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the purgatory of men

Chapter Text

The server room hummed, as Felicity broke the encryption on the computer before her. Oliver shifted slightly behind her, drawing her attention for a half a second. His hood was up, his stance telling her he was in full ‘vigilante’ mode. She glanced around the room, wondering if they had anything to fear. Server after servers were stacked in neat little racks. Their intel told them security came by every half hour, they had plenty of time. But she knew Oliver, knew he wouldn’t relax until they were safe back in the foundry. The tablet before her binged, drawing her attention back to the matter at hand; she had found the files.

“Yes, got it!” She whispered in triumph, knowing shouting it was on Oliver Queen’s List of Things We Don’t Do in the Field.

“How much longer,” came his gravely voice from behind her.

“Not much,” she said, focused on the screen before her. She had just hit ‘enter’ on planting a small tracking bug in the system, when something stung Felicity in the side of her neck, causing her to slap at it.

Instinctively she turned to Oliver, who was already looking at her with a questioning gaze. His eyes had just settled on her neck, where her hand had pulled away; when he too slapped his neck. She could barely hear his grunt as he pulled his hand away, a small dart clasped between his fingers.

She wanted to ask what was happening, but her mouth refused to move. Oliver’s eyes were wide, his hands reaching out to grab her, because she was falling. Then there was darkness.



Felicity extended a heavy arm to her side in search of the offending alarm clock. Her hand connected with something moist, almost paper like.


She tried to open her eyes, but they refused to obey her. Even the hand that had extended to turn off the alarm refused to return to her body. Her mind was sluggish as she continued to issue commands her body wasn’t following.


Beside her something rustled, someone groaned. Distant panic began to well up inside of her, but still her brain couldn’t connect with her body. Then she felt a hand on her jaw.

“Felicity?” Oliver’s voice had an instantaneous affect, the panic dissipating as if it had never been there. Her eyes opened just enough to catch Oliver’s blue eyes, filled with concern before falling shut again, the effort to keep them open too much. She heard him say her name again, as his hands moved over her body, looking for injuries.


Oliver sighed above her, leaving her side as he muttered, “Where is that beeping coming from?”

She thought she heard birds calling and could just make out the smell of freshly ground dirt. She was trying to put it all together when a modified voice filled her ears, stopping the beeping noise mid beep.

“Mr. Queen, what a pleasant surprise to find you behind the hood. I’ve greatly admired your work for sometime now. But it has become clear to me that your new ‘kill no one’ method is failing the city. Someone needs to make the hard call, someone needs to step in where you have failed. You might recognize your surroundings. I figured you survived five years on Lian Yu, what is another couple of months? I’m sorry I had to take your tech savvy assistant as well, but it was obvious she knew your secrets and I couldn’t have her interfering with my work. Good luck, Mr. Queen. I look foreword to working with you in future.”

She heard Oliver growl in frustration, could smell something burning. The message must have self-destructed, she thought as her mind slowly put together what she had heard. They had been sent to Lian Yu…Lian Yu, Oliver’s purgatory. Then her world went black once again.

The next time she woke, she could smell a fire burning, could feel its blazing heat. Her eye lids were less heavy, she managed to open them all the way lifting her shoulders slightly.

“Careful,” Oliver said, moving from the shadows to support her with an arm around her back. “They must have given us the same dosage. That’s why you’re having more trouble getting it through your system.”

Felicity let out an incoherent babble, her tongue felt swollen, her mouth dry. He was already holding a canteen in front of her, tipping it up so sweet, clear water flowed into her mouth. She drank it down greedily, not caring that it was gushing over her chin, soaking her clothes, just eager for the relief.

Once she had her fill of water, she allowed herself to relax in his arms, looking up at his stubbled jaw, wondering if her brain would ever work the same way again. His gaze met hers as he placed the water bottle down, his now free hand reaching up to cup her cheek.

“We’ll be okay,” he said, his voice earnest, his eyes concerned. “I promised I would keep you safe and I will.”

She wanted to nod back at him, tell him she trusted him, to tell him she knew they would be alright; instead her eye lids became too heavy, closing of their own accord. She fell into another dreamless sleep wondering if he would hold her like that all night.