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Don't Speak the Language

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“You told me you loved her.” Quentin takes a sip of tea. He and Sara are back at the Chinese restaurant they met up in, having tea and processing her return to Starling City. So much went with so little explanation, as is necessary in the midst of battle.
“I did love her. There’s a part of me that still does.” Sara stares into her teacup.
“But?” Quentin prompts, eyebrows furrowing.
“But that love isn’t enough. Sometimes…sometimes love, no matter how strong it may be, isn’t enough. I’m done with killing. I can hardly be with or support a killer in the way a relationship needs support. And Nyssa, Nyssa is so much more than a killer but while she released me from my service to the guild she was born into hers. It is, I think, a part of her—she doesn’t see it as wrong and maybe she never will—and I can’t be with her and live with that.” Sara looks up with a sigh. Quentin wraps his arm around her shoulder and kisses the crown of her head.
“In the past six years…I’m still surprised by how much you’ve grown up.”
“I am too, Daddy. I am too.”

Felicity is a bit worried about being replaced by Sara, that’s undeniably true. Come on, the woman was an assassin. She kicks literal ass. And is evidently well-versed in biosciences and speaks Mandarin and Arabic and god knows how many other languages. But none of this worry is caused by Sara herself—Sara’s been a part of Team Arrow for a combined total of less than a week but she pays far more attention to Felicity than Oliver or even Diggle. Felicity supposes she wears her heart on her sleeve more than most of the people Sara’s met, but she barely knows her when she notices that something’s wrong before Diggle does—and Oliver, of course, is so self-absorbed that he doesn’t notice at all. They get called away to work on the Tockman case before she has a chance to answer, but she finds with some surprise that she would have told Sara. Sara, who always looks at her with a smile in her eyes, who is so warm and kind and caring even after everything that’s happened to her. Sara, who sees her working out and adjusts her stance, recommends a technique well-suited to “smaller people, like us”.
Diggle was right in his assessment that Felicity feels something off when she looks at Sara and Oliver together. But he was wrong in assuming the reason for that is Oliver. She’s a little confused by the sheer quantity of people who seem to think she has a thing for Oliver, but she doesn’t dwell on it. She’s too busy trying to figure out what, exactly, the warmth she feels when Sara calls her cute portends.

Sara has never, not once in her life and definitely not as an assassin, considered sex to be like sparring. In fact, she tends to find the comparison a little trite, but with Oliver it’s different. Sex with Oliver is almost exactly like a good fight—it releases the tension coiled tight in her belly after what happened with Nyssa, it allows her to forget…everything, if only for a time. And she trusts Oliver with her life, or this wouldn’t be happening at all, and she does love Oliver…in a way, but the sex they have has nothing at all to do with that love. The sex is about trust, and relief, and having a warm body beneath her, and that’s it. Oliver knows it too—and she’s not surprised that he feels similarly. After all, he never was in love with her. Together, they have never been about that kind of all-consuming fairy tale romantic love.

Felicity and Sara train together—or, more accurately, Sara teaches Felicity how to train and does the salmon ladder like it’s nothing, which, Felicity has tried to do a pull-up and failed. The salmon ladder is not nothing. Sara’s wearing only a sports bra and those exercise leggings that hit just below the crease of her knee and Felicity can’t quite keep her eyes off her abs. Or her arms. Everything about her body screams power and Felicity didn’t think she’d find that attractive, has certainly never found that attractive before, but the flush in her cheeks isn’t just from cardio and her throat isn’t only dry because she’s a bit dehydrated.
“Felicity? Felicity?” Sara tries to get her attention, which has clearly…wandered off.
“Huh?” She looks up abruptly.
“You okay?”
“Oh, yeah. I was just admiring your abs. I’d like them on me.” Sara just smirks for a moment until Felicity realizes what she’s said, “I mean, not on me like on me, on me like on my body…Oh god that’s worse.”
Sara laughs.
Felicity thinks it’s a beautiful sound—so much so, that her embarrassment from constantly tripping over her own tongue is somewhat diminished.
“You’re cute” Sara says again
Felicity never knows how to respond to that.