This one was tricky, tricky. The prompt is “He didn’t think he’d heard her correctly …” and I was definitely stuck. I sat down to write it the day before our deadline and the story was not coming to me. The other times, I would at least have an idea or a nugget to work off. This time nothing.
Then I thought, what about fanfic? The background to the thought: I just had a week off (and wrote way less than I wanted to, thank you for asking) and got into the show “Arrow” starring the dreamy Stephen Amell. No seriously, go watch this right now, I’ll be here when you get back. OK crazy right? Swoon. Anyhoo, I perhaps, maybe, a little bit got obsessed and watched the entire first season in like two days. So my head was totally in the Arrow space.
Now back to fanfic. I have never, ever thought I’d write it. Not because there’s anything wrong with the genre, but because it seems so stinking hard to me. To write in someone else’s voice, to write someone else’s characters … well, it scares the poop out of me. So I almost didn’t do it, and I thought of a couple other stories to explore that would be safely in my comfort zone. And I’d write a thousand words and I wouldn’t actually push myself. Finally I said, ‘no.’ So I tried it, and it’s pretty awful. I’m not being modest, and I’m not exaggerating on how hard I think fanfic is. This was made even harder because Felicity (one of the characters) has an extremely unique voice that I couldn’t quite capture. But I tried! And I did something different. And that’s the whole purpose of the writing group anyway. Excuse the long post please 🙂 And try your hand at something new today. Grow a little bit. Even if you fail, it’s still worth it.
He didn’t think he’d heard her correctly. Or hoped he hadn’t. He stopped but didn’t turn around.
“I’m coming with you,” Felicity repeated.
“No.” His voice was rough. This was his fault, his battle to fight alone.
“He’s my friend, too, Oliver,” she said, and he heard the tears in her voice. The ones that were fighting to spill over. She wouldn’t cry yet though, he knew. She was a tough one, Felicity. There would be plenty of time for that after. “You need me. I mean … you need to me to get close to him.”
The methodical medical beeping filled the silence of the hospital room and one harsh fluorescent light flickered, a sign of its own impending death. He looked at her over his shoulder and regretted his decision before the words even left his mouth. “Come on, then.”
“His name is Sebastian Blackhawk,” Felicity said, in her domain in front of her screens, the glow lighting her delicate face. She crossed a long, slim leg over her knee to slip on a blood red stilleto that matched her dress. And her lips. “He runs the syndicate operating in Sydney. It looks like he came to ensure his interests in Starling City weren’t being affected by the Hood.”
“And when he found that they were, he targeted me,” Oliver finished for her.
She swiveled to him. “And Dig got caught in the crossfire.”
“Who took the shot?”
She turned back to the computer, her fingers flying over the keys. It only took a few moments. “Edward Poole. He’s Australian Intelligence. Or was. He’s a mercenary now. Interpol has tracked at least 32 homicides with his signature: two shots, one through the heart and one through the eye.” Her voice broke.
He crossed over to her, squatting until they were eye to eye. Her sharp greens ones were steadier than he expected. He shouldn’t be surprised by her, but he always was. She never let them down.
He ran the pad of his thumb across the silky skin of her cheekbone. “And we’ll send him to hell for what he’s done, Felicity,” he promised her.
She almost smiled at that, and ran a hand across her throat. “It’s time for him to get an arrow.”
Oliver perched in the shadows on the fire escape watching the entrance to the casino as the sleek black town car pulled to the entrance. Felicity stepped out, the golden light spilling out from the lobby illuminating her blonde curls, which tumbled over bare shoulders. His stomach tightened with awareness, but he pushed it away. Not the time, place or person, Queen, he told himself. He shook his head as if it would rid him of the thoughts, and brought his binoculars to his eyes. He watched her lips move and heard her voice in his ear as she murmured the password to the guard.
If he’d gone in, as Oliver Queen, he wouldn’t have gotten past the front door, let alone close enough to Blackhawk for his bow to be of any use. Felicity waltzed on in.
“What do you see?”
“People playing cards. I know … I know, not helpful,” her voice was quiet.
“OK, Oliver,” she said, and he smiled briefly at her tone. The fire was back. “Six on the perimeter. A few scary looking guys scattered on the floor with bulges in their pockets, and I don’t think it’s just because they’re happy to see me.”
She was silent for a few moments, and he heard only the background chatter of the room in his ear.
“Felicity?” He didn’t like not being able to see her, didn’t like not being sure he could keep her safe.
“Got him,” her voice was low. She was in the middle of the action, he could tell.
“Just slip the tracker on him, Felicity, and then get out. Nothing more,” Oliver reminded her. Blackhawk changed rooms every night. It seemed his paranoia ran deep. Though it was warranted, Oliver thought. They needed to figure out where he’d be when he left the tables.
“Mmmm,” she hummed.
“Felicity, I am serious,” he didn’t like that response. It didn’t sound like agreement.
“You always are, Oliver,” Felicity said. “Hush, now.”
“Oop, clumsy me,” her voice was louder but breathy, and he knew she was talking to Blackhawk. “I am soooooo sorry, sir, let me …” He imagined she’d picked up a drink at some point to spill on the man, and was patting him down with a tiny cocktail napkin.
“Let me buy you a drink,” Felicity was saying. Get out, Oliver thought. Don’t linger. “Ok, Ok, party pooper, I don’t want to drink with you anyway.”
There was a swish of her turning toward the exit and a moment of silence.
“It’s done,” she finally said in her normal, non-party girl voice.
“Good job. Now move.” He stood himself, readying to jump down to the pavement below. He stilled when he heard the catch in her breath.
“Stop her,” a deep voice said, loud enough for him to hear. He lifted himself over the railing and hit the ground already running.
“Oliver!” It was the last thing he heard before the shrill ringing informed him they’d found her earpiece.