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"No one ever tells you how to exist in the aftermath of a crushing loss. No one tells you how you're supposed to live without her here. No one tells you what to do when she comes home either."
Final sentences of story summary

How the Light Gets In by Becks Rylynn is a crossover fic between Arrow and Supernatural. It officially goes AU for Supernatural after Season 7 and for Arrow after 11:59, and while most of the previous events of the two series still happened, there have been some other changes.

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Laurel Lance and Dean Winchester were Happily Married and had a three-year old daughter named Mary. Then Laurel was brutally and senselessly murdered, leaving behind a grieving and devastated family. Seven months later, she comes Back from the Dead. Her friends and family are left reeling, and try to learn who brought her back, why, and what will the consequences be?

Live Through This serves as a companion piece to the main story. It is a Whole Episode Flashback, set entirely in June of 2016 (2 months after Laurel's death) and told solely from Sara's POV.


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Tropes In This Fanfic

  • Abusive Parents: Laurel's parents are emotionally abusive, though it's more apparent with her mother.
    • John Winchester may be long dead, but it is repeatedly made clear he was a terrible father.
  • Actor Allusion: Many of Laurel's tattoos are real tattoos Katie Cassidy has.
    • Much like Katie Cassidy, Laurel is a die hard Seahawks fan.
    • Chapter 5 shows a number of Oliver's tweets. Excluding the ones about Mary, they are all real and have been borrowed from Stephen Amell's twitter and tweaked ever so slightly.
  • Adaptational Villainy: Zigzagged with Quentin Lance. The show largely portrayed him as a Good Parent, where as here he's an Abusive Parent. However, the instances of the abuse are largely things that either did happen in the show or were implied to happen, it's simply that they weren't acknowledged as abusive.
  • Adult Fear: Hoo boy...
    • You choose a dangerous life with the intention of making the world a better place. It gets you killed, leaving behind a husband and a three year old daughter, the latter of whom in particular is traumatized by it.
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    • Passing something you didn't know you had onto your child, which will go on to affect her life. In this case, both the bad hearing and the Sonic Scream to Mary.
    • Dean at one point talks about Mary's preschool class has to do active shooter drills (and vigilante drills). That he lives in a country where there could be another school shooting, even targeting a group of four year old's, is bad enough, but it's even worse for Dean. Due to Mary's balance issues, he's aware she won't be able to run far enough or fast enough, and as such would probably be a victim of a shooter.
    • There's a mysterious enemy out there, targeting your wife. You don't know who they are or what they want, only that they will try to abduct your wife. Which they eventually do.
    • On Earth-2, Mary and John Winchester weren't there for Dean when he was a child. This allowed someone to befriend Dean and start "grooming" him. The man was the demon Azazel recruiting Dean for his war, not pedophile, but still.
    • And of course, the frequent cases of Outliving One's Offspring.
  • All Myths Are True/Fantasy Kitchen Sink: Discussed when Dean is trying to brief Team Flash on the supernatural.
    Joe West: Just how many things are there?
    Dean: Witches, Ghosts, vampires, ghouls, shapeshifters, hellhounds, demons, angels. It's all real. Name an urban legend and I'll tell you if it's real.
    Wally West: (instantly) Zombies.
    Dean: Yep. Real.
    Wally West: Holy Shit.
    • Unicorns however, are fake.
  • Ambiguously Bi: Edie was in love with her best (female) friend as a teenager. She's also willing to sleep with men to get them to do what she wants.
  • Amicable Exes: Laurel and Joanna apparently briefly dated. Their romantic relationship didn't work out, but they remained best friends.
    • Oliver and Laurel aren't dating anymore and have remained in each other's lives, but how amicable they are greatly varies.
    • Sara and Nyssa haven't had much interaction, but what little they had was pleasant.
  • Arbitrary Skepticism: Laurel's resurrection makes Felicity freak right the hell out insisting things like this don't happen...despite several people in the room (Dean, Oliver, and Sara) all having also been resurrected at some point. Sara and Dean even comment on it.
    • A few seconds later Oliver and Diggle wonder how could she have possibly dug herself out of her own grave, only for Dean to point out not only is that if anything is the least bizarre thing to be happening, but logic has no real place here.
    Dean: You might not want to pull on that thread, John. None of this makes sense. She was also fucking embalmed. In case any of you have forgotten. But here she is. She's breathing. She bled. She crawled out of her grave. That's what happened. This is the supernatural. It's not about logic. Not the logic you've been taught anyway. It's about magic.
    • Barry Allen has a hard time believing that witches are real. This is a particularly bad example, as Metahumans notwithstanding, he should already know that Damien Darhk had magic.
  • Armor-Piercing Question: In Chapter 14, Oliver says he "let" Laurel join his team because he thought he could protect her. Thea's response makes him physically recoil and leaves him speechless:
    "And how did that go, Oliver? Did you protect her? Did you protect any of us? What about Mom? Did you protect her?"
  • Armor-Piercing Response: Black Siren tells Dean how horrific the conditions in the Flash's pipeline prison are. Dean, despite agreeing with her, initially tries to defend them, but she leaves him unable to do so:
    Black Siren: They're not fit to be running a prison.
    Dean: No, they're not. They weren't trained for this, Dee.
    Black Siren: Then they shouldn't be doing it.
    Dean:...Maybe not.
  • Author Tract: The author is upfront about her outrage over the deeply misogynistic nature of Laurel's death, and that the show ultimately brought in a new character (or two) to replace her instead of resurrecting her (which as is pointed out, would have been easy if anyone bothered to try).
  • Awakening the Sleeping Giant: Dean was happily a stay at home dad, (semi)content to leave the vigilante work to Laurel. Then Damien Darhk murdered her, and Dean quickly demonstrated why pissing off a Winchester is the absolute last thing you should ever do.
  • Back from the Dead: The focus point of the story, Laurel is resurrected in the first chapter, and the story explores the reasons and consequences.
    • It is also pointed out, that Dean, Sam, Sara, and Oliver have all been killed (Sam and Dean have in fact been killed many times) and brought back to life as well. Dean dies at the end of Chapter 16, only to be resurrected in the beginning of Chapter 17.
    • Significantly, the idea that someone being brought back to life fixes everything is thoroughly deconstructed. Never-mind the consequences of it, Laurel is left traumatized by the ordeal, can't re-enter her old life (everyone else still thinks she's dead), struggles to reconnect to those who do know the truth, and those around her at a loss as to how to what to do their grief. After all, they can't grieve for her if she's back but they can't just throw it away either.
  • Beard of Evil: Onomatopoeia has a beard. Discussed by Felicity who wonders if its an "evil thing".
  • Big Bad: Edie is the witch behind it all.
  • Big Brother Instinct: An older sibling's protective and devoted nature to the younger one is a recurring theme, be it Laurel to Sara, Dean to Sam, Oliver to Thea, Laurel to Thea, or Mattie to Hanna.
    • Also inverted, Sara and Thea are shown to be very protective of Laurel and Oliver respectively.
  • Big Brother Worship: On the flip side, the way a younger sibling always looks up to their older sibling is also shown with: Thea and Oliver, Thea and Laurel, Sara and Laurel, Hanna and Mattie, and Dante to Ricky- the last one in a decidedly unhealthy way.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Dean and Laurel arrive to save Iris from Onomatopoeia.
    • Dean (and later Nyssa) arrive just when Dante Moretti has overwhelmed Laurel with magic.
  • Both Sides Have a Point: Dinah Drake hates her son-in-law Dean for being partially responsible for her niece's murder, arguing the girl was only a frightened teenager who couldn't control her Sonic Scream. Dean (and Laurel) retorts that teenager or not, the girl killed at least a dozen of people and it wasn't looking like she would be able to rein herself in.
  • Caged Bird Metaphor: Laurel has several tattoos, and the only that is (to Dean at least) perceived as a mistake is the one of a caged bird, which was "a drunken and impulsive mistake while she was at her worst."
  • Came Back Strong: Laurel returns with the Sonic Scream. It has nothing to do with the spell.
  • Came Back Wrong: A complex example. The spell that resurrected Laurel was supposed to be a simple reanimation spell (a living, but soulless and mindless body), her complete resurrection was an accident. Since the spell wasn't supposed to restore her body and soul, it is slowly failing which will end with Laurel's death. Essentially, she was supposed to come back wrong, but came back right, which means she actually came back wrong.
    • Earth-2 Laurel gave her version of Dean a Mercy Kill to prevent the Mark of Cain from corrupting him further. What neither of them knew was that dying is the final requirement to come back as Cain.
    • It isn't entirely clear if Edie actually died and was resurrected with Lazarus water, or nearly dead and was healed with Lazarus water; but regardless, she came back significantly more psychotic.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: Laurel and Dean's neighbors, the Denton family, turn out to be very important.
  • Cliffhanger: Several chapters:
    • Chapter 7 ends with the spell that resurrected Laurel breaking down, meaning she is beginning to die.
    • Chapter 11 ends with the Moretti's abducting Laurel.
    • Chapter 16 has the biggest one yet Dean dies in Laurel's arms.
  • Comically Missing the Point: After Laurel is taken by the witch, Thea freaks out about they're "gonna drag her soul off to the fucking Upside Down!''
    Oliver: (confused) ...Australia?
    Diggle:...That's Down Under.
    Oliver: Then what -
    Diggle: It's from Stranger Things.
    Oliver: Goddamn it.
  • Cold-Blooded Torture: Dean "let Hell back into his head" to slowly torture Darhk before killing him.
  • Cool Big Sis: Laurel to Sara.
    • They aren't actually related, Laurel simultaneously acts as this and a Parental Substitute to Thea.
  • Cut Your Heart Out With A Spoon: Third-person variant. Siren comments that if they call Onomatopoeia "Beardy" (see below), he's likely to "to rip your intestines out through your mouth and shove them up your asshole."
  • Damsel out of Distress: The Moretti's (first) attempt to abduct Laurel goes very badly for them.
  • Dead Guy Junior: Mary is named after Dean's mother.
    • Laurel eventually tells Dean about the son of theirs she had in Heaven, and tells Dean his name was Henry, after his paternal grandfather.
  • Died in Your Arms Tonight: In Chapter 16, Dean dies in Laurel's arms.
  • Didn't Think This Through: Oliver revealing Laurel was the Black Canary was a terrible idea, see Reality Ensues. The statue just made things worse.
    • Also, the bike lanes.
    • Oliver once gave Laurel a bottle very good vodka. After the Queen's Gambit sank, Laurel poured it all down the drain. At the time she thought she was making a big dramatic statement, only to later realize all she did was waste great alcohol.
    • Shortly after Laurel and Dean first started dating, Quentin told him about her mental health issues (depression and anxiety). This was done because he didn't trust Dean, and didn't want him to take advantage. Laurel notes she can understand her father's concern, but nevermind that he had no right to divulge her private medical history without her consent, it was clearly a poor idea.
    "Kind of stands to reason that might not be the safest thing to do. Now the armed drifter has just added your kid's biggest weakness to his arsenal."
  • Disappointed by the Motive: Laurel and Dean are both appalled that the Dentons resurrected Laurel for money.
    Laurel: You did this to me, for money?
  • Dissonant Serenity: Virtually everyone is completely shocked by Laurel's resurrection, except for Diggle, who barely reacts. However, it's made clear he's just as thrown as the rest of them, he just isn't showing it. Felicity, who's freaking right the fuck out, eventually comments on it:
    Felicity: And you! Why are you so calm about this?
    Diggle: [calmly] Who says I'm calm?
    Felicity: Your general demeanor? Your lack of an expression? Take your pick!
    Oliver: You have been oddly silent.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: Earth-2 Dean talks about Azazel "grooming" him in a manner reminiscent of a pedophile.
  • Don't Fear the Reaper: Laurel remembers when Death came for her. He's portrayed as patient, compassionate, reminds her of all the good she has done, tells her she deserves peace and rest, and points out it doesn't matter how long you live, but how you live.
  • Doppelgänger Replacement Love Interest: Some time after Laurel's death, Dean tried to "make it work" with her Earth-2 counterpart and she even "tried to lie" to make it easier, but it failed because the two versions were just too different. Dean even thinks he could try with every single alternate version of her, and it would fail every time because it wouldn't be his Laurel. Also deconstructed, in that it's made clear even trying was a decidedly unhealthy choice.
    • Dean also warns Earth-2 Laurel to not pursue this Earth’s Oliver, as she won’t find her Oliver in him. Though admittedly, this is influenced by his disdain for Oliver. Shortly after meeting Oliver, Earth-2 Laurel quickly decides he's nothing like her Oliver, and is not remotely interested in him.
  • Doting Grandparent: Laurel's grandma adored her, and was very happy when she fell in love and later married Dean. She was also a doting great-grandparent. An author's note later confirms this was at least partially because she recognized Quentin and Dinah preferred Sara, so she wanted to make sure someone was there for Laurel.
    • Completely averted with Dinah, who is as cold and distant to Mary as she is to Laurel. Probably because they're both first born daughters, and as such have the curse.
  • Dumb Muscle: The Moretti brothers, though they don't think so.
  • Dysfunction Junction: Team Arrow is portrayed as a dysfunctional mess at best, and a toxic trainwreck heading for a crash at worst. This doesn't stop them from doing their best to help people, but as Dean constantly points out, it hasn't stopped them from tearing into and dragging each other down over the years.
  • Everyone Has Standards: Quentin pretty much hates Dean, but even he's horrified when he learns that Dean's father treated him like a soldier in his private war.
  • Exact Words: Dean did not say he had a smart plan, only that he had a good one.
  • Face Death with Dignity: Explored from just about every possible angel for Laurel's death in ways that never come off as cowardly but as deeply human. Oliver recalls how when he was trying to get her to the hospital, she quietly begged "I don't want to go"; Dean recalls how in the hospital she put on a brave face to reassure those around her, but deep down she was terrified and probably knew she was about to die. The following says it all:
    Laurel: I don't want to go.
    Death: Very few people do.
    Laurel: I thought I wouldn't be afraid.
    Death: My dear, we're all afraid.
  • Failure Hero: Dean's assessment of Oliver (and Team Arrow), noting their tendency to attract supervillains to the city and then fail to stop them before they commit a terrorist attack.
    • Hanna Moretti goes on a rant about it, citing they've caused a lot, gotten a lot people people killed, but have stopped very little. Felicity and John take offense. Thea however, doesn't disagree.
  • Fix Fic: Laurel being resurrected, front and center.
  • Flashback: So far, each chapter has had at least one providing significant backstory, explaining character relations, and showing how Dean's presence made things happen differently from the show.
  • The Friend Nobody Likes: In a much more somber case of this than usual, Laurel is well aware that when she first started officially working with Team Arrow, the others didn't like her. This was mainly a result of distrust, and "OTA" not wanting new members. In the present, she and Diggle even talk about it:
    Diggle: You know, when you first joined the team. I didn't like you. Did you know that?
    Laurel: Uh, yeah, no shit.
    Diggle: It wasn't you. They were my issues. I shouldn't have put them on you. Oliver... He used to make some stupid decisions when you were involved and I blamed you for that. I thought you were a distraction. That wasn't fair.
    Laurel: It's okay. Really. That was a long time ago. You've more than made up for it.
    Diggle: I want you to know that I trust you.
    Laurel: I do know that.
    Diggle: Do you? When you were gone, your husband pointed out that we may not have treated you all that fairly. Looking back, I - I'm worried he may have been right.
    • Even after the accept her, they don't like Dean, with opinions varying between dismissing him as a civilian and viewing him as an unstable threat. After he pummeled Oliver and killed Darhk, this has only increased.
    • On the flip side, Dean and his extended family all clearly have a very low opinion of Oliver, and the only member of Team Arrow Dean has any trust or respect for is Diggle.
  • Freudian Excuse Is No Excuse: Black Siren has a son who died when the Particle Accelerator blew. The idea that this explains or justifies her actions is immediately mocked by Siren herself; and Laurel agrees that it doesn't excuse her actions, but it's a horrifying and tragic story nonetheless.
    • Further flashbacks make it clear she was a deeply unpleasant person and a con-woman before this, but being tortured by Onomatopoeia and the deaths of virtually everyone she loved really didn't help.
    • Edie has had quite the Trauma Conga Line. When she was a teenager, a car crash killed her best friend/crush and activated the sonic scream. Her family sent her away, ostensibly "for her own protection", forcing her to live on her own. She lost control of her powers accidentally killing fourteen people, had her throat slit by John Winchester and then either resurrected or healed with Lazarus Water (but she didn't get the scream back). This is quite the ordeal, and it in no way excuses her actions. Dean mocks her for thinking it does.
    "You went the extra mile. Thought your pain was unique. No one has ever suffered the way you have suffered. So you're going to make them. Is that it? (laughs mockingly) I've got news for you, sweetheart. You're not fucking special."
  • Giver of Lame Names: Felicity things they should call Onomatopoeia "Beardy". Everyone just stares at her incredulously.
  • Happily Married: While it's made clear that no marriage is entirely without problems, Laurel and Dean clearly deeply love each other, and were happy together before her death.
    Laurel: Do you think we can get that back?
    Dean: We can do anything.
    • Beatrice and Richard Drake (her maternal grandparents) were very happy together. One reviewer even called them "relationship goals".
  • Hate Sink: Ricky Moretti aside from being an arrogant prick, is a abuser of women and children.
  • Hellhole Prison: Black Siren tells Dean just how terrible the Flash's pipeline prison is.
    Black Siren: Those white knights forget to turn those bright, fluorescent lights off in our cells at least half the time. Do you know what it's like to be under those lights 24 hours a day? You think we get any sleep? We get food once a day. Sometimes twice. If they remember. They don't always remember. We don't get fresh air. We don't get to bathe. We get a bed, a toilet, and a shitty meal once a day.
    • Dean, for his part, apparently had the same opinion even before she told him this. He remembers telling Team Flash their prison violates the Geneva Convention and that they're treating the prisoners like pet rocks. He also notes that this isn't a result of them being deliberately malicious or indifferent to the prisoner's plight, it's just that they don't have the staff to run it properly but are unwilling to let anyone else do it.
  • Hesitation Equals Dishonesty: A recurring variation. A character will hesitate before answering a difficult question, and the pause is usually always long enough for the person who asked to work out the answer on their own. The person answering usually doesn't an outright lie, but typically tries to downplay the truth, or gives a non-answer. For example, when Dean tries to calm Laurel down and prevent a panic attack:
    Laurel: I used to have panic attacks?
    Dean: (long pause) Every now and then. Is this helping?
    Laurel: Yeah. Did you - Did we used to do this a lot?
    Dean:: (pause) I wouldn't say a lot. Sometimes. If you needed a little help.
  • Hope Spot: Laurel overpowers Edie, Ricky, three Mooks, and is about to escape when she runs into Onomatopoeia. He effortlessly stops her.
  • Horrifying the Horror: Black Siren was The Dragon to Zoom, a con-artist, terrorist, and an all around dangerous person. She is terrified of her Earth's Dean Winchester, with good reason. Before him, the only people she genuinely feared were Tommy and Thea Merlyn.
  • Hypocrite: Oliver repeatedly refused to train Laurel, even after she joined the team. When he learns the extent of the supernatural world, he immediately requests to be trained in it. Laurel can laugh in incredulity.
  • Impostor Exposing Test: After Laurel first comes home, Dean is said to test with her holy water (Demonic Possession), silver (shapeshifter), and Borax (Leviathan). She passes all of them.
  • Improvised Weapon: When the Morettis arrive to abduct her, Laurel fights them off with a kitchen knife, a toaster, the curtains, a chair, and a flower vase.
  • Insecure Love Interest: A rare mutual example. Dean and Laurel are completely in love with each other, think the other person "saved them", and see one another as the perfect parent; and, due to long-standing insecurities and self-loathing, they see themselves as wholly unworthy of the other's love, and as a mediocre (at best) parent.
  • In Spite of a Nail: Laurel being married to Dean Winchester and having a daughter had relatively little affect on the Arrow timeline, up until her death anyway.
  • Interrupted Intimacy: Thea walks in on Dean and Laurel right when he's about to go down on her. Given that they're both a Parental Substitute to her, its even worse.
    Thea: I can't unsee that. My entire life flashed before my eyes. Why does this always happen to me?
    Dean: Because you don't - Wait, always? How many times have you walked in on people having sex?
    • In chapter 12 this is referenced by Siren, in a decidedly crass way, when Oliver is yelling at Barry for not telling him Siren was working the case, and then Barry hangs up on him and doesn't answer subsequent calls.
    Siren: Give it up, loser. He's not gonna answer. He has better things to do. Like, for instance, his hot girlfriend. He was probably in the middle of dicking her down when you called. (makes a face) What a boner killer.
  • In the Blood: The Canary's Sonic Scream is actually passed through the female bloodline, and it's always the firstborn girl who inherits the potential to activate it.
  • Invulnerable Knuckles: Averted when Laurel is forced to punch her way out of the coffin, and then dig herself out to the surface. The process tears off most of her fingernails and leaves her knuckles bloodied and raw. Dean even worries about nerve damage or that she'll need stitches when he sees her hands.
    • Also, after an enraged Dean beats Oliver's face into "something vaguely resembling hamburger meat", his hand is later stated to be bandaged and causing him pain:
    "should've known Oliver Queen would have an obnoxiously hard head".
  • Jerkass: Black Siren is a deeply unpleasant person, though it's occasionally suggested deliberately she acts worse than she really is.
  • Karmic Death: Damien Darhk murdered Laurel by stabbing her in the lung. After slowly torturing him, Dean killed him by stabbing him in the lung.
    Laurel: That's poetic.
    Dean: I thought so.
  • Lame Comeback: Laurel and Dean start to get hot and heavy (outside her father's apartment no less) only for Sara to deliberately interrupt them, and get them back on track:
    Sara: I get it. You're horny. But you're standing right outside our dad's apartment. Also, you were holding the doughnuts hostage. [takes doughnuts] You can be gross later.
    Dean: You...Your face is gross. [long pause as both Sara and Laurel look at him in disappointment. sighs] It's been a long day.
    Laurel: That's no excuse.
    Sara: Mary could do better than that.
  • Layman's Terms: Mattie eventually provides an excellent simplified explanation for why the spell is failing, which will lead to Laurel's death. "Think of the spell as a rope. Laurel's holding onto it and it's only strong enough to hold her body, but now the soul's jumped on as well and the additional weight is causing the rope to fray."
  • Late-Arrival Spoiler: Obviously, that Laurel died in 11:59 is a major plot point from the get go.
  • Laughably Evil: How evil Black Siren is is up for debate. Nonetheless, her blunt and crass manner and Troll tendencies make her very entertaining.
  • Libation for the Dead: Pointedly averted. In one flashback, Dean brings a bottle of cheap whiskey to Laurel's grave. Nyssa refuses to let him drink there, takes the bottle away, and makes a deliberate point to pour it out away from her grave.
  • The Man Behind the Man: Edie told Damien Darhk to use Quentin, and keep him in line with a threat against Laurel. She did so because she knew this would lead to Laurel's death, which (after she was resurrected) would activate the Scream.
  • Mathematician's Answer: This exchange:
    Oliver: How do you kill a witch?
    Castiel: With precision.
  • Mayor Pain: Oliver is portrayed as a well-meaning but ultimately unqualified and incompetent mayor. Thea runs herself ragged acting as a Chief of Staff and handling his PR.
  • Mr. Seahorse: Discussed, in a Seinfeldian Conversation kind of way, in one flashback. Laurel hates being pregnant, and tells Dean they're only going to have multiple kids if he became a seahorse.
    Dean: What?
    Laurel: Male seahorses carry the eggs.
    Dean: Oh. (Beat) I'm sorry, are you saying you'd fuck a seahorse?
    Laurel: Dean.
    Dean: Kinda sounds like you're saying you would fuck a seahorse.
    Laurel: Obviously in this scenario we're both seahorses.
  • The Mourning After: Dean tried, and failed, to start dating again after Laurel's death. The mere act of removing his wedding ring (to put it on his other hand) nearly made him break down.
    • The one woman he did go on a date with was a widow herself, and the date failed because she was also experiencing this.
  • Noodle Incident: The "hide and seek story" about the time Sara walked in on her parents having sex.
    • For that matter, when Thea walked in on Dean about to go down on Laurel, what did she mean by "Why does this keep happening to me?"
    • Laurel and Dean apparently met during a werewolf hunt, but no further details have yet been given.
    • Laurel at one point mentions "that weekend in Seattle", where a number of near death experiences lead to some very passionate sex between her and Dean.
  • Not Helping Your Case: Dinah eventually tries to buy her way back into Laurel and Sara's good graces through Christmas presents. The problem? While the sweater she bought Sara was a perfect fit, Laurel's was two sizes too big. Laurel isn't remotely surprised.
  • "Not Making This Up" Disclaimer: Two of Felicity's actions in chapter 3 (suggesting they test if it's really Laurel by offering her alcohol and referring to her as "[Oliver's] dead ex") pissed off a lot of readers. Becks Rylynn defended herself by pointing out those are both things Felicity has actually done in the show.
  • Not Me This Time: When Oliver sees Laurel, he immediately assumes Dean is responsible, only for Dean to deny it. Sara also assumes it Dean, who denies it again, and Sara in turn says it wasn't her either. When her parents learn of it, they also think it was Dean, leading to this:
    Dean: (exasperated) Why does everyone keep asking me that? note 
    (Beat as the entire Lance family stare at him incredulously)
    Dean: (rolls his eyes) All right, I can see why people keep asking me that.
  • Not Quite Dead: Edie, as it turns out.
  • Obnoxious In-Laws: Quentin Lance distrusts Dean for his many crimes. It goes further for Dinah Drake - who hates him for being a Hunter who helped to kill her niece.
    • Averted with the Winchester's (and the rest of Dean's family), who clearly love Laurel.
  • One True Love: Dean and Laurel to each other.
    • Oliver also views Laurel as this. Thoroughly deconstructed, in that he's not particularly happy about it, well aware its hopeless and pathetic (she's a married woman, and a mother), and completely unfair to every other woman he's tried to have a relationship with (which he also knows). Dean isn't happy about it either, and doesn't trust Oliver not to try something.
  • Outliving One's Offspring: Discussed, in that its mentioned Laurel's death was the third time her parents went through this. (Even if none of them stuck, and the first time Sara wasn't really dead). As a mother herself, Laurel has no idea how they survived it.
    • The Earth-2 versions of Laurel and Dean both lost their children to the particle accelerator explosion.
    • Edie's parents were thought to have gone through this, but it later turns out her mother knows she's still alive. Her father however genuinely believes her to be dead.
    • Earth-2 Sam drowned when he was little.
    • Matteo Moretti is killed by Earth-2Dean. His mother is soulless at the time, and (seemingly) can't show any emotion over it. His father knew it would happen and did nothing to prevent it.
  • Parental Favouritism: Laurel remembers her mother being very cold towards her and flat-out doting on Sara. As Dinah knew her eldest daughter had the potential to become a metahuman, she refused to grow attached to her in the eventuality of Laurel turning into a danger.
    • Also inverted, Laurel is a self admitted Daddy's Girl and as such tends to forgive her father's actions more quickly than her mother's, in an attempt to preserve that relationship.
  • Parental Sexuality Squick: Immediately following the Interrupted Intimacy above, Sara arrives and (thoroughly amused) deliberately makes the situation worse for poor Thea.
    Sara: It's been like half a year, dude. Of course they're gonna fuck tonight. Probably more than once. In different positions and everything.
    Thea: Oh, god. Please don't talk about them fucking in different positions.
    Sara: Okay, they'll just stay in the one position.
    Dean: Did you think we were sexless beings?
    Thea: Yes!
    Dean: Oh. Right. Well, okay then. You're right. We don't have sex. In fact, we're virgins. Mary was an immaculate conception. Better?
    • Sara also starts to talk about the time she walked in on her parents having sex, only to be cut off by Laurel
      Laurel: Oh, please don't tell the hide and seek story again. I want to have sex tonight. I don't want to think about my parents.
      Sara: Eh, point taken.
  • Parental Substitute: Dean and Laurel both act as such to Thea. Dean even has to remind himself at one point that Thea isn't actually his daughter.
  • Personal Effects Reveal: Following Laurel's death, Oliver packs up the Black Canary outfit and gathers all her personal items in the lair to give to her family. Its a horrifically agonizing affair and he considers keeping something for himself (ultimately deciding to keep her scarf), nearly breaks down when he finds a picture of her daughter, and makes a point to treat everything "with the tenderness he should have shown Laurel while she was here."
    "He puts it all in the box and tries not to think about how fucked up it is that someone's whole life here can be summed up in a box full of random crap. It's not even a big box."
  • Pet the Dog: An Author's Note confirms it was Death himself, not one of his Reapers, that came for Laurel, as a sign of respect and as a favor to Dean.
    • In a flashback, Nyssa refuses to let Dean drink at Laurel's grave.
  • Politically Incorrect Hero: Oliver is an abelist (specifically against addicts), something Laurel, Sara, and Dean are all well aware of. Oliver himself doesn't seem to realize it, or at least is in denial about it.
  • Polyamory: It's indicated that Laurel, Dean, and Tommy were in some sort of three-way relationship together.
  • Pop-Cultural Osmosis Failure: Oliver has never heard of PAW Patrol, to Mary's utter horror.
  • Precious Puppy: Nyssa has an adorable golden retriever puppy named Aida. Turns out she actually got it for Mary...but didn't realize that before you get a child a puppy, you need to get parent's permission first. Once Dean vetoed the idea, she wound up keeping the puppy for herself.
  • Pretender Diss: Edie isn't a true born witch, and instead has to steal powers from those who actually have it. Eventually, Hanna spells it out for her:
    "You're not a witch. You're just a tourist."
  • Properly Paranoid: Dean is absolutely right that their neighbors cannot be trusted.
    • In a flashback set between Seasons 2&3, Laurel tells Dean she's fairly certain the members of Team Arrow don't like her (she's also thinks they don't dislike her, but is sure that they don't like her); and she was only invited to a team BBQ because she walked in while they were talking about it, and they felt they had to invite her. Another flashback reveals she's absolutely right on both counts.
  • Pull the I.V.: Subverted. When Laurel wakes up and sees she's on an IV, and thinking its painkillers, panics and tries to rip it out. She's stopped by Diggle, who assures her its just fluids, which she desperately needs. Diggle carefully removes the IV at a later point.
  • Reality Ensues: Vigilantism is illegal, so there's a lot of fallout to Laurel being revealed as the Black Canary: the life insurance she had is denied to her family, as she died "committing a crime"; the courts are considering overturning her convictions (which would put a lot of bad people back on the street) as her work is tainted, the police started an investigation into Dean, and considered charging him as an accomplice (which would have left Mary alone); and thrust her entire family into the spotlight, something she worked very hard to avoid.
    • Live Through This shows an aspect of a death of a family member not always seen: Dean has to cancel Laurel's gym membership, a highly difficult process since the account isn't in his name.
    • Punching your way out of your own coffin and the digging your away out of your own grave is an immensely difficult (and traumatizing) thing to do. Multiple characters have no idea how Laurel did it.
  • "Reason You Suck" Speech: After Laurel gets taken by the witch, Quentin tries to call Dean out on not protecting her properly, only for Dean to shut him down with a vicious speech, laying out how this is all ultimately his fault.
    Dean: I should've thought of something. I should've protected her. But, (Tranquil Fury) people in glass houses shouldn't throw stones, sir. You should remember that. The only reason she's in this mess is because she died, and the only reason she died is because of you. It didn't happen because she was the Black Canary or because she was an ADA. It happened because she was your daughter. You painted the target on her back. It was always going to be her and that was because Darhk chose you. And you could've let us know at any time that you were in trouble. You could have told us what he was doing. But you didn't. You chose not to. You waited until it was too late. You worked for him, you got in too deep, you betrayed him, and he killed her to get back at you. She'll never talk about that. Never hold it against you because she never holds anything against you, so - congratulations. You got away with it. But that's what happened. I fucked up tonight. I can admit that. But I didn't get her killed. I didn't sit in my drunken grief for five years blaming her for what happened to Sara and calling her every name in the book. That was you, Quentin. That was all you. Hate me all you want for being a shitty son in law, but don't come into my house and start spewing your hypocritical bullshit about how I failed her when you're the one who has spent years destroying her without a second goddamn thought.
  • Recovered Addict: Dean and Laurel are both recovering alcoholics, with Laurel also being a recovering drug addict. A great deal of emphasis is placed on how staying sober is a constant struggle.
  • Resurrection Sickness: Laurel is resurrected in her coffin, forcing her dig herself out in a physically and mentally traumatizing experience. She spends some time with Trauma-Induced Amnesia, is dehydrated and starving (given that she hasn't had anything to eat or drink in 7 months) but can't keep anything down, has a seizure when her memories come rushing back all at once, and and has a brand new Sonic Scream superpower she can't control. Even after wares off, she still can't keep anything down and gets tired easily. Some of this can get explained as "resurrection jet-lag", but some of it also the spell breaking down.
  • Retired Badass: Officially, Dean has retired from hunting and is happily a stay-at-home dad. His Roaring Rampage of Revenge proves he hasn't lost his touch, and recent events have ensured that he's forced back into the supernatural world.
  • The Reveal: The Dentons are witches and are the ones who resurrected Laurel. They're also actually named Moretti.
    • The Sonic Scream is a several hundred year old curse placed on the Ellard/Drake family, only first born daughters have it, and it requires a trauma to activate.
    • Onomatopoeia is Earth-2 Dean, branded by the Mark of Cain. And he's working for the witch.
    • Cousin Edie is the witch.
  • Rise from Your Grave: Laurel is resurrected inside her coffin, so she's forced to do this. Described in horrifying and agonizing detail. By the time she gets to the surface, she's torn her knuckles, lost several fingernails, covered in cuts, lost a shoe, and her hair's a mess. Dean later reflects on what a horrifying and lasting trauma this is, see here, and true to his predictions Laurel is left noticeably traumatized by it.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Dean and Nyssa went on after Damien Darhk murdered Laurel. The former killing Darhk and the latter wiping out the Ghosts.
  • Running Gag: People hassling Oliver for not having seen Stranger Things.
    • Oliver had bike lanes to Orchid Bay installed in an effort to reduce gas emissions. The endless problems they've caused (mostly increasing traffic) and Dean's hatred of them are frequently brought up.
  • Saying Sound Effects Out Loud: Onomatopoeia. Though unlike his comics counterpart, he eventually does speak normally.
  • Secretly Wealthy: Thea, as it turns out. Though Laurel, Oliver, and Dean knew.
    You guys do realize I inherited the entire Merlyn fortune, right? Despite the scandal, it's not a small amount. Sometimes I feel like you vastly underestimate how rich I am. It's a stupid amount of money for one person.
  • Serial Killer: Onomatopoeia again.
  • Shell-Shocked Veteran: Many characters.
    • Laurel is still traumatized by her death, especially as she effectively missed the seven months she was dead. To her, her death is a recent thing. Digging her way out of her own grave was no picnic either. She's also haunted and outraged by how misogynistic and pointless was. On top of that, she has an anxiety and depressive disorder.
    • Dean is still haunted by memories of hell, both the constant torture (especially by Alistair) and when he tortured others. He is also still trying to come to terms with the many friends and family members he's lost over the years.
    • Sara is still recovering from by being raped by Anthony Ivo, and her time in the League of Assassins.
    • Oliver constantly feels the loss of Tommy, his mother, and Laurel (prior to her resurrection anyway), is further haunted by his inability to help his little sister, and is seemingly aware of his failure to properly safeguard his city. All of this has left a man full of regret, and haunted by failure and loss.
    • Earth-2 Dean was an actual soldier. His war experiences left him a bitter antigovernmental and anti-military man. The deaths of his brother (in childhood) and daughter (recently) certainly didn't help. Becoming Cain has, if anything, made it all worse.
  • Sickening Sweethearts: Dean and Laurel, according to some.
    "It is...really, really obnoxious, to be honest. Stupid happy people flaunting their functional marriage in the faces of people who are too damaged and broken and afraid or just too hashtag forever alone to ever have something like that. Inconsiderate is what it is."
  • Something Only They Would Say: While Dean, Oliver, and Sara all quickly decide it really that this really is Laurel, Felicity insists they test her somehow. She initially decides to do it by offering her a glass of wine, only for Sara to flip out insisting with the trauma she's been through, that's unacceptably cruel. Dean eventually settles on this:
    Dean: Laur, imagine it's the Superbowl. The Seahawks are playing. We're throwing our annual party.
    Laurel: We throw amazing Superbowl parties.
    Dean: Everything's going great. And then I tell you I'm rooting for the other team. What do you do next?
    Laurel: (disgusted) I immediately file for divorce. note 
    Dean: That's my girl.
    Diggle: Well, sounds like her to me.
  • Smug Snake: The Morettis are way too cocky for people who are at best, Dumb Muscle.
    • Edie herself is pretty smug for someone who has had very little go to plan so far, hasn't realized someone in her organization is working against her, and loses in a fist fight to an untrained teenage girl.
  • Stranger in a Familiar Land: After spending 7 months dead, Laurel returns to a world, family, and friends that had to move on and live their lives without her. It is especially jarring with her family, where (at first) she can only watch as Dean and Thea (their nanny) interact with and care for Mary, using the co-parenting system they were forced to form when she was dead.
  • Superhero Paradox: Discussed. Dean notes it isn't truly Oliver's presence as Green Arrow that attracts supervillains, but instead that he consistently fails to stop the yearly terrorist attacks. By failing to prevent the attacks, he's sending out a message that he's incompetent and the city is ripe for the taking; and supervillains come to the city they'll likely have success in. As a result, Star City is a Dying Town.
  • Suspect Is Hatless: The only description there is of Onomatopoeia is that he's male, White, around six feet tall, and his voice is "deep, hoarse, possibly either a Midwestern or Southern accent". Dean points out how many people that fits, its even a good description of him. That's because it is him, Onomatopoeia is Earth-2 Dean.
  • Sympathetic P.O.V.: The author is upfront about her disdain for Oliver Queen and this is reflected any time the POV is from Dean, who openly hates him. However, sections told from the POV of Sara or Laurel show a more complex look, as they both see him as a friend despite being aware of his many flaws. The POV from Oliver himself portrays him as a man haunted by his failures, full of regret, well aware he treated Laurel terribly, and genuinely wants to do good, even if he doesn't succeed, ultimately showing him as a flawed but still deeply human character.
  • Take That!: Dean and Charlie have a conversation where they variously dis Jeremy Renner, Jennifer Lawrence, and Nicolas Cage.
    • Laurel takes great pleasure in the fact that Fox News hates her.
    • Many taken at the source material:
      • The story takes a deeply negative look at they very nature of Laurel's death. Oliver outing her as the Black Canary (and her own funeral no less) and the statue he then had built of her are also treated as the worst possible decisions he could have made.
      • Multiple characters are convinced that sooner or later Oliver would have replaced Laurel by having someone else become the Black Canary (which he does do in the show). That he would replace her with a random person is consistently portrayed as terrible thing, and indicative of how little she ultimately meant to him.
      • Oliver himself is insulted at the very idea he would replace her. So either even he recognizes that would in fact be a terribly thing to do, or he's in denial about it.
      • Nyssa at one point comments on how despite multiple people speaking well of Laurel and claiming that they'd do anything for her, none of them even tried to resurrect her.
      • The No Sympathy Laurel is typically shown is brought up when Nyssa notes that Laurel's tendency to insist she's okay when she clearly isn't is most likely a result of the way people treat her when she admits she is not okay. (This is even an In-Universe Take That!, as Nyssa is quite clearly criticizing everyone).
      • Dean is contemptuous over Oliver's continued refusal to kill Malcolm Merlyn.
      • The much vaunted "OTA" is dismissed as not being True Companions but instead a toxic clique, and it's pointed out that having a team within a team is a terrible and dangerous idea.
  • Thicker Than Water: A twisted variant. Dante puts his older brother Ricky before everything, including his own children.
    • Also discussed between Diggle and Laurel, he says that his trust in Andy led to her death and she counters people died when she brought Sara back to life.
    Diggle: I put Andy before the team.
    Laurel: I put Sara before everything.
    Diggle: Laurel, I let him manipulate me into thinking that he had changed and you died because of that.
    Laurel: And people died because of what I did to Sara. I haven't forgotten that. She killed people. Those women who died - Their blood is on my hands because of choices I made. Sara put Thea in the hospital. Thea. That happened because of me. Believe me, I understand how you're feeling.
  • This Is Unforgivable!: When Oliver learns that witch orchestrated Laurel's murder, he immediately asks "How do we kill a witch?"
    • Laurel meanwhile decides the worst thing Edie did was enter Mary's dreams and manipulate her into doing her bidding, and vows "she will burn for that".
    • As far as Dean's concerned, even if the Undertaking and Tommy's death didn't qualify (and they do), Malcolm brainwashing Thea into killing Sara certainly does.
    • The Sonic Scream is passed through the bloodline to first born daughters. Learning that Dinah knew this but never told Laurel even after Mary was born pretty much destroys Laurel's already crappy relationship with her. It might have destroyed Sara's relationship with Dinah as well.
  • This Means War!: Retroactively mused on. After her resurrection, Laurel isn't very surprised to learn that Dean hunted down, tortured, and killed her murdered in revenge.
    "You can't murder a Winchester, leave the other ones standing, and have the audacity to expect to live. Do you know what Winchesters consider the murder of a family member? An act of war."
  • Token Evil Teammate: Black Siren winds up working with the heroes, largely out of self-interest. And a paycheck.
  • Too Much Information: Black Siren speaks fondly of Onomatopoeia's beard, saying its a lot softer than you'd think. Doesn't even leave rug burn...
  • Tragic Keepsake: Black Siren once escaped her cell in the Flash's Pipeline prison, but was caught when she tried to reclaim her suit. Upon hearing this, Dean immediately concludes she wasn't trying to get the suit, but something in the suit. He's right, she was after her wedding ring and a picture of her dead son. Laurel makes a point to return both items to her.
  • Trauma-Induced Amnesia: Laurel comes Back from the Dead with amnesia. Initially she's in a daze, and barely seems to recognize anyone, but seeing her daughter makes her "wake up". However most of her memories are still gone, and slowly get "triggered": seeing a necklace makes remember Tommy (and his death), kissing Dean makes her remember their wedding, and seeing Sara brings back all her memories all at once giving her a seizure.
  • Traumatic Superpower Awakening: After coming Back from the Dead, Laurel can use the Sonic Scream. It's actually needed for any girl of her bloodline having the potential to wield it. And the witch had Laurel murdered and then resurrected specifically to force the power to awaken.
  • Troll: Siren likes to antagonize people and deliberately reveals secrets to see the arguments said revelations cause. She's also decidedly blunt and crass, seemingly for amusement the discomfort and or disgust it causes.
  • True Companions: Dean, Sam, and Castiel all have a strong and effortless bond. The trust between them and Thea and Laurel is absolute as well, but they don't get the chance to work together as much.
    • Largely deconstructed with Team Arrow. Laurel notes that for all the trust Oliver, Diggle, and Felicity have, they also bring out the worst in one another. As far as Dean's concerned, they never made Laurel a real part of the team. Laurel herself later tells Diggle that she, and in fact every member of the team not "OTA" felt like an outsider.
    Laurel: Imagine putting in 100%, giving it your all, working your ass off to be part of a team and then realizing that the team you joined won't have your back because you're not part of the inner circle.
    Diggle: Is that really how you felt?
    Laurel: I respect you. I respect all of you. I love all of you. But OTA isn't really a team anymore. It's a clique.
  • Unintentionally Unsympathetic: In-Universe example: When Dinah Drake finally reveals that she 'never trusted' Dean for his involvement in her niece's death, and accuses that she always knew he would bring trouble for Laurel, Dean and Laurel both rightly explode and point out that she sat on that information for years and never brought it up after they first met, when Dean and Laurel were dating, or before they married. She waited until she knew it would hurt Dean the most to voice it, and ignored that if he had been anything like what she accused him of being, she would have let her daughter marry a murderer without trying to warn her. Needless to say, Dinah doesn't get the reaction she expected.
  • Vengeance Feels Empty: Dean eventually tortured and killed Damien Darhk to avenge Laurel, and not only does he not feel better, but the ease with which he does it has him conclude that Darhk "was a pathetic weasel who would have been dead months ago if the team that was supposed to be watching her back hadn't been so wishy washy."
  • Villains Want Mercy: This exchange says as much, when Laurel asks about her death.
    Laurel: I know this is going to sound strange but do you know if he made me beg? Before he - Before. Did he make me beg for my life?
    Dean: No. He didn't make you beg for your life. But I made him beg for his.
  • Wacky Cravings: Chapter 1 has a flashback to Laurel's pregnancy, where she wakes up at 3am and "needs" a milkshake and a hot dog with sauerkraut, nacho cheese, and extra mustard "from this specific bodega across from this specific park." They both go to get it, and when Dean asks if they can go home now, Laurel gets upset.
    "What if I'm still hungry after I finish this?"
    • Later she, after having given birth, and discusses this with a pregnant Lyla.
    Lyla: The other day I cried because I wanted chocolate cake and I didn't have any so I have no idea how I'm feeling.
    Laurel: (chuckles) I've been there. When I was eight months pregnant, I had this intense craving for fried chicken from Ezell's slathered in honey mustard. I sent my husband out to get it at like eight thirty at night and he came home with the chicken...and honey. Not honey mustard. Just plain honey. No mustard in sight. I sat down on my kitchen floor and cried. Like, full on sobbed.
    Lyla: But did he rectify his mistake?
    Laurel: No, that was the worst part. By the time he got the food home to me, Ezell's was closed.
    Lyla: That might be the saddest story I've ever heard.
  • Wacky Marriage Proposal: Dean and Laurel had a decidedly unconventional proposal. He got her grandmother's engagement ring (which was literally thrown at him), but couldn't work up the nerve to actually propose. Eventually, she got tired of waiting and (right after sex no less) asked:
    Laurel: So you gonna lock this shit down or what, bro?
    Dean: (after he stops laughing) Sure, why not?
    • Then they high-fived. He gave her the ring itself the next day at breakfast.
  • Would Hurt a Child: Ricky Moretti has no problem murdering children. Including (setting up) his own nephew to be murdered.
  • You Didn't Ask: Felicity is surprised to learn that Laurel gardens. Laurel inwardly muses that she, and indeed most members of Team Arrow, have really never asked any details about her life.
    • A sort of third-person variant: Sara is dumbfounded to learn Oliver had no idea Mary attends physical therapynote 
    Sara: You [and Laurel] worked side by side for almost two years and you didn't know her daughter has physical therapy twice a month?
    Oliver: (defensively) She never told me. (Beat) I never asked. I guess I never asked much about her family at all.
    • In Chapter 12, Thea casually offers to send Sara and Sam a private jet so they can return more quickly, only to get incredulous stares from everyone.
    Sara: You have a private jet?!
    Thea: (genuinely confused) Of course I have a private jet.
    Sara: This whole time?! Thea, we had to fly coach. I sat next to a guy who puked for the entire four hours and Sam's a fucking tree and YOU HAVE A PRIVATE JET?!
    Thea: You could have asked.

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