Chapter 10

Felicity and Astrid made their way into the team Arrow headquarters behind the Verdant club room after their girls' day out. "I can't believe you never told me how great this girl is!" Felicity declared, on entering. Both the girl's excitement was dampened by the looks on both Oliver and John Diggle's faces. "Oh, no! who died?" Astrid asked, with a hint of humor and for a brief moment she thought of Barry. But Caitlin would have called her to let her know, were that the case.

"We have a profile on the assassin from last night." John told them.

 "Who is it?" Felicity asked.

 Oliver pointed to the computer screen, and spoke only two words "Floyd Lawton."

 "Floyd Lawton? I thought you... you know..." Felicity made the gesture of having her neck slit for emphasis.

Astrid wasn't sure who they were talking about, but this news did not sound good. "Who is he?" she asked them.

 "Floyd was an exceptionally skilled marksman. We thought that Oliver had killed him. But if we are correct, then that means that he is back from the dead. The question is how?" Diggle said.

"Oh..." Astrid said. The thought that an undead marksman was out hunting people sent shivers down her spine. "Any idea why he is after Diggle?" Astrid asked.

"Floyd... or Deadshot... had a list of targets when he was alive. He was after Diggle when I encountered him. My theory is that he is continuing on with his list." Oliver replied.

Astrid saw the irony in this. She knew that if Cisco were here, he would need to make some witty remark. She just had to say it "So what you are saying is that Deadshot is actually now Undead shot?"

Oliver and John looked at her with seriousness, though Felicity was trying to hold back a giggle.

 "I'm sorry. Really, not the time for jokes. I got it!" Astrid said. Wishing she could take back her comment. "Has anyone else been killed?" she asked them.

"Not that we know." John said switching the television to a news channel. Only the news that was broadcasting wasn't the news that they were hoping for.

 The news reporter's voice spoke "... There are reports that the Sutherland heiress: Astrid Sutherland and playboy billionaire: Oliver Queen have rekindled their relationship after their seven year break, after this picture was taken from a restaurant in Sterling City last night." The screen showed a picture of Oliver holding her from last night and then the news reporter's voice continued, "... we will be waiting for a confirmation from the two whether this is yet the case..."

Astrid's heart sank. Her mind went to what Cisco would think of this. She stormed away from the group. "Where are you going?" Oliver called out after her.

"I saw Thea and her boyfriend going through supplies earlier. I think I need a drink." She shot back, as she left the room, heading towards the bar.

 While Oliver had founded Verdant, Thea had taken over the running of the club, despite not being of legal drinking age as of yet. She had hired her boyfriend Roy as a bartender - giving him a much needed job at the time.

"So, are the two of you back together?" Felicity asked Oliver.

 "No, we're not." Oliver answered, still looking in the direction that Astrid had left in.
 Felicity nodded. "But you still have feelings for her, Ollie. After all these years. You need to talk to her, or she will leave tomorrow and you will be left wishing you had told her. Besides if nothing comes from it, at least you tried."

"Felicity, she is going through a lot at the moment. It will only burden her more. I haven't even told her about Laurel yet." Oliver replied, glancing at Diggle who had walked to the other side of the room to make a call.

"She leaves tomorrow, Oliver." Felicity reminded him.

 "Ok, I'll talk to her." He gave in and went the way that Astrid had left in, leaving Felicity a little annoyed that she had said anything at all. Why couldn't she have kept her mouth shut? Because she loved Oliver Queen, that's why.

Astrid stared into her glass of bourbon and swirled the ice cubes. She had left a city full of destruction only to cause a media frenzy in another town. "Are you okay?" Thea asked her.

 "Did you see the news?" Astrid asked her.
 "Are you speaking of the reports that left Central City in chaos after your press conference, or the one about you and Oliver?" Thea asked with a comforting smile.

"Whichever! Both I guess... Along with every other little thing going on at the moment." Astrid said glumly. Thea glanced up behind Astrid's head, making Astrid turn around and see Oliver standing behind her.

She smiled politely and he took a seat beside her, gesturing to Thea to give them some privacy.
 "Let me guess... you have come to tell me that Central City has just gone up in smoke and I have lost everyone and everything that I have ever loved." She said sarcastically.

"Not exactly." Oliver said with a smile. He was trying to find the right words to say. He kept the wall in his mind up so that she wouldn't be able to read his thoughts. He was thankful for learning this survival skill on that island. It came in handy for blocking out uncomfortable memories. "I didn't tell you this before, but Laurel died during the meteor shower."

"Oh, Oliver..." Astrid brought her hand to her mouth. "I'm sorry. I don't know what to say. I'm sorry."

"No, don't be sorry. I didn't say anything because you lost your father and I knew how you were feeling. You didn't need the added stress. Laurel and I were not even together. We couldn't get things right after I returned from the island. I was trying to deal with becoming the Arrow and she... well we just couldn't get it together."
 Astrid consumed the remainder of her drink and motioned for Roy to pour her another. Oliver requested one too.

She waited for Oliver to continue. They received their drinks and Oliver took a sip. "I just want to tell you, that I understand how you're feeling at the moment because I have been there. But I need you to know something and I am not asking you for anything, except that you work on getting yourself into a better place." He told her.

"Oliver, where are you going with this?" Astrid asked, she had a feeling that she knew and she didn't want to hear it.

 "Astrid, I love you... But I agree that we shouldn't be together right now. You only just came out of a coma and you're trying to work everything out. And you're clearly in love with Cisco. But I want you to know that I will always be here for you, as your friend, when you need it."

 Astrid drank her bourbon, silently until it was gone and then pushed the glass away from her. She had had enough. "You were right about only one of those things, Oliver. I don't need to be in a relationship with anyone at the moment. I need to focus on myself..." That was her final decision.

She was about to continue but was interrupted by her phone. She pulled it out of her purse, to see that it was Cisco calling. She looked up at Oliver, puzzled. He got up and left her in peace to answer her phone. 

These past few days had been the longest that she had gone without speaking to him, that she could remember. She needed to hear his voice.

"Cisco, hi. Is everything ok?" she asked.

"Astrid. You need to come back home immediately! We have a situation here and Caitlin told me to ring you..." he spoke so quickly, that Astrid had to really listen to make out just what he was saying.

"Cisco, is everything ok? Is Caitlin ok? Is Barry ok? What's going on?"

 "Caitlin is confused on what to do! We need you! Barry's awake and he is... confused about everything." Cisco hung up, before Astrid could respond.

"Oliver!" Astrid ran into the Arrow's headquarters. "I need to go home! Can I take your helicopter? Mine's still in Central City, I brought my motorbike..." she was rambling, excitedly. It delighted Felicity to see this sight of Astrid. A happier Astrid.

"Barry's awake!" Astrid blurted out the best news that she had heard in a very long time. "He's awake from his coma."


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