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where we love is home

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“Is it possible for home to be a person and not a place?” 
― Stephanie Perkins, Anna and the French Kiss

 

Oliver crawls through her window at midnight on a Friday.


He's dressed in dark wash jeans and a sweatshirt, sleeves  pushed up to his elbows. The sound of his feet on the floor send Felicity into alert mode and she quietly picks up the bat leaning against her bedroom wall. Felicity has never had a break-in before, or directly dealt with any type of crime near her apartment. It was a fairly safe neighborhood, consisting mostly of families and the elderly and the security was good - a key card was needed to get in after midnight and Cecil the doorman worked nights (John worked days and Maggie and Je Yeun held down the fort on weekends). Regardless, Diggle had hammered in the fact that she was to call someone the moment she suspected an intruder in her home so, she silently rifles through the pocket of her robes, finding her phone and Oliver’s number first on her most recently called before hitting the dial button. A resounding rendition of Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody (Felicity's idea of a joke) leaks in from the other room, kicking Felicity into action. When she rounds the corner, bat raised over head, to find Oliver balancing precariously half in, half out of her apartment window, she drops the weapon to the floor, aluminum clattering loudly against the linoleum.


"Oliver?"


He stumbles inside and stands - not really looking like his legs can hold him up as his body sways carefully before Oliver reaches out a hand to her couch, steadying himself.


"What happened?" She knows it isn't Arrow related, he's not in the suit, there’s no visible injuries, and they had all mutually bowed out early tonight from skulking the streets for gangbangers.


He looks at her, eyes a little broken, head bowed and shoulder slumped like the weight of the world rests there and opens his mouth, once, twice, before closing it and returning his gaze to the floor.


"I told Thea." Oliver's voice cracks a little bit with emotion and Felicity swallows heavily, assuming it had not gone well between him and his younger sister.


"What - What did you tell her? How much?"


It’s a profound question because it drives home the fact that Oliver had been keeping multiple, big secrets from Thea - secrets that directly concerned her. He shakes his head as if he can't believe himself, before whispering. "Everything."


It's the first thing Oliver's said all night that leaves his heart a little lighter. Honesty has never come easy to him, it's part of the reason he has the friends that he does - they call him on his shit when it's necessary. Telling Thea - about Merlyn, about him - felt right and, ultimately, no matter how angry she was at him now, Oliver's glad she didn't find out from someone else.



 

"You should talk to Roy." Thea looks at him strangely, a little numb from all the revelations he's dumped on her.


"Why? You didn't even like our relationship," She laughs bitterly, chin tucked and muttering under breath, "when we had one."


Oliver winces because this is all his fault as well. "I made him break up with you."


His sister's mouth twists angrily and he wonder if this last part was too much, if she’ll ever forgive him, but then her face stills and she calms. "No one can make Roy do anything he doesn't want to."


Thea's throat bobs up and down like she's swallowing her sobs, or maybe just these bitter truths and her hands curl into tiny, wretched fists.


"But I hold a lot of influence over him." Oliver licks his lips, and watches his sister come to terms with who he is - because Roy couldn't give two fucks about Oliver Queen, but the Hood is his personal hero. Now, they’re the same person. "There's more to the story. A lot more, but I think Roy should tell you."


Oliver observes his sister break and begin to put the pieces back together as he stands in front of her and knows Thea will be okay. She is so much stronger than him.



 


But he couldn't stay in that house. Thea left immediately to find Roy because even though she could handle it all alone she didn't want to - further proof to Oliver that his sister is a much better person than he. Oliver who pushes those he loves away, who lies to them and runs when thing get too hard.


Felicity comes over and wraps her arms around him. She's warm and smells like fresh shampoo and he hates himself a little because Oliver can never give her what she deserves, can't even give her what she wants. Her touch is strange and it’s a further reminder that they haven't really been this close in a long while - not since Sara. (Nyssa came back a little more willing to compromise and things just kind of petered out between Sara and Oliver. It's one more thing they have in common - in love with people they shouldn't be with.)


Their hands link and Felicity draws him to the couch, leading him as he tiredly follows. He sits and she pushes his chest, encouraging him to lay down. His legs stick off the couch a little, but it’s big, a soft, tan sectional. Felicity leaves and Oliver's almost reaches for her, resisting the urge to cry out for her to stay, but she returns anyway, several minutes later, with a big furry green blanket tucked under her right arm and a pillow under the left. Tucking the pillow under his head, she whips out the blanket to full length before draping it over him, letting the satin hit him like a second skin. Oliver is fading fast, the smell and atmosphere of Felicity's apartment lulling him to sleep - the entire place just emanates her.


His eyes flutter and he mumbles out a quick apology for staying, for taking her couch. He doesn't see her shake her head and he certainly doesn't feel the quiet kiss Felicity lays on his forehead after Oliver drifts off.


But Felicity knows. And her lips burn with the feel of Oliver's skin until sleep claims her as well.