Hi all. This is a rewrite of a story I posted a few weeks ago. A friend pointed out some things, and after discussing them with him, he convinced me, and I changed the story. In this version, Roy has a much harder time, but he gets some payback, which was my friend's main problem with the story. And, yes, I was watching the X-Files when I wrote the scene in which Roy sees his agent friend ;-)

Standard disclaimer: I don't own anybody here except Ben, but not even Ben's codename.

Thanks go to all who beta-read for me. Enjoy! (And feedback, of course, is welcome and encouraged ;-)

Summary: Roy gets wind that Ollie may be alive and goes after him with Nightwing's help.


If You Love Someone
by Amy Antonucci

Roy was in trouble. It was night, and he was being hunted. Of course he was attempting to track his opponent as well, but he knew he was at a disadvantage. His enemy had dark skin and clothes, and although Roy was also in black, he couldn't help but to think his red hair was giving himself away like a beacon. Although normally forest terrain was to his advantage since his nemesis stuck mostly to city streets, tonight the trees seemed to hover over him-ready to grab him like in some B-rated gothic movie. A movie more suited to his friend's dark mentor. Currently Roy stood with his back to a large oak tree with his bow drawn and listened. He could see only a little, and his ears were hindered by the whistling wind as it tried to force what few leaves were left to submit to the coming winter. He tried not to identify with the distressed foliage as he tried to stay alive. And he knew his opponent was near. He could feel it.

Suddenly he heard a thunk, and realized that what he had heard was the sound of a dart hitting him in the shoulder. He loosed his bow string and slumped to the ground. "Damn," was all he had time to say before he lost consciousness...

"Roy! Roy!!" Roy heard his name as the fuzzy haze lifted. He opened his eyes and for a moment panicked when he couldn't see. Then he realized he had been out for only a minute or two and looked up to see his friend's gloating grin. "I guess I used too much tranq. Sorry."

Roy groaned-more for effect than out of necessity-as he dragged himself to his feet, picking up his bow on the way. "Lucky shot," he protested.

"Yeah, right. You lost-admit it," Ben grinned. "You have to go to that séance with me." That had been the consequence of losing tonight's wargame. Ben had been Roy's top-actually, only-archery student for about five years now. They had met not quite by chance; Roy had just made the choice to come clean from heroin, and had to do community service to avoid any legal problems from his drug use. He had chosen-or rather it had been chosen for him-to serve as a mentor to a boy who had become involved with drugs. Roy had been sixteen and angry at the world, while Ben had been an eleven-year-old inner-city devotee of the young archer. Knowing Ben's infatuation with the Teen Titans, and especially Speedy, Emily, the program coordinator, had placed Ben with Roy. Roy had quickly learned of the boy's interest in archery, and had offer to teach him. He had even given Ben his old bow. Now five years later, while still not at Roy's skill level, Ben had become a master archer, and a junior member of the Titans.

But Ben could defeat his mentor when he put his mind to it. "But a séance?" Roy complained, "They're so stupid, Ben! It's nonsense!"

"It's Halloween, Roy! You're supposed to do stupid stuff like that! The guys at school say she's really good, and besides you promised if I beat you in tonight's wargames, you'd go."

Roy sighed in resignation, "Ok, but I want my protest logged." Ben grinned, helping his friend as Roy moved away from the tree since Roy was still feeling the effects of the tranquilizer. Together the friends made their way back indoors.

"So, do you do this often?" Roy asked the young woman in an almost pick-up-line tone of voice. He didn't quite know what to make of her, which was odd. Usually Roy would be more than willing to flirt with any woman, but this one-he didn't know. She was certainly cute enough, and nice enough, but her skin was chalk white, and her eyes were dark pools as though they reflected the entire universe. She had straight pitch black hair that went halfway down her back, and to top it all off, she wore a simple ankh around her neck.

Despite her unusual appearance, Roy found himself attracted to her. One look at Ben who sat next to him at the table told Roy that his friend felt the same attraction, although he was quieter than his fair-skinned companion, which was often the case between the friends. They had just come from the required séance over which Dua had presided. He and Ben had already planned to come here to Finnegan's, Roy's favorite Irish pub, and after the séance they had invited Dua along. Much to the men's surprise, she had accepted, and was currently sitting across from Roy, giving him an almost knowing smile. "Just when I think it will be fun," Dua answered with a touch of flirtation herself. "I do it mostly to entertain, but once in a while I get some wacko that could actually do something harmful to himself or someone else, so I... convince them to stop."

"So you're saying you can actually talk to the dead?" Roy said incredulously, as though he would certify her nuts if she confirmed his question.

She smiled and shrugged, knowing full well Roy's opinion of her. Her eyes sparkled with an unspoken knowledge, and, retaining her smile, she answered mysteriously, "Sometimes I do more." Her eyes danced at Roy for a moment and indicated deep secrets, almost daring Roy to ask what more she did. Before he got a chance, though, she continued, "I noticed you were the only one that didn't ask to talk to anyone. Isn't there anyone you miss?"

Roy looked into her eyes, and felt himself being pulled into them. It was almost as though she knew the answer, Roy thought. "I've lost my share of loved ones," Roy said noncommittally, "But I grew up with the Navajo belief that the dead should be left to rest."

"Navajo, huh?" Dua said with interest, although somehow Roy got the impression that she already knew his 'heritage.' "They have mystic beliefs," she stated matter-of-factly. "What makes Navajo beliefs believable and what I do not?" Roy shrugged. He didn't have an answer for her, and he felt as though she were almost playing with him. "You know," she started causally, "Very often people think they've lost someone to the curtain, when in fact they haven't."

Her words caused Roy to eye her carefully. He didn't know what was making him take note of her words rather than just brushing her off, but he was intrigued that she would dare even mention such a thing. "What are you getting at?" Roy asked with a dangerous edge to his voice.

Unfazed by Roy's antagonist change in attitude, Dua answered offhandedly, "Just that maybe the last person you thought died isn't really dead. You never found a body did you?"

Roy burst into anger as he stood up, leaned over the table, pointed a finger at Dua, and roared, "That's not funny! Not even one bit! How could you even suggest such a thing?!"

Although Ben jumped back, surprised that his friend could display such anger at a woman he had just met, Dua calmly watched the elder archer turn red and answered in a placid, level voice, "Just pointing out possibilities."

"Come on, Roy, I'm sure she was just pulling your chain," Ben said, trying to calm his friend. They had just returned to the Titans Tower, and Roy had stalked off to his room-Lian was out with her Auntie Donna-while Ben followed.

After picking his way across the obstacle of toys on the floor, Roy sat at his desk and started to brood. Ben took a seat beside the desk so that he could look into Roy's somber expression. After a moment of thought, Roy looked at his younger friend and stated matter-of-factly, "I've got to make sure." He shook his head, and then, with his elbow on the desk, he bowed his head to rest his forehead on his hand as though puzzling out a difficult problem. After a moment, he sat up, dropped his hand so that his forearm lay on the desk, and reiterated, "I've got to check. She might full of it, but there was something about her." Ben nodded absentmindedly; he knew exactly what Roy meant.

Ben shook himself to clear his daze, and said, "Let me help." When Roy started to shake his head, Ben continued, "Come on, you know I can help you, and you need someone to watch your back. God knows where you're going to end up."

Roy continued to shake his head as he said, "I've been in all kinds of bad situations alone, and I've come out of it alive. I need to do this alone."

"But wouldn't it have been better to have help?" Ben argued, "You don't have to do it alone, Roy. I know the situations you're talking about, and I know that was a different circumstance. Let me help."

The friends heard a voice from the open doorway, "I don't know what you two are talking about," Dick started, "But I'd say letting someone help you, Roy, is a good idea. Bad things happen when Titans try to do things by themselves." Roy rolled his eyes at his Gothamite friend. Roy knew that although Dick was referring to Roy in some instances, he was also referring to himself in others. Roy also knew that Dick was right, that when it came down to it, every one of them-even Dick himself-worked better with a teammate than alone. "What's this about, anyway?"

Roy hesitated, for he knew if he said what had happened, he would look and feel like a fool in front of his flawlessly logical friend. After Dick's questioning glance though, Roy sighed and said almost apologetically, "The lady who did the séance suggested that Ollie may be alive." Roy watched as Dick's expression more and more puzzling; first for the words Roy had just spoken, and then for the fact that Roy was taking it seriously. At least that's how Roy interpreted it. Attempting to explain his apparent gullibility, Roy rushed, "I've got to make sure, Dick. I feel like an idiot, but I've got to make sure." Dick nodded. He understood his friend's position. If Bruce had died, and anyone ever gave the slightest hint that he hadn't, Dick would be off on a worldwide search in a heartbeat.

Still leaning in the doorway, and knowing Roy thought he looked foolish, Dick eased, "I understand, Roy." He continued, "Ben's right though, you should let us help."

"Would you want help if everybody thought Bruce was dead and you got wind that he might not be?" Roy quizzed.

"No," Dick said truthfully, "But I'd be wrong." Roy gave his friend a mock surprised expression, and Dick returned a play threatening glare, to which Roy returned a warm smile.

Roy sighed and conceded, "Ok, you convinced me. I could certainly use help to find a lead. Right now all I know is what Dua said, which was just that he might be alive."

"Ok," Dick said, glad to have his friend's approval to help. He entered the room, stepping over one of Lian's toys to make his way to Roy's bed on the edge of which he sat. "We should start with his last known location, which was above Metropolis. Are we sure he was on that plane?"

Roy shrugged, "As much as we can be. Superman said he was, although he wouldn't confirm that he saw Ollie actually get blown up."

"Did anyone ever directly ask him?" Dick wondered.

"I dunno," Roy answered, "I don't remember. But he would say if he knew something, wouldn't he?"

"I don't know," Dick said thoughtfully, "I've known him to leave out information before. He doesn't lie, but he doesn't always tell the whole truth either."

"So it sounds like the next stop is Superman," Ben spoke up.

Roy nodded, as Dick answered, "Yep."

The three friends sat in the small secondary conference room with Superman whom they had invited to the Tower. They had offered to meet him at JLA headquarters, but the Man of Steel had declined, saying it was easier for him to come to them. The three young men were in their Titans identities-Dick as Nightwing, Roy as Arsenal, and Ben as Speedy. When Ben had been accepted into the Titans, and Roy had told him he'd need to chose a codename and costume, Ben had asked to use Roy's old persona, saying that he never dreamed of becoming anything useful, let alone a Titan, before he had met Roy. Roy was, of course, tickled pink, and accepted Ben's request. Ben's costume was just like Roy's old Robin-Hood-styled one, except that the red was more of a brick red, and the yellow was more of a mustard color.

"So what can I do for you boys?" Superman asked. If anyone else had called them boys, all three would have taken offense, but with Superman it was... different. They knew he meant no disrespect; in fact it was hard for the Kryptonian to disrespect anyone.

There was silence as Ben and Roy instinctively waited for Nightwing to take the lead. Nightwing, though, finally caught eye contact with Arsenal and nodded in Superman's direction, indicating that the archer should lead the session.

Roy took a few more seconds trying to word his introduction. He looked at the table in front of him as he spoke, "We... I... have... evidence... that suggests that Ollie is still alive." He looked up to see Superman's reaction. His face seemed to show surprise, concern, and Roy thought perhaps even a little fear. Roy forced himself to keep eye contact with the Kryptonian as he asked candidly, "Was Ollie on that plane?"

Nightwing thought Superman looked uneasy as he answered Roy, "Yes. I tried to evacuate him, but he wouldn't let me. I've already told you that.."

"I know," Roy answered, "But I've got to make sure. You understand, don't you?" Roy asked him.

"Of course, Roy," Superman confirmed, "But why now? Did something happen?" He looked concerned.

Roy shrugged, "I'd rather not say. I will say I was given reason to believe that Ollie is still alive. Is that a reasonable belief?" Roy looked into the Kryptonian's eyes, daring him to counter Roy's statement.

Superman noted the challenge-the question behind the question-as he simply answered, "Yes."

Roy released the breath he hadn't realized he had been holding. He raised his hands to his face and rubbed his face as though he had just woken up. He felt like he had just woken up. Nightwing looked at his friend, and then at the Man of Steel, and Dick thought he saw remorse in the Kryptonian. Dick knew Roy was exhausted, and he knew that Superman wasn't telling something. Sympathizing with his friend, Nightwing got to the point. Locking eyes with Superman, he asked bluntly, "Did Oliver Queen survive the plane crash?" Roy looked at his friend gratefully, and then to Superman expectantly.

Superman sighed. Ever since the plane explosion, no one had bothered to ask him so directly. Leave it to Bruce's protégé, he thought. He said quietly, "Yes."

Roy suddenly stood in a burst of rage and demanded, "How could you not tell anyone that?! Don't you know how it's killed me to think he died?! I trusted you!! How can I ever trust you again?!" Nightwing stood with his friend, and put his hand on Roy's shoulder, trying to calm the archer. Instead, Roy angrily brushed his teammate's hand aside, causing Nightwing to take a step back, and continued to be furiously focused on the man before him.

Superman sighed, braving Roy's anger, and feeling as though he at least partially deserved it. He stated in a level voice, "I'm so sorry, Roy. He swore me to secrecy. It's the only way he would let me save him. I'm sorry I've betrayed your trust. I sincerely hope I can earn it back someday."

Still standing, Roy glared angrily at the Man of Steel. Then he looked away as he felt angry tears forming. Of all the people he knew and trusted, Roy had always thought that Superman could be trusted to tell the whole truth. Now Roy had to add Superman to the long list of people that had betrayed him; something he had thought he would never have to do. Roy said unbelievably, "So everything you've told us is a lie?"

Superman sighed, and said, "No, he was shot badly, and his arm was in a deadman's switch." He paused, "I took his bow and put it in the other switch. That allowed me to free him. He had enough cohesiveness to tell me that he wanted his survival to be a secret, so with my JLA transporter, I sent him home while I stopped Conner's plane from crashing. After everything was squared with Conner and his friend, I went home to check on him."

Nightwing's brow furrowed until he realized Superman meant home to Kansas. Then his eyes widened, "Your parents knew?!"

Superman gave Nightwing a wry grin and stated, "My parents are pretty good at keeping secrets."

Nightwing let out a little laugh and received a glare from Arsenal for it. Having blinked the rogue tears away, Roy turned back to his former friend, and said in a soft, almost dangerous voice, "Where is he?"

Superman sighed again, and admitted, "I don't know." Seeing from Roy's expression that the archer didn't believe him, Superman reiterated, "I really don't know, Roy. I'm sorry." He offered tentatively, "When he left my parents' he said something about undoing the worst thing he's ever done. I don't know what that is, and you probably have a better idea what that would be anyway."

Roy sighed and, with locked arms and closed eyes, leaned against the table for a moment. Then he burst away from the table, turning his back on the Kryptonian, and narrowly missing a collision with Nightwing. Keeping a turned back to the room, Roy brought one arm across his front to support his other, which he brought up to support his bent head. Nightwing watched his friend in concern as Roy apparently tried to sort his emotions and plans. Finally Roy dropped his raised hand, so that his arms were crossed in front of him, and raised his head, keeping his back to the room. He could see Nightwing in his peripheral vision as he stated matter-of-factly, "I have to go find him. I know he probably doesn't want to see me, but I have to go find him."

Nightwing nodded, placed his hand on his friend's shoulder, and assured quietly, "We'll go Roy. We'll find him."

Superman said carefully to Roy's back, "I understand your need to find him, but I... ask that you not tell anyone what you've learned here. I am still bound by my promise to Oliver."

Roy turned around to look at Superman curiously, but, with his hand still on Roy's shoulder, Nightwing spoke up, "Of course. We will be discrete, right, Arsenal?" Dick's tone indicated that Roy had better agree.

"Yah, I won't tell a soul," Roy said dryly.

Having just shown the Man of Steel out, Nightwing returned to the small conference room. As he took his seat, Ben asked, "So where do we go from here?" as he carefully watched his mentor.

"We have to figure out what Oliver would consider the worst thing he's ever done, and then figure out where he might go to try to undo it," Nightwing said impartially.

Ben looked at Roy. He certainly had no idea since he had met Roy's former guardian only a few times. Roy noted his friend's glance and sighed, exhausted from being so angry. He tried to purge his antagonistic feelings so that he could concentrate on the task at hand-something that Dick had always tried to teach him, and at which he was only partially successful most of the time-as he shrugged and said, "I dunno guys. He may have been my guardian, but I've seen him as much as you."

"Come on, Roy," Nightwing encouraged carefully, not wanting to reflame his friend's anger, "I know you didn't have a great relationship with Oliver, but you know him better than anyone, especially us." Nightwing thumbed himself and Ben. "What would he try to fix?"

"I really don't know," Roy reiterated. He shrugged again, and his voice betrayed his frustration as he stated, "He's failed to save people just like any of us, but I don't know what he'd consider the worst thing he's ever done. Maybe lose his fortune?" Roy suggested, "Maybe he knows how to get it back."

Nightwing thought, "Hmm... maybe. Something doesn't fit though. I can't explain it. How would he get it back? It was lost when his accountant stole it from him, right?"

Roy nodded. "Ok, maybe he failed to save a kid. Maybe somehow he can save a kid he didn't save before."

Suddenly Dick looked up, and Roy saw the light of an idea enter his friend's eyes. He knew that look, and some of his frustration was replace with hope. "What?" Roy asked.

"I think you're on to something, Roy. What if *you're* the kid he didn't save before?"

"What do you mean?" Roy looked puzzled.

"What if he feels guilty about how he raised you? Maybe somehow he sees a way to make it up to you." Dick said thoughtfully.

Roy immediately dismissed the idea, "Come on, Dick, he never worried about his relationship to me. He didn't care." Roy shrugged as he tried to make the comment off-handedly, but both Ben and Dick heard the hurt in Roy's voice.

"That's where I think you're wrong Roy. I think he did care, and just never knew what to do. Like Bruce. I know he loves me, but ever since I was a kid, we had outsiders think he was heartless towards me. That he just wanted to train a partner."

Roy sighed, "Ok, let's say you're right, and he wants to fix how he raised me. What would he do?"

"What about your using?" Roy started to protest, but Dick raised his hands, "I know you blame only yourself, but I know Ollie felt responsible too. Dinah said it, Bruce said it, and I could see it in his eyes every time he looked at you afterwards." Knowing what his friend would say next, Dick already countered, "It wasn't disgust, Roy, it was remorse."

"Where would he go to counter Roy's using?" Ben asked incredulously. Having the same drug history, although not to the same extent, he couldn't imagine how to undo the damage done.

Now Roy started to become enticed by the idea, and said thoughtfully, "What if he's taking on the heroin industry on a global scale? What if he's in Burma where it all starts? If you're right, he'd go after only the largest, and I know all the main production plants." Roy was familiar with the structure of the illicit drug industry from his days as a government agent, and he knew that the southeast Asian country produced sixty percent of the world's heroin. He continued, "And knowing Ollie, I know exactly which one he went to."

Nightwing nodded, "Good. I like this theory. Let's go with it. Agreed?"

"Agreed," the archers said in unison.

Using the Titans' jet's cloaking feature, the three men landed just outside their target according to Arsenal. They were all on edge since Burma was *not* a country known to tolerate outsiders. In fact it was downright hostile. They were currently on the edge of the forest side-by-side on their stomachs looking at a heavily-guarded compound complete with automatic-gun-carrying guardsmen. Nightwing watched the movements of the guards carefully as Arsenal asked impatiently, "Now what?"

Making sure Arsenal noted his lowered voice and without taking his eyes off the guards, Nightwing answered, "Now we watch those guards and bide our time until something happens." He paused and then continued almost as an afterthought, "Something always happens."

Scanning the top of the surrounding wall, Ben suddenly spotted something and exclaimed, "Look!" The elder Titans followed Ben's direction and saw someone; a teen by the size of him; climbing over the wall. Even from his distance and in the back of his mind, Arsenal thought that the teen looked better dressed than any other Burmese citizen he had seen in the past. The trio watched with bated breath, and just as the teen jumped down to the ground, they heard shouts causing Nightwing to curse. "Come on," Dick said to Roy as though it were a pained exercise they had to do. He ordered Speedy, "Cover us, ok?" Ben nodded, rising silently and carefully enough to use his bow if it proved necessary.

The Titan pair reached the escaping teen about the same time as the guards, and Nightwing went into battle mode, punching and kicking his way through the enemy. Arsenal covered Nightwing's back, fending off guards if they came too close, but also using his bow to keep the enemy from overpowering the Titans' self-assigned charge. Just as it looked like the pair might win the teen's freedom, a fresh batch of guardsmen came to the scene, causing Roy to yell, "We've got trouble!"

"I see 'em!" Nightwing responded. Now he knew they were going to lose this battle.

Distracted by opponents in melee range, Arsenal couldn't cover the boy-he didn't know why Ben wasn't covering the teen-and soon they heard yelling in Burmese. Roy didn't understand the words, but one look at the opponent yelling and Roy got the meaning. The guard had a gun pointed at the boy, and was obviously yelling at Arsenal and Nightwing to stop. Reluctantly, the heroes stopped the battle, and immediately a guard snatched away Arsenal's bow. Roy smirked to himself; while the bow was a loss, he certainly didn't need it to defend himself.

"Ok! All right!" Nightwing protested as the American heroes were pushed into the compound along with the teen they had tried to rescue. Roy warily glanced at their previous hiding place, but saw no sign of Ben. He had no time to worry though, as he, Nightwing, and the teen were pushed into a prison cell.

As soon as they were alone in the cell, the teen, who was sitting next to Roy on the lone cot in the cell, asked something in Burmese. Roy was about to say in English that he didn't understand, when Nightwing, sitting on the floor on the other side of the small cell, answered in Burmese. Roy looked at Dick incredulously, and Nightwing simply shrugged with an apologetic smile. He translated, "He wanted to know if we're American superheroes," Nightwing said with a grin.

"I hope you said not much of ones," Arsenal responded sarcastically.

Nightwing let out a little laugh and said, "I said most of the time." He asked the teen something, and then told Roy, "His name's Thakin." Nightwing continued in Burmese, and after hearing 'Nightwing' and 'Arsenal,' Roy guessed he was being introduced, and, as Dick gestured to him, gave Thakin a little half-hearted wave. Thakin said something apparently about Roy since he gestured towards Arsenal while he spoke, and caught Nightwing's attention. Dick asked a few hard, fast questions, which Thakin answered, and Dick turned to Roy. "He says you use the bow like the American. I asked who he meant, and he said the man he works for," Dick raised an eyebrow at Roy.

Roy asked hurriedly, "Ask him if he'll take us to him."

Instead of granting the request, Dick reminded his friend, "Uh, Roy, we're in a jail cell."

Roy blushed and rolled his eyes at the same time. He responded, "Yeah, but it's nothing, right? I mean, we can get out of anything."

"I dunno, Roy, this looks pretty tight." Nightwing got up to inspect the lock more closely. As he inspected the lock, Roy asked, "What do you think happened to Ben?"

Not turning his attention from the lock, Nightwing answered, "I dunno. I'm actually kind of worried about him; the Burmese jungle is a far cry from New York city streets, and God knows who he might run into. If we're lucky, Thakin's friends grabbed him." Roy nodded. Dick finally looked up from the lock and commanded, "Arsenal, lie down on the cot. Thakin, stand over him. Roy, act like you're sick."

"I am sick," Arsenal stated dryly, but granted the request, closing his eyes, and wearing a pained expression.

Nightwing called the guard over, informing the guard of his sick companion. Instead of having the expected response, the guard stated sardonically in Burmese, "All three of you are going to die tomorrow anyway, so why do I care if he's a little sick now?"

The guard walked away, Nightwing sighed, and Arsenal, having opened his eyes, looked at his friend from his prone position and said, "Huh, it always works in the movies. What did he say?"

"You don't wanna know," Nightwing stated.

Ben watched as his elder teammates went into action, and prepared to assist from afar, nocking an arrow. He was just about to let an arrow fly; he had the bow drawn and aimed; when he heard the command in accented English, "Do not shoot that arrow. Release the tension. Take the arrow out of the bow." Ben carefully followed the instructions, and then carefully turned his head to see a semi-automatic gun pointed at him. "Stand up. Hands in view." Ben stood and held his hands-with his bow in his left, and the freshly unnocked arrow in his right-out from his sides to show his captor. Ben thought to himself that the arrow in his hand would be in this guy's throat by now if he had managed to pick up Roy's skill with hand-held projectiles. As it were, the arrow and bow were taken from him. Ben dared not make any sudden movements and allowed himself to be lead away from the compound.

As he was lead through the jungle, Ben tried to ask, "Where are we going?" but was answered with, "Shut up." Ben did so, marching quietly along until he and his captor reached their apparent destination-another base. Ben was ushered smartly to the office of the commander of the base. The commander had his back to the doorway, and as he swung around to see who had entered his office, both commander and captive gasped.

Finally Oliver Queen visibly eyed Ben from head to toe, and stated sarcastically, "Nice costume. It was bad enough the first time." Then he said to the guard covering Ben, "Go, get out of here," ushering the guard with his hand. The guard turned to leave, and Oliver stopped him with, "Return his bow to him." As the guard obeyed and left, Ollie looked into the face of his speechless captive, whom he recognized as his former ward's student, sighed, and said, "No doubt Roy is here somewhere." Ben nodded wordlessly. Queen looked at Ben, expecting the obvious information to be given without prompting, and then did prompt with an expression that stated, "Well?"

Ben finally found his tongue, and, still staring at Roy's former guardian, said, "Uh. Last I saw them they were trying to help someone escape from another base."

"Them?" Oliver asked with angered impatience.

"Uh, Nightwing's here too," Ben admitted.

"Great. This is what I get for trusting an overgrown boy scout." Oliver said disgustedly.

"Uh, well, we kinda forced it out of him," Ben confessed apologetically. Ben's initial shock subsided and he looked around the office. Ben thought it looked as though whatever Ollie was doing here, he was doing it well, for the office looked expensive. The objects that particularly caught Ben's eye were the bow adorning the side wall, and a picture frame on the desk. Ben couldn't see the photo in the frame, and when he tried to discretely get a closer look, Queen slammed it face down onto the desk. Ben caught a glimpse of it though, and he thought it was of Green Arrow and Speedy. So, Ben thought, he hasn't forgotten his life in the states. That train of thought caused Ben to ask, "What are you doing here? Why did you let us think you died?"

"Long story, kid. One I'm not getting into now if at all. Right now, we've got to track down that stupid kid of mine." With interest, Ben noted the possessive quality of Oliver's statement. "With any luck, that 'someone' was Thakin, and they didn't screw up."

Sitting on the old, moldy cot, Arsenal and Thakin watched as Nightwing scoured their small cell for usable components. They watched as he took out a small knife, scraped some residue off the wall, smelled it, and dropped it in a tube he had produced for testing. Nightwing watched the tube thoughtfully, and then turned his attention to the cot. Causing his companions to stand, he removed the old moldy mattress, and started to inspect the strings underneath. He pulled and twisted, testing elasticity. As he turned his attention to the single light bulb in the cell, Arsenal finally commented, "Why do I feel like I'm in a MacGyver episode?"

Nightwing half-glared at his friend, and Arsenal grinned back. Then he started to do his own investigation, inspecting the lock on the door and the springs in the cot. "Ok," Arsenal started, "You got one of those freezy pills of yours? Or the kind that go bang?" Nightwing nodded. "Put the bang kind in the lock," Arsenal instructed as he started to take apart the cot. Thakin, and then, after he had followed his friend's instructions, Nightwing, watched with interest as Roy made a makeshift bow from the outer frame and elastic springs in the cot. He tested the 'bowstring,' grinned, and took a more stable, straight piece of wire and placed it in the handmade bow. Then Roy pulled the spring, eyed the lock, and let the wire fly. Of course the wire hit its mark, causing the firebomb Nightwing had placed to go off, and exploding the lock. One good kick from Nightwing, and the door swung open.

"You're welcome," Arsenal grinned.

"Great," Nightwing said hurriedly, "Let's go!" The three men rushed out of the cell, with Nightwing pulling on Thakin's arm to make sure the teen kept up. Finally Thakin pulled away, and ran alongside the heroes. Knowing where the guard would be from the trip down to the cell, Nightwing and Arsenal had relatively no trouble reaching the outer gate. When they reached the outer gate though, the guards were obviously waiting for them, and had the trio, who had their backs to one another, quickly surrounded.

As the circle parted allowing a man obviously in charge to enter, Nightwing partially straightened his defensive stance, causing his partners to look in his direction. Roy and Thakin saw the man and straightened and faced him, breaking the back-to-back triangle. "You didn't really think I would have two American superheroes in my custody not watched carefully, did you?" he started. He looked at Arsenal. "Since you're the one that broke the lock, you'll be the one to bear the punishment of your misdeed." Although Roy wanted to look uncertainly at Nightwing, instead he gave the man a defiant expression. The man responded by grinning amusedly. He commanded, "Take those two to another cell. Take this one to my office."

"So, my American friend, why are you here?" Roy responded with a continued obstinate expression. He was being held with his arms behind his back in front of the man who was sitting at his desk. Roy quickly glanced around the room, and his eyes rested on his bow in the corner behind the desk of the man. Noting the hero's gaze, the man smirked and leaned back in his chair. "I don't know much about bows, but that one looks pretty nice. I imagine you want it back," he sneered. Arsenal's only response was a glare. "So you're after the American, eh?" the man continued to prod, "An archer after an archer," he continued almost thoughtfully, "I guess that makes sense. Normally I'd help you if that's what you had in mind, but I can't let escape attempts go unpunished. You're awfully brave coming here," he continued, obviously trying to get Roy unraveled, "Being American won't help you here. Your American Embassy can't help you when you get into trouble."

The man looked into Roy's defiant eyes for a moment, and then stated, "Well, apparently you have nothing to add, so we might as well get started." He nodded to the guards at the door who brought a chair to where Roy was standing. The men holding Roy pushed him into the chair and started to tie his arms to the arms of the chair. During his bonding, Roy did not take his eyes off the man, and continued to give an obstinate, focused expression. "I have this new mix, and I needed a volunteer to test it on. Thanks for volunteering," he sneered. He produced a syringe, holding it in front of him and examining it theatrically. At the sight of the drug, Roy started to lose his composure as his eyes went wide. At first he resisted the urge to struggle, but as the man and the needle came closer, Roy failed and started to struggle against his bonds.

"No!" Roy protested against his will to be defiant. "Stop! Please, stop!!" He was desperate. He had gone five whole years against that little voice that told him do it again just once-it would feel so good. His thoughts went to Lian. Every single day had been a struggle, but she had been his saving grace, and now he was going to lose because of events out of his control. Although Lian was only three, Roy found himself imagining her disappointment in her father, making him even more despondent.

"Ahh, I think we found his weak point, boys," the man said. The guards grinned. The man walked to where Roy was struggling, and noted his already-scarred arms. "Looks like you know what you're in for, my friend." Ignoring Roy's pleas, the man tested the flow of the syringe and then punctured Roy with it, emptying the contents into Roy's arm.

Roy felt the familiar warmth-the warmth he had been craving for five years-spread throughout his body as he cried, "Nooo!" and hung his head.

The man watched Roy's devastation in amusement for a moment, and then commanded to the guards, "Get him out of here. Take him to a cell. I want to see what it does to him. You two," he pointed to two particular guards, "Go get his friends and take them to the range. We have no more use for them." That guards nodded and left the room. The guards that were left untied Roy, and underestimated him, thinking that the newly-introduced drug would make him easy to handle. Instead Roy fought with renewed vigor, and got his hands on the syringe used a moment ago. He threw it at the throat of one guard, and even with the drug's hindrance, the projectile hit its mark, causing the guard to slump. Roy fought the other guard-the man in charge had backed away from the scene-using the hand-to-hand techniques Dick had taught him until he could find another weapon-this time a pen on the desk-and threw it at the guard's throat. Almost free, Roy forced himself to continue despite his drug-induced daze. The silver lining was that Roy knew what to expect of the heroin he had been given, and remembered how to counteract it better than if he hadn't had history with the drug. The effects were as he remembered, and he didn't have any immediate concern that the drug he had been given was a 'new mix.' [Little favors,] he thought to himself sardonically.

Even in his daze, Roy had enough sense to slam the door shut, jamming it locked with a knife from his boot. He turned on the man in charge, who had started to cower in the corner. He stalked towards the man, picking up his bow on the way. When Roy reached him, Roy gave him a disgusted look, and hit him across the head with the bow. The man fell unconscious, and Roy had to catch himself on the desk. Safe for at least a few seconds, Roy took the time to try to clear his head. He could tell that he was given a fairly high dose of the drug, but he knew he didn't have time to mourn the loss of his work to stay clean; Nightwing was in trouble. Roy staggered to the window, and, seeing that the way was clear, climbed out.

From being escorted through the compound, Roy remembered seeing a firing range, and guessed that that was where Nightwing and Thakin would be taken. Despite his stupor, Arsenal was able to stay hidden until finally he saw the remembered range. He wasn't seeing clearly, but he could see well enough to see his friend and Thakin being tied to stakes, and he could see the row of armed men preparing to fire at his friend and their charge. From his vantage point, Roy couldn't see Nightwing's and Thakin's bonds, but he could see his friend discretely looking for him, although Roy didn't think Nightwing looked very hopeful. After squeezing his eyes tight and holding onto the building he was crouched beside for a few seconds, Roy moved stealthfully to get the right angle to cut the bonds. He found the angle, took a deep breath, and, kneeling, skillfully nocked an arrow. With barely a pause and holding his bow parallel to the ground, Arsenal anchored against his rib cage and let the arrow fly. Although it wasn't a perfect shot, it flew true enough to release Nightwing of his bonds. Another arrow flew a few seconds later and freed Thakin.

Nightwing hardly seemed surprised as he shook the ropes from his wrists and went into action, attacking the men who had just bonded him. While not as skilled as Nightwing, Thakin was able to assist in the fight, and took down one guard to Nightwing's four. The firing squad hadn't started to fire yet, and Roy thought it was because they were afraid of hitting their own men. The guard apparently in charge yelled a command in Burmese, and the men with guns started to raise their weapons. Roy prayed to whomever might be listening as he nocked and fired multiple arrows at a time, hoping that his archer's instinct would be enough to overcome the drug. His prayers were apparently answered as, although not every arrow hit its mark perfectly, each did well enough to take out its target.

Freed, Dick looked in Roy's direction which also happened to be the direction out of the compound. Nightwing and Thakin ran to Arsenal, and started to run past, expecting Arsenal to keep up. When he didn't, Nightwing paused, looked back at his friend, and rushed with concern, "Roy! Are you ok?"

"No," Roy said, hearing the slur in his own voice, "They drugged me." The revelation caused Nightwing to curse, and he grabbed his archer friend by the arm, half-dragging him to the entrance. Nightwing's original thought had been to scale the wall as Thakin had originally tried to do, but now in the condition Roy was in, Dick knew the front gate was the only possibility.

Expecting the Americans to be safely tucked away, the guards were relatively light at the front entrance. This time, Nightwing took them out relatively quickly, and, with Arsenal in tow and Thakin running alongside him, rushed to the edge of the jungle.

When they were in the relative safety of the jungle so that Nightwing heard no more shouts, he stopped and leaned Arsenal against a tree. "Roy!" Nightwing looked into his friend's eyes, "Roy!" he repeated, gently shaking his friend. "What did they give you, and how much?" he asked urgently.

Roy's glazed eyes looked at his friend until he closed them. He answered sluggishly, "Heroin. A lot."

Roy started to slide down the tree as Nightwing swore, "Damn," and got his arm under his friend's shoulder. He knew how hard his friend had worked to stay clean. "Come on, Roy," he encouraged, pulling Roy back onto his feet, "You've got to stay with us." Roy nodded. Still supporting Arsenal, Dick asked Thakin urgently, "The American you work for. Can you take us to him?" Thakin nodded mutely, watching the American archer, and knowing exactly what was happening to him.

The trio started the trek to Thakin's home base, moving at Roy's pace. Although the archer was able to walk on his own, he could not keep a normal pace and kept his eyes on the ground as Nightwing spotted him closely. Suddenly Roy stopped, and called, "Nightwing," to get his friend's attention. Nightwing stopped, looked at his friend, and then, seeing that Roy hadn't taken his eyes off the ground, followed the archer's gaze. On the ground in front of them was a arrow fletching. Afraid to bend down to retrieve it, Arsenal continued to stare at the fletching until Nightwing recovered the feather. He handed it to the archer, and, with little inspection, Arsenal stated, "It's Ben's. He must have dropped it."

Nightwing nodded, and said, "Thakin told me earlier that some of his friends were hidden in the jungle waiting for him. I'm guessing they picked up Ben and took him to where we're going."

"Makes sense," Roy said. They walked silently for a few minutes, until Roy commented slowly and dejectedly, "With our luck, it's not even Ollie. We're probably walking into a trap."

Nightwing nodded. He had certainly thought of that, and he countered, "True, but we saved Thakin. That's gotta count for something. He seems like a kid well taken care of. I would think his boss would be grateful for what we've done." As an afterthought, and as though he was surprised at the revelation, Nightwing said, "Though I never did ask his boss's name." Nightwing did so, turning to Thakin and asking in Burmese.

Thakin answered, "Choa."

"Damn," Roy cursed. He stopped and leaned on his bow for a moment. "All this time I thought... I mean... Thakin said he was an archer... how could he not..."

Dick put his hand on his friend's back and whispered encouragingly, "Roy, Choa is Burmese for Queen." Roy looked up at his friend with an expression of disbelief, and Dick returned a smile. Dick pressed gently on Roy's back, prompting him to move again. Roy actually felt pretty sick. While it had been five years since he last felt the effects of heroin and while he knew he had been given a high dose, Roy didn't remember the effects being so strong or lasting so long. He started to wonder if the effects had something to do with the drug being a 'new mix.'

By the time the trio had reached the entrance of Thakin's home base, Arsenal was leaning pretty heavily on Nightwing as Thakin led them into the compound. Even sick as he was, Roy noted that the guards and other Burmese citizens looked as well dressed as Thakin. Whoever was in charge of this place, he thought, took good care of his workers. Thakin led them into his boss' office, and they were greeted by Ben who had been sitting against the wall but had gotten up at their entrance. Ben immediately saw that Roy was ill, and looked questioningly at Nightwing. But before they could converse and before Nightwing could observe his surroundings, Oliver Queen spoke up, "Jesus, Roy, only a couple days in Burma and already you're high."

Getting enough energy to release himself from Nightwing, Roy angrily threw his bow at his former mentor and shouted, "You God-damn son of a bitch!! How dare you judge me?!" Roy stumbled forward, forcing Nightwing to catch him. Having regained his balance, Roy released himself from Nightwing's grasp and moved forward to lean on the desk. While making eye contact with his former mentor, Roy stated in a steady, angry voice, "I've been clean for five years and this is not my fault. At least I don't let the people that care about me think I'm dead."

Ollie picked up Roy's thrown bow-he knew Roy must really be angry to throw a weapon that any archer worth his salt knows must be cared for carefully-and leaned it against the wall as he said, "Oh stop being so dramatic, Roy. You know now don't you?" Ollie eyed his former ward. "Nice costume." He said the words a little less bitingly as he had to Ben, although they still held sting.

Roy looked down at himself as though he had to be reminded what he was wearing, and stated sardonically, "Thanks. I thought I'd go back to a time in my life when I knew at least one person cared about me." He glared at Ollie with glazed eyes. Ollie returned his gaze with a hard expression, and then turned from the younger archer disgustedly. Immediately though, he turned back, and asked, "What are you on, anyway?"

Roy tried to clear his head, as he answered, "Heroin. But you'd know all about that wouldn't you?" Ollie eyed Roy questioningly, and Roy elaborated, "What else gets made here? Especially that can produce an office like this?" Roy waved his hand in the air.

"You don't actually think.." Ollie started.

Hardening his gaze even more, Roy looked into Ollie's eyes as he said strongly, "I don't know what to think anymore."

Ollie sighed and took his eyes off his former ward to look at the other people in the room. Nightwing held a hard but concerned gaze, while Ben and Thakin looked questioningly at the pair of archers. Ollie turned his attention back to Roy, "Who shot you up?"

Having closed his eyes for a moment, Roy opened them again, and looked unfocusedly at the desk. The adrenaline he had felt from his anger was starting to subside, and the effects of the heroin was taking precedence again. Slurring his words, he answered, "I dunno. Your neighbor. Ask your friend," he waved his hand in Thakin's direction.

Ollie looked at Thakin, and then at Nightwing. Understanding what Ollie was thinking, and surprised, but then not really, that Oliver had never bothered to learn Burmese, and then noting that Ollie assumed that he could speak and understand the language, Nightwing translated the question. Thakin answered, and Oliver looked at Nightwing. Nightwing stated, "He said Ne Win gave it to him. That he has some kind of new mix."

To Nightwing's surprise, his words sparked Oliver into panicked motion as he commanded Thakin, "Go get Kyi! Now!!" Thakin looked at Nightwing uncertainly, and then rushed out of the room; Dick guessed that hearing the name was enough for Thakin to understand what his employer wanted.

Shocked, Roy watched Ollie as the elder archer moved quickly around the desk and took Roy by the shoulder and arm. "Sit down, Roy," he commanded. When Roy tried to resist in confusion, Ollie said, "This is not the time to be stubborn. Sit down!" The strength of Ollie's words was enough to make Roy obey, and he found the seat Ben had been sitting in. Ollie's panicked attention to Roy's condition forced Roy to acknowledge how he felt, which was pretty terrible to the point that Roy wasn't sure he could stand again if he wanted to. Roy put his head in his hands as if to clear it, which did no good; the room was still spinning.

Nightwing became more concerned now, and crossed the room to stand next to Roy and Ollie. He said to Ollie, "What is it?"

As he did a visual and tactile examination of Roy, which Roy resisted weakly, Ollie said, "Ne Win's been experimenting with poisons in drugs. Besides the drug itself," he clarified. He gave a disgusted look to Roy as he said, "Contrary to apparently popular belief, I'm not here to further the drug trade. I'm trying to destroy it, by infiltrating and shutting down when I can. Ne Win is the worst of them all, so I've targeted him. Thakin was on a little fact-finding mission when you ran into him." Then to himself, he muttered, "Where is she.." Ollie's obvious concern caused Roy to look at Nightwing worriedly, which Nightwing mirrored.

As if to answer Oliver, Kyi rushed into the room with a syringe in her hand. She looked at Oliver, who nodded to Roy, and Kyi turned her attention to the younger archer. She warned, "Hold still," as she administered the contents of the syringe to Roy.

As she did so, Ollie explained, "Kyi is my head pharmacologist. We had just learned of this new poison, and Kyi, the wiz that she is," he smiled at her which she reflected bashfully, "discovered that the poison makes the victim actually life-dependent on heroin." He watched Roy's physical reaction to the drug as he revealed apologetically to Roy, "She just shot you up with more heroin. It's needed to keep the poison from killing you. Unfortunately it does nothing for the symptoms of the poison. And you'll still feel the effects of the heroin. We know that Ne Win has an antidote, but we haven't been able to find it yet. Kyi's also working on it, but it's pretty complicated."

"My worst nightmare," Roy mumbled to himself so that his friends barely understood him.

Oliver sighed, and Nightwing suspected that his eyes were playing tricks on him as he thought he saw unshed tears in the elder archer's eyes. Ollie said, "General operating procedure is to avert any shipment out of Ne Win's plant and 'water it down' with a chemical Kyi's created. That way, he doesn't know his shipments are being messed with, yet the smack he ships doesn't have nearly the potency it did when he released it. Fortunately he hasn't started to ship the laced heroin yet, but we're running out of time."

"Wait," Roy said through his drugged fog. "You're saying you can water down heroin right at the source?" Kyi, knowing that her employer didn't need her to answer Roy's question, and after looking at Oliver for confirmation and receiving a nod, left the room. Ollie knew she'd return when Roy needed another dose.

Having barely understood Roy through his drug-induced slur, Ollie confirmed, "That's exactly what I'm saying, kid. It's not perfect, but things would be a hell of a lot worse up there if we didn't do what we do." After a moment of thought, he asked, "How the hell did you find me, anyway?" Knowing that Nightwing was the detective in the group, he turned his attention to Dick.

While watching carefully for Queen's reaction, Nightwing stated matter-of-factly, "Superman could only tell us that you wanted to undo the worst thing you've ever done." His voice got drier as he continued, "After a little brainstorm, we thought maybe it was your ignoring Roy to the point he turned to heroin." Ollie broke eye contact with the young vigilante, and then quickly regained contact, trying to hide his reaction. Nightwing had already seen it though, as he continued, "Roy knew the industry over here from his days as a government agent, and basically we guessed."

"Hell of a guess, kid," Ollie said, to which Dick shrugged. The young heroes had hit on Ollie's motivation exactly, but he didn't want to let the weakness show. Act like you don't care, keep people at a distance; that's the only way to work if you're going to keep them safe, Ollie thought. Now, because Roy wouldn't let it go, Ollie's entire plan was in jeopardy. Now Ne Win knew about Roy, and had already taken fatal aim at Ollie's son. That thought caused Ollie to yell angrily at Roy, "I had everything under control until you three showed up. You probably ruined everything."

Still holding his head in his hands, Roy looked up with surprised, dilated eyes as he realized he was the one Ollie was addressing, "Now who's being dramatic," Roy shouted back as well as he could. He wanted to stand to be in his former mentor's face, but as soon as he tried to stand, he lost balance and was forced to grab the nearby desk to stay on his feet. Ollie instinctively reached out to keep his son from falling, but Roy brushed away the gesture angrily. "If we hadn't been here, Thakin would probably be buried in Ne Win's backyard! You're welcome!!" He took his hand away from the desk to use it to gesture angrily as he continued, "And if you had told us what the hell you were doing, I would have accepted that and let you do your own goddamn thing!!" He spoke quickly, for he could feel himself failing, " Thinking you're dead-and then finding out you might not be-that I couldn't handle! I had to know, goddammit!! You're the closest thing I had to a father, and because of that I'm sorry for both of us!" Finally his last bits of energy were spent, and Roy was forced to collapse back into the chair.

Roy barely heard Ollie's rebuttal. "Look, Roy," Ollie started heatedly, "I never was good at the parenting business-we both know that. I never considered you my son, and now that you're grown, I think it's better we forget that the other exists," he lied. Ollie just wanted Roy to go away so he could protect him again.

Ollie's words caused surprised hurt in Roy so that he looked like he was about to lose consciousness from the shock until Nightwing, who had moved to the desk without either archer's notice, spoke up holding the photo frame that had been face down on the desk. "Is that why you have this?" he asked dryly, holding the frame so that the room could see the photograph housed within. The photograph showed a smiling Roy and Ollie, both in costume, and once Roy saw it, his jaw dropped. Ollie glared at the young Gothamite, and Nightwing continued, "Why do you lie to Roy like that? Don't you know how much it hurts him?"

Through narrow eyes and avoiding Roy's gaze, Queen stated, "It's complicated." Then he changed the subject with, "I don't have time for this.I have to make sure Ne Win's next shipment doesn't go out."

"Let us help," Roy spoke up so suddenly that he even surprised himself. When Ollie started to shake his head, Roy continued in almost a whine, "Come on, you know me, Ben, and Nightwing can take it. Just this once, let us help, and I promise I'll go away and not tell anyone you're down here." Truthfully that was the last thing Ollie wanted, and he certainly didn't want to have to worry about Roy in the enemy's compound. Never mind Roy did stuff like that all the time and Ollie knew it.

"God, Roy," Ollie countered, and Nightwing thought he heard compassion in the archer's voice, "You can barely stand. How are you going to help take out Ne Win?"

Instead of answering, Roy put his head in his hands again. He knew Ollie was right of course, but he hated to feel so useless. Especially since the cause was heroin.

Suddenly everyone in the room became aware of a struggle coming towards them, and they stopped and waited for the struggle to enter the room. Ben had the best view of the hallway, and he piqued everyone else's interest when his jaw dropped at the sight of the struggle. There was an audible gasp as the woman and her two captors entered the room. The woman was yelling, "Get off of me you big dumb oafs! If you wanted me, all you had to do is ask!"

Roy was the first to react when, even in his hazy state he said in disbelief, "Black Canary?!"

Roy's vocal reaction caused Dinah to look at him first, and she asked, "Roy! Are you ok? Oracle sent me.." As she spoke she took in the rest of the room, and her struggles turned limp as her eyes rested on Oliver. "What the... Ollie?!" She spoke disbelievingly, as though she were looking at a ghost. "Is it really you?" She regained her feet and pulled away from her captors annoyingly. "How... What..." she stumbled forward, and then getting her voice back she said, "I'm gonna kill Oracle."

Suddenly it hit Nightwing; he hadn't checked in with Oracle since they had been captured. It must have sent Barbara into panic mode and she sent Black Canary after them. Nightwing spoke up, "She didn't know. We didn't tell her why we were coming here."

"Dinah," Ollie started, carefully gauging her reaction, "How are you?" he asked, for lack of a better thing to say. Black Canary seemed to finally get her full senses back as she burst into joyful tears and crossed the gap between her and Ollie to wrap him in an emotional embrace. With an expression that combined surprise and relief, Ollie returned the embrace. Roy was still facing Ollie and could see the elder archer's uncertain expression from his seated position.

Roy found the elder archer's expression comical, but refused to allow his expression to indicate his finding. Afraid that he might show positive emotion, and frustrated at Black Canary's upbeat reaction to Oliver, Roy suddenly and uncertainly staggered out of Oliver's office. Black Canary, Nightwing, and Speedy called to him, but he ignored them as he turned the corner of the doorway. Ollie sighed discontentedly at the door, and then broke the embrace enough to look smilingly into Dinah's eyes.

"How's my pretty bird been?" he asked, grateful for her acceptance of his being alive.

"I've been... fine..." Dinah said, having a loss for words and looking into Ollie's eyes. Looking from eye to eye, she said, "Is it really you? What happened? Why did you let everyone think you were dead? What were you thinking?" Her voice started to get upset, and Ollie broke their embrace so that he could use his hands in a calming gesture.

"I'll explain later, ok?" When Dinah's expression started to indicate that it was not ok, Ollie continued, "Right now I'm worried about Roy. He's very sick, and although we still have his bow, God knows he doesn't need it to be effective, and I'm afraid he's going to do something stupid." Dinah nodded, her puzzled, concerned expression indicating that she wanted to ask how Roy was sick. Conversely, Dick pleasantly noted Oliver's acknowledgement of Roy's abilities, as well as his obvious concern for Roy.

"We'll go find him," Nightwing offered, volunteering Speedy, and allowing the former couple to stay together for a little longer. Speedy acknowledged Nightwing's statement and moved to stand next to his leader. Oliver recognized the offer gratefully as he nodded to the Titans leader, and the teammates left the room.

Ollie motioned for Dinah to take the seat Roy had occupied and he went around his desk to drag the desk chair to a spot next to his former lover. He sat and took Dinah's hands into his own and tried to look into her eyes. He couldn't though because Dinah was focused on the open doorway. Ollie reached up with one hand to guide her gaze to his, and he could see the concern in her eyes. "What's wrong, pretty bird?" Ollie asked. It felt so good to be in the same room with Dinah again.

Allowing her attention to be drawn to the door again for a moment, she looked back at him and said, "Roy's sick? You sure he'll be ok?"

Ollie responded, "Nightwing and Speedy-I still can't believe he's taken that God-awful name-will find him. He's been hit with a poison that actually makes him need heroin to stay alive." He saw shock and concern in Dinah's eyes. He looked away from them before he continued, "They'll find him and bring him back. I know there's an antidote out there, and now that Roy's been hit, I *will* find it."

Dinah looked with concern at Ollie again, and was partially comforted by the determination she saw in his eyes. She knew that whenever that determined light existed, Ollie would be successful in his quest. She forced herself to forget Roy as she embraced Ollie again, and this time both kept the embrace tight for long moments. "I can't believe it," Dinah whispered, pulling away to look at Ollie again. "I just can't believe it."

"Believe it, pretty bird. I'm here. I'm sorry I didn't tell you, but I had to stay hidden to do what I do now." Dinah asked what that was, and Ollie filled her into his operation. He confided in his former partner, "The kids hit it right on, but I couldn't tell them that-I'm here because I couldn't help Roy when he needed me. I thought I could stop some of that poison from reaching other kids, but now I've just made it worse by allowing Roy to find me here. Now if we don't find that antidote, I'm going to lose a son." By way of explanation he said, "I'm sure Ne Win means for the poison not to touch the victim as long as the victim keeps shooting up, but now the heroin is an imperfect shield." His voice got quieter as he finished, "The poison is still touching him. Eventually it will kill him."

Dinah paused for a moment trying to absorb the news while at the same time getting her emotions in check. Bypassing the devastating news, she looked down at their clasped hands and asked softly, "Why can't you tell them that, Ollie? Why can't you let Roy know you care about him?" She looked up into his eyes, expecting an answer.

Oliver looked at their hands and sighed. He started to caress her fingers. If it had been anyone else, Ollie would have given a flippant answer, but he just couldn't to Dinah. Especially after being reunited after so long. Finally he confided, "I don't know. I want to, but every time the opportunity comes up, some smart-ass comment comes out instead. I guess I think if I keep him at arms length, nothing I do can hurt him."

"But don't you see?" Canary started, "You keeping him at arms length hurts worse than anything that could happen because of his association to you." She leaned towards him, breathed, "There are other ways to protect those you love," and touched his lips with her own. Ollie smiled at the gesture and made the touch more of a solid kiss.

Continue To Part Two

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