As he lay awake listening to Malcolm’s steady breathing, Ianto could feel it in his bones; time was changing for Tommy and he hoped that his fate would change as well. A new player had entered the game and his presence would change Starling City forever. At this point in time Ianto didn't really care what Slade Wilson had planned for Oliver, his crew and Starling City. As long as the man brought no harm to either Malcolm or Tommy, Ianto saw no reason to interfere in Slade's schemes.
While it was clear that Oliver had taken Ianto’s advice about staying away from Laurel, Tommy had admitted when Malcolm asked his son about his relationship with the woman that Oliver seemed to have had a change of heart and wasn’t fighting for Laurel but instead he seemed to have accepted that Tommy and Laurel were perfect for one another. Of course Ianto also thought that it Oliver’s change of heart could have quite a bit to do with Felicity, it was well known that the two had been hanging out together more and more.
But as he’d studied Tommy over dinner that night, Ianto had seen the lingering doubts the younger man still had about his own standing in the relationship. It was obvious, at least to Ianto, that Tommy honestly didn’t know if Laurel truly loved him or if she was settling for him. Ianto sighed quietly and glanced down at his sleeping lover; for Malcolm’s sake he hoped that Tommy made the right choice in the end.
Setting aside Tommy’s struggles for the moment Ianto knew he had to keep his eyes firmly and closely on Malcolm and Oliver's fight; no matter how Ianto looked at it or what slight changes he made it always ended the same way. The sight of Malcolm falling at the hands of Oliver was absolutely unacceptable and there was no way that Ianto was going to let anything happen to the man he loved.
Unfortunately, Oliver hadn’t listened to a word Ianto had said when he’d warned him to stay out of the Dark Archer’s plans. Oliver Queen was still being as big of a pain in the ass as he’d been as a head-strong teen-ager.
Laurel Lance was starting to think that she was cursed when it came to love, given that Tommy was standing in her apartment breaking up with her. "Tommy, I know we haven't had the easiest of times but I really think that we could make us work!" Laurel pleaded with Tommy to change his mind. “Please don’t do this!”
With a heavy heart, Tommy looked at Laurel, really looked and he saw the same girl that he had fallen in love with all those years ago, he did love her truly and honestly. He had waited patiently for her to notice him, longing for the day when he would get a chance to be with her, to make her see that he loved her in ways Oliver never could. But Tommy had finally come to accept the truth: Laurel would never love him the way that he loved her.
As far as Laurel was concerned, Oliver would always come first in her heart and after talking with Ianto and then having that same conversation reinforced by Slade Wilson Tommy knew that he couldn't live with being her second choice any longer. "I have been in love with you for years, Laurel, but you never saw me as anything but a friend. It’s always been Oliver and it still is.”
“No!” Laurel exclaimed. “That’s not true, Tommy!”
Tommy ignored her protests and continued. “Oliver is the one who comes first in your heart and we both know it. I could have accepted that he was your first love and that a part of you will always love him if I thought that I really had a bigger place in your heart. But I don't and that fact has been made crystal clear since Oliver came home.” The tears streaming down Laurel’s face made Tommy feel like a real bastard but they didn’t deter him.
“You're still in love with him, Laurel and if we stay together we are going to end up hating one another. You’re gonna hate me for not being Oliver and I’ll hate you for never really loving me. It's better for all three of us to end this now with our friendship still intact."
Laurel choked on the huge lump in her throat as she tried to fight back the tears flowing down her cheeks; she knew what Tommy was saying was the truth. "I do love you, Tommy, never doubt that."
"But as a friend or something more?" Tommy asked and a watery smile came to his face when Laurel couldn't meet his eyes and answer. "Trust me, it’s better this way; goodbye Laurel, I hope that whatever happens you find some happiness. I'm sorry that I wasn't enough for you." Leaning forward Tommy pressed one final kiss to Laurel's cheek and turned towards the door.
Laurel raised her hand and covered her cheek as though trying to save Tommy’s last kiss. She watched as he walked away from her, knowing that she could have called him back at any time but it wouldn't change anything. She knew she wouldn't magically love Tommy more than Oliver just as she knew that Tommy was right; it was better to end this now before they ended up hating one another.
"Tommy has just broken up with Laurel," Ianto informed Malcolm as he watched his lover practice with his bow. His eyes were blazing with lust as he watched the man’s muscles ripple with every movement; ‘the man is truly poetry in motion.’
"Good, I never thought that Laurel was good enough for my son anyway. What have you heard about this mysterious Slade? He and Tommy have gotten quite chummy lately. What role will he play in Tommy's future?" Malcolm might not always act like it but his son's happiness was one of the most important things in the world to him. Malcolm notched one last arrow, released it and scored another bull’s eye before placing his bow down. He watched as Ianto's gaze went distant while he looked into the future, the older man shivered as he felt Ianto's powers fill the room. He had to admit it was always an arousing sight to see Ianto using his powers and knowing that Ianto belonged to him.
Satisfied with the information the Rift showed him, Ianto refocused on his lover. "Slade and Tommy's paths were never met to cross but now that they have it will forever change Tommy and Oliver's friendship. The bond they once shared will never be the same. The future will depend on the nature which Slade and Tommy's relationship takes," Ianto informed Malcolm.
"That is good enough for me, now I have a city to save and I need a dose of good luck," Malcolm purred as he moved towards Ianto with seduction pouring from every movement. “Now where do you suppose I left my lucky Ianto’s foot?”
Ianto’s grin turned wicked as Malcolm placed his arms against the wall on either side of him, effectively boxing him but before the Welshman could say anything, Malcolm claimed his lips in a lustful kiss. Yes, based on everything the Rift had shown him, Ianto knew that after tonight nothing would ever be the same for any of them and Ianto just hoped that those he cared so much about survived.
"That couldn't have been easy for you, how are you feeling now?" Slade asked once Tommy finished telling him that he had broken up with Laurel. Slade had actually surprised himself when he struck up a true friendship with Tommy; the young man was not what he had been expecting and that threw him a little. He had originally planned to use Tommy as just one more another way of getting to Oliver, an easy way to cause him pain. He hadn't planned on actually liking the young man.
"Is it wrong of me to feel lighter?" Tommy didn't know why he called Slade and asked him to meet at the same park bench where they first met but he needed a friend to talk to and considering the circumstances, that wasn't Oliver at this time.
"Not at all.” Slade shook his head. “You were mentally and emotionally weighed down knowing that you’re not the one she really loves and that kind of knowledge would hurt and damage anyone. In my humble opinion, you made the right choice in putting yourself first for a change. So now what?"
"I need a fresh start, one a way from Starling City where I can start over, someplace where I’m not reminded of my past or my mistakes.” There was a forlorn yet determined tone to Tommy’s voice. “But before that there is something I need to do. Starling City may hold a lot of painful memories for me but before I can leave it behind I have to make sure that it will survive what’s coming." Tommy dearly loved his dad and he had grown quite fond of Ianto but that didn't mean that he was just going to leave when his father was planning on bringing his hometown to its knees.
Slade raised an eyebrow and cocked his head slightly as he considered the implications of what Tommy had just said. "Do I even want to know what you mean?" He’d heard rumblings through the underground that there was something big in store for Starling City but none of his contacts had been able to learn what it was to happen and when or who was behind it. Slade barely managed to hide a frown; it looked like that Tommy had some knowledge that he didn't. ‘I have to find out what he knows.’
With a shrug of his shoulders, Tommy shook his head. "I can't tell you much but trust me, if there’s nothing keeping you here in Starling City then you should leave, because things are going to get bad, really bad really quickly and I don't want you caught in the crossfire.” He looked at Slade solemnly. “You've been a friend when I’ve really needed one and I need to know that you’re going to be safe. Please, Slade, I'm asking you get out of Starling City before tonight."
"What about you? If it's going to be as bad as you say it is why aren't you leaving?" Slade found himself asking.
Again, Tommy shrugged his shoulders. "Because Starling City is still my home and I can't watch her burn without trying to save her.”Slade still didn't know what was happening tonight but there was no way that he was letting Tommy out of his sight; he didn't know why the young man had come mean so much to him but he was determined not to lose him like he lost Shadow.