That’s how you know you’ve got a home. Cause when you leave it, there’s this feeling you can’t shake. You just miss it.
"Well yeah probably because you never bother to officially date them," she quipped almost smartass-ly. "So, how about now? Going back to the old playboy life or our Laurel knocked some sense into you that dating more than one person is wrong?" she raised her eyebrow before she turned towards Gus who bring them their orders. She thanked him with a big smile before she unwrapped her sandwich, "Oh, don’t let Gus hear you say the three B in here," she chuckled, "And you should try your sandwich, it’s damn good," she grinned before biting into her sandwich.
“In my defense, Oliver was the same way,” Tommy remarked, raising his brows. “Now, I realize I should have respected the women I dated. So, yeah she knocked some sense into me. I still feel like I’ll never be in a relationship as good as the one I was in with Laurel. But love can be messy.” Once their food arrived, he took his sandwich and unwrapped it. He laughed a bit at her remark. “I’ll be sure to remember that.” Taking a bite, Tommy nodded in agreement. “Definitely one of the best sandwiches I’ve ever had. I wish I knew about this place sooner, I would have given Gus plenty of business.”
"We’ll see," she told him, "depends on when it happens and how old Jonas is, the time and place," she smiled at him, "I would love a week though, be nice to get away, do something fun for once instead of work all the time."
“That’s what family and babysitters are for,” Tommy reminded Laurel. He shifted closer to her. “You definitely work too hard. Plus Jonas can be a handful at times. Do you remember all the trips we used to take, just you, me, and Ollie?”
She found herself laughing at his reaction, knowing that a hustler was not what people usually expected when they saw her. “I have my own secrets. I’m more than just an IT girl,” she confessed, but didn’t give much else away. There were so much that not even Oliver and Diggle knew, and she wasn’t sure when she’d be ready to tell them. Maybe someday. “Then maybe you should stop trying to expect things. I know that sounds horrible, but maybe you’ll find more peace and happiness by just living your life. For so many years, I expected things to happen, just because I thought I was a good person and I wanted them. After a while, I learned that if I focused on working towards something instead of just expecting it to happen, even if it didn’t work out, I could at least feel the satisfaction of knowing I did the best I could to make it happen. If you don’t like the life that you have, or the person you’ve become, instead of expecting it to change, focus on changing things yourself,” she suggested. As Tommy began getting down on himself about how he reacted to Oliver’s secret, she frowned. “You and I are very different Tommy. And I don’t mean for that to sound like I’m better somehow by being more accepting of Oliver’s night time activities. Oliver was your best friend. You had this image of him, and because of his choices when he came back from the island, you were right to think that he had returned as the same person. For me, I had no opinions to base off of when he came back. I just saw a guy who acted like something he wasn’t while asking me for ridiculous favors. I was suspicious from the get-go, so finding out his secret wasn’t as big of a shock to me as it was for you. You had every right to be confused and scared and judgmental and a million other feelings you must have felt,” she assured him. Felicity looked through her fridge and freezer before taking out some burgers. “I could cook these or I could order us up some Big Belly or Chinese or really anything else you want,” she offered.
Everyone had their own secrets, he wasn’t all that surprised although it was unexpected. Tommy gave a small nod. “I had a feeling you do, probably nothing you’re willing to share at the moment,” he stated. Over the course of Oliver’s return hidden truths have given nothing but difficulties. Little things, however, were expected to be kept, people were entitled to privacy. “Growing up I never knew who I was supposed to be. I was the son of Malcolm and Rebecca Merlyn, known only because of that. I had privileges, wealth, and opportunities most people dream to have. Expectations were set for me and my choices were shockingly limited. I tried so hard to break past all that I became stuck in my old parting ways. I was content with that for a long time but a part of me always knew I was a huge disappointment. My dad pretty much said it straight to my face. Like you said, I shouldn’t set the bar so high. Despite the changes I went through already, I learned you can’t fight against who you are,” he expressed. He let out a sigh, although understanding her reasoning’s. His feelings about Oliver’s secret really were based on the past, the man he used to know. “Ollie and I never used to keep things from each other. I get why keeping his identity as the Arrow is a big deal. At the time, I don’t know, I guess it hit me a bit too hard. Like you said, I had every right to feel the way I did, but I wish I could change so many things. But the past is the past. The fact that he chose to live the life he has, when keeping people at arm’s length is a necessity, is still a bit strange to me. Everyone in the city sees him as a hero, he’s just one guy though with friends to back him up of course. Part of me worries constantly about him. He can’t keep it up forever.” That much was true, all heroes have their limits. Tommy waited as she went through the kitchen, taking another look around from where he sat. “If you don’t mind cooking, some burgers would be great. In fact I could help you out, I’ve been told I’m a pretty good cook myself.”
Emma smiled while biting down onto her lower lip as Tommy stepped closer to her. “Mm, I suppose you got me on that one.” A small chuckle escaped from her lips. “I’ll make sure to change that then.” She added before walking into the kitchen and getting their coffee ready. “So anything new and exciting happen to you?” The blonde called from the kitchen.
“Depends on your definition of exciting,” Tommy replied with a shift of his shoulders. Leaning against the doorframe, he watched as she prepared the coffee. “Anything worth mentioning is usually in the newspaper by the next morning. What about you? Something scandalous always seems to be going on when concerning you,” he then joked, adding a small smile in.
‘Ah right’ Roy commented, he knew that Tommy’s father had cut him off.
“If anything, I’d say coming into wealth is better than having it from the start. You appreciate it more,” Tommy replied, an opinion he never had when younger.
As they exited the building, Thea turned her head around, relieved to see that Tommy was just a couple of feet behind her. Separating from the crowd, Thea started running towards the vending machines since Tommy mentioned that his car was by them. Her heart raced with each step, she was still expecting Malcolm to pop out of somewhere and stop her.
Tommy picked up his pace as well, making sure to keep alert. The moment the vending machines were reached, he took a quick pause to breathe. “We should wait a few minutes, just until everyone settles down. It would be better if a huge crowd wasn’t outside. Our dad might catch us leaving if he notices the car,” he mentioned, still going over their escape plan in his mind.
The question about Oliver’s social life, mainly romance, wasn’t unexpected. He hadn’t been on a date since he’d been back from the island but that hadn’t stopped him from having sex with a few girls. The man had needs even if those needs weren’t in correlation to whatever those women needed. “No, not exactly…anyway…” He shook his head a bit, briefly. “Dates haven’t been on my to-do list since I’ve been back. It’s mostly consisted of getting this place up and running and finding out about Dad’s business.”
“No, yeah…poetry isn’t my thing. You’re right.” The lightened tone of the conversation under laid the actual state of things in Oliver’s life. If he told Tommy the truth then Tommy would have to keep the secret or the blonde’s gig would be up. Not to mention if his friend knew the truth then Tommy’s life would be in jeopardy. No one could know. So long as no one knew that he was the Arrow no one he loved would be at risk from the bad guys. “How insensitive of me; I’m so sorry.” He commented, smirking. “Next time I’ll just tell you that ‘you can’t handle the truth’.” His voice took on a Jack Nicholson-esque.
It seemed like Oliver had to priorities in line, if anything. Still, Tommy never expected his friend to put so much effort in the club, the idea appeared to be made on a whim. Apparently, he was very serious about the matter, so much that dating even lifted from his mind. “If you ever change your mind, you don’t have to look far for a wingman,” he mentioned with a swift raise of his brows. “Did you find anything out about your dad’s businesses? I didn’t think he was one to hide secrets. Then again, my dad does concerning his company.”
“If I’m remembering correctly, you bombed poetry in school,” he mentioned in an easy tone. It was true that Tommy had no idea what Oliver was up to lately, his last minute cancellations, always running out the door, suspicion was there but never brought up in conversation. Honestly, things were going pretty well in his life. He and Laurel were together, a relationship he quickly came to appreciate, and he was hanging with Oliver again, just like old times. “Because you’re my best friend, I will accept the apology,” he replies with a smirk of equal size. “Lame impression, but if you go on to talk about how we live in a world that has wall, I’m out.”
Viola smiled at the man “People might think we’re together?” she said, “Well, I’d call myself a lucky gal if that was true” she then added, lightly giggling “but you’re just my friend and as long as the closest people to you believes that, because it is the truth - then that’s good enough for me” she now nodded and cuddled into his arm “I bet that people are already thinking badly of this whenever we’re out together, but I’m fine with it. If you’re not, then I’ll step off when we’re outside”
“I stopped caring what people think about me a long time ago. The attention and false remarks are things I’ve grown quite used to. Besides, having others assume we’re together would be the least of my worries,” Tommy replied as the continued to walk. The majority of his friends knew about Viola, small remarks anyway. “Luckily, we haven’t drawn the attention of anyone. Most of the time I’m safe but I’m also being more careful when it comes to dodging the public eye.”
There was silence after Tommy had said the words that Oliver couldn’t finish. It wasn’t something he liked talking about hence why only a few people knew. Diggle and Tommy. No one else and he wanted to keep it that way. He didn’t want anyone else to bear that cross. He wanted them to think that Robert Queen had gone done with his ship — just how the Captain should. “Yeah.” Oliver finally said, giving a soft nod. The memory of the gun shot and Oliver jerking awake ran through his head, his hand rubbing his pants.
"So your dad wanted mine dead but in the process killed several other people." There was a hint of anger in his voice as he looked at the clockwork decorations on the wall behind all the booze that was for the guests. Thea did a good job of keeping everything in stock. "It’s not like your dad could create a storm. Unless he broke part of the yacht before we out." For some reason, after everything he’d gone through, he was having a difficult time wrapping his around this notion.
"Do you know where he is now?" Oliver asked, looking sideways over at Tommy. It was strange to think they were both actually alive. Oliver had seen both of them dead in the same night so seeing Tommy here…it was strange. "I’m not going to tell you. For your protection and theres."
A part of him was rendered speechless. He couldn’t imagine having to see his father kill himself. Even before reaching the island, Oliver had to endure a painful loss. His friend was never boastful when it came to being the vigilante, or hero as people were now addressing him now, and rightfully so. At the word spoken, Tommy gave a light nod, his gaze shifting slightly. He could say nothing to aid the situation, the event passed long ago and rehashing the details would only bring back the memory, probably move visibly than it already had.
“That’s about the gist of it,” Tommy mentioned with a sigh. His voice was lax, not in a careless way, it was more along the lines of monotone for the conversation with his father continued to race through his mind. A sip of his drink was taken and swallowed before replying. “No, he can’t do anything like that.” He paused, only for a brief moment. “There were explosives on the yacht. The storm was a cover-up, conveniently timed I suppose.” It was a lot to take in, he knew that but they were being honest with one another and this information needed to be out in the open as well.
He shook his head, tipping his glass forward the smallest amount. “I have no idea. He said something about me being safer if I didn’t know where he was.” Tommy shrugged his shoulders at that point. Truthfully, Malcolm could be anywhere. “Alright, I can respect that. The League is messy business, definitely not a place to get involved with.”
Cara shook her head, “It doesn’t matter what I want, it’s what I deserve. My life has to be the job. It has to be destroying Analiese. And, along the way, it’s saving people. It’s knowing I can’t make up for what I’ve done, but trying anyway.” She paused, taking a long deep breath before adding, “Besides, even if I could indulge in that sort of thinking… What kind of life could I have now? Knowing what I know, seeing what I’ve seen? …And how do I exist without them?”
Cara shook her head again, unable to even comprehend the path her revelation had lead them down. “Why are we even talking about this? How are - how are you even still looking at me? Why aren’t you disgusted? Why aren’t you angry or afraid? Why aren’t you throwing me out of your apartment? …Why are you still acting like you’re my friend?”
People seemed to believe the deserved worse than what they had, Tommy was no exception. It was difficult to express anything against her words. They were drawn from guilt, guilt that’s been weighing down on her for years, gnawing until she was practically raw inside. “Existing without the people you care about is just about the hardest thing, but it does get easier. I don’t know what kind of life you can have, it all depends on what you want. And you have to really want it to make it work.”
Her onslaught of questions was expected. “I’m still here because your past is your past. It doesn’t have to define who you are today. When I found out something about my best friend, I was all of those things you just said. I ruined a friendship by letting things get out of hand. I don’t want to mess things up again, I know what judging does and based on what you told me, how can I cast you aside?”