Title: It Was in your Eyes
Fandom: Arrow, Criminal Minds
Category: M/M, M/F
Pairings: Aaron Hotchner/Malcolm Merlyn, Felicity Smoke/Oliver Queen
Summary: Aaron Hotchner has been living with the pain of being rejected by his Sentinel 23 years ago. When he’s forced to go to Starling can he forgive Malcolm enough to let him in to finish the bonding that they started so long ago.
Oliver Queen is back from being stranded on an Island for 5 years. When he meets Felicity Smoak he realizes she is his guide. When she learns his secret will she be able to accept her Sentinel? And will watching how Malcolm and Aaron are hurting be the catalyst that makes Oliver claim his guide?
Beta: None. No non-consensual
banner is by Marlislash Gabs
Starling City 1992
Aaron had gotten a call from a friend of his asking for help with a case in Starling City. It was the murder of a young woman who ran a free clinic in what was known as The Glades.
“Why do you want me Andie?” He was walking towards his car getting ready to head into work. He and Haley had broken up again and Aaron needed some space so he had put feelers out to his friends saying he was currently available to help with cases just so he could get out of the city. He was also trying to come to terms with coming on-line during a particularly rough patch in law school. It had happened just before he graduated and he was still emotionally raw from it. Working with Sandberg and finding his spirit animal had helped settle him down a lot. The snowy owl was quite beautiful and she was often rather playful as well which gave him much solace on those long lonely nights.
Aaron’s coming online was what made Haley leave this last time. She didn’t want to be a burden to him and she didn’t want her heart broken when he found his Sentinel, if he ever found his Sentinel. That place in his soul where his Sentinel should be was empty and there were times that the emptiness could be emotionally crushing. He had worked through it, Blair helping him shore up his shields around that place in him so those feelings didn’t cripple him. Haley had watched him suffer in silence and though she was mundane she wasn’t immune to the pain he went through. He often wondered if she was a sensitive but she refused to get tested.
“Well, you put the feelers out there Ar, what did you think would happen?” His friend teased him.
“Okay, I can be there in two days,” Aaron looked down at his watch. “Fax me all the info and I’ll start working on it from here.”
“Thanks. Malcolm is a friend so you helping is going to be a great relief to the both of us,” Aaron could feel the relief in his friends voice and reassured him again that he would do all he could.
When he got to his office he looked over the police reports, coroner’s reports and the interviews. He studied the crime scene and the photos of Rebecca and Malcolm Merlyn. It was Malcolm’s photo, however, that caught him and made his heart pound and all his senses flare. Shaking his head to clear it he ignored the pictures and went about looking over the files he put together. Then going to his boss’s office he presented the case and let him know he would be going on his own and not a representative of the firm.
“I just need some time away Tom. I need to clear my head a little and I think this case will help. Even if nothing comes of it I’ll get some practical experience,” Aaron sat back and didn’t quite glare, but he almost did.
“It’s fine Aaron. I knew you’d be coming to me soon. I know you’re still struggling with coming on-line so close to graduating and studying for the Bar. Please, take as much time as you need,” Tom Cavanaugh of Cavanaugh and Brandish, a small but highly specialized law firm had recruited Aaron right out of law school. When he passed the Bar on the first run and in the top 5 percent he knew he had made the right decision. Aaron being a Guide was only a plus for the firm. Clients instinctively relaxed around him and many times they were compelled to tell the truth, even if Aaron hadn’t said a word.
“Please keep me updated, this case looks to be interesting. And, if you need any advice feel free to call,” Tom stood to indicate the end of their meeting. Aaron shook his hand, thanked him for his generosity and walked back to his office.
Two days later he was landing in Starling and being driven to the home of Malcolm Merlyn. That was when everything went to hell.
He walked into the Merlyn home and immediately felt the heartbeat. Time seemed to slow down as the devastatingly handsome man started to walk towards him and his friend Andrew. Aaron barely remembered holding out his hand when he saw the acknowledgement in Malcolm’s eyes. They clasped hands and an almost golden warmth passed between them.
“You’ve got to be fucking kidding me,” Malcolm growled low in his throat as his senses went on high alert. His mind whirled as their hands were still locked together. Malcolm was staring intently at their clasped hands zeroing in on the feeling of skin on skin.
“Malcolm,” Aaron used his Guide voice. The first time he ever did and it startled him. “Dial it back down Sentinel. Slowly let it go,” Malcolm slowly uncurled his fingers from Aaron when every instinct in him was screaming to claim this man. When Aaron’s owl flew out and landed on Malcolm’s shoulder he lost all control. He flew at Aaron slamming him against the wall to give the lawyer a hot, searing kiss.
Aaron’s arms wrapped around the man kissing him and was almost lost when those kisses started along his jaw, neck and behind his ear. “Mine, Guide,” Malcolm growled as Aaron pulled him impossibly closer.
The clearing of a throat to the side of the two men brought Aaron back to reality. The Sentinel plastered to him was still trying to glut himself and Aaron was having a hard time keeping it together.
“Sentinel, stop,” Aaron used his Guide voice again to try to get through to Malcolm. As much as the Guide part of him wanted to finish this, the rational part of him knew they needed to talk about the reason Aaron was there.
Malcolm pulled back and swallowed hard, “Dial it back, do you need help?” Aaron had a hold of Malcolm’s wrist helping to ground the Sentinel. Malcolm nodded and one by one Aaron walked him through each sense, dialing them back slowly one at a time. After about a half hour the Sentinel was steadier on his feet.
“I’m, I’m sorry,” Malcolm wanted to apologize for his behavior.
Aaron smiled softly as he lifted a hand and cupped Malcolm’s cheek, “You don’t have to be sorry,” Aaron pulled Malcolm back to him and softly kissed him again, this time gentler more reassuring.
“We don’t have to go over the case today. If you want, the two of us can talk about, this,” Aaron smiled softly, “Then tomorrow we can go over the case.”
“Yeah, yeah I think that’s best,” Malcolm turned back to his friend Andrew Skinner, “We need some time to deal with this Andrew. Do you mind?”
“Not at all. You call me when you’re ready,” Andy knew not to touch Aaron even for a handshake, Malcolm was still in possessive mode.
Pulling Aaron into the main living room Malcolm sat down in a large reading chair and pulled the guide onto his lap. He couldn’t get enough of those lips on his. He knew it was probably inappropriate to bond like he was but the need was overwhelming.
“I’m sorry, you obviously know my name, but I don’t know yours” Malcolm kept nuzzling his neck, kissing and nipping. Aaron had taken off his suit jacket and threw it aside.
“Aa-Aaron Hotchner,” His breathing was shallow at the sensations Malcolm was causing deep within him. That empty place that was reserved for his Sentinel was quickly being filled.
“Aaron,” Malcolm caught him in another kiss, “Good name,” He whispered in Aaron’s ear.
Aaron let his head fall back as Malcolm continued assaulting his senses. He didn’t realize when he started moving against Malcolm but he was getting impossibly hard. The Guide in him was almost purring at the feeling of the Sentinel underneath him.
“If you keep that up, Guide, I won’t,” Aaron ground down again as Malcolm opened Aaron’s shirt and slid his hands over the soft warm flesh, “Be able to control myself.” He leaned forward and started kissing warm flesh as he pulled Aaron closer to him.
“You don’t have to,” Aaron looked down with lust blown eyes as he snaked his hand between them, fumbled open their trousers and pulled out Malcolm’s hard erection. The Sentinel hissed at the feeling of Aaron’s hand on him and the Sentinel woke even more screaming claim, claim, claim in his head. When he did the same and wrapped his hand around Aaron the guide almost came undone right then and there in his arms. The spark of a bond flashed through the two men as they furiously stroked each other trying to bring each other to completion.
“God, Malcolm, I can’t,” Aaron cried out as he thrust into his Sentinel’s hand, “I can’t hold it,” His head fell forward as he buried his head in Malcolm’s neck, kissing the soft flesh he came on a strangled cry as Malcolm held him close.
“That’s it my Guide,” Malcolm growled low in his chest as Aaron’s hand sped up furiously bringing his Sentinel to orgasm. Malcolm snaked his clean hand around Aaron’s back and pulled him close, reveling in their mingled scents. He looked over and saw a contented panther wrapped around a snowy owl.
After a few minutes Aaron pulled back and kissed his Sentinel fiercely. The partial bond sparked between them, connecting them as it cried out to be completed.
As Aaron was assaulting his lips yet again they heard the front door opening and shutting.
Malcolm pulled back as shock and reality set in all at once, “Oh god, Tommy,” Aaron felt Malcolm pulling back, not just physically but pulling the bond back as well and it was painful.
“Malcolm? What’s wrong?” Aaron heard footsteps coming closer as well as another heartbeat.
“it’s my son, Tommy. He, he shouldn’t see us like this. It’s going to be difficult enough for him to understand-“ Malcolm trailed off as he saw the hurt flash through Aaron’s eyes at the feeling of Malcolm retreating from him.
“Shhh, it’s okay Aaron,” Malcolm reached up and caressed his cheek, “We’ll figure this out.” He grabbed the box of tissues next to them and helped to clean themselves up.
Aaron slid off of Malcolm’s lap just as a young boy entered the room. Thankfully both men had just enough time to get themselves back together.
“Dad,” Tommy ran to his father’s arms, “You’re home.” Tommy breathed in his father then pulled back a moment, “You seem different.” The young boy looked between the two men a moment, “You found your guide,” He said in shock.
Malcolm swallowed as he looked at his son, “Yes Tommy, I did. This is Aaron Hotchner,” He reached out his hand for the Guide to come closer. “Aaron, this is Tommy, my son.”
Aaron got down on one knee and held out his clean hand, smiling, “Hey there Tommy. It’s nice to meet you.”
Tommy took the older man’s hand and gripped it giving him a good handshake. “Nice to meet you Mr. Hotchner.”
“Tommy, why don’t you go upstairs and do your homework,” Malcolm ruffled the boy’s hair as he smiled up at his father then ran up to his room to do as his father asked.
“Well,” Malcolm was pulling back even more as he moved to the liquor cart and poured himself two fingers of scotch then downed it in one go. “This has been an interesting day so far.”
Aaron wasn’t sure how Malcolm wanted to proceed, he felt like he was being pushed away already.
“I,” Malcolm turned to him, wanting to do nothing more than take and claim his Guide, but reality hit him over the head, “I don’t know if I can do this,” He slammed the glass down on the cart, ran towards the door grabbed his keys then left.
A devastated Aaron stood in the middle of the living room not knowing how to process what just happened. With shaking hands he pulled out his phone and called a cab. Going back to his hotel he tried to reign in his emotions as he mechanically went through his nightly routine. He was aching to call Malcolm, to fight this out but he didn’t, he crawled into bed fell into a fitful sleep.
The next day he went back and they worked on the case. In fact Aaron stayed for several weeks working on Rebecca Merlyn’s case. He got to know Tommy and the boy was aching for his father which made him latch onto Aaron. A parental bond was beginning to form between them even though Malcolm had started to close off the more Aaron was there. Finally when there was nothing more that the lawyer could do Malcolm asked him to leave, that his presence was making it difficult for him and his son to move on. With no leads and no one to prosecute Aaron wasn’t needed.
Aaron pushed against the partial bond but Malcolm pushed back against him, forcing him out. Aaron packed up his things and left, stunned and in emotional upheaval. His Sentinel had refused him, pushed him away and Aaron didn’t know how to handle it. When he stumbled into his apartment he called the only person he knew that would be able to help him through this, Haley.
She came right away and when she entered the apartment they used to share her heart broke. There was her strong, confidant Aaron, broken. When she went to him and wrapped her arms around him he told her everything and in doing so he broke even more. Holding him tight she made the decision to come back, to never leave him again.
Island of Lian Yu – 2009
Oliver was running through the jungle, Slade on one side, Shado on the other. They were running from some very dangerous pirates that had landed on the Island. They thought they were free after getting rid of Fyers but now pirates.
“Seriously, fucking Pirates?” Oliver yells as they kept running trying to get to their camp and safety.
“This is a dangerous Island kid, and we missed our opportunity to get off it,” Slade yelled back at him.
Oliver just glared at him as they kept running. At one point they thought the pirates had caught-up to them as bullets whizzed by their heads. Ducking behind some trees Oliver took out his bow and quickly took down two of the men chasing them.
Shado had run up one of the trees for a better vantage point and saw a third man coming after them and took aim and was able to take him down with her own arrow.
When she got back down Oliver looked like he was in pain. Both Slade and Shado were worried about him when he looked up and his pupils were blown wide open and he had his hands over his ears.
“Hey Ollie, come one what’s wrong?” Shado tried to touch him but he screamed at the contact of skin on skin. “What the hell?” She whispered as she held up her hands.
“Kid, what’s going on with you?” Slade’s accent thickened with worry as he watched his friend double over and cry out in pain.
“I don’t know,” Oliver screamed again then collapsed.
Slade let out a frustrated breath as he bent down and dragged Oliver to a standing position. Shado quickly got to his other side and between the two of them they dragged Oliver back to their camp and laid him out on his bed. He was running a fever which was cause for concern. Together they stripped their companion down and looked for any anomalies that might be on him; Bite marks, flesh wounds anything that would explain Oliver’s sudden illness.
Several hours later Oliver woke with a blinding headache. It was dusk out but when he tried to open his eyes pain flashed through them. It took several tries before he was able to keep them open altogether. He looked down and noticed he was naked under the blanket over him. When he lifted the blanket his skin was red and he had several rashes on his body.
“What the hell?” His voice was hoarse and his muscles were sore and aching as he started to sit up.
“Hey kid, how you are you?” Slade brought his some water and a plate with some roasted rabbit and some fruit.
“I feel like crap, and please don’t talk so loud,” He frowned up at his friend.
“I’m not, I’m talking normal,” Slade studied Oliver for a long moment while the younger man tried to eat. “Oliver, do you have any Sentinels or Guides in your family?” Slade leaned forward and watched as Oliver tried to work through the question.
“Um not my Mom or Dad but I heard that my Grandfather was a Sentinel,” he took a deep breath and tried to drink some of the water to help settle his stomach.
“Kid, I think you’re coming on-line,” Slade had watched Oliver the last three days that he’d been in and out of consciousness and it was the only thing that made sense. The last few weeks had been highly stressful on all of them. Slade was surprised that Oliver hadn’t come on-line before now.
“Shit,” Was all Oliver said as he let his head fall back against the wall he was sitting up and leaning on. “What the hell do I do with this?”
“The immediate problem is what you can wear. Anything we put on you and you break out in rashes. I went back to Fyer’s camp and found some things that might be okay for you.” Slade stood and threw him some linen pants and cotton t-shirts. Grabbing one of the t-shirts Oliver slipped it over his head and almost sighed in relief as the cool cotton felt softer against his skin. The pants also helped quite a lot
Oliver tried to stand and almost fell over at first but slowly he tried again. His muscles were straining with the effort but each time he tried to stand it got a little easier. He snapped at Slade when he had tried to help. He wanted to do this on his own. Finally when he was standing steady walking became his next goal and by the late evening Oliver was walking almost normally.
It took a couple of weeks to be completely functioning again and when he felt himself more in control he started to jog, then run. Slade and Shado tried to keep up with him but realized all too soon that Oliver was faster and stronger than either of them. He could also see farther and when he worked with the bow and arrow he found he shot straighter and farther. He had to restring his bow several times because he kept breaking it on accident. Finally the stripped some bamboo and used that as his bow string. It was tougher, though he had to use several strands, it was the best he was going to get for the time being.
Oliver had to train himself differently because his friends couldn’t keep up with him. He didn’t want to hurt Slade so they cut down a tree, stripped it and made a few training dummies, which worked out well for the three of them. The side benefit was training with Oliver Slade and Shado became better fighters and Shado a better archer.
One night while sleeping Oliver started to dream of a bird. A falcon, then during the day he kept seeing a falcon circling above him. When he tried to call to the bird it would disappear. Trying to recall everything he knew about Sentinels and Guides he thought that maybe this was his spirit guide but he just couldn’t be sure, at least not yet.
It would be three more years before Oliver was to step foot in Starling once again. And when he did he realized just how much of a changed man he really was. He carried out his father’s wishes, hoping to honor him by destroying the terrible plan that he had been a part of. He didn’t realize that soon his life would change yet again when the other half of himself, his guide, would be found. He was going to have to face some hard choices, harder even than some of his choices from the Island.
Virginia – 2010
The team had left and Aaron was standing there against the railing looking out over the cemetery trying to keep his emotions under control. His guide senses were all over the place because he didn’t have the grounding of Haley or his Sentinel. That’s when he felt it. He looked up and Malcolm was standing there so close but a mile away at the same time.
“What are you doing here Malcolm?” Aaron turned to look at his Sentinel, the man who rejected him and broke his heart all at once.
“I heard about Haley,” Malcolm took a step forward, unsure of what to say. He reached out and grabbed Aaron’s hand and that warmth that connected them so closely flared between them and caused Aaron pain. He pulled his hand away as he stared at the man who rejected him.
“Please don’t say you want the bond, not here, not now,” Aaron’s anger rose as his expression turned dark.
“I wouldn’t do that to you Aaron. I wouldn’t take advantage of your grief,” Malcolm’s heart was heavy as he realized a truth he had denied years before, he loved Aaron. It wasn’t just the Sentinel in him, but it was the driving force. He had fallen in love in those seven weeks that Aaron worked tirelessly to try to find and prosecute Rebecca’s murderer. When he pushed Aaron away, it wasn’t just the Guide that broke, Malcolm broke as well. And in that time, in his grief he did terrible things.
“Malcolm please, not now, not today,” Aaron’s eyes were clouded with pain. Malcolm closed the distance between them and cupped Aaron’s face. He leaned in and kissed his Guide, his guide, ran through the man’s mind. Aaron pulled away, “No,” Aaron gently pushed the man away from him as pain and confusion clouded his heart. Tears ran down his face as he made the decision to push Malcolm away.
Stalking off Aaron found Jessica and asked if she could take Jack for a few hours. She looked over and saw the other man standing there and understood. Haley had told Jessica about Aaron’s Sentinel and how he had been rejected. Though she was mundane she understood the pain Aaron had gone through from that and how Haley helped him piece his life back together little bit by little bit. She agreed to take Jack to give Aaron some time alone. Leaving he found a bar and wanted to just get drunk and forget.
When a young man that looked uncannily like Malcom sat next to him and started flirting Aaron did something he hadn’t done since his marriage to Haley. He took this man back to his apartment and proceeded to fuck him. He served as a surrogate, someone he could have sex with, get his frustrations out on and not have to bond. He couldn’t believe that Malcolm had showed up, especially on this day.
“Fuck,” Aaron cried out as he pounded into the body beneath him trying to seek relief from his demons. Tears fell from his face as thoughts of Haley and Malcolm ran through his head. One dead and one who rejected him and dared to try to claim him at his dead wife’s funeral.
“Fuck yeah, oh fuck yeah,” The young man kept up the litany as Aaron wasn’t gentle. He needed rough and hard. When he stilled and came he pulled out, threw the condom away and stepped under a hot shower. He didn’t care about the other man in his bed, he served a momentary purpose, didn’t mean a damn thing. Holding himself up against the shower walls he let out all of those bottled up emotions. Not just from the day but from seeing his Sentinel right there trying to comfort him and the pain from years before. When the water turned cold he shivered then finally got out. He was relieved when he heard his front door close, he knew the stranger was gone and that was perfectly alright with him. Sitting on the edge of his bed he wondered what the hell he had just done. More broken than anyone would ever know Aaron tried to find his center like Blair had taught him. When Petra, the golden eagle that was his spirit animal came to sit on his shoulder to comfort him, he struggled not to break further.
After another couple of hours of struggle to box up all those hard emotions and put a tight lid on them Aaron got dressed and went to pick-up his son. Jessica didn’t ask where Aaron had gone but she did tell him Malcolm had left. He hadn’t expected anything else from his Sentinel. He always ran from those hard ugly emotions. With an even heavier heart than normal, Aaron picked-up Jack and held him in his arms close and made his way home. Putting the exhausted boy to bed Aaron wasn’t far behind. He crawled under the sheets that still smelled like sex and silently cried. He would give himself this day to breakdown but he would no longer let thoughts of Malcolm rule him. He said a silent goodbye to Haley and as he fell asleep he heard her voice in his head telling him he was a fool and soon something had to break. Either Malcolm would finally claim him, or he’d go insane, it was now a race to see what happened first.
Oliver Queen was walking confidently across the floor of his family’s company making his way to the new tech analyst’s office.
“Ms. Smoak?” He walked in and smiled confidently at her.
She looked up into very blue eyes and a gorgeous face, “Oh, ah hi Mr. Queen, what, what can I do for you?” She swallowed hard as she became mesmerized by those eyes.
Oliver smiled as he licked his lips trying not to laugh at the blonde woman’s obvious nervousness, “I would like to know if you can crack this,” He handed her a USB drive.
“I’ll see what I can do Mr. Queen,” She held out her hand for the drive and when Oliver gently placed it there his fingertips brushed hers ever so slightly. Her eyes snapped up to his when she felt a brush along that part of her she tried to keep shielded. The Guide in her was awakening. No, it can’t be. She looked up at him with fear at what she’d see, and there, just behind his eyes she saw it. It was fleeting but she saw it Sentinel. She held his gaze a little too long when she curled her fingers over the drive.
“Please, Mr. Queen was my father. Call me Oliver,” His smile turned almost feral and Felicity had to swallow back a retort.
“Um, okay Oliver,” The name sliding from her lips had him raising one brow and smiling that deadly smile again. She knew he had felt it too but he didn’t say anything, didn’t mention that little spark of something that passed between them. “So, ah what am I looking for?” Her breath was shaky as she spoke, she couldn’t help it. Here was her Sentinel in front of her and he wasn’t acknowledging the connection. Well if that is how he wants to play this she mused as she shook her head slightly.
“It came from a,” Here he hesitated a moment as he put his hands in his pockets and stared down at the blonde in front of him, “Friend. He asked if I could find someone who could decrypt the data on it. Thinks one of his employees is doing something hinkey.” The lie slipping form his tongue easily as he pursed his lips and rocked back on his feet.
“Right, a friend,” Her voice told him that she didn’t quite believe him but she would play along for now.
“Yup, a friend,” He narrowed his eyes and was a bit cheeky with her. This will be interesting. His thoughts were pinging all through his brain as he realized she was not going to be easily charmed or cowed by him. He’d let her have her little cat and mouse game. He wanted to see just how far he could push the pretty tech analyst before she got fed up with him.
“Well, I’ll just stick this in and start working it right away,” Oliver tried to hide the laugh that wanted to bubble up from his throat, but he held back by sheer will. “That came out wrong.” Felicity blushed deeply and Oliver was utterly charmed. “What I meant was when I ah have something Mr.- Oliver, should I bring it up to your office? Or you know I could just call you, tell you when I’m done and you could come down here, to my office and show you what I’ve got,” Felicity closed her eyes and swallowed hard, “I think I’m just going to shut up now.” She turned to her computer trying to tamp down on her complete and utter embarrassment.
Oliver walked behind her chair and leaned down towards her ear, “Just call me when it’s done and I’ll come down here and you can certainly show me what you’ve got.” He stood back up and trying to hide his smile sauntered off towards the elevators.
Felicity slowly bent her head towards her shoulder and tried to surreptitiously watch Oliver Queen, prodigal son returned to the fold and her Sentinel walk away.
“Oh Felicity you do know how to get yourself in deep,” She mumbled to herself as she started to try to decrypt the USB given to her. She accepted Oliver’s lie for now as she worked her keyboard, running code and decryption analysis as quickly as possible. She wanted to see him again, wanted to touch him again because she needed to confirm that he really was hers.
As Oliver boarded the elevator to go back up to his office he slumped back against the wall and held onto the hand rail behind him, “I am well and truly screwed,” He didn’t want this, didn’t want to be responsible for anyone in his life but himself. He had changed in more ways than one and there was no room in his life for someone as beautiful, quirky and enigmatic as Miss Felicity Smoak. It also didn’t help that he knew, just from that brush of fingertips that she was his Guide. He couldn’t have her, not with his mission The Arrow won’t allow it.
“Hotchner,” Aaron answered his phone without even looking at who was calling. He was going over case files at his desk because his team had some downtime.
“Aaron, it’s Jim,” Jim Ellison, Alpha Prime of the United States. Aaron was his Alpha Prime guide for the Eastern part of the US. Even though he was an unbonded level 7 Alpha Guide he was a boon to the Bureau and to the consortium. Jim also knew that if he ever finally did bond with his Sentinel he would be just as powerful as Blair.
“Jim,” Aaron slowly put down his pen and sat back in his chair, “What can I do for you?” He was on alert. The only time Jim called like this was when it was Sentinel/Guide business.
“Aaron, I need you to go to Starling City, Cali-“
“No,” Aaron was on guard instantly. This was the one place in the greater United States that he most definitely didn’t want to go.
“Aaron, I’m not asking. You are part of the S&G Consortium and I need you to go to Starling to speak with Oliver Queen, get a feel for him and possibly help him out. His bodyguard called a few weeks ago and told us that he is an on-line Sentinel. He’s refusing to come into the Consortium for the required testing.”
“No Jim, I am not going there,” Aaron’s face was hard-set and his breathing was shallow. “Why can’t you do it? Of you have someone from the West Coast go do this.”
“I can’t, Blair and I have some important closed door meetings we have to oversee, which you will be briefed on as soon as possible.” Jim was trying to gauge what was wrong with the Guide when he frowned into the phone, “You’re Sentinel is there, isn’t he?”
“Dammit,” Aaron said under his breath but he knew Jim could hear, “Yes.”
“How long have you known?” Jim didn’t try to hide his annoyance at all.
Aaron took a deep breath and wondered if he should tell Jim the truth. The man wasn’t going to be happy, “I’ve known since ’92.” He waited for the explosion.
“What?! Aaron Hotchner what the hell are you talking about?”
“It was an early case I was prosecuting in California before moving to Seattle. The man’s wife was murdered and I was trying to build a case but it fell apart quickly. He had a son but he was emotionally devastated. He pushed me out then disappeared for almost 19 years.”
“So this was before you married Haley?” Jim tried to calm down, he wanted Aaron to tell him what happened.
“Yes, we had been broken-up and I was just finding my feet as a young lawyer. We met under terrible circumstances. We partially bonded but losing his wife he, like I said pushed me out then he was gone. I tried over the years to find him and out of the blue he showed up at Haley’s funeral. He went back to Starling and has been there ever since.” Aaron took a deep breath as he tapped on the desk.
“Who is he Aaron?” Jim couldn’t imagine what Aaron had gone through all these years. It now made sense why he was so focused and why he worked himself harder than he should. The constant physical and mental pain probably got overwhelming at times. He wanted to ask more but decided against it. He knew the man well and knew Aaron wouldn’t open up that part of himself to him, so, for now, he left it alone.
“His name is Malcom Merlyn,” Aaron swallowed back the old ache that sat in his heart over the rejection all those years ago.
“Wow, I have to say I didn’t see that one coming,” Jim took a moment before he continued, “I’m sorry Aaron, but I still need you to go. You’re the only one that may be able to get Oliver Queen to see reason.”
Aaron closed his eyes and shook his head, “Fine, I’ll go.” He hung-up on Jim and sat back in his chair wondering if he was ready to confront the Sentinel who wanted nothing to do with him 22 years before.
Felicity stared at the information on her screen and wondered just why Oliver Queen needed it. She copied everything to a new USB drive and called up to the man’s office to let him know that she had something. A few minutes later he was standing there knocking on her office door and looking better than any man had a right to.
“Mr.-“ Felicity took a quick breath, “Oliver,” She couldn’t help the smile that graced her lips and Oliver couldn’t help returning one of his own. “I ah, I have the information you wanted.” She started to hand him both of the drives when she looked up at him. There it was again, that something other that made him who he was. Her breath caught as he took the drives out of her outstretched hand. Again that spark, that connection flowed between them at the touch of his hand on hers. She closed her eyes and let the feeling wash over her.
Oliver knew he did it on purpose. He wanted to see and to know if what passed between them two days prior was really there. His face lit up when he watched her close her eyes as their hands brushed against each other again. He watched her as her lips parted just slightly and her breath quickened. It was a moment before he could speak because he was so overcome by her response to him that he had to regain his composure.
“So, thank you Felicity,” He was rewarded with another of her beautiful smiles and he knew he was gone. There was no way he was going to be able to keep away from her, even if it was for the better. His senses instinctively reached out to her, wanting more but he held back for now. He knew he should stay far, far away from her. She didn’t need to get sucked into that other life and if he let her in he knew she’d find out his secret. He was not sure if he was ready for her to find out that he was The Vigilante. He barely knew her but every instinct inside him was screaming at him to make her his.
He knew he was staring a little too long, “Would you like to have dinner with me Miss Smoak?” No, that wasn’t what you were supposed to say. He cursed himself under his breath.
Felicity didn’t hesitate in her answer, “Yes, yes I would like to have dinner with you Mr. Queen.”
“Okay, ah how about tomorrow night, I’ll pick you up at 7:00.”
“Oh, okay, I’ll be ready,” She was suddenly nervous and didn’t know what to do with her hands which kept fidgeting with the little tech toys that were scattered across the front of her desk.
Instead of annoying, Oliver found her nervousness rather charming. “Thank you for this Felicity,” He held up the USB drives, “And I’ll see you tomorrow night.” He turned to leave when Felicity realized she hadn’t given him her address.
“Um Oliver, I didn’t give you my address,” She started to write it down for him.
“It’s okay, I already have it,” He walked off leaving her quite speechless.
A few minutes later he was seated at his computer in his office going over the information on the drive. The pharmaceutical company was intentionally diverting critical medical supplies from the free clinics in The Glades. Oliver filed away this information and secured the drives in a hidden compartment in his desk. He would get with Diggle later to work out a plan on getting to the man in charge of the company that was keeping those supplies out of the hands of the less fortunate.
He went back to the reports that he was originally going over when his secretary buzzed him.
“Mr. Queen, I have a Mr. Aaron Hotchner here to see you. He said he is with the Sentinel-Guide Consortium.”
He remembered the man had come to Starling a couple of days before and made the appointment to see him. He had gotten so lost in his thoughts about Felicity that he forgot to mention this to his secretary.
“It’s okay Jean, I forgot to let you know I made the appointment. You can let him in.” Oliver came out from behind his desk so that he could greet the man in question.
Oliver didn’t know what to expect, but the older handsome gentlemen that came in was certainly not it.
“Mr. Hotchner, welcome,” Oliver shook the man’s hand and was taken aback by the appraising… glare was the only word he had to describe the expression on his visitors face.
“Mr. Queen. I am here on behalf of Jim Ellison, Alpha Prime of the Sentinel-Guide Consortium. It seems that you have not gone into the Consortium for the requisite testing for newly on-line Sentinels.” Aaron had taken a seat in front of Oliver Queen’s desk while the younger man moved behind it. Oliver sat slightly back and crossed his legs with his hands clasped resting easily on his knee. Aaron knew exactly what Queen was doing and it caused a small smile to surface across his lips.
“Mr. Hotchner, I haven’t had time to fulfill the request by The Consortium. As you can guess my return to ‘the fold’ so to speak has kept me quite busy over the last few months.”
“Mr. Queen, while I understand the position that you are in we still need you to come in. All Guides and Sentinels need to be registered, you are aware of this, correct,” Aaron used some of his interrogation techniques on Oliver and found that the man was quite the match. He’s experienced some kind of torture, or extensive questioning under duress. Aaron was profiling the young man from the moment he entered the office. He thought that maybe this was going to be harder than he originally anticipated.
“Yes, I was made aware of this by my personal security detail, and I assure you, just like I told Mr. Ellison that I will get into the center as soon as it is feasibly possible. But right now I can’t do that, there are too many things happening around the company and my family for me to take the time out. As soon as I’m more settled, then I will do as requested.” Oliver kept his expression neutral as he spoke with the man across from him.
“Mr. Queen, I don’t think you understand. It is no longer a request, but a governmental order. Here,” Aaron handed him the paperwork for the Sentinel across from him to look at.
Oliver couldn’t help the flash of annoyance that crossed his face as he read the paperwork in question. Carefully he folded it back up and laid it down on his desk.
“I see I have no choice here,” Oliver raised a brow while trying to appraise the man across from him.
“I’m sorry, but no you have no choice. I will be in town for a few days to see that you do follow-up. Please Mr. Queen, I don’t want to have to come back here. It’s a couple of hours out of your day.” Aaron didn’t want to be in Starling any longer than he had to, so he hoped that Oliver would get this over with quickly.
“Alright, I will see what I can do,” He stood to signal that the meeting was over and Aaron had to give the younger man props. He wore his position well, “I hope you have a good rest of the day Mr. Hotchner,” Oliver held his hand out for the man to take, hoping he got the hint.
Aaron shook Oliver’s hand then made to leave Queen Industries altogether.
Oliver breathed a sigh of relief because he had a feeling that there was more to Mr. Aaron Hotchner than met the eye and if he was going to stay in Starling for any amount of time he just might be dangerous to not only him, but to The Vigilante as well.
Aaron was walking out of Oliver Queen’s office when he felt it. He hadn’t felt this particular feeling in over two years. Slowly he turned around and stared into the face of one Malcolm Merlyn.
“Aaron,” Malcolm was just as affected by seeing his Guide standing there as Aaron was at seeing his Sentinel. “What are you doing in Starling?” He was breathing hard as the old pain rose to the surface.
“I was asked by Jim Ellison to speak with Mr. Queen,” Aaron’s eyes clouded as that old ache turned sharp and pain filled him, though he didn’t show it, not here, not now.
“Again, I’m sorry about Haley,” Malcolm furrowed his brow as he watched the play of emotions on his Guides face. Yes, even though they never fully bonded and he had rejected the man standing across from him, he would always see Aaron as his Guide.
“How’s your son?” Malcolm may have rejected Aaron, but it didn’t mean that he didn’t keep tabs on the man. He knew Aaron very well. He knew he was a coward, but it didn’t stop him wanting to get to know his Guide.
“For some reason it doesn’t surprise me that you even know about him,” Aaron couldn’t quite keep the bitter tone out of his voice. “He’s doing well. Took us both quite a while to heal from Haley’s death,” Aaron closed his eyes to get his emotions under control. “Well, I need to go. I have to check in with the Consortium.” Aaron started to leave and when he walked past Malcolm the Sentinel reached out and grabbed Aaron’s arm. The jolt of that old tenuous connection flared to life and Aaron jerked his arm out of the other man’s grasp.
“Don’t,” Aaron’s voice was steely as he guarded himself.
“Please Aaron,” Malcolm swallowed hard as he watched his Guide, “Have dinner with me. Let’s talk.”
“What the hell is there to talk about Malcolm? You rejected me and it took me years to get over the pain of that.” Aaron’s jaw was working back and forth as he kept that tight lid on his emotions.
“I know, I know I hurt you, hurt us. Please, just one dinner,” Malcolm tried not to sound hopeful but he wasn’t quite successful.
Aaron studied the man for a minute, “Fine, one dinner,” He scribbled his cell phone down on a piece of paper and handed it to his Sentinel before quickly striding out of there wanting to get away from Malcolm and the pain and anger that had been churned up.
Malcolm just watched his Guide walk away from him yet again. He knew that there may never be a way to fix things between them but seeing Aaron here in Starling, he knew he wanted the chance to try, even though it was his only shot in hell. He’d already been living it, a half-life that nothing he ever did could fill that void that only Aaron Hotchner could fulfill.
“Digg, do you know the name Aaron Hotchner?” Oliver was getting ready for the surveillance of Mr. Timothy Jenkins, president of Nimbus Pharmaceuticals. He grabbed his quiver, packing the arrows he wanted to take with him and zipped up his jacket.
“Seriously Ollie?” Diggle raised his brow at his partner and just shook his head.
“Stranded, on an Island,” Oliver had an amused look on his face as he turned back to Diggle.
The darker man just chuckled and wondered just how long Oliver would be able to get away with that excuse.
“He’s the Alpha Prime Guide for the East Coast. If Jim Ellison called him out here it’s because something is going on. He’s also a federal agent.”
Oliver stood stock still as he slowly turned to look at the other man in the room, “What are you talking about?”
“He works for the Behavioral Analysis Unit of the FBI. I remember him not only from several press conferences over the last couple of years but I was protecting a young actress named Lila Archer just before I got babysitting duty on your ass. She told me how they helped her a few years back. Showed me pictures.”
“Shit,” Oliver started pacing back and forth, “Who’s his Sentinel?” If Diggle knew this much, then maybe he knew more. Of course he could always have Felicity dig more into Mr. Hotchner’s life and get all the information he could. His first instincts that the man was dangerous to him were spot on.
“As far as anyone knows he’s an unbonded level 7 Guide. That’s all I know. Why the twenty questions Ollie?” Diggle was leaning against one of the tables in the back of the room.
“He came to my office yesterday. Said he was here by order of Ellison. I’m being railroaded into a center for testing,” Oliver’s tone was sharp and clipped as he grabbed his bow.
“Ah, you do keep avoiding it. But that’s not all that’s goin’ on with you,” The bodyguard crossed his arms over his chest and glared at the younger man. “You’ve been edgy for the past couple of days.”
Oliver hoped to not have this conversation right away but he knew he couldn’t get out of it, when Diggle sunk his teeth into something he didn’t let go till he was good and ready.
“Its this girl,” Oliver smiled softly as he took a quick short breath and tilted his head to the side, not wanting to meet Diggle’s gaze.
“Ohhh, a girl,” Diggle smiled wide wondering just what kind of girl turned Oliver Queen’s head.
“It’s not like that Digg,” He closed his eyes and took a deep steadying breath before he turned back to look at his friend, “I think she’s my Guide.” He bit the side of his lip as he leaned against the same table Diggle was at.
“Oh, I can see where you think that is a problem,” Diggle couldn’t quite keep the amusement out of his voice.
“Not helping,” Oliver stood and grabbed one of earbuds that helped him stay in communication while he was out patrolling. However, this night was pure surveillance. “Okay, let’s do this,” He turned on communications and left the hideout hoping this night wasn’t going to be wasted.
Aaron didn’t know what possessed him to go to the club, but he was restless and he really wanted a drink. He also didn’t want someplace quiet so when he walked into Verdant he immediately liked it. The hard pounding music was just what he was in the mood for. He moved up to the bar and ordered a top shelf scotch.
He chuckled to himself and thought of the many times that his team back home tried to drag him out to clubs and now here he was sitting in one drinking top shelf scotch and watching the writing bodies dance almost obscenely to the hard music. Morgan would joke and wonder what happened to his Unit Chief. Any other time he’d hate it, but tonight he needed to drown out the thoughts and feelings pounding in his brain and this seemed to be the perfect place.
He didn’t notice when someone slid onto the stool next to him.
“This doesn’t seem like the kind of place I’d ever thought to see you at Agent Hotchner,” The voice next to him sounded familiar as Aaron swung his head to the right. He was surprised to see Oliver Queen here, he wasn’t surprised that the millionaire industrialist knew who he was.
“Took me a while to remember why you looked vaguely familiar when you walked into my office this afternoon. Then I looked you up. When I saw that you had been a prosecutor it came back to me. You’re the one who was trying to build a case against the suspect in Rebecca Merlyn’s murder case,” Oliver took a sip of his drink as a pretty dark haired girl came over to them.
“Hey Ollie,” She leaned over and gave him a peck on the cheek.
“Thea,” Oliver gave her a genuine smile and Aaron felt the overwhelming affection from the Sentinel. “My sister, Thea. She runs the club for me and does a damn fine job.”
Aaron just nodded at her in acknowledgement. He turned back to Oliver “I was,” Aaron stood and leaned against the bar, only giving the girl a tight nod, “How is Tommy?” Another old hurt shot through him as he thought of the young boy that had instantly taken to him all those years ago. Aaron had wanted so desperately to form a parent bond with the boy but when Malcolm rejected him he was asked to stay away from the boy as well.
Oliver heard something in the older man’s voice that got him wondering. “He’s good actually. He’s here with his girlfriend,” He indicated with his head the couple dancing and Aaron smiled at the man that Tommy Merlyn had become.
Aaron closed his eyes and frowned as he turned back around and looked down at his drink. His breathing sped up as he tried not to let the anger overwhelm him. He didn’t need an empathic backlash in the middle of a crowded nightclub, Jim and Blair would never let him live down the fallout that would cause.
“Hey, are you okay?” Oliver had felt the truncated empathic wave coming off of the man next to him. He was also aware of his heartbeat and heightened physical senses.
“A piece of unsolicited advice Mr. Queen,” Aaron took a long swallow of his drink and motioned for the bartender for a refill, “If you ever find you’re Guide, hold onto them, don’t think too hard because you may regret letting them go from your life.” He put the glass down harder on the bar than he meant to.
Oliver frowned and wondered what had happened in the man’s life that the pain he felt coming off him was like nothing he had ever had to endure and he endured much during his exile on Lian Yu. He didn’t know what to say as the older man turned to look at him, he could see the edges of something, he wasn’t sure what, move behind the agent’s eyes.
Tommy Merlyn knew the instant that the man at the bar had come in and his heart pounded in his chest.
“Hey, you alright?” Laurel had seen the stunned look on Tommy’s face.
“Um, yeah, yeah I’ll be right back,” He walked towards the bar to Oliver and Aaron.
“Aaron Hotchner?” Tommy asked and when the man in question turned around he was speechless.
“Tommy,” Aaron swallowed hard as his heartrate went up, “How are you,” It took every ounce of will to hold back his emotions and not become overwhelmed by them. What he wasn’t expecting was for the man to fling his arms around him and pull him into a tight hug.
“I’m so sorry,” Tommy said in his ear as he closed his eyes.
Oliver was trying to wrap his head around what was going on, but he would wait till Tommy was ready to talk.
Aaron pulled back first, “You have nothing to be sorry for Tommy. The blame is solely on your father,” Aaron clasped the younger man’s shoulder.
“He sent you away from us. You were there for me when I needed it most Uncle Aaron,” Oliver and Laurel looked at each other and shrugged, not really knowing what was going on
“It was a long-time ago Tom,” Aaron placed a hand on his cheek then moved it away, “He wants to have dinner tomorrow,” Aaron tried to smile but he knew it fell short.
“Why are you even giving him a chance? He doesn’t deserve it,” Tommy’s voice was hard, thinking how deeply his father had hurt the man in front of him.
“Because this pain is killing me Tommy. It’s getting harder and harder to control. It’s one dinner and I’m not getting my hopes up,” Aaron, swallowed back whatever else he was going to say.
Tommy pulled Laurel to him and smiled wide, “Laurel, this Aaron Hotchner, my Father’s Guide,” Laurel’s eyes widened in shock as she held out her had to the older man, “Uncle Aaron, this is Laurel Lance, my girlfriend.”
Aaron smiled a genuine smile and shook the pretty brunette’s hand. “My pleasure Miss Lance.” Laurel couldn’t help but be charmed by the handsome older man.
“Well it certainly is nice to meet you to Mr. Hotchner. Are you in town for a while?’
“As long as it takes to get Oliver to go and register at the S&G Consortium,” He didn’t waste this opportunity to get the man’s friends involved in his mission.
“Oliver,” Laurel admonished her best friend, “You were supposed to do that weeks ago.”
“Laurel, not now,” He gave her a meaningful glare. She narrowed her eyes but let it go for the moment.
“Listen, I should get back to my hotel. I have a phone call to make before I go to bed,” Aaron went to pay for the drinks when a hand stopped him.
“It’s on me Uncle,” Tommy pulled out his wallet and left money on the bar. “Can we do dinner one night while you’re here?” The hopefulness clearly came through and Aaron found he was genuinely happy to be asked.
“Of course Tommy,” Aaron pulled out a business card and scribbled his private cell number on the back, “Here.” He pulled the younger man to him and hugged him close. “I look forward to it.” Aaron smiled as they broke apart and left the club, a mix of emotions running through him.
“What do you mean that was your Father’s Guide Tommy?” Oliver still looked stunned at that revelation.
“You remember how they met during my mother’s murder case. That same day they had started a partial bond. However, in Dad’s grief over losing my mother he rejected Aaron and never completed the bonding.” Tommy ordered a drink and knocked it back in one swift go. “Aaron was forced to leave, and my Father kept us apart as well.”
“Oh my god Tommy. That poor man,” Laurel had seen cases come through her office of Guides who went crazy after rejection or separation from their Sentinels. All too often they either ended-up at an S&G run mental health facility or they were on the streets too far gone to help, or even worse dead, either by their grief or their own hand.
“What do you mean Laurel?” Oliver had never paid much attention to Sentinel’s and Guides growing-up like most things it was outside of himself so he didn’t bother to learn. Now, he wished he hadn’t been so self-absorbed because he was still having a hard-time coming to terms with what and who he was now.
“Oliver, the physical, emotional and mental pain rejected Guides go through is often excruciating. Mr. Hotchner must be one incredibly strong Guide to be as put together as he is. I can’t even imagine the hell he must have been going through all these years.”
This made Oliver pause. Did this mean that if he didn’t bond with Felicity that something like that could happen to her? He didn’t want to think about his Guide going through that kind of pain. His admiration for the FBI agent just shot up as he tried to imagine a life without Felicity in it. He knew it was crazy, that they had only just met but she was suddenly the most important person to him and he knew he didn’t want to lose her.
Oliver spent the day in the office but the conversation from the evening before was rattling around in his mind. He knew if he was going to pursue Felicity he needed to be honest with her and that meant telling her about his nightly activities. He wasn’t too sure how well she was going to take the news that he was The Vigilante but he knew he couldn’t go into any type of relationship without being brutally honest. He didn’t want to lie to Felicity, though every instinct in him was telling him to keep this from her.
He also did some more research on Aaron Hotchner and was saddened at some of the events in the agent’s life. He read about his wife’s death and how he had to be isolated for several weeks because they feared an empathic backlash. He almost felt a kindred spirit with the man. Though it was different for him he still grieved Shado’s death when he thought too hard about her and what happened to him on the Island. It seemed that The Boston Reaper and Malcolm Merlyn were Aaron Hotchner’s Lian Yu. This also made Oliver research the effects of rejection on Sentinels and Guides and what he read horrified and saddened him greatly.
He was determined that if Felicity really was his he was going to do everything in his power to keep her.
When it was time to pick-up the woman in question Oliver was quite nervous. Oh he knew how to date and charm women but he knew that wasn’t what was needed here. Though he hoped the roses helped.
Knocking on her door he felt like a teenager again. Shuffling his feet he waited for her to answer. When she opened the door a few minutes later his breath caught in his throat.
“You look beautiful,” His smile made her blush, “Here these are for you,” He handed her the flowers and she was more charmed that she thought she should be.
“Oliver, these are beautiful,” She stood there shyly as she held them in her hand. “Come in, let me just put these in water,” He followed behind her while she made her way to the kitchen. He took in the charming apartment around him and basked in the overwhelming scent of her all around him. He watched as she got a vase down and prepared the flowers. Once they were set aside Oliver strode across the floor and had the woman backed up against her counter.
He swallowed hard as his pulse and heart rate increased, “I’ve been wanting to kiss you since I first saw you at your desk.” He slowly leaned in and stopped just shy of the actual act.
“Oh, okay,” Her eyes were wide as her own pulse quickened, anticipation hung in the air and it seemed like forever for those lips to make contact with hers and when they did Felicity thought she was going to melt right there and then.
He grabbed her by the waist and lifted her up so she was sitting on the counter. Leaning in even closer he deepened the kiss and felt something click between them. A warmth of energy passed between them as a bond was being created. Reluctantly Oliver pulled away first trying to get his breathing under control.
“Felicity,” He laid his forehead on hers and just breathed her in. Instincts were telling him to take her to bed and glut on everything about her but he held back. There were still things she didn’t know and he knew he needed to be honest with her. “There are things you don’t know about me, things I’ve done-“
Felicity put a finger on his mouth to stop him, “Oliver I’m not naïve. I don’t know what you did or had to do to survive but it doesn’t change anything. I think we know what this is,” She wrapped her arms around his neck and pulled him in closer to her.
“No,” He backed up and helped her get down from the counter. Holding her hand he pulled her into the living room and sat down, “Felicity,” He took a deep breath and let it out slowly, “I need to tell you something, and if you don’t want this after I tell you, I’ll understand.” Oliver held her hands in his, “Felicity,” He looked her in the eye, “I’m the Vigilante,” He waited patiently for her reaction.
Felicity just smiled and took her time answering. She watched as he started to fidget because she was taking too long to answer. “Oliver, I know.”
“You know?” She almost laughed at the comical look on his face.
“Well, after I decrypted the drive you gave me I started wondering why you wanted to know about medical supplies and their routes. I ah,” Her face scrunched up a little because this part was embarrassing to admit, “I scanned you. I’m sorry I didn’t mean to but it was nagging at me why you would want this type of information and I felt really uncomfortable about it and I wanted to know more and I don’t normally do something like that without permissions and I didn’t really mean it-“ She only stopped when Oliver kissed her again. She moaned in the back of her throat as her arms came around him. He broke the kiss all too soon for her liking.
“It’s okay. I’m glad you know.” He sighed as he quirked up his lips, “So, do you still want to go on that date?” His eyes sparkled mischievously as he stroked a hand down her cheek.
“Yes please,” Her brows raised, hopeful that she hadn’t ruined the start of whatever it was that was sparked between them.
“Good,” He stood and took her hand in his and led her out the door and down to his car. Driving away from her apartment Felicity had a feeling that after this night her life was going to change drastically.
“Aaron,” Malcolm and his Guide had been sitting through an uncomfortable dinner. The two men talked in stilted conversation as neither of them knew what to say to each other. Malcolm knew he needed to say something to get them moving along. “Stop, just stop holding back. I know you have a lot to say to me and you haven’t said it.”
Aaron put down his fork and sat back in his chair giving Malcolm that famous Hotchner glare, “Alright,” Malcolm could feel Aaron’s heartrate and pulse increase, he could also feel the conflicting emotions in the other man but waited to hear him out.
“When you pushed me out of your life you not only hurt me but you hurt Tommy as well. It wasn’t easy to break the bond that was forming between us. In fact it was fucking painful, physically and mentally. I spent almost a month under the watchful eye of Jim and Blair. They were worried about a full empathic shutdown and if that had happened the backlash would have been terrible for miles around.” Aaron grabbed his glass of wine and took a drink to help clear his throat and settle his emotions.
“They seriously don’t know how I’m not crazy and stuck in an S&G mental facility. Your rejection almost broke me Malcolm. When Haley came back into my life it helped to settle something in me. Even though she was mundane, she understood and helped me through, that was until she couldn’t take it anymore. I’ve lived with your damn ghost in my head for 23 years. There are days I work myself to sheer exhaustion just so I don’t have to see my spirit animal and the pain that she’s in as well. It affected my relationship with Haley and it certainly affects my relationship with Jack but god, my son seems to understand me in ways neither you nor Haley ever did. It’s what keeps me going, keeps me sane but dammit Malcolm I’m tired. I’m tired of fighting this-“ Aaron’s eyes shone with unshed tears and Malcolm knew he was the one to put them there.
“Aaron,” Malcolm wanted nothing more than to grab Aaron in his arms and finally make him his. But there were things the FBI agent didn’t know and he was sure Aaron would run from him when he found out. “I’m sorry. I know those words don’t mean anything to you but I am. I was a grieving fool and I let you go and it was my fear that kept me away.” Malcolm leaned forward in his chair and started back at his guide, “You may not like who I am any more Aaron and that scares me.” Aaron could feel Malcolm’s honesty for the first time since his arrival in Starling.
“Dammit Mal,” The old endearment slipped too easily from his tongue, “Just be completely honest with me for once in your life,” Aaron let his frustration out in his Guide voice. He didn’t mean to do it but he was tired of the game he had been playing with his Sentinel over the years. For many years he cursed Malcolm and refused to care what happened to him but when Garcia joined the team he had a private discussion with her about tracking Malcolm down and finding out what he had been up to. The analyst was the modicum of discretion, reporting to him only when she found something. Aaron wasn’t naïve about his Sentinel. He had figured out that something had gone horribly wrong in the man’s mind after his wife’s death and rejection of his Guide.
“Not here,” Malcolm closed his eyes and took a deep cleansing breath, “Come back with me and we can talk,” He didn’t want to get his hopes up but he knew this needed to be over one way or another.
Aaron watched him with that stoic stare so long that Malcolm was becoming visibly uncomfortable. It made him understand why the man had the reputation for interrogation that he did.
“Alright,” Aaron nodded his acquiescence. He’d hear Malcolm out and deal with the fallout from whatever direction they took later.
All too quickly they were at Malcolm’s house but as soon as they stepped over the threshold Aaron just couldn’t hold back. Pulse racing, he pushed the millionaire against the wall and kissed him. He poured 23 years of want and need into that one kiss. The force of it had Malcolm panting with his own need and all too soon the two men were violently ripping each other’s clothes off. Lips still locked Malcolm led them up to his room and pushed Aaron down on the bed so hard that he made the bed bounce and the headboard crash against the wall. Then instinct took over.
Malcolm glutted himself on the taste, feel and smell of his Guide, licking and sucking every inch of exposed flesh. He knew he was leaving bruises and bite marks but he just didn’t care. The nine scars on Aaron’s body made his Sentinel growl low in his throat and he mouthed and bit at each one. The knowledge that the man who had done this to what was his was dead was the only comfort Malcolm had. This was more than just a bonding, Malcolm was claiming what was his, what had always been his and this time he wasn’t letting go.
Aaron was begging, his empathy blown wide open in the violent throes of their passion as years of need guided him. He poured out all of his pain, anger and utter despair and it added fuel to Malcolm’s innate violent nature.
Malcolm’s preparing of his Guide was rough with a tinge of that violence simmering underneath and Aaron was begging for more. By the time Malcolm pushed himself inside his guide, claiming his mouth once again the storm of the emotional toll from their separation broke over them. Aaron wrapped his legs around Malcolm’s waist and met him thrust for violent thrust, head thrown back as his hands wrapped around the bars of the headboard just so he had something to anchor him. The bond that had so long been suppressed broke wide open over the two of them and engulfed them in white flame which burned hot and bright between them almost painfully.
Aaron had no control over his empathic signature anymore as Malcolm continued to pound into him, claiming him. All it took was one touch from his Sentinel and the orgasm crashed through him with a violence that took his breath away and made him see white. The empathic wave that shot out from him at the same time was felt by every Sentinel and Guide within a ten mile radius.
When Aaron’s empathy crashed through Malcolm, staking its own claim on him he couldn’t hold back anymore and he came almost as violently as Aaron. Closing his eyes he stilled unable to move for that brief moment in time. Eventually he collapsed down onto his Guide wrapping himself in the feel of Aaron Hotchner.
Panting hard both men knew that they were now irrevocably connected. It no longer mattered what was in the past, the only thing that mattered was how they were going to deal with the future. And in the corner of the room a black panther was curled up around a golden eagle the two finally content.
Felicity and Oliver arrived at the restaurant within a short-time. As they were being led to their table Oliver noticed Aaron Hotchner having dinner with Malcolm Merlyn. They looked to be locked into a very private discussion so he chose not to interrupt. If it was true that Aaron was Malcolm’s guide, then he didn’t want to interfere on them possibly clearing the air with each other. He knew he looked pensive and was only brought back to the moment when Felicity touched his hand.
“Hey, where did you go? You looked on the verge of a Zone out,” She asked him as she held his hand in hers.
“Sorry, I was just thinking about Malcolm and Aaron Hotchner. I don’t know how it didn’t break the man having been rejected and living without his Sentinel. Seeing what they have been going through only makes me more determined not to lose you Felicity,” He frowned as he took her hand in his and placed a soft kiss before letting her go.
“Oliver, “ She grasped his hand with hers and squeezed, “The only way you are going to lose me is if you aren’t honest with me, that’s all I ask.”
“Well, you already know my biggest secret,” He let out a short laugh at how he thought he could keep her from finding out he was the Vigilante. “What else do you want to know?”
“I know it will take time, but do you think you’d ever talk to me about what happened to you on the Island?” She sipped at her water giving Oliver time to gather his thoughts.
“Felicity,” He rubbed circles on the back of her hand with his thumb as he gathered his thoughts, “There are things that happened to me that are very hard to talk about. I may never share everything, not because I don’t want to but,” His eyes clouded with pain as he laced his fingers with hers, “Because it just hurts too much.”
Felicity opened herself up and let Oliver in as she tried to soothe him. Of course it was at this moment that Oliver’s phone rang with Diggle calling him.
He gave Felicity a tight smile as he pulled the phone out, “I ah, I have to take this,” He sneered at the phone as he started to get up.
“I can help,” Felicity blurted out as Oliver started to get up out of his chair.
“Felicity, I don’t want you involved in this-“
“Well too late, when you brought me that USB drive you did get me involved Oliver. Now, let me help you. You need someone like me.” Her expression was that of a very determined woman.
Oliver narrowed his eyes at her and had to admit that he really could use her skills and he also had to admit that if she was with them, hearing her voice in his ear would most certainly help to stabilize him if he went into a Zone out.
“Fine, but you stay where I tell you. Got it?”
She smiled wide at him, “Of course.”
He shook his head because he didn’t quite believe her but he knew he wanted to take the chance in letting her in. “Alright, let’s go.” He paid for their dinner and led her to his car. They quickly made it to Verdant and he showed her his underground secret hideout.
“Oliver,” Diggle dragged out his tone when he saw Felicity standing there.
“John Diggle, this is Felicity Smoak, my Guide,” Oliver tried but failed to keep the small smile off his face. “Felicity, this is Diggle,” The two shook hands.
“Well, I take it he either told you or you figured it out on your own.” Diggle just raised his brows as he sized up the pretty blonde.
“I figured it out. Now, what can I do?” She looked around at the equipment and saw the one computer system in the room. “Oh no, no, no this won’t do. If you’re going to be an anonymous underground super-secret costumed warrior then you need better equipment. This,” She almost sneered at the computer in front of her, “Is not enough.”
“Well, after tonight I will let you do what you think needs to be done, but right now I need to find out from Digg what we’ve go?”
“What we have is Jenkins on the move. He never noticed the tracker you planted on him so we have his movements. Looks like he’s headed down to a large warehouse in The Glades, it’s off Patterson and 7th.” Oliver didn’t waste any time changing and Felicity blushed as she realized he wasn’t leaving the area to change.
“Oh, okay so you’re doing that here, now. Um yeah,” Her pulse quickened as she walked up to him and slowly reached a hand out and almost hesitantly ran her fingers along his ribs, “So, hard and muscly,” Her eyes widened at what she just realized she said, “Um what I mean is, you know, I don’t think I’m going to finish that sentence.”
Oliver tried to hide the smirk as he grabbed her and pulled her back to him, kissing her hard as he fisted a hand in her hair,
“Oh wow, yeah that’s not going to help me concentrate at all,” She leaned down against the table.
Diggle just laughed at the two of them before he reminded them they have a mission.
“Right,” she grabbed a comlink and got herself set-up at the, what she considered a very inferior system. “Let’s do this,” Oliver was surprised by how easily she slipped into the chair and just took everything in stride.
After zipping up his jacket and grabbing his bow and arrows he slipped up behind his Guide and whispered in her ear, “Felicity, you’re perfect,” He said as he kissed her cheek then turned to leave.
It was then that both Felicity and Oliver were hit with the empathic wave from Aaron and Malcom’s bonding. Their breath was knocked out and Oliver was knocked flat on the ground with Felicity slumped across the computer desk.
About two hours later they both woke-up but on the double bed Oliver had in the corner of the basement hideout. They were still clothed but sometime during those hours they had wrapped themselves around each other and a savannah cat was curled around Oliver’s feet while a Falcon was sitting on Felicity’s shoulder.
“Um Oliver, who’s this?” Felicity didn’t move as she slowly opened her eyes, “And what the hell happened?”
Oliver was already awake, cherishing holding his guide, “That’s Shado. At first I thought she had been a bird on the Island but I kept seeing her when I came back.” He looked down at his legs and smiled, “And, whose that?”
“Oh, well not really original but his name is Tiger,” She looked sheepish as she gave Oliver the name of her spirit animal.
“Cute,” He rubbed a hand up and down her arm, not wanting to get up. “Digg?” Oliver called out. A minute later the darker man was coming around the equipment and grabbed a chair so he could sit near his friends.
“What the hell happened?”
“From what I’ve been able to gather there was a large empathic backlash, the estimate is that every Sentinel and Guide in a ten-mile radius felt it.”
“Does anyone know what happened?” Oliver slowly sat up and moved Shado away from Felicity so she could sit up as well. His mind was going a mile-a-minute. “Wait,” He looked to Felicity and the two of them had the same thought at the same time.
“You don’t think-“
“What if they-“ The two said at the same time.
“Do you two want to share with the class?” Diggle sat back with his arms crossed.
“When we were at dinner Malcolm Merlyn was there with Aaron Hotchner,” Oliver went on to explain what he knew about the two. They had seen when the men had left and wondered if anything had been worked out.
Diggle let out a long low whistle, “Well if they did no wonder there was such a wide spread empathic backlash. You might want to get out there Oliver, do a quick patrol to make sure everything is okay.” He agreed.
Making sure that Felicity was okay he grabbed his bow and arrows, hopped on his bike and started on a patrol of the city. Felicity monitored police scans and hacked into the police dispatch database and kept up with what was happening on the city streets. A few minutes later, while monitoring the traffic cams she saw something strange. The longer she looked she was able to distinguish a man all in black moving about in the warehouse district.
“Oliver, I have some strange movement in the warehouse district. There’s a man all in black skulking around,” She gave him the coordinates and continued to monitor what was going on.
When Oliver got close he left the bike just outside the coordinates Felicity gave him. He stayed low and in the shadows as he skulked close to the buildings trying to find a way to the roof tops where he had a better vantage point.
Of course just as he found a way up that was when he saw the man that Felicity had seen on the video. Slowly he started to follow staying just out of sight. He was stunned when he turned a corner and found that he lost the man in all black. He opened up his hearing and his eyesight as he slowed his pace trying to pick-up where the man might have gone.
“Where is my Guide,” Oliver heard from behind him as he also heard the pulling back of a bowstring. It all became clear to him who this person was. It was the dark archer that had bested him just a couple of months earlier. Slowly he raised his hands and turned around and stared right into the face of Malcolm Merlyn.
“What the hell-“ Oliver was completely taken aback.
“I said where is Aaron? Where is my Guide, Oliver,” Malcolm practically snarled at him.
“Malcolm, I have no idea what you’re talking about,” Oliver kept his hands in the air as he kept an eye on the dark archer who was obviously close to going feral. “I don’t even know what happened. I saw someone skulking around here and just barely arrived.”
Malcolm kept his bow drawn as he took a few menacing steps towards the Vigilante, “This has you written all over it Oliver Queen. Now if you don’t want your secret exposed you will tell me where Aaron is,”
“Malcolm, I. Don’t. Know.” Oliver stated through gritted teeth.
“Then where the hell is he,” Malcolm was slowly losing it and Oliver had absolutely no idea what to do.
Aaron opened his eyes to a bright light shining right at him while he was bound to a chair.
“Well damn,” He started to assess where he was and knew Malcolm would be out looking for him. He also knew his Sentinel would be close to feral overdrive. It was never a good idea to separate a Guide from their Sentinel in the beginning of their nesting period.
“Hello Aaron,” The voice was even, measured, emotionless. Aaron let out some of his guide senses and found…nothing. Well, not nothing exactly, just a cesspool of darkness where emotions should be. However he recognized that voice.
“You cannot be here,” Confusion played across the agents face. This man should not be alive.
“And why is that?” The man with that voice moved forward a little bit, just out visual range, but it was still the voice that set Aaron on edge.
“Because I saw you die. I saw you jump in front a train,” He remembered that day with such clarity, it was forever burned into his brain.
“Ah but did you actually see what you think you saw Agent Hotchner?” The man took a few more steps forward.
“What are you saying?”
“Come on, I know for a fact that as smart as Jason Gideon, who didn’t really live up to his name did he, but I digress. As smart as Jason Gideon was, you Aaron Hotchner are the true intelligence behind your team. Oh I know the young one, Spencer, right? Is quite brilliant, but you hide your intelligence till it’s really necessary, isn’t that right?”
Aaron closed his eyes and brought that day back to his mind and closely analyzed everything that happened. And then he saw it and cursed himself. If he had been bonded to Malcolm his Guide gifts would have been more focused and he would have seen through the deception.
“Tsk, tsk, tsk there is no need for that. You figured it out, didn’t you?” The man stepped farther into Aaron’s line of sight.
“You’re a damn Sentinel. That’s why it took so long to figure you out. When you first took Jane you didn’t know what she was. She’s your goddamned Guide. You saw it when she wasn’t afraid of you, when she looked you in the eye and called you an Angel. You leaving her, not bonding is what broke her, not the fact that you’re a psychopath. It’s also why you kept going back, you were drawn to her, drawn to what she could give you but you were always too afraid to take that final step. Because you knew if you did it would mean you’d actually feel something and you just couldn’t have that could you?”
Aaron huffed out a laugh and couldn’t believe that they had been played three years prior. “She used her empathic skills to plant images of the two of you being hit by the train while you got away.”
“See, that’s why it should have been you in that little café.” The man came fully into Aaron’s view and turned down the light, “You are much better than Jason. You are real Aaron, Jason tried to pretend he was no better than me but he is just as emotionless as myself. Does that make him a bit of a psychopath as he once accused me of being? Is that also why he ran away?”
“What do you want Frank? While this trip down memory lane is certainly interesting, what is this all about?” Aaron kept his voice calm and even. He was feeling the effects of being taken from Malcolm shortly after they finally bonded. This is not good. He hoped that he could either get out of this using his profiler skills, or that he’d be rescued soon. Trying not to look up he saw Petra waiting for his cue. Aaron gave a slight nod to his head and the Golden Eagle flew away to find their Sentinel.
“I know why you’re here Aaron,” Breitkopf slowly paced back and forth.
“And just why do you think I’m here?” Aaron kept his calm, he knew there was more going on here but he was on his own. No team was waiting in the wings to swoop in and find him. He just needed to keep Frank talking long enough for Malcolm to find him. And god help Breitkopf when he did.
“It was perfect. I had my Jane, I helped to circumvent the medical supplies and I was left alone to my own devices. My van was a perfect cover. Keeping just enough supplies to attract new victims, But you, you figured it out somehow and came to stop me, again.” Frank closed the distance and was leaning into Aaron’s face. “I will not be stopped again.” He held up a knife, looking at it almost lovingly, almost like the Reaper. Aaron swallowed hard but he would not give into his fear and if Frank marked him that would just piss his Sentinel off even more.
Aaron stared at him and just couldn’t help the bubble of laughter that rose up in him.
“You stupid son-of-a-bitch,” Aaron raise his head to look Frank right in the eye, “You were never on my radar.”
“What are you talking about?” Frank shoved back from the chair staring at Aaron.
“Ego bruised Frank? I was never here for you. I was called to come to Starling by the S&G Consortium to get Oliver Queen to register as a Sentinel. I was never here as an agent, you don’t even matter to me.” Aaron knew he was pushing it but he had to try, although he had to be careful because a feral psychopath was a whole other kind of dangerous. He closed his eyes to think then he smiled a slow smile, he had to pull a Reid and he hoped to god it worked just as well in this situation as it did with Hardwick. So he started talking about Frank’s favorite subject, himself. Aaron hoped it would buy him enough time.
“Where is he,” Malcolm’s patience was getting thinner Oliver could almost feel the onset of a feral episode from the dark archer.
“Malcolm, you have to get it together or you will be no use to your Guide,” Oliver held his own bow steady hoping that Malcolm wouldn’t fire on him. As they stood there, face to face in their standoff a Golden Eagle landed on Malcolm’s shoulder. His eyes went wide as he looked at the predatory bird.
“This isn’t possible,” Malcolm slowly put his bow down as he stared at the Eagle.
“What’s wrong?” Oliver was still wary about Malcolm’s current emotional state but he lowered his bow as well, but didn’t put it away.
“Aaron’s Spirit Animal is a Snowy Owl, this isn’t possible,” Malcolm’s breathing was shallow as he stroked the feathers of the eagle.
“Felicity, what is the significance of a Golden Eagle?” Oliver just watched the bird as it settled comfortably on Malcolm’s shoulder.
“Give me a minute,” She quickly searched and found several Native American websites explaining the significance of the bird, “Well in Native American myth the Eagle is seen as having a spiritual connection to the astral plane, courage, wisdom, great power, balance, dignity with grace and oh, oh god,” Felicity paled as she read through the different definitions of the Eagle.
“Felicity, what is it?” Oliver frowned as he watched Malcolm with the Eagle.
“Ollie, the Golden Eagle mates for life,” Oliver’s eyes shot up to Malcolm and realized the man was in a zone out.
“Malcolm, snap out of it,” Oliver growled out. “We need to move and we need to move now.” Oliver started towards the next building trying to narrow his senses to see if he could hear any heartbeats inside.
“Oliver,” Malcolm hissed out to stop the man before he got too far, “What did she tell you?”
“I don’t think right now is the time-“
“Tell me,” He grabbed Oliver and spun him around.
“Felicity said that the Golden Eagle,” Oliver takes a deep breath, “Mates for life.”
Malcolm shoved Oliver aside and growled low in his throat as he let Petra go following the eagle as it flew between the buildings.
“Oliver, what’s going on?” Felicity was getting anxious as she had dialed into her Sentinels heartbeat and felt it rise. She could hear also something in his voice but since they hadn’t had a chance to bond her gifts were still partially blocked.
“It’s okay Felicity, we’re trying to track Aaron,” He tried to put himself in Malcolm’s shoes and couldn’t even begin to understand what he was going through. Bonding then having his Guide practically ripped from him just hours later without completing the nesting period must be taking its toll on Malcolm. In that moment he made his decision. When they got out of this, no more hesitations, he was making Felicity his.
“Felicity, when we get out of this,” Oliver couldn’t help but smile, “I don’t want to wait anymore. No more hesitations. I want you, I’ve wanted you since I first looked you in the eyes a few days ago, and I knew.”
“Oliver, really? Now is the time you want to talk about this? You have a Sentinel that is close to going feral who, by the way Diggle just told me is the man who shot you recently, and really, I didn’t need to know that-“ Felicity was on edge knowing Oliver was out there and in danger
“Felicity,” Oliver cut off her rant before she could work herself up too badly, “When this is over, we are doing this.”
“Oh, okay,” Oliver could almost hear her blushing across the comlink and it put a smile on his face. “But first you need to go save someone,” Felicity sat back in her chair and couldn’t help but smile to herself.
Malcolm was getting frustrated by Oliver and he let it be known by growling at the man following him.
“Oliver,” Malcolm looked behind him, “Can you focus,” he snarled as his eyes darkened.
“Dammit Malcolm, hold it together,” Oliver kept behind the older man as they walked each building listening for any signs of life. He reached in a side pocket of his quiver and handed Malcolm his extra com. Malcolm had at least enough presence of mind to know what to do with it.
“This is taking too damn long,” Malcolm had lost Petra, but when they rounded the next corner he quickly found her again. She was perched on the side of a building just up ahead. Oliver motioned that he would find a way around the back while Malcolm breached the side door.
“Malcolm, on my signal, but be careful. Aaron is trusting you to keep it together, okay?”
“I know how to do this Oliver,” Malcolm was standing at the side door shaking his head because he was slowly losing his grip. When Ciara made her appearance and hunched down as if to attack Malcolm stroked her back to try to calm the both of them down. He was vibrating with need to get in there to save his guide and hurt whoever it was that took him.
When Oliver was in place he gave Malcolm the signal to breach and as soon he opened the door and his Guide’s scent hit him he was gone. He barreled into the room with one thing on his mind hunt.
“Dammit Malcolm,” Oliver hissed through the comlink, “I told you to keep it together,” Oliver silently circled the catwalk he had landed on when he came though the upper door. He looked down and saw that Aaron was bound to a chair with a man leaning down towards him holding a knife. “Oh shit,” Oliver readied his bow and aimed and expertly shot the hand with the knife in it. Frank dropped the knife and fell to the side as he gripped his hand with the arrow sticking out of it.
Malcolm rushed in and seeing his guide tied to the chair pushed him over that edge. He pounced on the man on the ground and growled low in his throat when Frank tried to move.
“Mal, he’s down Mal, don’t kill him,” Aaron used his Guide voice to try calm his Sentinel down. “Malcolm, come on, you have to come back to me.” Aaron was struggling to get out of the chair to get to his Sentinel before he killed Frank Breitkopf.
“Is this your guard dog Aaron?” Frank snarled “I bet Jason would be so proud,” He mocked, which made Malcolm even angrier at the man that he was holding him down. The black archer was barely containing himself from ripping the man under him apart.
Luckily Oliver quickly made it down to where they were and released Aaron out of the restraints holding him in the chair. He then launched himself at Malcolm tumbling the two of them away from Frank. He knew he was taking a huge risk, but their whole relationship was so screwed up anyway it didn’t really matter what he did at this point.
“Malcolm,” Aaron held the man close to him and kissed him hard. He let a wave of empathy and calmness flow out from him and engulf his Sentinel. The two men were so wrapped up in each other they didn’t see Frank getting up.
“Aaron, Malcolm, watch out,” Oliver yelled, but they weren’t who Frank went after. Not paying attention like he normally would have Oliver took his eyes off of the kidnapper. Frank surged forward and head-butted Oliver in the stomach knocking the two of them over. Unfortunately Frank had another knife in his uninjured hand which he plunged into the archer’s side.
“Fuck,” He cried out as he fought the man off of him and even with his injury he was able to subdue Breitkopf.
“Oliver,” Felicity shouted through the com. She could hear the pain in her Sentinels voice.
“It’s,” He panted as he doubled over holding his side,”Okay, Felicity,” He tried to stay standing but he was losing a lot of blood as the wound had gotten worse in the fight. Not able to keep himself upright he fell to the floor holding his injured side.
Malcolm and Aaron broke away from each other long enough to try to help Oliver.
Aaron grabbed Malcolm’s cell phone, “This is SAIC Aaron Hotchner of the FBI. I need police and an ambulance at,” He looked to Malcolm who gave him their location, which Aaron relayed to the dispatch. Once he hung up he used all the first aid he knew to help staunch the flow of blood but he saw that Oliver was getting really pale really fast.
“Hang in there Queen,” Aaron growled.
“Oliver, what’s going on? Oliver,” Felicity was getting more frantic the longer her Sentinel was taking to get back to her.
“Miss Smoak,” Aaron had taken the com from Oliver and used it himself. “You need to calm down and listen to me, can you do that?” Aaron used a combination of his Guide voice and the authority his position granted him to project a calming, but authoritative voice at the young woman.
“Yes, yes just please tell me what’s going on,” She begged.
“Miss Smoak, Oliver was hurt, we’ve already called an ambulance and they should be here soon. This is what you are going to do Miss Smoak,” Aaron continued using his authority to help keep her calm, “You’re going to meet him at the hospital and help to keep him calm. Do you understand?” The whole time he was keeping Felicity calm and even he hadn’t let go of Malcolm. He had his arm under Malcolm’s shirt, touching as much skin as he could to help bring the man back from a near feral overdrive.
“Yes, yes I can do that,” She threw the com on the table and stood yelling at Diggle to take her to the hospital so she could meet Oliver there.
The ambulance was there quickly. Aaron had skillfully hidden Oliver’s bow, arrows and green jacket as well as the voice modulator. He knew this was going to be difficult to explain, but the presence of a formerly presumed dead serial killer makes for a great cover story.
Detective Quentin Lance walked in to find Malcolm, Aaron and the subdued killer waiting on them.
“Detective I’m going to be fast and blunt. This is Frank Breitkopf, who was previously presumed dead, he kidnapped me from Malcolm Merlyn’s home just shortly after we completed bonding. I am Supervisory Special Agent Aaron Hotchner of the BAU. If you contact the FBI for confirmation ask for David Rossi. Breitkopf will eventually be turned over to Federal agents because he is a psychopath and serial killer wanted in dozens of murder cases. I know you want an official statement and you’ll get it,” Malcolm was barely containing himself with scenting his Guide right there in front of everyone, “But as you can see I was ripped away from our nesting period and if you don’t want a feral Sentinel on your hands you will wait for at least a week.”
“Agent Hotchner-“ Detective Lance was about to say more when Malcolm gave him a look that had him stepping back a few pace, “Okay, I will see you in about a week.” Lance knew he was beaten and he knew the agent wasn’t exaggerating.
Aaron barely got his Sentinel in the house when Malcolm was all over him. Heading upstairs to the bedroom the Sentinel practically ripped the clothes off of his guide and proceeded to re-stake his claim. The slight nick on Aaron’s neck from Breitkopf’s blade had Malcolm narrowing his eyes.
“Mine,” He growled as he sucked at the nick on Aaron’s neck.
Arms coming around the other man Aaron knew he was lost. The Sentinel that had denied him for so long was now claiming him in all possible ways.
“Yours,” Aaron whispered in Malcolm’s ear. He knew they needed to talk they had a lot to figure out but this was the beginning.
Felicity was pacing back and forth in the waiting room anxious because no one told her what was going on.
“Felicity, you need to calm down. I’m sure Oliver is fine,” Diggle tried to get the blonde tech whiz to calm down before she worked herself up into an empathic shut-down.
“Miss Smoak?” The doctor had finally come into the waiting room and Felicity wasted no time.
“Yes, that’s me. How, how is he? He’s fine right? And you have him in a Sentinel safe-room, right? Because it would not do for him to wake-up and start to zone-“ Diggle put a hand on her arm to cut off her rant so the doctor could speak to them.
“Yes Miss Smoak we have him in a Sentinel safe room. I am a specialist in Sentinel and Guide physiology. We have dampeners and a white noise machine on at the moment to keep him in a state of calm,” He gave the pretty young woman a smile.
“Okay, so when can I see him?”
“It will be just a few minutes.” He watched and waited till the Guide was calm enough for him to continue, “Miss Smoak, while the stab wound itself went deep, his is very lucky it didn’t hit any vital organs. He just lost a lot of blood. He has several stitches and it is advised that he doesn’t do anything strenuous for at least the next three weeks.”
Felicity tried not to let out the groan that slipped but it was difficult. This meant more time for her to worry over her Sentinel and whether he meant what he said earlier.
“I’ll walk you to his room and we’ll see if he is awake and ready to see you,” The doctor gave her a small smile as he turned to walk in the direction of Oliver’s room.
As soon as Felicity got to his room and saw that Oliver was awake she practically flew to his side, took his face in her hands and kissed him. It wasn’t a quick peck on the lips. This was a kiss full of longing and need. She poured out all of her emotions over the last few days in that one kiss. When a wave of warmth passed to Oliver he couldn’t help the low moan in his throat.
Felicity broke the kiss all too soon as she sat on the bed next to him.
“This better not be a regular occurrence Oliver Queen because I’ll have you know that I couldn’t take it,” A tear gathered at the edge of her eye thinking about what could have happened, “Do you understand me?” She frowned at him trying to stay mad but when he pulled her down next to him and enveloped her in his arms the only thing she could do was sigh.
“I’m sorry I worried you Felicity. I promise I will be safer from now on.” He closed his eyes and placed a lingering kiss on the top of her head. Her scent filled him and the urge to bond was overwhelming. He knew he couldn’t, at least not yet. He was going to need to heal from his wound before they did anything further.
“We have a lot to talk about Felicity. I need you to understand that this is part of who I am. I don’t want to give up being this person, but I would be-“ He started to say more when Felicity reached up and put a finger to his mouth.
“It’s okay Oliver. I understand. The only thing I ask is that you stop killing,” Her voice was quiet and her body stiff as she waited to see what he would say.
This was one thing that they hadn’t talked about yet, but he knew she would have figured it out. If giving up this part of what his father started with him then he was willing to try. He had lived in blood and death for so long that Felicity was a breath of fresh air. Beautiful, smart and the way she looked at the world made Oliver’s heart a little bit lighter.
“For you, I would do anything Felicity,” He looked down into very blue eyes and was lost yet again.
Felicity blushed as she snuggled down onto Oliver’s chest, being careful of his injury. He held her tight against him as she started to fall asleep, letting all the tension from the last few hours go. When a nurse came to check on him she was about to say something but one look from Oliver had her backing away. Later he was assigned a new Sentinel friendly nurse who understood. The Sentinel and Guide stayed like that all through the night. Felicity keeping her Sentinel calm and relaxed, Oliver keeping her safe and protected. They still had a lot to talk about but for the moment he just didn’t care about that. He thought about their future as he kept her close to him finally falling asleep himself.
Aaron’s team from the FBI flew in within a few days after the incidents that resulted in the capture of Frank Breitkopf. It was now two weeks into the investigation and interrogation of Frank and Jane. Aaron stood outside Frank’s interrogation room with Spencer Reid next to him, who was all but vibrating with anger, as was Derek Morgan and Emily Prentiss. Jennifer Jareau stood to the side having a hard time understanding exactly what had happened.
“Hotch,” Aaron could feel the young man’s anger pouring off him the young Guide was trying to control himself but even his Sentinel, Derek was having trouble. “You have to let me in there,” The snarl was worthy of most Sentinels but Aaron knew that was a very bad idea.
“Reid, I’m sorry not until you and Morgan calm the hell down. I can feel both of your anger pouring out of you. We all need to be calm.”
“Hotch, how the hell can you be so damn calm,” Derek exploded, “This man caused pain and suffering, hell look what he did to Gideon,” Derek’s eyes narrowed as they darkened even more.
“I know but if all of us don’t reign in our emotions the empathic backlash could end-up being a city wide event. Do you really want that? Now, the two of you, Isolation room now. Work out those emotions in a better way, that’s an order.” He looked at the pair as they both huffed out their frustration but did as their boss told them to do.
“Emily if you say anything-“ Aaron was also on edge. Malcolm had wanted to talk to him about something important and he hoped Malcolm wasn’t going to ask him to leave the FBI.
“No, I’m pissed sure but I’m pretty calm,” She looked in at the serial killer and just shook her head, “How the hell did we miss it?”
“We wouldn’t have if I was bonded,” Aaron let out a deep sigh as he watched and all too calm Frank. “I do not envy what Jim and Blair are going to do. I wouldn’t want anywhere near that man’s mind. Better them than us.”
“It gives me the creeps even thinking about what they might have to do in there,” She shivered a bit at the thought. “So,” She raised her brows and looked pointedly at her Unit Chief, “Malcolm Merlyn huh. Just how long did you know?” That’s what Aaron had always liked about the pretty dark haired woman, her bluntness.
He gave Emily his famous glare, but there was no heat behind it, “We met 23 years ago.”
“Wow,” She looked at him shocked and so many things about the man clicked into place, “How did you survive Hotch?”
“There were times I almost didn’t Prentiss,” He looked at her and in that moment she figured out a terrible truth about Aaron Hotchner.
“You didn’t fight Foyet that hard did you?” Her question was almost a whisper and her heart rate increased as she saw the play of emotions on his face.
He stared at her for a long-time before he spoke, “No, I didn’t. I almost-” He stopped talking when Dave came into the observation room.
“Don’t stop talking on my account,” Dave looked between the two agents and knew he had interrupted something very important and he knew that Aaron would never bring up what it was he was going to say.
“it’s okay Dave, I need to get going anyway. You guys can handle this from here,” He got up and left his team to the interrogations before the Alpha Prime Sentinel and Guide of North America made it in.
A couple of hours later he was walking into Malcolm’s house and a dark haired blur came running at him.
“Dad, Dad, Dad, Uncle Malcolm was showing me his Japanese Blade collection. It’s so cool.” Aaron lifted a brow at his Sentinel.
“You didn’t touch them, right Jack?”
“No Dad I promise. Uncle Malcolm wouldn’t let me said they were too sharp and I could hurt myself,” Jack grabbed his father’s hand as they walked into the large sitting room.
“I promise Aaron nothing happened. I just showed him the collection but all the blades stayed sheathed.” The Sentinel smiled softly at the over-protective look on Aaron’s face. He moved so that he could wrap his arms around Aaron and place a kiss on his lips. “You’re team is quite an interesting group. I felt like I was thrown to a pack of Alpha wolves the way they were scrutinizing me.”
“They are rather protective of me. Especially after…” He didn’t want to bring up Foyet in front of Jack.
“Right,” Malcolm knew where Aaron’s thoughts went and he was sorry they had gone there. “Jack, do you mind going to your room for a while? I left the book on the origins of the Samurai Sword on your bed.” Malcolm smiled at the boy who enthusiastically ran up the stairs to go devour the book.
“He is just like you Aaron,” Malcolm took Aaron’s hand and led him to one of the sofas.
“What are we going to do about this Malcolm?” Aaron didn’t want to leave the FBI but he also didn’t want to live anymore without his Sentinel. “I don’t want to leave the FBI, my team-“ Malcolm cut him off.
“You don’t have to Aaron. I can easily shift most of my business to either Virginia or DC. But that isn’t what I wanted to talk to you about,” He took a deep breath and handed Aaron a business plan. Before the bonding Malcolm was still filled with thoughts of revenge and hate, but after something changed in him, he no longer felt the same way and a terrible plan that he had started years ago he no longer wanted to go through with.
“What is this Mal?” Aaron’s heart was beating fast.
“After Rebecca died, and after my foolish actions that caused you to leave I was fueled by one emotion, revenge. Not just on a person, but on a place as well. I blamed the Glades for her death when in truth it was partially her own foolishness and a man that didn’t want her to help those people. This is a plan that has been in the works for over 20 years. Names, detailed ways to break the Glades and terrible technology. Do with it what you must,” Malcolm’s eyes were filled with pain because he expected Aaron to think like an FBI agent.
“Malcolm, is your name all over this?”
“Yes and no,” He sighed as he sat back against the couch. Aaron set aside the plan as he sat next to his Sentinel.
“I’ll make sure you get a deal, but you have to be honest and come clean with everything Malcolm. Can you handle the possible fallout from this?” Aaron stroked a hand down the man’s face and tried to read his emotions.
“As long as you are with me,” Malcolm closed the distance and closed his mouth against Aaron’s, “Don’t leave me and I’ll do whatever you want me to. I have 20 years to make-up for Aaron, I gladly will take your lead.”
Aaron closed his eyes and held Malcolm close to him. “Sentinel,” He sighed as he fisted his hands in his lover’s hair holding him as they deepened the bond even more.
“Guide,” Malcolm sighed and finally felt whole for the first time in over twenty years.
Felicity and Oliver were sitting on her couch watching the Avenger’s. Of course Oliver kept commenting on Hawkeye’s bowman ship and some of the impossible shots he was making. Felicity was throwing popcorn at him every time he made a comment. After it was over he turned to her and pulled her onto his lap kissing her, sliding his hands under her shirt he slowly lifted it off and away. He wanted to feel the soft skin underneath the sexy sweater she was wearing just for him.
“Oliver,” She started to protest but he stopped her with his lips connecting with hers.
“No more waiting Felicity,” The hunger in his eyes was unmistakable. He wanted to make his claim, wanted to complete the bond and as his mouth wandered down from her collarbone to latch onto an already hard nipple Felicity knew she was going to lose that fight. Standing up and holding her close she wrapped her legs around his waist and her arms around his neck as he walked them into her bedroom.
Laying her down he hooked his thumbs into the waistband on her pants and pulled off panties and all. He feasted his eyes on the sight of her.
“You’re so beautiful Felicity,” His breath was shallow as he just let the Sentinel in him stare glutting on the look of her. His eyes started at her long slender neck and followed the line across wide toned shoulder’s. His eyes then travelled down to soft firm breasts that had already hardened nipples. His breathing was ragged as he took in a slim waist with wide appealing hips and long slender legs. By the time he was done he was achingly hard and full with need.
Quickly undressing he then wanted to glut his sense of smell on her.
He took a long drawn out sniff of that neck that always drove him wild, “Vanilla and sunflowers. That’s how you always smell to me Felicity, vanilla and sunflowers,” He blew a soft breath across her neck that made her shiver.
“Oliver,” She was panting with a need she had never known, “Please,” She begged.
“Please what?” He whispered across her lips which had her arching up trying to feel more of him.
“Please, I need you,” She opened her eyes to look directly at him, “I need you my Sentinel,” Her voice rough at the edges as she tried to hold on to follow his lead.
He ran his hands along her body, starting at her legs, he slid calloused hands slowly, sensuously rubbing getting the feel on that smooth skin burned into his memory. Later if she tried to describe the sensation she would say it was like he was gliding across her body, committing everything to sense memory.
Finally when he slid his whole body on top of hers and claimed her mouth she was practically vibrating in her skin.
“Oliver,” She again begged, her control about to snap if he didn’t just take her.
He smiled down as he slowly sat up and hitched up her hips to wrap her legs around his waist. Grabbing his heavy erection which was already leaking with a bit of fluid he guided himself into her already slick wet heat.
“Oliver,” She cried out as she threw back her head as he breached her entrance.
“Oh God,” His breathing almost stopped as he felt her wrap around him and everything seemed to stop and for a brief moment they were perfectly connected. His eyes dilated as he made that final push bottoming out inside her in one swift stroke. She cried out as she threw open that which made her a Guide and it wrapped itself around the two of them connecting them, bonding them together, forever.
When that empathic wave hit him Oliver was lost in sensation as he started to move, thrusting in and out of her his strokes long and hard. She met him thrust for thrust and they were both lost in each other in the most primal of ways.
All too soon Oliver felt it start to happen. Pulling on his thighs, then his heavy balls pulled up tight against him he started to move faster the connection pulling him in deeper till their minds and bodies moved as one. Felicity was the first to cry out as the orgasm ripped right through the core of her, a blinding inner light pulling the both of them impossibly closer as her inner walls clamped down convulsively on Oliver’s dick still thrusting in her. He stilled when he felt his release course through him to spill deep inside her.
“Ollie,” She screamed his name at the same time he screamed hers. They both rode out their orgasms till Oliver was spent. Bending down he again took her mouth with his as he collapsed, pulling her on top of him, not wanting to break the connection just yet.
When he could finally breath again he lifted his hands and stroked her hair, “Guide,” He said softly.
“My Sentinel,” She purred as she snuggled down on top of him. They soon fell asleep in each other’s arms holding each other close knowing this was the beginning of their forever. It all started with just one look into each other’s eyes knowing right from the beginning exactly what they were going mean to each other.