, "redundancy."
Tommy could almost hear the smile in Oliver's voice as he said, "I know."
Malcolm howled with rage, "No!" as he must have tried to remotely activate the second device, only to have nothing happen.
There was the satisfying sound of a punch before Oliver said, "We're done here. He's out cold. Felicity, can you make the call?"
"Still got him on the line," she said before speaking directly to Lance. "Detective, if it's not too much trouble, can you stop by the roof of Merlyn Global on your way back to the precinct? I have it on good authority that you'll find Malcolm Merlyn up there, unconscious."
"I don't wanna know how you know that, but I'm on my way," Lance said.
"I'll hang around until Lance gets here," Digg offered.
"You need a hospital," Oliver protested.
"You're one to talk," Digg countered, coughing. "I'll get to one; just as soon as I make sure Merlyn doesn't wake up and run off before Lance arrives."
"Stay hidden," Oliver conceded. To the others, he said, "I'm coming home."