A lesser known tiara that once belonged to the Romanian royal family, probably to Queen Marie, now a property of country’s Central Bank.
Queen Marie of Romania was the eldest daughter of Prince Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh, and Grand Duchess Maria Alexandrovna of Russia.
The tiara (platinum, diamonds, sapphires, rubies, emeralds,) is exhibited at the National History Museum in Bucharest.
The Royal Family had a relatively large holding of jewels and other precious artifacts, most of them unfortunately lost because were stored in Moscow during the WWI and fell into the hands of the subsequent Bolshevik regime.
Whew, I just typed this up in the last two hours. I hope it’s not awful. Unbeta’d.
The overgrown grass and weeds crunched under the weight of
Oliver’s steps, having already dried out in the June heat.
The familiar feeling of guilt washed over him as he took in
the overgrown landscape around him, evidence of his neglect towards the Queen
Today he had bigger issues to deal with than guilt. Today he
had to deal with fear, all-consuming fear and unlike anything he’d felt since
the Gambit went down so many years ago.
So Oliver went to the only place, the only person, who might
be able to help him, relate to him in the slightest.
Oliver sat on the ground and pulled his knees up to his
chest as he leaned his head against the tombstone over an empty grave.
With a bit of venom in his movements, Oliver tossed aside an
old, dried up bouquet and watched it land on the gravesite next to his father’s,
anger towards his mother bubbling just under the overwhelming fear that had
been mounting for the past few weeks.
His mother had taken another secret to the grave with her,
one that Oliver discovered three and a half weeks ago when a social worker
showed up at his and Felicity’s flat in the city, a ten year old boy, with his
blue eyes, in tow.
Felicity had been a saint since then, playing the middle man
and helping smooth out conversations between him and Connor.
And when he did see her waiver, the anxiety of being someone’s
quasi step-mother peeking out beneath her collected exterior, she would turn to
her mother who had become more and more of a presence in Felicity’s life since
the past year’s debacle with Felicity’s father.
Oliver didn’t have that, and he had come to believe after
years of fighting and surviving, that he would never need to hear the
comforting and reassuring words of a parent.
But he was wrong, so wrong.
What he wouldn’t give to hear the deep tenor of his father’s
voice, even if it was in the form of a reprimand for screwing up again, because
behind every lecture was the sure and steady message that he could be more, do
more, be better. For a moment, he would be able to feel like a child again,
unburdened and calmed by the knowledge of his father’s ability to catch him if
He was envious of that, especially today when Felicity was
doting on her mother for playing the role of mother and father, worthy of both
days set aside to celebrate parents.
Now he was in the role of father. Now he had to be the
comforter and the calm presence to a frightened ten year old.
Except how could he parent when he was the one frightened?
How could he be somebody’s entire world when he’d allowed the world of his
friends, his family, and his city, to be upturned repeatedly?
The answer, he sought from a man long since gone from this
“Dad…tell me what to do, dad.” Oliver pleaded, his eyes
locked on rough and calloused hands folded together in his lap.
Those hands had brought so much death, feeling the life
source drain from a fellow human’s body on more occasions than he could count
What good were these hands?
“How do I hold him? How can I tell him that everything will
be alright when there are more and more monsters in this world, when I watched
half the Glades fall, when the city was almost nuked and destroyed by super
soldiers, when a single man almost
killed the entire city with a virus, when I almost lost her to her own father…her
Oliver’s thoughts spiraled as he waited for an answer that
would never come.
“You just have to be present, Queen.” Came a voice seemingly
out of nowhere.
Oliver startled, searching for the voice. When he looked to his
right over his shoulder, he could see legs covered by the dark blue of a
pleated uniform belonging to the police captain.
“How’d you know I was here?” Oliver asked, clearing his
throat and trying to push down emotions that were swirling just below the
surface as he stood.
“Well, at lunch when Connor tried to wish you a happy father’s
day, it was obvious you were scared shitless. It was written all over your
face. How you managed to conceal your identity all those years, I’ll never
know.” Quentin said with the shake of his head.
When Oliver didn’t have anything to say to that, the police
“Felicity knew you’d probably be here and I thought, heck,
maybe this old father of two might be able to help Starling’s very own hero
with something other than a drug bust.” Quentin offered with the shrug of his
Oliver scoffed at his words, at the very idea of Quentin
Lance, of all people, calling him a hero.
“I think we’ve both established I’m not a hero, Detective,
much less a father.”
“That’s the thing, Oliver, being a hero and being a parent
are more alike than you may think.”
“Yea, and I’m not a
hero.” Oliver ground out stubbornly.
Lance put his hand on Oliver’s shoulder, squeezing it in
that patented fatherly way.
“I may not have always been able to see it, but you have
been present, been here forthis city ever since you got off that
god forsaken island. You’ve called the city out when it was allowing injustices
to occur. You’ve been a steady reassuring voice in times of chaos and fear. You’ve
been a protector, a guardian against those wishing to do this city harm.”
Quentin paused, letting his words sink in.
“And you did all of this for thousands of people. Parenting
isn’t much different, except it’s just for one
person, or in my case two. All you have to do is be there, and right now there’s
a timid and shy ten year old across town waiting for his father to be there.”
Oliver gulped and let his watery eyes meet Lance’s for the
“What am I supposed to say to him? How do I talk to him?”
Oliver asked with all the vulnerability of a child asking for guidance,
unburdening himself and allowing Lance to shoulder some of that weight.
“It’s not about what you say, it’s about what you do. All he
needs to do is to feel your love and know you’re there, no matter what.”
Oliver felt his anxiety fall away, and some of his fear, but
he suspected that that would always be there now.
Nodding his head, Oliver stuck out his hand to shake the Captain’s
hand in gratitude.
The words were lost to him as the man who spent half of his
life hating him, pulled him into a hug, speaking warmly into his ear.
“Let’s go see that beautiful boy of yours.”
Captain Lance and Oliver returned to the flat that the
recently engaged couple had acquired in the city.
Lance made his way to the kitchen island and wrapped his arm
around Donna’s shoulder, watching her watch Felicity and Connor duel against
each other in a game of chess.
She murmured a soft thank you into his embrace when she saw
the look of relief pass across her daughter’s face, a soft smile taking its
“Hey you.” Felicity said, meeting Oliver’s eyes with a kind
and knowing look.
“Hey to you.” He said, her presence already soothing his apprehensiveness.
Upon hearing his father’s voice, Connor’s head jerked
around, tears pricking at his eyes as he realized the last person on earth that
was supposed to take care of him and love him, had returned and had not
He leapt from his seat and ran into Oliver’s arms, who
despite his strength, staggered under the force of the young boy’s embrace.
Words of insecurity and doubt tumbled from Connor’s mouth.
“Dad, I mean Oliver.” He said tentatively. He tried to pull
back from the awkward hug, but Oliver’s arms finally returned the embrace,
holding him solidly in his arms, refusing to let go.
Oliver felt something click into place when Connor stopped
resisting and curled into him, holding on to him with a strength that be-lied
his true size.
Connor continued to mumble into his father’s torso, making
it difficult for Oliver to hear him. He was able to catch the wary apology come
from the young boy’s mouth.
Something fierce surged through Oliver at his words, so full
of regret and guilt, and so similar to his own common practice of trying to
shoulder the blame for everything. He never wanted his son to feel like he
could do something that would lessen his love for him or his desire to be with
Suddenly Oliver was on his knees so he was the one looking
up at his son, all the while clasping his small hands in his, feeling them
dwarfed by his massive ones. Instead of being afraid that his giant murderous
hands might harm Connor, he realized the opposite. They were big enough to
comfort him and protect him. These once bloodied hands serve a new purpose now.
The same shades of blue met as the two stared at one another,
seemingly in awe of each other’s presence.
“You never, ever have to say you’re sorry. And I mean it.
Especially when you did nothing wrong today. Okay?” Oliver clarified in his
best impression of his own father’s soothing voice.
“But I made you leave and I called you Dad, which is weird,
we barely know each other.” Connor argued, just as stubborn as his father.
“You didn’t make
me do anything. I’m the one that should be apologizing for getting so
overwhelmed. I’ve never been someone’s dad before, and I definitely have never
been wished a happy father’s day before. This is all new to me.” Oliver tried
to explain, but felt like he failed to do so at all.
And then Connor said something that completely turned
everything on its head and made him sound wise beyond his years.
“I’ve never had a dad before. This is all new to me too.” He
Oliver realized then that they were in this together, for
better or worse. They would need to take the time to learn from one another and
grow into their new roles.
“Listen to me closely. I may not always know what’s going to
happen. I may not always know the right thing to say. But I do know three
things.” Oliver took a breath and looked over Connor’s shoulder to see Felicity
staring back, her hand clasped over her mouth and her eyes shimmering with
unshed tears. He gave her a light smile before he continued.
“I will do whatever
it takes to always be here for you, no matter what, and I already love you
unconditionally. Never doubt that.” Oliver proclaimed.
Connor sniffed lightly, his father’s words wrapping him up
in a warm blanket of safety and security.
“And the third thing?” He asked skeptically.
“You can call me Dad whenever you want.” Oliver’s voice
managed to choke out between stuttering breaths.
Connor threw his arms around Oliver’s neck. For the boy who
had just lost his mother, who had been uprooted from the only home he had ever
known, those were the most comforting words he could hear, and for the first time
since his mother’s accident, the world didn’t seem to be spinning out of
Father and son held each other tightly, neither one of them
wanting to let go of their newfound home.
Finally, Felicity’s voice broke them out of their emotional
“Hey, you better get back over here kiddo, I was just about
steal your bishop.”
“We can’t have that, huh Connor? No one bests a Queen man or
a Hawke boy.” Oliver asked lightly, leading him back over to the coffee table
where their chess match had been underway.
“No, she’s right. She’s totally about to steal my bishop.
What do I do?” Connor asked as he tucked his legs under him in front of the
“First, we need to protect your queen. The queen is the most
important and most powerful piece on the board. Are you ready to defend her at
all costs?” Oliver said in a mock grave tone.
Connor erupted into giggles and got lost in the methodical
world of chess once again.
Oliver watched him tease and joke with Felicity, a calm
serenity settling over him as he gazed at the two most important people in his
He stared at the face of his son, full of light and
happiness, and he discovered his new mission in life.
He would spend the rest of his days doing whatever it takes
to love him, protect him, and to keep that smile on his face, on his beautiful boy.