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From Darhkness Comes Light

Chapter Text

“We’ve all got light and dark inside us. What matters is the part we choose to act on. That’s who we really are.” ~ Sirius Black

 

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

 

“This wasn't how I wanted things to be between us.”

The gun was pointed at him and she had no idea if she shot him, if he would die. All she knew was that this was as far as she could let things go. No further. Her feelings were conflicted, but then they weren’t. She knew what was right, what HAD to be done even though it was a hard thing to do. What mattered right now was saving people and that meant killing him.

“You didn’t even want a relationship with me until you realized that you could use me,” she told him. Her heart was breaking and tears slid down her cheeks as she held the gun on him. “You KNEW about me. I remember my father when I was younger…before you left…left us both…”

“I HAD to.”

“Did you?”

“Ra’s—“

“Ra’s al Ghul…as you knew him…is no more,” Felicity shouted angrily. This wasn’t how things were supposed to be, he was right about that. She wasn’t supposed to be there with a gun pointed on her father. This was the man that she’d adored for so long, the man that she’d blamed her mother for pushing away and leaving them. The man that she’d held on pedestal for so long…and now…she couldn’t be more ashamed of him...of herself. “You and Ra’s were at odds for how long?” she asked and then a short laugh escaped her body. “And it was US…it was Oliver Queen who took down the Demon’s Head. Not you.”

“And now you put that nothing Malcolm Merlyn on his throne,” he came back, obviously not caring that she had a gun on him. “The Magician. It was all an illusion… Your Oliver, he trained with—“

“You. Killed. Him.”

This only seemed to amuse him and anger and upset her further. Oliver Queen was dead. Damien Darhk had taken him and killed him…and she’d never had the chance to say goodbye. Felicity was still having a hard time coming to grips with that reality. Oliver had “died” so many times in the last ten years of his life, she wasn’t even sure if he’d known the exact count.

“Did I?” Darhk teased with an amused smile as he tilted his head to the side slightly. “I can tell you this, I could have already disarmed and killed you by now…if I wanted.”

“Then why don’t you?”

Instead of answering her, though, he just smiled at her. It was the way that he looked at her, it was creepy and disconcerting. Felicity just didn’t know how to respond to that. The response to her question still hung in the air between them and she didn’t think he was ever going to respond on that point.

He moved towards her, he was dressed in a dark suit and in the dim of the room they were in, the highlights of his light colored shirt and the matching pocket square seemed to almost glow along with his bright blue eyes. Darhk wasn't scared of her, that was apparent as his head cocked to one side as a sinister smile spread across his face as he continued to move towards her.

"I'll shoot you!" she warned.

"You won't."

She would.

This road had been long and exhausting and in that moment, Felicity wondered if he was right...but only for a brief moment. All she could wonder was if she wanted to go forward after that moment. Taking the shot, she knew that she could do that. She could kill. Damien Darhk had destroyed her life. He'd destroyed Felicity Smoak. What else was there for her to live for?

"You and I, Felicity...you'll see...you'll understand my plan," Darhk told her as he inched closer.

There was no hesitation. The trigger was pulled. A gasp escaped her lips and the gun began to slip from her hands. Panic and fear set in all before her brain could even grasp the fact that the gun had been fired. Her eyes didn't even hear it. She blinked, her black lashes brushing the tops of her cheeks, feeling like it was being done in slow motion. It was only a breath before she was falling backwards, her eyes staring upwards and unable to do anything to stop what came next.

 

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

 

TBC…

Chapter Text

"To me, you are perfect." ~ "Love Actually"

 

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

 

Six Months Before

 

"How was your lunch with Thea?"

"Fine, but you should have joined...she asked why you hadn't," Oliver told her as they walked into their home together. It had been several months since their return to Star City. It hadn't been planned. Felicity, though, had welcomed the return. Not for the REASON they had to return, but for the fact that she'd missed it all. Oliver might have seemed perfectly happy living the life that had that summer, but she'd been used to so much more busy.

Felicity shrugged. "You two CAN have just sibling time…without my presence, though I am certain that my presence would have enriched the lunch date." She just beamed at him before kissing him as she walked across the room to hit the light switch to illuminate the next room. It was late, nearly four in the morning. Felicity didn't miss their all hours schedule, especially with her trying to get things under control at Palmer Technologies still. Luckily, no one seemed to be pressing that or expecting her to keep normal hours.

So, there was that at least.

Before she could really even process it, she was being turned and lifted and pressed against the wall. A short scream escaped her lips, but was cut off by a kiss and her legs found Oliver's hips to wrap around. They were exhausted, but she was NEVER too exhausted for this…

They parted for just a breath before his lips were all over her neck, her arms holding onto him for dear life. God, she loved this man so much. The energy between them sparked and Felicity knew that this wasn't going to last for long, but she knew at the same time that they both needed to sleep. Oliver pressed his body tightly against hers and kissed her quickly and let his lips just hover just away from her lips. Her eyes fluttered and she just stared and waited.

"I'm still happy," he whispered.

Felicity beamed in response. Their coming back, Oliver had hoped was just temporary...to make sure that his sister was okay. The thing was, they were NEEDED back. It wasn't temporary. This was their home. Star City. They weren't leaving. "Good," she finally responded quietly.

"And I never want this to end…"

"We're going to have to go to bed sometime," she reminded logically.

Oliver let out a huff of a laugh and looked down and then back up at her almost immediately. "Marry me, Felicity."

It was like the air had been knocked from her lungs, her eyes widened and she struggled to make sense of what he'd just said. Blinking wildly, she wondered if this was really him proposing. Felicity wasn't complaining. "Y-y-yes," she finally pushed out.

Oliver lit up and it was as if what they'd been doing had been completely forgotten as he set her down on her feet, Felicity had to lean against the wall to keep herself upright. "I have a whole romantic speech...and a ring--just...I'll be right back," he told her and he seemed even more happy than he had that entire summer they'd been gone. She hadn't thought that was possible.

She didn't move.

He'd gone into the bedroom and she'd heard rustling and had just waited.

The sound of something hitting the wall and breaking had shaken her out of the blissful daze she was in. Felicity pushed herself off the wall and nearly tripped in the process of making a beeline for their bedroom. The sounds of a struggle panicked Felicity as she yanked on the door only to find that it was locked when she finally turned the knob. She pounded on the door. "Oliver! Oliver?! What's going on?!"

No response.

It was definitely the sounds of a struggle. She could hear grunts and punches and Oliver's short cries of pain. Trying to breathe and flush away the panic, she tried to focus on getting IN the room. She had to get the door opened.

"Keys," she breathed as she spun, trying to locate her purse. The bedroom door had been keyed when they'd purchased the place and it seemed silly to switch it out when there MIGHT be a reason in the future to lock it. So, Oliver had told her to just keep a key on her keyring in case they ever got locked out (assuming her keys didn't get locked in too). The sound that she knew came from Oliver only made her move faster as her heart felt like it was going to pound out of her chest, the sound of it making it ears throb and yet she could feel her heartbeat pulse in her hands. "Keys…"

When she finally laid eyes on it, she grabbed it and hurried back towards the door, trying to look for it as she moved. The keys dropped to the ground and she just dropped the whole purse and diverted her attention immediately to just the keys. They were all she needed in that moment, she just needed to get the door open and to get to Oliver. She needed to know what was going on and that he was okay.

The key shook in her hand as she tried to force it into the lock. A quiet frustrated and panicked cry escaped her lips before the key finally slid into place. She turned it and the knob, pushing the door inward only to nearly fall on her face. She held onto the knob for support and let out a sound like she'd just been kicked.

Tears fell down her cheeks and she couldn't breathe as she took in the sight. Their bedroom was completely trashed and Oliver was on the hardwood floor bloody and beaten. He wasn't moving and she felt like she was weighed down by a heavy gravity that wouldn't allow her to run to his side. Slowly, she lifted her feet and moved herself to his side before dropping into a heap next to him. Her hand shook as her fingers searched for a pulse.

She couldn't breathe. She couldn't find a pulse. Nothing. The shock of it seemed to wear off and her body seemed to convulse as the reality hit her hard. Twisted inside and wracked with sobs, one forced itself out of her...forcing her to breathe. "Oliver," she sobbed and reached out to try to find a pulse again, to shake him.

Phone.

Call for help.

Her mind shifted, but before she could even move, the sound of something sliding across the floor distracted her. The shine caught her before her mind could process what it was. It was stopped by Oliver's body, coming almost to his hand.

A ring.

The ring that Oliver had gone to get.

It was beautiful.

Of course it was beautiful. It was a band of leaves with a diamond nestled in them. It was different and perfect and it reminded her so much of their summer together. Of simpler times. Of happiness and--

Where had the ring come from?

Her gaze moved towards where the ring came from. He stepped out of the dark shadow of the closet and she just stared at him, shocked and confused. "Hello, Flower...it's been a while."

 

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

 

TBC…

Chapter Text

"The trouble is, you think you have time." ~ Buddha

 

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

 

"She won't leave him."

"Felicity?"

"She's in shock. She said that they couldn't take the body...but they HAVE to. I just couldn't--I couldn't have her forcibly moved--I just--"

"Felicity? Felicity...say something."

Shock.

Oliver was DEAD.

Maybe she was in shock.

Blinking, so that the tears would fall. Salt from her tears clung to her cheeks, but she didn't care and she didn't bother to wipe the tears away. She didn't look up at them, she just stared at him...at Oliver...at her fiancee...her almost husband...there on the floor. They'd covered him, but she was still holding his hand.

"What are we going to do, John?" she whispered as she finally looked towards where John Diggle crouched down with Quentin Lance right behind him.

"We're going to let them take him," Diggle replied gently.

"NO!" she screamed. "No!" Felicity looked back at the covered body. This couldn't be it. She wouldn't let this be it. Sobs wracked her again and she found that she was being gently and yet forcibly moved away from Oliver. Diggle was taking her hand from his and wrapping his arms around her. She wanted to scream. She wanted to beat on him and tell him that he had to let her go. She couldn't. Instead, she clung to him for dear life and just let it all out.

Time passed, she didn't know how much.

"Do you think you could answer a couple of questions?" Lance asked.

Diggle was still holding her and for brief seconds she'd feel like she was actually safe. She knew that wasn't possible, though. No one was safe. "When will they release the body?"

"That's up to the coroner."

"We have to take him to Nanda Parbat," Felicity whispered, mostly to herself.

"You're going to take him there? Why?"

"We're not," John said firmly, which caused her to look up at him. To search his eyes. "We can't…"

"We can," she argued. "Thea--"

"There were side effects," he reminded.

And he was right.

"I said YES, John," Felicity tried to explain. She didn't know if Oliver had talked to him about the proposal, things between the two of them had been rocky...but she knew that they'd eventually get over it. They always did.

"Can I please take her?" John asked Quentin.

"I was hoping to just ask a couple of questions," Lance pushed. "Like if she saw--"

The response fell from her lips before Lance could even get the whole question out. "Yes." What word would he have used? Attacker? Murderer? Culprit? Assailant? The man that Lance wanted...he was beyond the Star City Police Department. Damien Darhk was darkness and evil itself. A demon dragged from hell.

"Did you recogniz--"

"It was my father," she whispered, completely ashamed and abashed by that hard and unexpected truth.

Damien Darhk had once been her father. The man that she remembered when she was a girl...he wasn't the same man who had just murdered her fiancee. The father that she remembered was kind and gentle and LOVED her. Damien Darhk was none of those things.

Silence hung between them all.

It was certainly not the answer that any of them expected, she knew that, not even she could have ever expected that. "Damien Darhk. He was once part of the League of Assassins. He split from them. He was an enemy of Ra's...the other Ra's...not--" It didn't matter. None of it mattered. Her eyes went back to Diggle. "Please help me."

"Felicity, he wouldn't WANT it."

"He's died how many times now?"

"He's not a cat, Felicity… He wouldn't want you to go through that with him," Diggle said gently. "We don't even know if they'd allow it."

She just stared at him and couldn't believe his words. "Oh, he'd allow it."

Malcolm Merlyn. He might be the current Ra's al Ghul, but he didn't scare her. She'd drag Oliver's body to Nanda Parbat herself and do whatever she had to in order to get him to the Lazarus Pit. It couldn't end like this. They had been so happy...he'd just proposed...everything had been so perfect. She would have never imagined to lose him like this...and she was determined not to.

"Let's go," Diggle told her instead. His arms were still wrapped around her, holding the blanket that apparently someone had sometime wrapped around her.

As they walked out, all she could do was see all the happy moments they'd made in that place in such a short amount of time. Finally, her gaze moved to the ring that she'd put on her hand...the one that Oliver was supposed to have slipped onto her finger. It was hers. She was his fiancee. She'd said yes.

It couldn't end like this.

 

*~*~*~*~*~*~*

 

TBC…

Chapter Text

"Keep your head up. Keep your heart strong"

 

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

 

He was dead.

Oliver Queen was dead.

The man that she loved.

The man who loved her in return.

The man that she'd just agreed to marry.

None of it made sense. None of it FELT real. Was it real? How many times in Oliver's life had people thought he was dead? Him going off to face Ra's al Ghul...he'd gotten so close. She didn't even know if maybe he HAD died...even just for a little bit. All her brain and heart kept telling her was that this couldn't be the end.

Diggle had taken her home with him and he'd tried to get her to take something to help her sleep, but she'd instead refused the pills and then completely broke down. He'd left her alone and hadn't come in when she'd started to sob. Felicity hadn't meant to be loud, but she remembered about little Sara when she'd heard a door open and had turned her head and cried into her arm. The ring held so much weight on her finger, but she wasn't taking it off…

Oliver HAD to be alive.

Her mind kept going back to finding his body on the floor of their bedroom. How bloody and broken he'd been. There'd been so much blood. How when she'd touched him and held his hand, he'd been warm. She'd attempted CPR until the police had gotten there and pulled her away...and then she'd been made to watch them declare Oliver dead...to watch them STOP fighting for him. For so long, they'd fought for the city...and it seemed like no one else out there was fighting for him.

Oliver HAD to be alive.

Hours had passed. She didn't know how many. She didn't care. It didn't matter. Felicity had broken down, but was unable to grieve her fiancee's loss...because to her, he wasn't lost. He had to be alive. She kept waiting for her phone to ring...for Diggle's...for him to come in and declare that Oliver had woken up at the hospital. He just couldn't be dead. She didn't believe it.

Idle wasn't getting her anywhere and it wasn't making her feel better. It was just telling her that she was there when she could be out...when she could be with Oliver. Maybe the hospital didn't know who to contact… Thoughts tumbled through her head and she just couldn't just stay there..she couldn't sleep…

Oliver was out there.

Slipping her shoes back on, she grabbed her coat and her things and started to shove things into pockets and grabbed her purse. Felicity, intent on leaving, moved to the bedroom door. Slowly and silently, she turned the knob and pulled the door. Looking down the hallway first, she quietly stepped out and headed towards the front door. The palm of her hand was on the knob when the lights in the front room were turned on.

"Where are you going?" Diggle asked.

"To the hospital, to see Oliver."

"Felicity--"

"Please don't say he's dead," she said as she hung her head a bit.

Diggle let out a sigh. "At least let me drive you."

"You should sleep."

"So should you," he said. "Just give me a couple of minutes...I'll take you…"

 

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

 

"Is there a GOOD reason why I had to be dragged out of bed at four thirty in the morning to come down to the coroner's office?" Lance asked. He was dressed in civilian clothes and was not only cross but quite sleepy.

"I just--" Felicity tried. "He wasn't at the hospital. The police station said he was here and I had to see him," she whispered and her gaze dropped to the floor. Had she been all wrong? Was she delusional? Was Oliver really dead?

Lance let out a long sigh and then was wrapping an arm around her. "You shouldn't see him like this...not again… That shouldn't be how you remember him."

Maybe he was right.

"I have to see him," she whispered as she looked up at Quentin Lance. "Please," Felicity pleaded. "All I keep thinking is that he's not dead...that he's going to wake up and--"

"Okay, okay…"

The looks exchanged between Diggle and Lance weren't lost to her. They were both concerned, but at least neither of them seemed to be giving her the feeling that they thought that she was crazy. She wasn't.

Felicity walked with Lance as he moved her into the cold storage area. Along a wall there were drawers and she knew that it was likely that some of them contained bodies. One of them was Oliver. She couldn't imagine what it would be like for him to wake up in one...in that cold...trapped. Tears fell and she reached out for Diggle, who immediately grabbed her and then pulled her into his side when Lance released her in order to pull out one of the drawers.

They'd undressed Oliver and they'd cleaned him. He wasn't bloody, but his face was bruised and swollen. His skin was a ghostly pallor and Felicity couldn't stop herself from reaching out and touching him. Cold. Like ice. Her breath shuddered in her chest as the cold reality slapped her in the face. He wasn't warm. Not even a little bit.

John was holding her tight and seemed to pull her a step back so that he was out of her reach. "You've seen him… Tomorrow, we'll make arrangements," Diggle told her.

"Thea. What about Thea?" Felicity asked, her voice almost turning quietly hysterical.

"I've already told her...personally," Lance told her gently. "That poor girl...she's lost everything...everyone…"

She still had them.

Thea still had Walter.

Thea even still had Malcolm, if she wanted him.

"She shouldn't be alone," Felicity told John.

He was beyond concerned. That was so clear. "YOU shouldn't be alone, either." John sighed. "Let's go and get Thea…"

Felicity couldn't take her eyes off as Quentin recovered Oliver's body and slowly pushed him back into the freezer storage wall. The door closed with a heavy thud. He wasn't coming back, it finally hit her. Oliver was dead. This wasn't some kind of trick. He wasn't going to appear in a few weeks...in months...in five years. She'd lost him. They all had.

"Let's go get Thea," she breathed in agreement as she held onto John's arm, using him as her anchor to the reality that she was struggling continuing existing in.

 

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

 

TBC…

Chapter Text

"Never let your head hang down. Never give up and sit down and grieve. Find another way." ~ Satchel Paige

 

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

 

"We HAVE to DO something."

"Thea, what do you expect us to do?"

"We go to Nanda Parbat!"

"You think that Malcolm's just going to let us resurrect Oliver using the Lazarus Pit without any strings?" Diggle asked and his frustration was clear. "You know from first hand experience that it affects those it brings back! We can't risk it...and I don't think Oliver would WANT that."

"YOU don't think he would?!" Thea exploded.

Felicity had just been sitting there, listening to them. It was like the reality was completely sinking into her. Like it had to sink into every inch of her being. It weighed on her incredibly. A building might as well have collapsed on her, that was how heavy she felt…the weight she was carrying. Oliver Queen was dead. He was completely, medically declared, locked in a coroner's freezer...dead.

Was it selfish?

Was it wrong?

Was it unnatural?

These were all things she'd been battling with as Diggle had told her 'no' and the same things he was telling Thea about what Oliver would want. They ALL loved Oliver and they were ALL one family. It wasn't Thea or Diggle that pulled her back to reality or their fighting...or even the words...it was Lyla. She came in, she was obviously not pleased with any of them. All she did was look at them and then walked back to her room. She and Thea were technically intruding and even though they were grieving a death, there was still a family that slept at Diggle's house and they needed their sleep.

Felicity was quiet as she looked towards a very tear stained Thea and a frustrated Diggle. "Maybe we should all sleep on that question…"

"What question?" Diggle asked.

"What WOULD Oliver want?" she posed quietly in her numbed state . "We all know him… Who he was…" The past tense rolling off her lips seemed not only foreign, but toxic. "We also all love him...and that's likely coloring what WE want." She paused for a moment. "Let's put in a call to Malcolm...have a response...so we can weigh it all more properly… He might not even agree--"

"HE WILL," Thea said fiercely.

Their eyes met and Felicity knew that she was right. Malcolm Merlyn might be Ra's al Ghul and leader of the League of Assassins, but they were Team Arrow and they would do anything in order to save Oliver (or bring him back). If they willed it, no force on earth could stop them. "I know," she finally replied, her voice a whisper. "But we need to sleep, too… Nothing is going to matter if we're all exhausted and worn out…"

Thea seemed to soften and Diggle seemed to appreciate what she was saying, or at least she thought so. Moving towards Thea, she held out an arm and Thea didn't fight the embrace. She put her arm around Thea and headed towards the guest room that Diggle had put her in earlier. Right now, they needed to be together.

"I'll call Merlyn," Diggle offered.

"No," Felicity said quietly as she stopped and looked back over her shoulder at him. "I will."

 

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

 

TBC…

Chapter Text

"Sometimes the hardest thing and the right thing are not the same."

 

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

 

"Did you sleep?"

"No."

"Did you?"

"No."

"You're right."

"I sort of hate that you're agreeing with me right now," Diggle admitted. "Because MAYBE you ARE right."

Felicity just stared at him across the table as she drank the strong coffee she'd made. "When I first came to Star City...when it was still Starling City...it was an exciting adventure...and I was working IT at Queen Consolidated...I knew no one, but I was okay with that. My life was a routine...until you and Oliver kept showing up...and I guess...after all these years...after how happy we've been these past few months...because of everything that happened...I just--I don't WANT to let go...but you're right. Would Oliver REALLY want to be brought back with the Lazarus Pit?"

"Did we get a response from Merlyn?"

For a minute, she just let that question hover in the silence between them. Felicity drank down the cup and then got up from her chair and went to refill it. Today was going to require a lot of coffee to get through it. She didn't even know how she was going to get through the next. "Yes," she said quietly as she poured the coffee. Inside, she knew that she should be hurting...but she was just numb. Felicity kept waiting for the feeling that she wanted to crawl into that wall freezer with Oliver and never leave his side, but it didn't come. There was still the question of what to do in limbo.

"He'll do it?"

Holding the cup between her hands, she just stared at the dark bitter liquid it held. "Of course he will," she whispered as she turned back to him. Honestly, Malcolm Merlyn could deny them, but she knew that he wouldn't. It wasn't even the threat of what Team Arrow would bring upon him...it was the fact that HIS daughter was asking for it. It benefited Merlyn for Oliver to be alive...in so many ways.

"So what do we do?"

Felicity just stared at him blankly as she sat back down. "I honestly don't know."

 

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

 

TBC…

Chapter Text

"Hope rises like a phoenix from the ashes of shattered dreams" ~ S.A. Sachs

 

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

 

"Did we make the right decision?"

"About a burial?"

"No," she said and paused, really thinking about it. It was raining and it seemed right. Inside, she was crying and it felt like so now was the whole world. "About not taking Malcolm up on his offer."

Silence.

Diggle finally responded, "I think that he can rest now."

Rest.

It sounded like he was simply sleeping, but that wasn't the case. No. Oliver Queen was dead. His body was buried alongside Moira and Robert Queen's empty grave. She'd wanted to go to Lian Yu, where Oliver had told her that his father had been buried. While they were gone, they tried to keep things light and happy, but he'd also promised her that he'd give her the truth. So, she'd asked further about his time away. Robert Queen, Yao Fei, and Shado were all buried alongside each other on Lian Yu. Diggle had talked her out of it, though, saying that if Oliver had WANTED to bring his father home...he would have done it. It was just hard for her to think that the Queen family wouldn't be buried all together.

"And what about us?" Felicity asked as she turned to Diggle. They were the last ones there. Felicity had waited until they'd filled in the hole, for some reason, she needed to see the grave filled in and covered. No tombstone, but it would be there shortly, she'd been assured of that. Thea had surprisingly left with Lyla, almost immediately after the service was done. It had been hard to convince Thea and to convince herself to NOT take Oliver's body to Nanda Parbat. She'd visited his body so many times, her heart keep telling her that he was still either Oliver or that this was all a dream.

It wasn't.

It had taken them a week to get Oliver's body released to the funeral home and for the arrangements to be made for him to be put in the ground. Now that he was there, Felicity just wanted to crouch down and dig him up with her own hands. Felicity found herself staring down at the ring on her finger, the ring that Oliver had picked out for her. Suddenly, she felt lightheaded and felt like the edges of her vision were darkening.

Before she could collapse, though, she turned to Diggle. "I just need to be alone," she told him. Felicity forced herself to stay upright and conscious. Maybe her body was just fighting the tears, sobs, and breakdown that was coming. Her arms wrapped around herself and she looked back towards the grave.

She couldn't leave him.

Not yet.

"Felicity, you shouldn't be alone," Diggle whispered.

"Maybe," she replied as she continued to stare at Oliver's grave. "But right now...I just need space…"

"For today," he said. "Just for today...come home with me… If you need to be alone tomorrow, then so be it…"

Looking back at him, Felicity stared at him long and hard. John Diggle was such a good friend and he had such a good heart. He was likely right, that she didn't need to be alone TODAY, but she couldn't help but feel any other way about things. "Just for an hour," Felicity offered. "I just need to be alone for an hour."

"I'll be back for you then in an hour," he said as he reached out and brushed her arm with his hand before pushing the umbrella handle into her hand and then turning and heading away.

Dropping her head and then turning back to Oliver's grave, she just stared. She let the world around her fade away. Everything. No sound. No anything. Just her and Oliver. Her face was dry, but it wasn't because she wasn't devastated, but just because she couldn't bring herself to shed anymore tears that day...to feel the extreme exhaustion that came with grieving for him.

"Hello, Flower."

Immediately, her body stiffened and the umbrella started to drop from her hand. Felicity looked over to find that not only was Damien Darhk standing there, but now he was the one holding the umbrella and shading them both from the rain. Felicity wanted to do so many things in that moment, but she found herself frozen instead, unable to act upon her thoughts.

"It's been too long."

Her mouth hung open and she tried to process the words that she needed to say. His finger ran through her hair and she pulled back like his touch burned. She slipped back and fell down. Damien Darhk was immediately pulling her back to her feet, his arm wrapped around her waist and holding her close. His piercing blue eyes staring at her.

"You KILLED Oliver," she finally spat out and started to push against him.

"Oliver Queen was nothing."

"He was the man that I LOVED!"

"YOU are MY daughter!" Damien shouted at her, holding her tight and shaking her. "He wasn't WORTHY of you!"

Something inside her snapped.

Felicity suddenly could think, though she knew that she was blinded by solely her hatred for Damien Darhk. Her knee came up to his crotch, but he blocked her. She tried to hit and kick, but at every swing and movement...he blocked her. Tears streamed down her face. Frustration was killing her.

"You could bring him back! You KNOW that!" Damien told her, shaking her again. "The Lazarus Pit. Nanda Parbat. HIS DEATH WAS YOUR CHOICE."

And he was right.

God, he was right.

Oliver was dead because of her.

 

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

TBC…

Chapter Text

"Sometimes I wish I could hurt you the way you hurt me, but I know, if I had the chance to, I wouldn't."

 

*~*~*~*~*~*

 

Everything was packed.

Everything except a backpack and a piece of luggage had been put in storage. Felicity had tried to continue living in Star City, like life could go on. All she saw everywhere was him. Palmer Technologies, they understood that she needed to go away and take some time off, but she could be reached if needed. The team knew where she was going, had all of her contact info, and they seemed to understand.

Thea.

Her thoughts kept going back to her nearly sister-in-law. Thea had lost so much in her life. Robert Queen, the man who had raised her and she'd known to be her father all her life. Oliver Queen, only to have him back again five years later. Moira Queen, the mother that she learned to love and hate and still learn from. They'd been made orphans, but it had been okay because she had Oliver. Now, she was alone in the world and as much as Felicity wanted to be there with Thea...especially because she felt like it was something that Oliver would want...she just couldn't bring herself to stay. Felicity had gone as far as to tell Thea to consider going to Roy or just travelling, they'd contacted Roy and let him know what had happened (she'd let Diggle take that call).

Tears started to roll down her face and she just couldn't hold them back. She hated being this emotional. She kept hoping that it got easier. So far, it didn't. Her phone beeped and she looked down to discover that she'd received an alert from an app on her phone letting her know that her ride to the airport was downstairs. With her head down, she shoved her phone into her coat pocket before grabbing her things and turning towards the door.

This was goodbye.

"Don't go."

She froze.

"You are so lucky that I am not normally a violent person and that I don't carry any weapons other than a tablet," Felicity said as she turned to see Damien Darhk step out of the shadows.

He seemed amused by her words. "You think that you're not capable of violence outside of your comfort zone?"

The beeping of her app told her that her driver was getting irritated waiting for her. "LEAVE. ME. ALONE."

Darhk started to move towards her, his hands outstretched. "Flower--"

"NO! You don't get to call me THAT!" Felicity shouted at him as she took three huge steps back, nearly slamming herself into the forgotten wall behind her.

"And why is that?" he asked cooley as he came to a stop.

Tears had continued to fall and she just couldn't deal with this. With the fact that her FATHER had killed her FIANCEE. With the fact that Damien Darhk had ended her entire world and came waltzing back in like he could somehow fix things or act like nothing had happened. "You killed Oliver."

"I've killed a lot of people."

He was matter of fact about how he talked about murdering people, which just made the hair on her arms stand up and fear clench her chest just a little bit. Felicity's hand searched for the doorknob, determined to leave. Turning it, she opened it just a hair and held onto the knob for dear life. "That doesn't make it better," she whispered as her voice broke.

What did he want?

What did he expect?

He had taken everything.

"Come with me."

Shock hit her and the world seemed to fade away and darkness filled the gaps in between. Her eyes didn't leave his nearly glowing blue ones in the dim living room. Damien Darhk, who had killed her beloved, wanted HER to go with HIM. He didn't seem to be joking or being sarcastic in any way...did he really expect her to accept such an offer? Was he out of his mind? Okay, so she was fairly sure that he WAS because he was a sadistic killer, but really--

"You're thinking too much," he commented and took another step towards her, a small step, as his hands came together in front of him as if he were holding something.

"Why would--"

"Because if you don't," Damien told her and paused with intention. He held out his hand to her, as if expecting her to take it, palm up. "I will take more than just Oliver Queen away from you…" He smiled evilly. "You don't think that I'd just stop there, do you?"

"I'm not LIKE you!" she screamed, her backpack falling to the floor in a heap and her luggage falling on her side as her arms flailed for a moment as she tried to wrap her mind around what was happening.

"I know that you think running home to your mother is going to help you forget, but it won't…"

"I already know how this story would end if I went with you," she told him angrily. This was like living life through Thea's eyes, but suddenly she felt jealous that Thea had Malcolm Merlyn as a father. She'd never thought of her father growing up as evil, but either something had changed him over the years or this was the true person he was...if he was even a person. "You'd ruin the person that I am...ruin the person that Oliver LOVED...I don't want to be like YOU! I HATE YOU!"

Before she could really react to his words, Felicity found his hand around his wrist. "Someone's coming," he whispered as it seemed like everything happened in a single moment in one swift moment. With his hand on her wrist, he swung her around so that her back was snugly against his chest, his chin against her ear. His hand was slapping something into her hand, while the other was guiding it and commanding the item as well. It was almost simultaneous that she realized that it was a gun in her hand as it went off, just as her door was being opened to reveal her driver.

Dead on the floor.

Eyes open wide.

Blood pooling.

Felicity wanted to scream, to fight to get away from him, for the gun NOT to be in her hand--

Had she shot him?

Had she been the one to KILL the driver?

As her mind raced, she realized that she couldn't remember if she'd squeezed the trigger or not, but remembered the feeling of the cool metal against her finger. "I--what--he's--oh my god--no--no--I--" she rambled as tears clouded her vision, but when darkness started to take her over...she gladly accepted it as she slumped into her father's arms.

A man was dead.

She'd killed him.

 

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

 

TBC…

Chapter Text

"An age is called dark, not because the light fails to shine, but because people refuse to see it." ~ James A. Michener

 

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

 

Black.

Dark.

Cold.

Fear.

Panic.

Confusion.

Felicity balled herself up further for a moment before slowly stretching out. Her limbs ached and eventually her hand stretched out until it met a wall (or at least what felt solid enough to be a wall). Where was she? For a moment, she didn't care. She really didn't. If Damien Darhk holding her in that dark room kept the people that she loved safe, then she'd stay there willingly. She could barely function in the world as it was, she had no idea how she could cope with losing anymore of her family.

Time.

There was no way for her to measure how much time had passed. In reality, though, Felicity didn't care. It could be seven hours or seven days. It hadn't been that long, though, or at least she didn't think it had been…

Light.

It filtered in under what she realized must be a door in front of her. The light illuminated an outline of it and Felicity just stared at it. What did Darhk have planned for her? Why couldn't he just let her go? Why was this so important to him? Why was it important for him to ruin her life? To kill her love? To take everything away?

Questions.

Questions upon questions.

The sound of shuffling and footfalls brought her attention to the door only momentarily before she was once again staring into the darkness and pushing out the sounds outside of that tiny room.

 

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

 

They traveled.

Cars.

Trains.

Planes.

Boats.

Time passed.

Her hair grew longer.

"One day, you're going to have to speak to me."

Looking from the vast green landscape that they were approaching by boat, she just stared at him. Everything inside of her was numb. She didn't know how long she'd spent in his care, but she really didn't care at the same time. Most of the time, she just zoned out and tried to think of happy times with Oliver and the others, to live in that time. It was easier than the reality of the world. Once in a great while she'd worry about what the others...what her mother thought had happened to her. As long as Darhk was with her, though, she knew that they were safe.

"You think you hate me, but trust me...you don't," Darhk continued. "One day...you'll wake up and realized that everything I have done for you was out of love...and you'll love me in return."

That would be a dark day, she thought.

Her eyes darted back to the growing city they were approaching. Where were they? Why were they there? Would she know the language? Would he even let her interact with the world? Or would she be hidden away?

"You will. You'll see."

So, she continued to build walls.

Felicity knew that she was safe behind those walls and at the same time, she was appeasing Dahk. Something caught her attention, she wasn't even sure what, it just brought her the feeling of Lian Yu even though obviously it wasn't Lian Yu.

Oliver.

Emotions renewed inside her.

A swirling hurricane of mixed emotions swelled inside. Tears fell from her eyes and though she tried to wipe them before they fell, she couldn't stop them. She'd been numb this whole time (however long it had been) and now, now she was feeling again. "I hate you," she found herself practically spitting out, but didn't look at Darhk. His laughter, though, in response was enough to let her know that he was amused.

She wasn't amused.

She really DID hate him.

In that moment, she decided that this wasn't going to work for her. She wouldn't be able to keep up this farce. It wasn't who she was. It wasn't the woman that she'd blossomed into. All she could think was about how Oliver would see her. How she would have seen herself, from the outside. In that moment, she'd made the decision that she would go home, but not until she killed Damien Darhk.

Until then...she would never be free.

 

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

 

TBC…

Chapter Text

"I worry for that fire in her eyes, it's in her heart too, I swear it."

 

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

 

Damien Darhk was going to die.

It likely wasn't going to be that day.

Or the next.

But eventually…

Felicity stared out at the water and wondered why he'd brought her there. She knew that he was pleased that she'd stopped confining herself to a darkened space and had actually spoken to him (though the "I hate you" yesterday had been all she'd said). Apparently it was the hope he'd wanted...or expected.

She hated that he enjoyed it so much.

She wished she could take it back.

Nothing she realized was going to get accomplished or go forward, unless it was something that HE wanted, unless she actually took steps to make it happen. So, she turned to where Darhk was sitting drinking some kind of hot beverage that she was certain was supposed to resemble coffee, but it didn't smell the part.

"Where are we?" she asked.

She watched as he froze and then smirked as he stared over her at. Maybe he was studying her. Maybe he was wondering if she would say more. Whatever it was, Felicity waited. She didn't want to make him feel like he'd won or broken her somehow. He'd done enough to her. She didn't want him celebrating any more victories.

"Does it matter?"

"No, I suppose the location doesn't really have any great significance," Felicity said quietly and turned away to look out the window again.

"That's not the question you REALLY want answered, is it?"

When she turned back, Darhk had gotten up from his chair and was standing closer to her. He seemed to be waiting for her to ask the question. He was right. That wasn't the BURNING question. "WHY did you bring me here?"

A smile perked his features. "I call it father/daughter bonding, but I suppose anyone from the outside would see it as some kind of training or a rite of passage… You can pick which title you prefer."

"Why NOW?"

"It was time."

"All hell's broken loose in Starling City countless times over the last few years that I've been there and you choose NOW to kill my fiancee and to whisk me away--"

"The timing was right."

Felicity just shook her head, not able to understand his meaning behind those words. She was frustrated and had hoped that at least SOME answers would be revealed. Really, though, there were none given. "I don't--"

"Don't understand?" he smirked. "You will. Not today. Another day, though, perhaps."

"You didn't have to kill Oliver--"

"I did."

It was so hard for her not to completely break down and attack him. She knew that there would be no defeating him in any way right now. Felicity knew that she wasn't prepared and she wasn't strong enough. There was a possibility that she might NEVER be strong enough, but she'd kill Damien Darhk if it was the last thing she did.

If it killed her.

And it just might…

 

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

 

TBC…

Chapter Text

"You are going to want to give up. Don't."

 

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

 

Luckily Darhk hadn't decided some kind of League of Assassins route of training for her. She'd heard stories from Sara, Nyssa, and Thea...she really wasn't too keen on that route. So far her father only seemed interested in guns, being quick, and being ruthless. Felicity honestly didn't know what he expected, but she gave into the training that he supplied.

Her thoughts were on getting it done, perfection, and the fact that when she was done...when she was good enough...when he least expected it...she could kill him. Killing him was the only motivation in her life right now. She had no idea if everyone back in Star City was freaking out or panicking or searching for her...but she knew that no matter what, they wouldn't find her.

"Where are you going?"

It wasn't to get dinner, since they'd already eaten. He'd likely already thought that she was sleeping and that it would be safe for him to slip out and not have to worry about what she might do in his absence in the small flat that they had been inhabiting.

"Out."

"Well, I didn't think you were going 'in'," Felicity shot back, a bit of her old self asserting itself.

He smirked at that comment. "There's someone I need to...speak with," he said slowly. Darhk seemed to be trying to put together the right words for her.

Why the pretense?

None of it mattered.

"You mean you're going to kill someone."

Darhk just stared at her for a long moment and then nodded, just once.

"So, why the secrecy? You're training me...why not take me?" she questioned. It didn't make sense for her NOT to go. Of course, that would mean possibly killing another person. She felt sick at the reminder that she still had no idea of that taxi man had been killed by her or Darhk. In the end, she'd just had to come to terms with it being both of them even though she'd obviously not intended in ANY way to physically harm anyone.

"I didn't think you were ready."

She had to be.

She would have to kill HIM.

For Darhk to really trust her, though, she knew that she was going to have to embrace darkness. That she was going to have to continue on soulless until she could kill Damien Darhk...and then somehow...she knew that she'd die too.

To be with Oliver again.

Would she be though?

Suddenly she got distracted thinking about that. She and Oliver really hadn't talked about religion or beliefs and--

"I think you're still distracted."

And he was right.

She was.

"I have to learn outside of this box you have me in," Felicity pointed out.

"You might be a liability."

"I might be," she countered. "But I would think that you would be quick enough to make up for that fact."

He just stared at her through the dark. Darhk was silent for some time, obviously going over the pros and cons to actually taking her. "So, it begins then," he finally responded slowly as he held out his hand to her.

For some reason, she was suddenly hesitant. This was what she wanted, she scolded herself, as she extended her hand to meet his. She wanted to learn from him. To learn how to kill. She wanted to avenge Oliver. Even though, deep down...decades before...this had been a man who she remembered had LOVED her and she'd LOVED him, it was obvious that the devil had taken that father she'd held so precious…

Now, she had nothing to live for and nothing to lose.

 

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

 

TBC…

Chapter Text

"The worst monsters are human."

 

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

 

No matter how many times, she couldn't wash her hands enough. There were blood on them, even when the blood had been washed away...she swore she could still see it...that she could still FEEL it. She stared at herself in the little mirror above the sink in the wash room. She didn't recognize herself. Felicity felt like Felicity Smoak was slipping away. It wasn't all to do with the fact that she'd been wearing contacts to help her improve her aim (and also to lessen the liability of her being out there in the world). It wasn't the fact that her hair was always braided tightly to her skull, which helped to pull on any mask or hood her father thought was necessary. It wasn't even the change in wardrobe, she wore a lot more black.

It was that she didn't recognize the monster that stared back at her. She didn't recognize the person who had loved the world, had wanted to see the good in it, and had loved a man so deeply…who was now a monster that went out and would just mindlessly pull the trigger. Even if she'd wanted to research these people, like she'd done the first year she'd known Oliver when he'd been crossing names off of a list, she couldn't...she just didn't have the resources to do so. So, she had to go into another place when she had to go out there and kill with Darhk.

He was still stripping pieces of her away, she realized.

The ring that she still wore, it weighed even more today. She didn't know why it felt heavier. Maybe it was her subconscious reminding her that this was something that Oliver would have never wanted for her. Felicity had had dreams, dreams about Oliver telling her that she should move on...but not in this one. That he wanted her to be happy...to find another happiness in the world...but that this path with Darhk wasn't it.

She didn't know why she was ignoring him.

Love had become a foreign concept. It was like she could no longer grasp it. The only person that she wanted to love was Oliver. Damien Darhk had taken him away from her. He'd taken it all away from her. All that she had left of Oliver Queen was the agony of the loss love/future/everything and the ring… That was it.

She couldn't go back.

Even if she wanted to.

There was only going forward with the constant reminding herself that she HAD to do this, in order to kill Darhk. She had to force herself to learn, to seek his weaknesses, and to kill him when the time was finally at hand. Felicity knew that she had to bide her time, though, as hard as that was. She couldn't just rush into things. That wouldn't work. That would get HER killed, but that would still leave Damien Darhk alive and in the world...able to kill someone else's beloved.

"You're quiet, Flower."

She hated when he called her that.

He wasn't her father.

Not the one she remembered.

He didn't have the right to call her that.

"I'm always quiet," she reminded. It was rare that she spoke to him, at least in any way that was beyond a 'yes' or some acknowledgement of understanding. That was it. There were no conversations past that, other than that, she just mainly listened to him speak.

"Why is that?" Darhk questioned. "It's not because there aren't things for us to discuss...because, of course...there are." He paused and moved closer to her. Felicity had just been staring out the window and getting lost in her thoughts before that point. "It's because you hold back."

Felicity's eyes met his icy ones. "You missed my entire life, you can't just kill my fiancee and expect us to pick up right where we left off...I was a child and now--"

"Now you're a woman who can barely defend herself," Darhk finished. "When I found you again...you were practically an infant, almost as if you'd regressed."

She glared at him. He was cruel and she didn't want to get into it with him. It was childish to do so. No matter what she said, Dahk would certainly counter it. Nothing she could do or say was going to change that, so she said nothing.

Nothing at all.

"I know you don't want to be here with me, Felicity," Darhk said, his voice ice cold. "But one day...you're going to thank me for all of this."

She wouldn't.

"You'll see."

Never.

"You'll thank me and actually know that what I did...I did it for you...I did it for your best interest," Darhk told her.

She wanted to tell him that he could just stop talking and leave her alone, but instead...she just stayed silent. Felicity didn't want to instigate him or further this conversation. Darhk seemed to figure it out because he stopped talking and he moved away and gave her space. All she wanted was for him to be quiet...and dead, though right now she knew she could only settle for one.

 

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

 

TBC…

Chapter Text

"When it is dark enough, you can see the stars."

 

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

 

He'd left.

He'd left and not come back.

He'd left a note that she'd eventually found that basically told her that this was some kind of twisted part of her training. She was in a strange land, a strange place, in the middle of nowhere, and she didn't know the local language. In fact, she knew NOTHING about the local anything. Darhk had left a couple of weapons, but mostly he'd left guns and bullets. He wasn't like Malcolm Merlyn who seemed to prefer the sword or the bow. No, Damien Darhk had changed as the times he'd lived in changed.

So, there she was without anything. There was a pitcher of water and a type of fruit she forgot what he'd called it. That was it. He had left her and expected her to do what she needed to survive.

Felicity found herself not caring, though. Surprising even to her. She wanted revenge...to avenge Oliver's senseless death, but in that moment...she was content to just be. She was content on just laying there and allowing the universe to decide her fate.

Alone.

Finally.

So alone.

In fact, as soon as it had gotten dark, Felicity had gone out and just laid on her back in the lush grass and just stared up at the starry sky. It was chilly, but she hadn't minded. She was hungry, but it didn't matter. That didn't bother her. That night, all she concentrated on was the fact that she finally felt free. As she lay there, Felicity actually thought about just laying there...staying there until the universe took her back. It really didn't matter in that moment if she actually lived up to what Damien Darhk expected of her or not.

"Oliver…"

His name spilled out and she found herself in tears as she stared up at the foreign sky. She'd wished that he was there were her in that moment. That everything that had happened had been farce. That she was living some kind of lie. That everything was just a dream…

God, to dream…

To hope…

To love…

There was no comfort in those things anymore, there were just the stars that shone down on her.

Tomorrow.

She'd figure out everything tomorrow.

For now, though, she lay there in the dark. The grass cushioning her as she gazed upwards until she found sleep.

 

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

 

TBC…

Chapter Text

"All your grief hasn't changed a thing. What you have lost will never be returned to you. It will always be lost. You're only left with your scars that mark the void. All you can choose to do is go on or not."

 

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

 

She woke and there was something freeing about Damien Darhk having abandoned her, but at the same time...it was horrible. Where was he? Was he far? Was he watching her? Had he really left? Like REALLY left? Felicity couldn't be certain. She kept waiting for him to walk through the door...to somehow be surprised that she was still alive in his condescending and elitist tone...even though it'd just been one night.

He didn't come.

He never did.

As she sat there. Thoughts came again. She could just sit there. She could just sit there and do nothing. She could just let death come. Was that such a horrible thing? It would be sort of peaceful, Felicity considered for a moment. Then the awful and horrific reminder hit her, Damien Darhk would still be out in the world. She'd be dead and he'd be out there killing more people...people who were innocent.

The world didn't deserve that.

She couldn't just die...with that weight on her.

Oliver.

Tears streamed down her face and she knew what she had to do. She had to leave the hut that she was in. The place that Damien had left her. Felicity didn't know how she was going to do it, but she knew she HAD to. She needed to go out the door, to search for Damien Darhk, and end it once and for all. She just hoped she was strong enough and fast enough to do it.

Looking around, she grabbed the precious few supplies that she figured she could use from the hut before venturing outside. Where in the world was she? How close was it to civilization? She couldn't see anything from where she currently stood. What language did they speak? If it wasn't English or binary...she was screwed. It didn't matter, though, she had to make it work.

Oliver had survived five years between Lian Yu, Hong Kong, and Russia. She could figure out how to survive long enough to get to civilization and if she had to, to call for help. It was something that she didn't want to do, but she knew that she was going to have to consider it. It wasn't like she had any form of identification with her, no passport, and no money. Was she going to hitchhike until she found Darhk?

Felicity couldn't give up, she knew that.

It was cool and crisp as she stood outside of the hut in the middle of nowhere. All she knew was that she was in the middle of beauty. It was green. Mountains rose and fell off to one side and she could see a stream in the distance.

Which way was north? South? East? West?

She spun in a circle and finally just randomly choose a direction and hoped for the best.

Hope.

Did she really still have that?

With any luck, Damien Darhk would cross paths with her before she found civilization and they could end things.

End.

That's all she wanted.

That and revenge.

Sucking in a breath, she pulled the rough cloth bag that she'd packed with a few things over her shoulder and just walked. She tried to push her thoughts out of her head and just focus on what was in front of her...but memories of Oliver haunted her and she couldn't stop the tears or the sobs that took over.

 

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

 

TBC…

Chapter Text

"She's standing on a line between giving up and seeing how much more she can take."

 

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

 

She was fairly sure that she'd walked at least half the day and not come upon anything remotely looking like civilization or a place where people might dwell. In all that time, Felicity still had no idea where she was. All day, she'd walked along the stream and kept telling herself that how cold and crisp it was was keeping her alert.

At first, that was true.

Now it was a lie.

Eventually the stream turned into something larger. Felicity was certain that it was leading her to a bigger body of water, she hoped for a coast. Normally, no matter where in the world she was...the coast meant civilization of some kind (or at least that's what she was hoping).

She walked for some time and then stopped when she swore she saw something in the distance. It looked rural, like huts of some kind. Felicity was fairly sure that wherever she was, she didn't speak the local language.

What happened next was a blur. She was being attacked. It all came as instinct. The training that she'd received from Oliver, from Diggle, and from Darhk had somewhat prepared her for this. Somewhat. A man barely clothed jumped out at her with a rather large knife in hand. Felicity was able to block him, to push him back, and to start her escape.

Felicity had turned away from where she'd spotted the hut and moved as quickly as she could, wanting to put as much distance between her and the natives as possible. There was a sound behind her, she didn't know if it was shouting in the native tongue or if it was something else. All she knew was that it scared her.

A trilled yelling seemed to come from all sides now.

She ran faster, her heart pounding, her chest tightening, and her legs burned. Felicity didn't think she was going to be able to keep it up. She was tackled and she felt her arm being sliced. Letting out a scream, Felicity fought for her life. Muscle memory seemed to know how to react first. One hand grasped the wrist with the knife while her other hand balled up into a fist and immediately started to punch the man in the face.

This was about survival and she was going to survive.

Her knee came up and connected hard with his crotch. She flipped him off of her, making sure that her hand moved up from his wrist to grab the blade's hilt before kicking him away. Felicity rolled up to her feet and immediately took off. It didn't matter how much her legs hurt or her lungs told her that they couldn't take anymore, Felicity kept going.

All she wanted to do was to make a city and call the others. She wanted help in finding Darhk in order to take her revenge on him. Right now, though, she wasn't sure if she was going to survive until the next morning. She didn't even know where she was, neither would anyone else…

Her vision was starting to blur and she was having a hard time concentrating. Felicity gripped the knife in her hand harder, feeling like she was going to lose her grip on it. She stopped and reached out to grab onto something to hold her up. There was nothing there. Instead, she found herself collapsing onto the ground.

This wasn't how it was supposed to end.

Not like this.

Not here.

Not yet.

 

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

 

TBC…

Chapter Text

"I asked the darkness 'will I ever find my light?'"



*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*



The rainfall woke her.

 

It wasn't when it hit her face.  

 

It wasn't until she felt like she was sinking into the earth under her that she woke.  How long had she been out?  She had no concept of how much time had passed.  It was dark now.  She was cold and muddy and she moved slowly as she forced herself up into a sitting position.  A groan escaping her lips as her hand went up to cover her wound.  Her head spun and she felt weak.  

 

Could it be infected?

 

Wasn't that too soon?

 

And then it hit her.  Poison?  That was the only thing that she could think of that worked fast.  She wasn't dead though...not yet anyways.  Felicity wasn't ready for it to end like that.  She knew that she needed to push herself.

 

The rain continued to fall and Felicity shivered as she sat there.  Where was she supposed to go?  She was backtracking...or at least, she thought she was.   "Get up," she whispered to herself, but she found it a lot more difficult than it actually was.  Her legs didn't seem to want to support her weight right away and balance was also an issue.  

 

"You can do it."

 

The voice made her freeze.  She looked around wildly for the voice that came in the dark, her soaked blonde hair clinging to her face.  She didn't see anything...anyone.  The voice, she realized a moment later was familiar.

 

"Calm down.  Breathe."

 

There it was again and then she realized that she knew that voice.  She knew it.  God.  Tears mixed with the rain that hit her face and slid down her cheeks.  Felicity turned her face up towards the sky and just cried.  Was this a side effect of whatever had forced her to pass out before and why she felt so weak?  Or was this something else?  Was this her mind telling her that she was on the right path?  Or was she on the wrong one?

 

"Felicity, you can do this.  You have to do this."

 

Oliver.

 

She could hear him or she thought she heard him.  Felicity closed her eyes and sucked in a shaky breath and tried to calm herself.  it could be worse, she thought, she could be seeing him as well.  As much as she'd loved to see and talk to him again, she didn't think that it was going to make the reality that he was dead and gone any easier.  Actually, she didn't think she could stand going through that heartache all over again.

 

"Get up," she told herself before finally opening her eyes.  Slowly, she pushed herself to a shaky standing position.  Felicity then realized that she still had the knife.  "Get up and keep going," she told herself.  Moving her feet was hard, both because she felt so weak and the muddy terrain.  

 

"That's it.  Keep going."

 

"Stay with me?" Felicity requested as she shuffled a few steps.  She was having a hard time keeping herself upright and conscious.  

 

"Always."

 

Always.

 

Gripping the knife, she continued to trudge through mud and tried to keep her eyes wide open.  She didn't know how far she walked or how long, but eventually...her legs gave way and she fell to the muddy ground again, sinking in a bit, and the knife falling away from her hold.

 

"Get up, Felicity."

 

"I can't," she whispered weakly.

 

"You can!"

 

She couldn't.

 

The blackness took over and she was grateful for it.

 


*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*



There was a voice, not Oliver's, that spoke to her.  A female voice that spoke in a foreign language.  Felicity didn't open her eyes to see who it was and she didn't understand what was being said to her.  All she knew was that whatever happened, she had absolutely no control in it.  The voice was beautiful, Felicity realized, even though she had no idea what the woman said.  Even when hands gripped her and she felt herself being lifted, Felicity found herself unable to respond in any way except to let it happen.



*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*



TBC…



Chapter Text

"Not all good people are innocent."



*~*~*~~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*



She was warm.

 

There was a roof over her head.

 

It took her a moment, but Felicity realized that the reason she was warm was partially because she was tucked into a bed with thick blankets.  She also realized that she was naked.  Pulling the bottom blanket to her body, she sat up and looked around.  It was a small hut-like structure and whom she found in front of the fire surprised her.  Her head spun, her stomach ached, and she felt like she could throw up (even though her stomach felt empty).

 

She had expected to see Damien Darhk.

 

"You have been unconscious for days.  You were struck by a poison dipped weapon.  It is lucky that I found you when I did."

 

" How did you know to look for me?  Or where you?"

 

"I heard of my husband's murder at the hands of Darhk."

 

Felicity blinked, trying to make sense of what was being said.  She knew what she meant.  It felt like another lifetime, though, when Ra's al Ghul had forced Oliver and Nyssa to marry (which was supposedly only something that was valid in Nanda Parbat).  "What are you doing here, Nyssa?"

 

Nyssa moved away from the fire and the couple of steps to where Felicity was sitting.  "I know of your mission to avenge my husb--Oliver's death."

 

"I'm not ready.  I want to be, but I'm not," Felicity admitted.  The fact that indigenous people took her down and nearly killed her was more than enough in Felicity's book that proved that she wasn't anywhere close to being ready.  She looked away from Nyssa.  "Did they tell you that Damien Darhk is my father?"

 

"I am the daughter of the Demon," Nyssa reminded.  "Do you honestly think that I would think any less of you?"

 

Felicity looked back at Nyssa.  "Why are you really here?"

 

"I didn't come all this way searching the world to simply find you on the brink of death and then nurse you back to health," Nyssa told her.  "I came here to train you.  To avenge your beloved's death."

 

Blinking, Felicity nearly felt like crying at that, but no tears even pushed forward.  "I--I need water," she finally got out.  

 

Nyssa held up a small cup.  "Small sips," she prompted.  Felicity complied and then pulled back after a moment.  "Do you accept my offer?"

 

"Yes."



*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*



TBC…



Chapter Text

"There's no better motivation than being told you can't do it."


*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*


Felicity had been trying for days to master what Nyssa was attempting to teach her.  She'd thought that she'd gotten so much better, stronger...sharper...quicker...but it was like Nyssa had pulled the rug under that thought and knocked her down several pegs.  

 

Damien Darhk was never going to die at her hand.

 

Being flipped over and hitting the ground hard, the breath being knocked out of her, Felicity stared up at the sky as she tried to regain her breathe.  

 

"Again!" Nyssa shouted.

 

Her body was littered with cuts and nicks and bruises.  It didn't hurt, but what did was the thought that she'd never avenge Oliver's death.  Everything she'd have done up to that point, it would have been for nothing...the lives that she'd taken...everything.  She'd traded her soul for one reason...and she was failing.

 

Incredibly.

 

Horribly.

 

Tears flooded her vision and she blinked them away, staring up at a cloud.  What she been thinking?  How had she thought that she could do this?  Thoughts that she knew were far too dark, ones she'd pondered years back, they hit her and she immediately shoved them to the back of her mind.  

 

Unthinkable.

 

At least not yet.  

 

"You dishonor his memory!" Nyssa spat at her.

 

She already knew that.

 

She didn't need the reminder of it.

 

"You are weak!"

 

And she was right.

 

"You never deserved his love!"

 

Nyssa's words soaked into her.

 

"You never deserved to become anything more than--"

 

Her hand curled around the sword in her hand, Felicity screamed as she moved quickly to trip Nyssa and go after her with the sword.  She managed to knock Nyssa down, but it was over quickly with Nyssa having Felicity on her back on the ground again and her own sword at her throat.  Felicity was breathing heavy and full of anger.  

 

"There's that fire."

 

She didn't understand.

 

"I knew it had to still burn bright somewhere inside of you."



*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*



TBC…



Chapter Text

"You do realize that monsters have hearts, don't you?"



*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*



"What are we doing out here?"

 

"Delivering justice."

 

Felicity stared back at Nyssa through the dark.  "Justice?  You mean--"

 

"I already know that you can kill," Nyssa stated matter of factly.  "You've been trained.  You have the drive.  I just need to know that you can do what needs to be done without hesitation."  Nyssa's tone was deadly serious in that moment.  "Hesitation gets not only you killed, but others."

 

"Why them?" Felicity questioned.  She had to know.  There was something about knowing that made the killing easier.  If there was a reason or some kind of justification…  Anything really.  Felicity just couldn't kill innocents.  No more people needed to die just because…

 

"Beating their wives and children for the most part, but some have more severe crimes," Nyssa stated.  "If you want me to whisper the crime of each tonight before we kill them, I will...it will not make it easier to be reminded that so much evil exists in this world."

 

She knew evil existed.

 

She existed.

 

Darhk existed.

 

Maybe she was right.  Maybe she didn't need to know exactly what other evil existed out there, just to hold solace that she was helping to extinguish it.  



*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*



TBC…

 

Chapter Text

"The weight was always there, it has always existed.  Sometimes it's tolerable, and sometimes it crushes you.  Sometimes you feel it.  Usually at night."



*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*



As she lay in bed, she just stared upwards.  She couldn't sleep.  Felicity had killed people and even if there were grievances against the innocent, it still didn't ease her conscience.  Eventually, she rolled out of her bed, dressed in just a tank top and panties and wrapped in a shawl.  She moved out of the small room and through until she got out to the porch.  It was still dark, the stars still shone above.

 

Looking up at the stars was the only time where Felicity felt like they weren't so far away.  She liked to look up at them and think of Oliver, Oliver alive and happy…

 

Happy…

 

That seemed like so long ago.

 

A different lifetime.

 

"He's still out there, that's why you can't sleep."

 

Felicity turned to see Nyssa standing there behind her.  As nice as it was not to be alone, it was so odd having Nyssa there...simply because Felicity felt like she would never be as good as the former League of Assassins assassin.  She never felt like she'd actually be good enough to kill Darhk, to avenge Oliver.  At the same time, there was something comforting knowing that she wasn't the only one who had come from a dark parentage.

 

"He's always one step ahead--"

 

"The real problem," Nyssa told her.  "Is that you have not reached out for the help you require."

 

Felicity just stared at her.  

 

"If you desire for me to accompany you on your hunt for Darhk, I will happily oblige," Nyssa told her.  It surprised Felicity, only because Nyssa didn't seem to normally be a team player (outside of the League) when there wasn't a stake in it for her.  And then it came.  "But, I would like to present you with a piece of advice…."

 

Silence filled the gap for a moment.

 

All of Felicity's attention was on Nyssa, waiting for her advice.  The journey to where she currently stood was one that she'd never expected...or ever wanted…  The only thing that drove her now was Darhk's death.  If Nyssa told her to stop...or something in that direction, Felicity didn't think that she'd be able to continue their partnership.  No matter what happened next, one thing was still certain.

 

Damien Darhk had to die.

 

"Let us return to Star City...seek out the assistance of your team there--"

 

"No--"

 

Nyssa looked at her sternly.  "You wish to wage war with the devil, please Felicity...heed my words...it will take more than just you and I."  She was quiet again.  "Let the people who loved Oliver Queen come together in order to take down his killer...you are not in this alone.  As soon as you accept that, accept that there are people willing to help you with your weight...the sooner Darhk will be dead."

 

All she could think about was that she had to look unrecognizable by those that she loved back in Star City.  How could she face them?  How could she ask them to help her kill?  How could she--



*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*



TBC…




Chapter Text

"I wish I could take back the horrible things I've done to people. I wish I could go back in time and make things right, because even though I've been trying to, I might be making everything worse."

 

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

 

The city was once one that Oliver had protected.

Now she was the one perched on the edge of a rooftop with Nyssa by her side, both dressed in black and both carrying weapons. "It doesn't look the same," she whispered.

"That's because you're looking at it differently."

"I thought it was because Oliver isn't here…"

"When Oliver was alive, you looked at it with hope...now you just see the ugly side of things...the hate and horrors of the villains that roam this world," Nyssa told her. "You see the truth and reality of the world that we live in."

Felicity looked over at her traveling companion. Was that really it? All she could think was that she'd been told before that she had a light in her...and now, she wondered if that light had been extinguished. It had to be. Right? She was far from being an innocent. She was a villain. She was a killer. She was--

"Just because you see the world differently doesn't mean that you are a worse person," Nyssa continued. "It just means that you have taken your experiences and have let them affect you...made you stronger…"

She didn't feel stronger as she stared out at the cityscape.

"Do you think they'll help?"

"I think that they will want to honor Oliver's memory," Nyssa answered. "I cannot say whether that will be by avenging his death or by attempting to persuade us away from our goal of killing Darhk."

"He has to die," Felicity said so easily, so matter of factly. It was the most clear thing that she knew in the world. Now, she just needed everyone else to see that...or not. Maybe it wouldn't be so horrible if she didn't drag them all into her search for vengeance. Maybe she just needed Nyssa...maybe they would be enough. They had to be...she had to be…

 

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

 

She'd half expected the Arrow cave to be empty.

It wasn't.

"I thought the reports were true," Lyla spoke up first.

ARGUS, she realized. They must have seen her...seen both of them. Lyla was likely keeping an eye out for her...for John.

"Oh my God, Felicity!" John breathed. He moved towards her, arms outstretched, tears in his eyes. "Where on Earth have you been?!"

His arms closing around her, holding her, it was crushing...a crushing wave of comfort and relief and--

"We've been so worried," John continued. He was squeezing her, but she didn't mind. Her eyes closed and she just savored the moment. It had been so long since she'd had this...it had been since before she'd left Star City...since before Damien Darhk had taken her away.

"I'm sort of surprised she actually showed her face," came a bitter voice.

Felicity pulled away from John and turned to see Thea standing behind her, a scowl on her face and arms crossed over her chest. Not everyone was going to be glad to see her. Darhk had threatened them before...the people that were left that she considered her family. The person that Felicity was most worried about had been Thea--

"You've been out there on some kind of murderous rampage and you don't think we see it even if you're on the other side of the world?" Thea spat. "Do you think that's what Ollie would have wanted?! Do you think that we don't see you working with Darhk?!"

"Thea, there has to be an explanation," Diggle tried to insert now.

"No!" Thea shouted, her arms going down to her sides as her fingers balled up into fists. Suddenly, the woman that should have been her sister-in-law was attacking her and Felicity did her best to defend herself without injuring Thea.

Eventually, though, Felicity knew that she had to be a bit rougher. She pushed Thea up against a wall, her hand on the other woman's throat. "You don't know anything!"

One thing was right, though.

Oliver wouldn't have wanted this.

"So tell us!"

 

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

 

TBC…

Chapter Text

"She was like a star, nothing but a beautiful echo of death."



*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*



The team was back, temporarily.

 

Their one goal was to take Darhk down.

 

Of course, there were different opinions on how they needed to be done.  Felicity just wanted him dead, but John and Thea wanted to hand him over to ARGUS.  For the moment, they were just working so that they could actually get to Darhk.  

 

It was still so hard for her to be back in Star City, but at the same time...there was something nice about being with Thea and John...about being out in the city with them.  This wasn't how things had been with them before.  She'd almost always been behind a computer screen and when she hadn't been...it definitely wasn't out in the streets suited up and geared.  Not like this.  Oliver had always wanted her safe.  He'd always valued her brain and her computer superpowers.  She'd never needed to prove herself in any other way.

 

"What are you thinking?" John asked her.

 

Nyssa and Thea were off together, John had insisted it be that way.  Felicity was certain it was because he was worried that if she and Nyssa ran into Darhk first that they wouldn't restrain themselves like he and Thea wanted.  He was right.  Turning her attention away from the city and over to where he stood, she let out a sigh.  "I'm thinking about how we should do things the old way…"

 

"The old way?"

 

"When you and Oliver used to use me as bait," she explained with a shrug.

 

John smirked at that.  "I believe I remember you were one to volunteer...and then later regret that decision."

 

He wasn't wrong.

 

"He'll come...he'll know it's a trap...but he'll come anyways," Felicity said as she looked back at the city.  She held back her tears because there was no need for them.  She'd cried enough.  She needed this to be over, one way or another.  That was it.  There was no other way, no other choice to make.  "He'll think that he's doing right by me.  He'll say that he was just testing me.  That he was just trying to see if I'd taken to his training."

 

"You never did tell us everything that's happened--"

 

"You'd look at me differently," she whispered before looking over at him.  Felicity knew that John would listen, but she couldn't bear the thought of him thinking of her differently...not now...not at the end of it all.  

 

"Felicity--"

 

"We were good, right?  When we started this all…  Just the three of us…"

 

John didn't respond right away, there was a silence that hung between them.  "Yeah, yeah...we really were…"

 

"I might not be that same person that you met all those years back, John, but can you please just trust me in this?  That Darhk will come if I go out there as bait."

 

"I don't have to like it, Felicity," he said gently.

 

"I'm not asking you to, but this is my choice."

 

"I know," John whispered.  "But all I can think is that Oliver wouldn't want you to put yourself in danger…"

 

"And then I'd argue my way into doing it anyways."

 

They both smiled for a brief moment at that truth.  



*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*



They weren't far.  

 

That didn't make it easier.

 

Felicity stood in the place where it had all happened.  The last place she'd been happy.  It felt wrong that Oliver's blood didn't still stain the floor where he'd bled out.  She had thought she was prepared for this.  It wasn't just facing Darhk and ending things once and for all, but being in that place.  That moment replaying in her head.  

 

It was nearly like she'd been dragged back in time, those months before.  

 

She was wearing clothes that she'd worn before Darhk had whisked her away, her hair up in a ponytail.  Even though she was wearing a plum colored coat, she still felt the chill.  Biting her bottom lip, she tried to banish the memories...at least temporarily.  There would be plenty of time to grieve once this was all over.  It wasn't just grief over the loss of Oliver, but also the loss of herself.  

 

He appeared from a shadow.

 

She wasn't surprised, but she wondered if it had caught anyone else off guard.  Diggle, Thea, and Nyssa were nearby...they would be waiting to intervene at the right time.  "I knew you'd come," Felicity said quietly.

 

"I've been watching you, Flower," Darhk said calmly and almost in an amused voice.  

 

"You don't get to call me that!" she shouted, anger filling her instantly.  Any calm she'd had was gone.  All that filled her was her anger and hatred for Damien Darhk...the man who killed Oliver...the man who took away her life...the man who never wanted her.  "You had your chance to be my father!  You left!  That was your choice!"

 

"You know that I didn't want--"

 

"No more lies!" Felicity yelled.  "That's all you do!  You lie!"

 

"And I kill," Darhk put out there with an amused smirk.

 

"And you kill ," she whispered the echo.

 

"But so do you ," he added ever so quietly.  "I guess it really is how they say...like father, like daughter…"

 

And even though she knew that she should control her emotions, she couldn't.  All she could see was those final moments with Oliver…  The blood on the floor.  The feeling of having her life, her soul even, snatched from her.  The blood on her hands.  Oliver's lifeless body.  Being pulled away from his body--

 

Felicity couldn't stop her hand from pulling the gun from her coat.  She held it up, aiming directly for Darhk's heart (or where it should be, if he had one).  She sucked in a shaky breath and tried to focus on breathing.  Breathing was important when it came to what she was going to do…what she'd dreamt of doing for so long now…

 

Darhk shook his head.  He sighed, as if he were disappointed in her.  She didn't care.  It didn't matter.  "Come now, Flower," he practically purred.  It was like he didn't believe that she'd shoot him.  She would.  She'd dreamt of it.  It was all that had kept her going this long, all that had driven her to do all of the horrible and ugly things she'd done since he'd taken her from Star City.  “This wasn't how I wanted things to be between us.”

 

The gun was pointed at him and she had no idea if she shot him, if he would die.  All she knew was that this was as far as she could let things go.  No further.  Her feelings were conflicted, but then they weren’t.  She knew what was right, what had to be done even though it was a hard thing to do.  What mattered right now was saving people and that meant killing him.  

 

“You didn’t even want a relationship with me until you realized that you could use me,” she told him.  Her heart was breaking and tears slid down her cheeks as she held the gun on him.  “You knew about me.  I remember my father when I was younger…before you left…left us both…”

 

“I had to.”

 

“Did you?”

 

“Ra’s—“

 

“Ra’s al Ghul…as you knew him…is no more,” Felicity shouted angrily.  This wasn’t how things were supposed to be, he was right about that.  She wasn’t supposed to be there with a gun pointed on her father.  This was the man that she’d adored for so long, the man that she’d blamed her mother for pushing away and leaving them.  The man that she’d held on pedestal for so long…and now…she couldn’t be more ashamed of him...of herself.  “You and Ra’s were at odds for how long?” she asked and then a short laugh escaped her body.  “And it was us …it was Oliver Queen who took down the Demon’s Head.  Not you.”

 

“And now you put that nothing Malcolm Merlyn on his throne,” he came back, obviously not caring that she had a gun on him.  “The Magician.  It was all an illusion…  Your Oliver, he trained with—“

 

“You.  Killed.  Him.”

 

This only seemed to amuse him and anger and upset her further.  Oliver Queen was dead.  Damien Darhk had taken him and killed him…and she’d never had the chance to say goodbye.  Felicity was still having a hard time coming to grips with that reality.  Oliver had “died” so many times in the last ten years of his life, she wasn’t even sure if he’d known the exact count.  

 

“Did I?” Darhk teased with an amused smile as he tilted his head to the side slightly.  “I can tell you this, I could have already disarmed and killed you by now…if I wanted.”

 

“Then why don’t you?”

 

Instead of answering her, though, he just smiled at her.  It was the way that he looked at her, it was creepy and disconcerting.  Felicity just didn’t know how to respond to that.  The response to  her question still hung in the air between them and she didn’t think he was ever going to respond on that point.  

 

He moved towards her, he was dressed in a dark suit and in the dim of the room they were in, the highlights of his light colored shirt and the matching pocket square seemed to almost glow along with his bright blue eyes.  Darhk wasn't scared of her, that was apparent as his head cocked to one side as a sinister smile spread across his face as he continued to move towards her.

 

"I'll shoot you!" she warned.

 

"You won't."

 

She would.

 

This road had been long and exhausting and in that moment, Felicity wondered if he was right...but only for a brief moment.  All she could wonder was if she wanted to go forward after that moment.  Taking the shot, she knew that she could do that.  She could kill.  Damien Darhk had destroyed her life.  He'd destroyed Felicity Smoak.  What else was there for her to live for?

 

"You and I, Felicity...you'll see...you'll understand my plan," Darhk told her as he inched closer.

 

There was no hesitation.  The trigger was pulled.  A gasp escaped her lips and the gun began to slip from her hands.  Panic and fear set in all before her brain could even grasp the fact that the gun had been fired.  Her eyes didn't even hear it.  She blinked, her black lashes brushing the tops of her cheeks, feeling like it was being done in slow motion.  It was only a breath before she was falling backwards, her eyes staring upwards and unable to do anything to stop what came next.

 

"Felicity!" her name was shouted repeatedly.  

 

All she could do was blink as the darkness overtook her.

 

She happily accepted it.



*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*



TBC…

 

Chapter Text

"And what she had was a beautiful resilience.  She was broken several times but she always found a way of recreating herself."



*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*



The darkness was comforting...and she'd welcomed it.  

 

So when she opened her eyes and found herself in a familiar place (or at least she swore it was the Arrow cave considering the cold metal table she was laying on), she was confused.  The light shone down on her and for a moment, all she could see was the bright illumination.  Eventually, though, her eyes adjusted and the rest came into view.  She was definitely in the safety of the Arrow cave.

 

"John?" she whispered as she tried to sit up.

 

"Okay, no... no ...you're going to lie right back down," she was told nearly immediately.  Diggle was there, pushing her down and looking her over.  "You were shot , Felicity."  The next part sounded very much like scolding.  "That wasn't part of the plan.  At least, not our plan."  He was eyeing her now.  "I don't even want to hear that that mission for you was a suicide mission…we've all lost too much…"

 

She wasn't dead.

 

She was alive.

 

She didn't know how to feel exactly.

 

"What about Darhk?"

 

Felicity had to know what had happened to Darhk.  Maybe if he was dead, then maybe it was all worth it.  This was what she'd been working towards, killing Darhk was the only thing that would make things right in her head and heart...and it would be enough to let her rest in peace…

 

"Well, you definitely shot him," Thea said.  "Tons of blood...but we turned around after we were certain he was dead...and he was just gone.  There was just a huge puddle of blood left behind."

 

"No one could have survived that, Felicity," Diggle tried to assure.

 

"Al Sa-Her survived such a thing," Nyssa brought up, finally coming into view.  

 

That was true...and unsettling.

 

"He's gone, Felicity," Diggle said a moment later, obviously looking irritated with Nyssa's comment.

 

She couldn't just stay still.

 

If Darhk was out there still--

 

She couldn't deal.

 

Pushing herself up, Felicity didn't care that she was shot.  She didn't care about the pain, she pushed past it.  Felicity fought off Diggle's hands and got to her feet.  She wasn't just going to lay there and accept what they'd said.  She was going to hunt down Darhk, even if it was just his body.  She needed to know he was dead.  Felicity needed that proof.

 

"Felicity!" John snapped.

 

Thea grabbed her, but Felicity pulled herself from the other woman's grasp.  "We're just trying to help!"

 

"The only thing that will help me is Damien Darhk's dead body!" she snapped and moved in the direction of where she saw her gun was.  Really, she'd rather take Darhk down some other way.  With every step, she kept thinking about Oliver...about how Darhk had killed him.

 

The thud as Oliver had initially hit their bedroom wall.

 

The sound of a struggle.

 

Her panic as she looked for keys to unlock the door.

 

Their bedroom was a wreck.

 

Oliver bloody and beaten on the floor.

 

No pulse.

 

No pulse.

 

No pulse.

 

Oliver was--

 

"Don't go after Darhk, Felicity," came a voice and hands that held her by the shoulders.  It had come out of nowhere and so had he.  Felicity couldn't breathe, couldn't speak, all she could do was look at him wide eyed.  Panic and confusion hit her all at once.  Was it just the pain that was hitting her and playing games with her brain or was it--  "Felicity?  Breathe…  Breathe…"

 

She forced herself to breathe and she looked around.  Everyone seemed to be seeing him.  It wasn't just a hallucination, she told herself.  "Oliver?" Felicity gasped, still unsure if he was real.

 

"It's me."

 

"But how?"

 

She was glad that he was holding onto her because Felicity was in such a state of shock, she'd have likely fallen over if he wasn't.  She just stared at him, mouth agape and confusion still having her mind spinning.  How could he be alive?  Also, how could everyone know that and have not told her?  How long had they all known--

 

"Darhk.  He...well, I'm not sure exactly what all happened...just that I was his prisoner…"  He paused for a moment.  "Nyssa found me moments before you both shot each other…"

 

Felicity looked over at Nyssa for confirmation, she got a nod.  She was still in awe and shock of Oliver.  "But…"  Her mind spun now for a different reason, she felt sick, and she pulled away from him.  Felicity took a step back and tears streamed down her cheeks.  "No…  I...I did things…"

 

"Felicity," Oliver said gently.

 

"No!" she shouted.  "You don't know!  You don't understand!"

 

Suddenly she found herself being stabbed, the world grew fuzzy, and her body felt heavy.  Oliver grabbed her, but she realized as she fell backwards that Diggle also had her (and had to be the culprit behind the injection she'd received).  "Just breathe, Felicity…  Relax…"

 

And the darkness came once more.



*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

 


TBC…




Chapter Text

"You do not need saving.  Only reminding of who you are."



*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*



Felicity still couldn't believe it.

 

There she was though, sitting face to face with Oliver.  The man she loved with all her heart and soul and had lost...or whom she had thought she'd lost.  "You'd dead," she whispered, still very much in shock over the whole thing.  "It's been six months --"

 

"I don't know all the details, all I know is that I'm alive," Oliver told her gently as he reached out for her hand.

 

She recoiled instantly.  The hurt on his face wasn't lost on her and she immediately felt guilt over it all.  It wasn't that she was upset with him, it was that she was upset with herself...she'd spent the last six months doing everything she could to kill Darhk.  The blood on her hands.  The deaths that had been taken at her own hands.  All of the hate, anger, and general ugliness that had come out of her in that time.  " I'm sorry ," she breathed, tears streaming down her face, and her heart breaking inside (all over again).  "I'm glad that you're alive…"  Her voice broke as she continued.  "I'm overjoyed that you're alive!  But...I'm not the same person I was six months ago--"

 

"Felicity--"

 

" No ," she said quickly, sternly, and punctuated.  " I'm not .  You once told me that I was a light for you…  I'm not that light anymore.  There's only darkness inside of me now, Oliver," Felicity told him.  She knew that he'd try to convince her otherwise, but she knew the truth.  

 

Silence.

 

It spread between them and it was sobering.  They both looked away and Felicity just breathed, trying to calm herself down.  Her hands were up at her mouth and all she could think was that this had to have been part of her father's game.  He had to take away what she loved most in the world in order to turn her into this...this…monster...and then he only gave her Oliver back in order to prove that she really had that darkness inside of her.  A darkness that couldn't be retaken by the light.

 

"I want to convince you otherwise," he said calmly with a huff.  "But I know better than that."  He was quiet for a beat.  "Will you stay in Star City?"

 

Stay?  

 

Felicity hadn't even thought about that...whether she'd stay or go.  All she'd been thinking was that it was over, that she was free from Darhk.  The truth was, it wasn't and she wasn't.  Not really anyways.  "I hadn't thought about it," she admitted lowly.

 

"Stay here with us, Felicity?" Oliver requested gently.  "We're your family.  We--"

 

"I have killed people, Oliver," she said slowly and clearly, each word punctuated carefully.  Her eyes on his, waiting for him to look at her differently.

 

He didn't.

 

"Felicity, I have killed people.  We all have--"

 

"Digg did it because he was a soldier--"

 

"We all have demons, Felicity," Oliver told her.  "Some of us more than others."  He paused for a moment, reaching out again for her hand.  This time, he just held it palm up.  After she stared at it for a beat, she reached out and settled her hand on top.  They loosely held each other's hand and Felicity felt a bit more of a weight leave her.  It was like knowing that Oliver really was alive and there even though she'd already known that.  "And something that I learned from somebody...even if you think you're a monster...you can be redeemed .  That you can live in the light again.  Your past doesn't determine your future."  He paused.  " You taught me that."

 

It brought on a whole new onslaught of tears, a sob bubbling up from inside of her.  She was a mess.  Felicity didn't think she'd been so emotional since she'd first--since she had thought she lost Oliver six months before.  Here she was, thinking that he wouldn't look at her the same...and here he was...hopeful and accepting of the person she was.  Oddly enough, he seemed calm and clear and--  " How can you still look at me like that?"

 

"Like what?"

 

"Like you've always looked at me."

 

"Because you , Felicity Smoak, will always be the same person in my eyes...heart...and soul, no matter how you change," Oliver explained.  "I love you, Felicity.  No matter what you've done or how much hell you've gone through.  I love you and I'm here in any way you want me."

 

"I love you, too," she whispered.  "But things can't just go back to the way they were."

 

"Well, from what Thea says, our place is gone.  Sold.  Everything's boxed up," Oliver told her.  "But I don't think that it's good for either one of us to be alone."

 

"I'm not saying we just completely forget about everything that happened between us, I just--"

 

"Have to take it slow?"

 

A small smile formed on her face and she didn't flinch when Oliver's fingers touched her face, brushing away tears.  "Yeah," she breathed.  

 

"Me too," he said and leaned in, pressing a kiss to her forehead.  

 

Felicity squeezed her eyes shut.  This, it felt like the forgiveness she felt like she needed.  Maybe Oliver really wasn't the person who could forgive her for everything she'd done, but right now...deep down, it felt like forgiveness.  "What was the hardest thing for you?"

 

"Trusting people."

 

Her eyes opened and she smiled at that.  "I know I can trust you...and the team."

 

"Having hope."

 

Hope.

 

That was a little harder.

 

Felicity shrugged.  "I don't know if I still know how to do that."

 

" I believe in you ."

 

"Maybe that's enough."

 

He pulled her to him, Oliver's arms wrapping around her, and she allowed the embrace.  Felicity melted into him and closed her eyes, taking in everything that was Oliver.  The smell of him.  The sound of his heart beating as her ear pressed against his chest.  The feel of him wrapped around her.  "Don't let Darhk win, Felicity.   You're so much stronger ... and so much better than he ever was ."

 

That didn't feel true.

 

"I missed being home ."

 

"Me too."

 

She looked up at him.  "I'm home when I'm with you ."

 

"Then I will always be here," he vowed before another kiss was pressed to her forehead.  "No matter what the universe throws at us."

 

"You and me against the world."

 

"We can do anything, Felicity.  Together."

 

And he was right.




*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*



The End.