"They weren't always like this."
Felicity freezes, hands hovering over the freshly stitched wound on Laurel's side. Laurel isn't looking at her; her eyes are fixed on the wings sprouting from her shoulders. The same ones Felicity's eyes had kept flickering to as she patched her up.
She hadn't meant to stare, but she wasn't used to seeing them. Laurel prefers to keep them hidden, out of the way during her daily life. She only sees them on occasion, usually when Laurel returns from patrol for the night.
"They used to be pure white. I was so proud of them. I used to show them all the time back in high school." Laurel has a wistful look in her eyes as she speaks, a hint of a smile curling her lips.
The smile fades with her next words.
"But then I lost them." She doesn't say how, but Felicity can guess. "And when they came back … they looked like this."
Her eyes drift over Laurel's wings again, trying to imagine them the way she'd said they had looked.
"They used to be beautiful." Laurel's voice cracks on the final word, and Felicity sees a tear run down her cheek.
She reaches out without thinking, running her fingers along the wing closest to her, taking in the white feathers speckled with grays and black. The way she's always known them.
"They're still beautiful."