Life had a funny way of fucking people up when they least expected it, especially when it came to the life of Jake Hawthorne.
His life had never been easy before, but at least he didn't wake up every single morning with the need to make it through another day.
That feeling, that pain, started 5 years ago when his dad was murdered.
Before then, Jake lived a decent life with his parents in Starling City. They lived in a fairly safe apartment complex in the heart of the city, his father was a cop and his mother was a nurse.
Jake had learned early on how to fight from his uncle Benji and his hardworking father, who thought of the skill as a necessity in life.
As time passed and Jake got older, the need to protect himself became a want, an interest. Discovering and learning about all the different fighting styles. It became his passion.
But that passion had also escalated his natural instinct to start trouble, which often landed him in his fathers office at the station.
His arsenal of mischief ranged from filming himself free running on private property to "ending" fights in school.
He got lucky when Detective Lance's eldest daughter had offered to help him stay out of trouble.
Laurel was like a big sister to him, looking out for him while he was in the streets and watching over him when his parents worked late night shifts.
Sara took an immediate liking to Jake, recognizing his untamable spirit and playful behavior.
They were the ultimate trouble making duo, making Laurel's life a living hell as they'd crash the Queen's famous charity events and dinner parties.
The youngest Lance sister also had an interesting romantic backstory with Benji, who at the time was breezing through his early 20's.
And then everything took a tragic turn for Jake and the people he cared about, starting in late 2006 with the presumed death of his uncle during a 2 year term in Afghanistan.
Jake felt empty after that, he rarely cried after that because he knew that he wouldn't be able to stop if he continued. Instead, he'd fake a smile and try to get through each day.
Unfortunately, that method didn't work on Thea Queen, one of the few people he had been able to talk to after everything.
Their friendship was unexpected to say the least, Jake never saw himself associating with someone as self centered and privileged as the youngest Queen.
In fact, he was pretty sure that they wouldn't of even given each other the time of day if Jake hadn't been close with Laurel.
But there was another side to Thea, someone who was just as broken and damaged underneath, someone who cared about other people.
Over the course of their friendship, Jake couldn't help the small crush that he had on the girl.
It was amusing to Jake, looking back on his past and realizing how naive he was when it came to understanding the real world.
It was common sense for him, his dad dealt with people who poisoned this earth on a daily basis.
And yet, he couldn't truly understand how fucked up the world was until he experienced it for himself.
In a way, being kidnapped and stranded for 3 years in Northeastern Brazil was a blessing for him. He now had both the knowledge and experience to do something, to help make a difference.
All thanks to Malcolm Merlyn.
And after everything he had heard once he returned to Star City, it seemed like he wasn't the only one who agreed.
Present Day: October, 2015
Star City, 11:35 AM
Jake lets out a nerve wrecking sigh as he stands in front of his mothers apartment door, he couldn't help the sick feeling that overcame him as he finally built up the courage to knock.
He can hear the sound of feet shuffling on the other side before the door opens wide, revealing a fairly short middle aged woman with long brown hair. She was dressed in a pair of blue scrubs.
Her purse hung from her shoulder, indicating that she was about to leave the apartment.
Jake makes eye contact with his mother, a nervous smile plays on his lips. "Hey, ma..."
She drops her purse on the ground as she stares up at her only child in shock, "Oh my God.
Jacob, what the hell happened?! You promised me before leaving that you would check in with me everyday! I hadn't heard from you in almost 5 years...I thought something happened..."
Jake envelopes his mother in a tight embrace as she starts to sob, choking back his own tears as he rubs her back in comfort.
His mother is the first to pull away, stepping back and taking in his new appearance.
She leans forward once again, her fingers trace over the scar on his left eyebrow and into his short and dyed blue hair.
"God, I 'am so sorry. I wasn't there for you when your dad died, you needed me and I drowned myself in my work at the hospital.
I should've been there, out of all the days that I've worked and you were alone, I should've been there." She looks away, not being able to meet her sons eyes.
Jake gathers his mothers hands into his own, forcing her to turn to him again. "Its not your fault, ma. I left because I needed space, I felt suffocated.
I held all of my emotions in for so long, and I needed a moment to myself."
He pauses, sighing as he looks down to his feet. "I wanted to escape from everything, to take my mind off of all the bad shit that was going on in my life. But, I'm sorry.
I should've called to let you know I was alive. I'll explain everything that happened later, but uh, if you don't mind, I'd like to take you to work.
You can catch me up on everything during the ride."
Wiping the tears from her eyes, his mother bends over to pick up her purse, giving Jake a small smile of approval before locking up and following him out the door.
Jake sighs as he pulls up to the district attorney's office, he was still trying to make complete sense of the new information he had received from his mother.
He already knew most of what she told him, especially when it came to the decimation of the Glades. Honestly, he was just glad that his mother didn't know much about the incident.
If she knew what happened and how it was the sole reason his father died, she wouldn't be able to handle it. He wanted to protect her.
And after that, he couldn't stop thinking about Thea once his mother brought up Moira's murder. His thoughts of her and everything that happened between them before he left plagued his mind.
"What the hell is wrong with you?!" Thea stomps angrily after Jake, following him to his truck parked by the front of the Mansion.
Jake turns around with a small smirk on his face, leaning into the driver seat door. "What can I say? I couldn't pass up the opportunity for a drug bust."
Thea rolls her eyes in annoyance, glaring at him when a laugh slips from his lips. "This isn't funny, Jake! I needed those for the party tonight!"
Jake breathes out an exhausting sigh, running a rough hand through his curly mop of dark hair. "You're right Thea, this isn't funny.
Nothing about the idea of you becoming a drug addict amuses me. Tommy was right, okay? Oliver wouldn't want to see you like this."
Thea scoffs, crossing her arms over her chest. "Well guess what? Oliver isn't here, what he wants for me doesn't matter anymore. My brother is gone."
The brunette teenager pauses her words and looks away, choking back a silent sob. Not long after, she turns back to Jake, masking her emotions with a heated glare.
"Y'know, its funny that you're preaching to me about what my brother would want when you're still obsessed with what happened to your dad. I guess we're both not getting the memo."
Letting the words sink in, Jake nods his head before giving Thea a blank stare. He shoves his hands inside the pockets of his cargo shorts.
It doesn't take long for Thea to realize what she just said, a look of regret ghosts over her features as she steps closer to Jake. "Jake...I'm sorry. I didn't mean it..."
Jake shrugs away from Thea as she reaches for him. "No, don't apologize. You're right, I should move on."
He turns away from her for a brief moment before looking back with an intense look in his eyes. "I shouldn't be searching for the guy that murdered my dad for no reason.
I should be off to college by now, living my life. I mean, why shouldn't I? Like you said, it doesn't matter what my dad wants. He's gone. Why should I care?"
Jake pauses, letting out a fake laugh.
"I know that my dad is dead, I confirmed his body at the morgue. But Oliver? Your dad? They're missing, you don't know if they died Thea.
You can have hope, I can't because I know what happened to my dad."
Thea looks away with tears in her eyes.
Jake glances down to his feet, he shakes his head before letting out an amused scoff.
"What am I doing wrong, Thea? I mean, should I just drown myself working at a job? Or should I spend the rest of my life consuming and buying drugs from a guy who lives in a sketchy RV?"
Jake steps closer to Thea, pulling the sleeves of his hoodie up and thrusting his arms out in front of him.
"The other two options? I could leave this God forsaken city for awhile and try to move on, or I can keep doing this.
" He pauses, nodding down to his bruised hands as Thea covers her mouth in shock.
Thea closes the gap between them, her fingers gently trail over the bruising on his knuckles. "Oh my God. Jake, what the hell!?"
End of Flashback
Jake takes a deep breath before entering the office, he sports a small smile as he stares at the blonde young woman in front of him in amusement.
She was leaning over her desk, spinning a pen between her fingers as she focused on the scattered papers in front of her.
"Imagine my reaction when I found out you were the new kickass DA that's taking the city by storm. Congrats Laurel, you made it to the big leagues!"
Laurel lifts her head up, jumping back slightly in shock as she stares up at a pair of ocean blue eyes. The shock shown in her facial expression quickly disappears, turning into a relieved one.
She pushes back her chair and stands up before rushing over to Jake.
Jake sighs into