Being alive again feels even less like a homecoming than high school Octobers - with their football games she’d spent kissing pretty girls in ripped jeans behind the bleachers and dances where she’d drink just little enough alcohol that her father couldn’t be sure of her intoxication by the time she got home - ever did.
She’s not sure that home will ever feel like home again. There’s still something broken inside her, something achey and awful, a darkness she doesn’t think she’ll ever get out.
But even though it’s dark, it’s dark like pavement in summertime; it’s fire, blue, in the daytime, and warm coals when the sun goes down.
It’s the city she loves seeming to be en route to ruin, but seeing Oliver’s name on posters and buttons attesting the legitimacy of his mayoral candidacy. It’s barely recognizing herself in the mirror, cool eyes roaming every inch in search of something she can’t reach, but seeing Laurel with her mask and her canary cry and feeling all too alive to explain.
It’s waking up in a cold sweat, visions of Malcolm Merlyn and Ra’s al Ghul and a demonic Thea far too close, and feeling Laurel’s hand touch her shoulder, a soft ‘shh’ pulling her backwards into a little spoon, drifting back to sleep ensconced in her sister’s arms.
It’s the gentle kisses and the rough ones, the nights they’re up late in bed, knowing full well how wrong this is supposed to be but also how right it is.