Lost Without You by LandJrule
Words: 7, 365 words
Published: 28/11/2013 (Australian East Coast Time)
Characters: Oliver, Felicity. And the rest are my own creations.
Season/Episode: Set about 2 years after ‘State Vs Queen’ (2×07), about the show’s Season 4. Remember this — because the small details will make more sense if you do.
Synopsis: Okay, so there’s not really much of a mission in this. Oliver needs to speak with the Bosnian Mafia to get information regarding their mission, and Felicity comes along. Things don’t go so well for them. But every bad event has a silver lining, as Felicity and Oliver find out.
If I could only hold you now and make the pain just go away
Can’t stop the tears from running down my face
All I know is I’m lost without you I’m not gonna lie
How am I going to be strong without you I need you by my side
Rating: M (swearing/coarse language)
Author’s Note: Okay, so this story came to me last week. I’ve been writing my own TV series about a hero, & this storyline comes originally from that — but the more I wrote it for that, the more I kept thinking about Olicity. And so I converted it into an Olicity story — although altering it to suit the Arrow world was much harder than I expected!
I also want to give credit to a song. I even named this fic after it. It’s Lost Without You by Delta Goodrem. If you don’t know it, listen here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YMYUYtsUGgg
I was trying to come up with a name for this story yesterday, and I had my iPod playing — the song came up, and it inspired me. And I do kinda have a habit of naming my stories after songs, lol.
I also wanted to thank Kate Gregorash (Twitter– @klgregorash) who kindly proofread the entire thing! I’d reached the point where I was so stressed making the original piece fit Olicity that I was making simple errors and was over reading it. Kate read it, and made it much easier to understand. Also she came up with my favourite line in the entire piece — and she says that was pure luck!
Disclaimer: just the usual I don’t own it stuff.
The drive there is done in silence. He didn’t want me there, claimed it’d be too dangerous for me to be around the Bosnian Mafia (apparently they’re “too brutal” for me, yet are fine for him, pffft). I’d held my ground, though, telling him I’m coming. When he’d continued to argue, I simply said I can handle it. I’ve been learning self-defense moves; I have the skills to defend myself. He eventually caved, making me promise to stay in the car the whole time.
I look up from the information we have on my tablet, to find him gripping the steering wheel tightly. I’ve never seen him so nervous on a mission before. I wonder what’s going on in his mind right now, noting his clenched jaw.
He’s not in his Green Arrow outfit. To get the information we need, Oliver needs to show himself to the Bosnian Mafia. So he’s in his suit, the top couple of buttons on his shirt left undone.
I look back at my tablet as he turns onto a side street. I let out a small sigh – all this information is rather overwhelming. Not to mention sickening – the amount of deaths that have been linked to the Bosnian Mafia, most of which haven’t resulted in any arrests by members. I’m so lost in thought, I don’t even notice us come to a stop until Oliver’s hand touches my left forearm. I look up at him, to find him staring at me. His blue eyes seem to be darker now.
“These men are dangerous,” he says in his very serious voice. The one he gets on missions. “I want you to lock the doors. If anything happens – if they come for you, put your hand on the car horn, and don’t take it off.” He’s giving me his intense stare. “I’ll hear it, and I’ll come right away for you.”
“I can fend them off.”
“NO!” He’s so stern, so loud, I flinch. He slides his hand down my arm, and slips his into mine to hold it reassuringly. “Look, you don’t know the Bosnian Mafia like I do. Before you start about the research, it’s not like that. They’re worse. Far worse. That’s why I didn’t want you coming along, because I—” He looks away, letting out a shaky sigh. I know he’s struggling to keep back tears. He takes a moment to compose himself enough to look at me again. “I’m afraid that something horrible will happen to you, and I might not be able to help you in time. And I can’t… I can’t live with myself if that happens.”
I squeeze his hand, holding back my tears. “You’ll hear me on the comms. If anything happens, I’ll kick them, scream my lungs out, slam my hand on the horn, and not take it off.”
He smiles, but it’s small and forced. “If they do come, and they manage to get you out of the car… hit them and run.”
“Run, Felicity.” His voice breaks during my name. “You’re better off running away than staying and trying to fight them.” He reaches over with his other hand, and cups my cheek. “You’re not ready to face them in a fight.” He blinks several times to clear tears. “Not yet,” he whispers.
I close my eyes as I turn into his hand. This could be the last time we work together. I want to remember this moment, to burn it into my mind. So I have one last happy memory to hang on to – in case they get me, or… get him.
I feel him gently rubbing his thumb back and forth over my cheek, his calloused skin feeling rough against mine, yet completely comforting. I let out a contented sigh, pushing more into his hand.
Then I feel it leave and I open my eyes. His eyes aren’t on me – he’s staring out the windscreen, and in this dim light I can see he’s frowning slightly.
“Lock the doors behind me,” he says, back to his serious tone again. He’s building up his composure, his game face. “Remember… don’t fight.”
“Run,” I reply, nodding. I add in a barely above a whisper, “I know.”
He nods once, still not looking at me.
“Hey,” I say, squeezing his hand.
He looks at me, and I see the worry and pain in his eyes. Then I say those five reassuring words, even though we both know they’re probably wrong.
“We’ll see each other again.”
The corners of his lips curl up slightly, and I know it’s not such a forced smile as the previous one. He then draws my hand up to him, and places a light kiss on its back that has me feeling dizzy.
“Stay safe,” he whispers.
I fight back tears, taking a moment to bite my lip. “You, too.”
He squeezes my hand firmly, and for a split second it feels bone crushing. His eyes lock with mine, and I see the pain in them. He really is worried that we’re not going to both survive this. The air vanishes in my lungs just thinking about it, my chest tightening, and my heart shoved up into my throat. This could be the very last time we see each other.
I inhale sharply, the tears really stinging now. I nod. I then choke out, “Good luck.”
He smiles, and it’s so much less forced, as he nods. He then gives my hand another firm squeeze before letting go. He opens the door and steps out. Once it’s shut, I see him linger beside the car until I’ve locked the doors. I watch him walk across in front of our car to the building on my side – doing his suit jacket up and smoothing it out as he does. He stops at a door several meters ahead of our car and knocks. There’s a long pause before the door opens. I hear his voice via our comms, but can’t understand even a single word since it’s Bosnian. Whatever he said works – for he steps behind the door, out of my sight and into the building.
I sigh, and push my glasses up with both hands to wipe away my tears. I hate it when we get this emotional during our missions. I make sure my glasses are sitting correctly and turn my focus back to my tablet. The whole point of me coming was so we could put any information Oliver gets from the Mafia into action immediately. It’s a good plan. Brilliant, actually. Except there’s one problem – yes, I can hear them talking, but understanding what the say? Not a clue. I don’t plan on telling Oliver. He’d be pissed that I’d convinced him to let me come for absolutely no reason.
Despite not understanding what he’s saying, just hearing Oliver’s voice is very comforting. It lets me know he’s here. I smile – my knight in shining armor hard at work.
All of a sudden, my instincts kick in. I get that horrible chill down my spine. I slowly turn my head to my right, and the dread hits my whole body.
Two men are right outside my door, one working to unlock it.
“Ah, crap,” I mutter, just loud enough that I hope Oliver hears it.
I start to shift to the driver’s side, to the horn, but to also put some distance between me and them. Mid-way there, I hear the door open, so I kick with all my might – feeling it collide with one of them, and hearing him groan. I flip to sit down sideways across the seat, my back against the door, and my legs partly on the passenger’s seat. One of the men appears in the doorway and I kick him. He sees it coming, though, and grabs my ankle with both his hands. He starts pulling me, trying to drag me across the seats and out. I swing my other foot towards his head as I twist my upper body to my left and slam my hands down on the car’s horn.
I faintly hear Oliver groan, it getting drowned out by the horn. He knows I’m in trouble. I know he’ll be unable to come and get me – it’s too soon, he’s only just gotten in there. We could lose our chance to get the information if he bails now.
The man’s holding both my ankles now, and is pulling as hard as he can. I leave my left hand on the horn and grip the steering wheel with my right. Maybe I can hold on long enough to give Oliver the chance to come and save me.
Then the force of the pulling increases and I know that both men are pulling me. They manage to pull me slightly closer – the first man’s hands hold one of my knees while the other’s holding my other ankle – and I let out a scream as I lose contact with the horn. I grab the wheel with both hands and use all my strength to pull me closer to it. I’m thankful I’ve been doing pull ups on a regular basis. All I can think right now is to keep holding on – Oliver will come. He has to come.
They’re too strong for me. Within a few minutes, they’re pulling me over, my hands ripped from the wheel. I scream, twisting my body from side to side, trying to free my legs. If they’re going to take me, I’m going down as loudly as I can and with a huge fight. They make me stand – one of them pinning me backwards against the car, his hand close to my throat, while the other shuts the door. They may be rough, but at least they’re considerate.
I kick as I throw a punch, but the latter doesn’t land because I stop, feeling the cold metal of a gun’s barrel press against my left temple. That’s when I know I can’t fight anymore. The arm pinning me to the car drops. I see in the dim light the other man grab my right arm and pull me forward. I squirm as he forces my back flush against his front, his right arm hooked around my waist in order to keep me there. Not that I’d get far if I got away from him; his companion’s still aiming a gun at my head. The man behind me runs his other hand over me, speaking in Bosnian. He gropes my breast and I can’t keep the whimper from escaping me. Both men laugh. It’s a sickening sound.
The man behind me turns around, keeping me against him, and forces me towards the door Oliver entered the building through mere minutes ago. At least they’re taking me in there – hopefully Oliver can save me inside.
There’s minimal lighting in the corridor, giving off a creepier vibe than the two men with me. I let out a relieved sigh as the man lets go of me. The relief only lasts a second, for the gun is pressed against my occipital bone. The man pushes the gun harder against me, forcing me to step forward. As I walk down the corridor, I cross my arms and hold my elbows tightly. I pray that Oliver is where we’re going. Or, if not, he can get to me.
I can still hear Oliver’s voice – and am thankful these brutes haven’t noticed my earpiece. He’s speaking Bosnian, but I don’t have to understand it to know he’s angry. He’s fully aware that I’m in trouble and I know it’s killing him to not be able to help me. Although, it’s a mild anger, like he’s trying to hide it.
I focus on his voice as the men take me down several corridors. When we turn into another corridor, Oliver’s voice echoes down its length from the other end, and I barely hide my sigh of relief. They’re taking me to him!
The same brute who held me before grabs my right upper arm roughly, forcing me to uncross my arms. He then pulls me roughly towards a door, and leads me into a brighter lit room. I squint as my eyes adjust to the sudden change in light. When they have, I see that Oliver’s facing away from me as he talks with another man who no doubt is the leader of this section of the Bosnian Mafia.
The man holding me speaks. Oliver spins around so fast at the sound, I expect him to throw one of his knives I know he’s got hidden. I see the devastation in his eyes as he takes me in. A part of him surely believed I’d escaped. Right now, I wish I had.
My eyes drop from his, and I notice his hands are clenched in fists at his side. His anger is brewing under the surface of his calm exterior. We’re in a living nightmare. I lift my eyes back to him, and both of us nearly cry.
“Ostaviti na miru,” Oliver says.
“Ne,” the man beside me replies, before running his other hand over my abdomen.
I let out a loud whimper and try to get away from him, but he holds my arm tighter, and his companion pushes the gun harder against my head, so there’s nothing I can do except stand still. Oliver starts to take a step towards me, protective instincts kicking in, but stops himself. That’s when I realize he can help me more by talking; showing dominance over the men through speech rather than physicality.
“Ostaviti na miru!” Oliver shouts.
The man to my right pauses, his hand still on my abdomen. The Mafia Boss, the one Oliver had been talking to as I arrived, steps closer to Oliver who turns to face him. The two talk in lowered voices for several minutes in Bosnian. I can only assume Oliver’s explaining whatever lie he’s chosen to be the cover for why I’m here.
The man on my right drops his hand from my abdomen, but keeps his tight grip on my arm as he steps behind me. He holds me once more flush against him. My entire focus is on him, all my senses trained on him, wanting to know what he’s going to do next. He starts feeling me up again, his hand this time sliding under the bottom of my top to run his hand over my skin. A strangled cry escapes me, and Oliver’s eyes instantly snap to me.
He barks something in Bosnian to the man, his voice booming through the large room. The man stops moving his hand over me, but it remains under my shirt. Oliver’s jaw tightens, and I know he’s barely stopping himself from attacking the man.
The man behind me finally withdraws his hand from under my shirt, muttering something. I sigh as Oliver relaxes slightly. We both know I’m not safe yet; not until we’re out of here. Oliver makes eye contact with me, silently asking if I’m okay. I curl the corners of my mouth up in a small smile – I’m okay. For now.
My attention snaps back to the man when he lets go of me completely and steps back to my right. His companion is still to my left with his gun aimed at my head. He gets out a knife and starts ripping holes in my jeans and shirt. I’d kick him if it wasn’t for the fact I have a gun pointed at my head. Instead, I simply shut my eyes and cry. I’ve been trying not to get upset, to show any weakness, but this has gone too far.
“Oliver!” I whimper.
“Ostaviti na miru!” Oliver yells, his voice booming.
It’s no use – the cutting of my clothes continues. Another choked cry escapes me.
Suddenly it all stops – the gun pressure, the tearing of my shirt – and I’m in a heap on the floor. Startled, I open my eyes to find both men lying on the floor on either side of me. Both are completely still, knives sticking out of them.
Relief sweeps over me – Oliver killed them. I look over to him, expecting him to be crossing to me, or at least looking at me. But he’s talking with the Mafia Boss – both talking fast, angrily, and over one another.
I flinch in fright as Oliver shouts something right in the other man’s face. The latter has been silenced. I stand as Oliver crosses to me.
“Oliver!” I mutter, unable to stop myself from throwing my arms around him and crying into his clothes the second he’s within reach.
He wraps his arms around me and holds me so tightly I can’t breathe. But I really don’t care – he saved me, and I’m safe in his arms.
“Hey…” he whispers. “It’s okay. You’re okay.”
I feel him bury his face into the top of my head and let out a sigh. I could stand here in his embrace for eternity.
The sound of the Mafia Boss’ voice coming from close by causes me to gasp. I open my eyes to see him standing near us, looking very angry; flanked by four very tough-looking men.
I curl my fingers, clutching the back of Oliver’s jacket tightly. I’m so scared. I just want this to be all over and to be safely out of here. This is starting to feel more like a nightmare than reality. Is it all just one horrible nightmare??
I feel Oliver lift his head and I know he’s looking at the other man. Oliver says something rather angrily to the Boss, once more speaking in Bosnian. I never realized until tonight how angry Bosnian can sound when you don’t understand it. Oliver releases me from the hug, and I follow suit, even though I really don’t want to let go of him until we’re out of here. Oliver wraps his arm around my shoulders, pulling me firmly against him so we’re side-by-side, but I’m still under his protection. He’s holding my right shoulder firmer than he normally does, but I don’t care. I’m safe; that’s all that matters right now. He glares at the Mafia Boss for a long moment. He then leads me towards the door, making sure to keep himself between me and the men.
Once we’re out in the corridor, he drops his arm and his hand comes to rest gently on my lower back, as he walks close beside me. We move quickly, both of us wanting to escape this God forsaken hell-hole as soon as possible. I wrap my arms around my middle, feeling so sick and… used. It’s like my dignity’s been ripped completely from me.
Oliver’s hand leaves my back and, before I can wonder why, I feel his jacket gently land over my shoulders. I glance down – he’s draped it over me. I look up to find his eyes on me, and smile my thanks. He smiles back – the first time he’s genuinely smiled tonight.
I slip my arms into his jacket’s sleeves as we turn down the last corridor, before folding one side over the other to close it and cross my arms to keep it shut. I get a whiff of his cologne as I fold it over – it’s a rather comforting smell. We reach the exit and Oliver shoulder shoves the door open and returns his hand to my lower back as I step outside. I catch him looking back down the corridor, checking to see if they’re following, but they’re not. Whatever Oliver’s last words were, they put them off following us.
We cross to our car and he opens my door. He stays by my side until I’m seated and shuts the door for me. I wrap my arms around myself once more, watching him through the windscreen as he walks around the front of our car so quickly he’s almost running. He gets in and has the engine running before his door is shut. He tears off; the tires screeching.
He drives fast until we approach the main road, where there’s more traffic, so he slows down. I watch in the corner of my eye as he glances at me several times.
“You okay?” he asks.
“Do I look okay?”
He sighs. “Point taken.”
I feel guilty for reacting like that to him, especially after he’s just saved me. I guess it’s all just shock. I inhale slowly, hold, and then let it slowly out. “You were right.”
He looks at me, surprised.
“Can you keep your eyes on the road, please?”
He turns his attention back to the road, but I see him clench his jaw in annoyance. This isn’t how this should be going. We shouldn’t be getting mad at each other.
“Right about what?”
“Me not being able to fight them.”
He glances at me, and in that brief moment, I see the sadness in his eyes. “Felicity—”
“They came and unlocked the door, and they… they pulled at me, and I tried so, so hard to stay in the car,” I say, sobbing without tears. “I hit the horn, and I was holding onto the steering wheel, but they… they kept pulling and pulling, and…” I let out a shaky sigh. “They were too strong… they pulled me out. I tried to fight them, but they had the gun, and I—”
The tears begin to fall and my instincts kick in – I close my eyes as I lift my hands up to push my glasses up so I can cover my eyes. I stop when I feel Oliver link his hand with mine. I stare at our linked hands, my lip trembling, and he squeezes it reassuringly.
“You did the best that you could, Felicity.”
“They caught me.”
“Did you see the black eye one of those creeps had? You did that, Felicity.” He squeezes my hand. “Remember that.”
“What did you say?”
He frowns. “When?”
“The whole time.”
His one-handed hold on the wheel tightens and his jaw clenches briefly. “It doesn’t matter.”
“Bullshit, Oliver!” I snap. “Whatever you said to them, it saved my life. I was so damn scared in there. My clothes are ruined, and I’m definitely going to be plagued by nightmares about tonight. So screw your ‘it doesn’t matter’ crap.” I pause for a moment, to breathe and to let it sink in. “I deserve to know.”
He doesn’t react immediately. Finally, he sighs. “Initially, I simply said to leave you alone. Ostaviti na miru.” He glances at me, eyes darting back to the road. “Then it took more…” He tightens his hold on the wheel and clears his throat. I wonder what he’s hiding from me. “More than that.”
“I’m starting to feel like you’re not going to tell me the rest.”
“No, I will. I really will.” he replies, taking the moment to look at me. “Before I do, I just want you to know that I only said what I had to. Lying to them was the best way to save you.”
“You have a tendency to lie a fair bit, Oliver. I’m not fazed by that.”
He chuckles. “Damn you.”
“So… what was this lie that you seem so ashamed of telling me?”
He shifts his position on the seat and I wonder if he’s stalling just to make me give up on hearing about it. We slow down and come to a stop at a set of lights – where he surprises me by speaking.
“The first time the leader and I talked after you came in, he asked me why you were so important to me – why I cared so much about his men touching you like that,” he says. I see his jaw’s held tight in the moment he’s not speaking. “I told him that you’re mine…” He looks at me. “Mine.”
It slowly clicks in my mind what he means by ‘mine’. Girlfriend.
“Huh,” I mutter.
“I… it just came out. It was the first thing that sprung to mind. There was no time to think – I had to get you out as fast as I could.”
“Hey,” I reply, squeezing his hand. “It’s okay. I trust you.”
He turns his attention back to the road just as the lights are turning. He stays silent until we’re moving again.
“And then…” He sighs. “The creep had his hand under your shirt and…” He bites back tears. “I snapped. I just…” He sighs again. “I… I couldn’t help it. You… you were upset, and I couldn’t bear to see him touching you like that.” He inhales a long, shaky breath. “I told him I’d find his family and murder them all if he didn’t stop.”
If we weren’t in the car, I’d hug him right now. Instead, I just squeeze his hand.
“He muttered he’d kill me in return, but at least he withdrew… until he started cutting your clothes.” He turns onto another street just a little too quickly. “The leader was furious after I killed his men, though I really don’t blame him. What was said then…” He shakes his head. “I won’t explain. It was… not really something you should hear. A lot of threats and… other things.”
He looks at me. “You needed me and that was all I could focus on. I just wanted them to stop harming you. I killed them to protect you. I threatened their boss to keep you safe.” He looks back at the road. “He wanted to keep talking about it, but I could see you in tears and…” He sighs. “I wanted to hold you.”
My bottom lip trembles. Hearing him say that is so heart-warming – to have him confirm exactly how protective he is of me, it makes every horrible part of tonight wash away.
He turns onto another street and then glances at me, frowning. “For what?”
“For everything you did back there,” I reply. “For saying everything you said… be it good or bad.”
“Well, uh…” He clears his throat. “I gotta look after my Girl Friday.”
I can’t stop myself from letting out a chuckle, looking into my lap. “You haven’t called me that for a long time.” I look up at him. “Not since—” I cut myself off, remembering the last time he did – we were on a mission and after defending people at a charity event, he was bleeding out. I nearly lost him then. It’s the most horrible night of my life.
He squeezes my hand tightly, knowing what’s running through my head.
“I haven’t since then because… I’ve been trying to forget most of that night.” He looks at me. “Things have changed since then. You’re more than my Girl Friday.”
I smile. “If I’m not just your Girl Friday… why bring it up now?”
He pulls over and then looks at me. “Because you are so happy whenever I do,” he says. “Tonight’s been hell… okay, worse than hell. I just wanted you to have something from tonight to smile about – something worth remembering.”
I sniffle, and then smile. “You’re my knight in shining armor.”
He smiles. “I’ll always keep you safe.”
I wrap my other hand around his, encasing his within mine. “I’m sorry,” I say. “For being so stubborn about coming. You warned me that they were too dangerous for me to handle, yet I insisted on coming. You had to kill them when it could’ve been a ‘no violence’ meeting.”
“When it comes to the Bosnian Mafia, most meetings are violent,” he replies, an eyebrow raised.
“Yes, but all we needed was information. I really wasn’t required, and I had no idea what the hell was being said Frankly, I just got you into a difficult situation that you had to get us both out of. I’m sorry.”
“Don’t be,” he replies in his soothing tone he uses whenever I’m upset.
“It was a mistake.”
“Me. Being here.” I unbuckle my seatbelt. “I shouldn’t have come.” I open my door.
I get out and slam the door. In tears, I quickly walk down the sidewalk, catching him out of the corner of my eye as he scrambles out to follow me.
“Felicity!” he calls.
I keep walking, ignoring him. Then I feel his hand on my arm. I twist my arm, trying to shrug him off, but it’s no use.
“Felicity! Please stop!”
“Just… let me go.” I hear him huff, and I know he’s rolling his eyes. And then he steps in front of me, making me stop so fast I nearly topple forward.
I sigh and glare at him. “What?”
“Oh, so it’s perfectly fine for you to get upset, blurt out that you think it was a mistake that you came tonight, and then expect me to let you walk through one of the most dangerous suburbs in Starling City on your own this late at night?” he says, so quickly it’s like hearing one of my babbles. “You don’t think I’ll try and stop you?”
“Well… you kinda already have stopped me.”
He sighs, rolling his eyes. “Let’s just get back in the car.”
“What?” He’s shocked. “Why?”
“Because I screwed up our mission, and… and I don’t want to be around you right now.”
“Hey,” he whispers, cupping my face in his hands. “You didn’t screw up.”
“Did so,” I mumble.
“It was a complication, not a screw-up.”
I scoff. “Yeah, sure.”
“I got the information we needed.”
I widen my eyes. “What?”
“You’ve been so upset – and for very good reasons – and my main focus has been to be here for you. I haven’t had the chance to tell you that before those men brought you into the room, I got the information that we needed.”
I let out a shaky breath. “So… so really had I not got caught by them, you could’ve walked out of there much sooner than you did?”
He rubs both thumbs gently back and forth over my cheeks. “Don’t blame yourself.”
“They couldn’t have taken me if I hadn’t been there.” I push his arms to the side, not expecting him to let me do so. I turn away, and then mumble, “I screwed up.”
He steps around me so we’re facing again. “You, John and I… we’re a team. We’re equals. That means we’re all allowed to go out in the field.”
“You’re the one with more experience dealing with those dangerous situations.”
“Some day, I won’t be around to do all of that ‘Grrr’ stuff.” He even curls his fingers over, making his hands look like claws in between us. The action makes me laugh a little. “You and John need to be getting out there and fighting. Sometimes those situations can be unexpectedly complicated. Tonight—”
“Was a complete disaster.”
He cups my face again with both hands, this time making sure I keep eye contact with him. “Tonight was one of those complicated situations,” he says. “You weren’t to blame.”
I place my hands on his wrists, curling my fingers around his wrists. “I made things worse for you.”
“If anyone’s to blame, it’s those two brutes. They crossed the line,” he replies, gently rubbing my cheeks with his thumbs again. “You fought hard. I heard the whole thing. I’m proud of you.”
“You… you are?”
“Yes. The creep’s black eye proves how well you did.” He smiles. “I let you come because I knew you could handle yourself, and I knew that I’d be there to help you, if you needed me.
“My only regret tonight… is not being able to reach your side sooner. To be there before it got as far as it did.”
I inhale sharply, hold it, and then let it out slowly.
“Come here,” he whispers, pulling me into a hug.
I wrap my arms tightly around him, letting him hold me in his strong arms.
After several minutes of silence, he says, “It’s late. We’ve got to work tomorrow.”
I sniffle as I pull back, nodding. “Yeah.”
He takes me to the passenger side, opening the door for me. I smile in thanks before getting in. He shuts the door and then goes around to his side. He settles in his seat, reaching over and taking hold of my hand once more as he drives off.
“Uh… look…” he says. “Since it’s so late, and my place is closer… uh… why don’t you stay in one of my spare bedrooms tonight. I’ll take you back to your place in the morning.”
I raise my eyebrow. “A part of me is glad you said ‘spare bedroom’.”
He looks at me, one eyebrow raised but smiling. No, smirking. “You and your innuendos.”
I roll my eyes. “Oh, please.”
“What?” he says, trying to hide his laughter. “Come on, I luuuuuuuvvvvvvvve that about you.”
I sit there in stunned silence. He’s never said that before.
He clears his throat. “So… you want to stay at mine tonight?”
“Separate bedrooms, yes.”
“Like I’d try anything with you tonight anyway,” he mutters.
I snort. “Uh-huh. You keep telling yourself that.”
We both laugh.
I splash water over my face, letting its coolness wipe away all the terrifying events that I’ve seen and experienced over the last twenty-four hours. I turn off the tap and look up, staring at my reflection in the mirror. I don’t even recognize myself anymore.
I grab a hand towel and dry my face. It feels weird being in Oliver’s ensuite. Sure, I’ve been in his ensuite before – just not this one. I mean, the only ensuite of his I’ve been in is the one in Verdant. Come to think of it, it’s weird being in Oliver’s apartment. He decided several months ago that he needed his own space – especially being the Green Arrow. Thea was grilling him too much for his liking. Not that moving out seemed to help stop that – it only made her more determined to grill him every time she saw him. She’s even grilling me for information about him.
Oliver had told me I could be in here, to have a shower, but I’m too numb to do it. I’d simply stripped off my clothes – the closest I’ll get right now to forgetting tonight’s events – and cleaned what I could of myself in the basin.
I sigh as I put the hand towel down. I turn to my clothes lying in a pile on the floor, instinctively needing to wear more than my underwear. I pick my shirt up, holding it out in front of me with both hands, and stare at the rips all over it.
“That was one of my favorites,” I mutter.
I pick up my jeans, examining the tears in them. I sigh – was it really necessary to do that? Then I remember what Oliver said after offering me his ensuite – “Feel free to borrow whatever clothes from my wardrobe you want.”
I toss the shirt into the bin – there’s no saving it – and hold onto the jeans. They’re ripped, but I’m sure I can salvage them. I walk into his bedroom, in disbelief that I’m in his bedroom in nothing but my underwear. I stop half-way to his walk-in closet, and stare at the closed door leading out to the main room. He’s out there, and I wonder what he could be doing right now. For a moment I picture him walking in, kissing me passionately, and then carrying me over to the bed. The pleasurable moan I let out snaps me back to reality.
“Don’t be silly, Felicity. He doesn’t see you in that way.”
I continue towards the walk-in closet, but find myself diverting to the door between Oliver and myself. I turn the knob, opening the door slowly to not draw his attention – though I’m sure his freakishly good hearing caught it anyway. I hold it open just far enough to peer out. He’s sitting on his couch, with his back to me, watching the news on TV.
I softly close the door, satisfied that I’ve seen him. I walk across to his walk-in closet – and that’s when it hits me: how completely oblivious I’ve been about his feelings for me. In the four years we’ve known each other, I’ve always assumed he could never love me the way I love him – that he saw me as nothing more than his friend, his ‘Girl Friday’, his go-to woman, the brains behind the Green Arrow missions. Nothing more than a brother looking out for his sister.
It’s been more than that. Okay, it’s taken him longer than the point three seconds it took me to develop a crush after meeting him. But… it’s there. Right?
He killed the Count almost two years ago because the latter was about to inject me with Vertigo. The way he touched my cheek, the way he dismissed his own injury because he was so concerned for me. How did I not notice he was falling for me?
The way he was in the car outside the Mafia tonight – before things went downhill – the way he was so worried for my safety. The way he gently put his hand on my cheek!
No, the way he’s acted with me throughout tonight.
I place my hand on my forehead, letting out a small groan – I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to see this! I always thought the way he acted around me was simply him being friendly. I can’t believe it! He’s fallen for me, the way I’ve fallen for him!
I step into his walk-in closet, and drift my eyes over all his clothes. All of my clothes could fit in here twice and it’d still have spare space. Seriously, who needs one this big? I feel as if it’s too weird wearing any of his clothes. Not that I’m against it – I’m just… it’s just uncomfortable. Even if I’m only going to be seen by him. But the more I think about it, think about Oliver in general, I find myself concluding that maybe I’m just being ridiculous. He wouldn’t tell me to do it if he wasn’t comfortable with it.
I jump as the doorbell echoes through the apartment. Who’s arriving at this time of the night? I turn my attention back to his clothes, to my search for something to wear. That’s when I spot it. Hanging at the end of a row, tucked away in the corner, easy to miss. I smile in disbelief that I’d forgotten about it. Oliver’s emerald green jumper. I’ve worn it once before – when Oliver was in the hospital after what happened at that charity event. At the time, Oliver had given me his spare key so I could come here to get things for him or if I needed somewhere to crash for a night, since his place is much closer to the heart of the city than mine. Something drew me here. I can’t explain it, but I needed to be here to feel close to him. It was late at night when I came, well after the hospital’s visiting hours ended and I couldn’t actually be with him. I’d come to his bedroom, seeking his bed. All of this now sounds crazy, I know, but I just felt comfort. I haven’t told him I came that night and I don’t know if I will. I curled up in his bed and slept. When I woke in the morning, that’s when I saw the jumper. It was lying on the end of the bed, bunched up like he’d taken it off and had dumped it there. I picked it up and instinctively smelt it. Creepy, I know. But it smelt of him. What did I do? I wore it. Not just while I was in his apartment. No, I wore it outside.
I drop my jeans on the floor. I gently take the jumper off the hanger, and pull it on. It’s soft, well-worn, and comfortable. I check myself in the mirror – his jumper’s so long, it’s almost halfway down my thighs. It’s like an over-sized long-sleeved dress. Then again, I’m rather petite compared to Oliver. Petite and quite a fair bit shorter than him.
As I stare at myself in the mirror, I decide that this is all I’m going to wear. Just this emerald green jumper. It’s a bold move, but hey, why not? It might just help me find a way to open up to Oliver – to tell him how I feel. It’s not until my hand is on the bedroom door that I remember hearing the doorbell. What if he has a visitor?
I open the door enough for me to peep out. He’s not on the couch anymore. I wait, listening for any voices, but all I hear is the TV. I open the door wider and step out. I pause, listening, while ready to duck back into his bedroom. We’re alone – so it’s time to bite the bullet and do this. I close the bedroom door, before taking tentative steps towards the lounge. A minute ago I was confident about coming out here like this. Now that it’s come down to it, I’m not so sure.
I stop in the archway into the lounge – and that’s when our eyes meet. He’s walking away from the front door headed for the couch, holding take-away Chinese food. That explains the doorbell! I watch as his eyes drift down, noticing what I have on, and his mouth drops open slightly. It snaps shut and he swallows. He is in love with me.
He dumps the food on the coffee table and then comes around to me. I can’t believe I haven’t noticed it before – the love in his eyes every time he looks at me. I smile and he smiles back.
“I got us some food.”
I step closer, getting so close our faces are inches apart. “Uh-huh,” I airily reply.
There’s a moment where we both just look into each others’ eyes. He then cups my head, leans in, and kisses me. I kiss him back, finally setting my emotions free – opening my mouth to deepen it, our tongues rolling over each other. I grab his shirt with both hands, curling my fingers until I have them in tight fists. It’s such an incredible feeling finally kissing him.
He breaks our kiss, and I stop myself from chasing him. I know he wouldn’t stop unless it was necessary. He looks into my eyes, and for the first time I love the bright blue of his eyes.
“I love you,” he whispers. “I have since I met you.”
My bottom lip trembles as my eyes fill with tears. I can’t believe he’s finally confessing it! “I love you, too, Oliver.”
He smiles, before reclaiming my lips in another kiss. As our kisses turn into rough, passionate kisses, I take a step back, pulling him with me. The next thing I know my back hits the bedroom door. Damn! Forgot that I closed it. Oliver drops his left hand from my head, and seconds later the door’s opening. I let go of his shirt, slide my hands up his chest, and wrap my arms around his neck.
I start to step back, but he pulls me back to him. He easily lifts me up – an advantage of his strength – and I instinctively wrap my legs around him. We continue to kiss. I run a hand up into his hair as he walks over to his bed. He kneels on the bed and lowers me until I’m lying on my back with him on top.
He pulls back, supporting his weight above me with his right hand on the bed just next to my left shoulder. God, I love it when he unintentionally shows off his strength.
“For the record,” he says, “that suits you better than it does me.”
I smile, and pull his head back down to me, kissing him again.
I don’t know why I waited so long to do this.
Well, that’s it. Please comment.
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