For the last eight years of his life, he had been a man anchored deep into the darkness. The darkness was akin to a looming monster, it was deadly, consuming and unforgiving. The first five years had been in purgatory. He had suffered, he had been tortured and the aching memory of each and every piece of his hell was engraved in the forefront of his mind. Pain and anguish had become lifelong partners and friends. Guilt, terror, agony, sorrow, grief had all piled up on top of one another, becoming layers like skin, cocooning the warmth, banding around it like steel and residing in the vessel of the man named Oliver Queen.
While his life on the island had unraveled, Oliver Queen had hung on tightly to the last dregs of warmth he remembered. He hung onto the thought of finding the path back to his mother’s arms. He had hung onto the thought of seeing his younger sister all grown up and calling her Speedy once more, he had hung onto the thought of reuniting with his best friend, but, most of all he had hung onto the idea of warmth and forgiveness. He had hung onto the idea of love and finally finding a home within the arms of Laurel Lance, the love of his life.
It had been three years since he had left behind the purgatory. Three years since he didn’t spend every moment figuring how to get through the day without embracing death. Three years since he had donned the Hood and was now not only crossing the names of the list but also the silent guardian of his city. Three years, since he had found friends. Friends he didn’t have to hide from, friends in front of whom he could let his guard down and diminish his façade. These were lifelong allies, in the form of a man very much like him, a soldier, John Diggle. And in the form of woman who was a stark contrast against his world of grey and black spattered with deep, lush red. She was a bundle of warmth, colour and a smile that could rival Apollo’s. A pocket full of sunshine, Felicity Smoak.
It had been two years...