Felicity woke with the metallic taste of blood in her mouth and a pounding headache. She slowly opened her eyes and immediately slammed them shut again, the bright light piercing her skull and inflaming the little troll digging into her brain. Her mouth was dry and her lips parched, she ran her tongue over her lip to wet them and hissed. Keeping her eyes closed she used her tongue to probe her lower lip. It was swollen on the left side, she could feel a small cut still oozing blood. A little scared to open her eyes, she wiggled her toes and her fingers. She took stock of her aches, it was mostly her head, face, and hip. She wasn’t restrained and she couldn’t hear the normal sounds of a medical staff. That ruled out the hospital. So where was she?
She was laying down on something hard and cold to the touch, the realization making her pretty sure she was in the Arrowcave under Verdant. Felicity had no idea how she got there or what happened to her face. The last thing she remembered was picking up Thai food for Oliver and herself for dinner. It was the second night this week that he was coming over to work on Operation Take Back the Crown, also known as getting his family’s company back. He was supposed to do a quick patrol, while she got dinner and they'd meet back at her place by eleven.
Lately the dinners were being turned into pop culture education sessions, where they watched movies on her tiny couch with a bowl of popcorn between them. Her skin would tingle when his hand brushed over hers in the bowl. By the end of the night he would give her a hug and whisper his gratitude against her shoulder. Every time he pulled back she’d catch his eyes dart down to her lips and she’d wonder if tonight was the night he’d make a move. But he never did. A few times she was ready to grab him and break down the last wall between them when their phones would ping with an alert and they were off the save the day. Those nights left her so amped up with sexual frustration Felicity had to take a long, hot bath before bed. The smell and taste of popcorn was an aphrodisiac.
Ever since they had locked up Slade, Oliver was lighter. He smiled more, even laughed at times, and with crime rate down he didn't need to go out every night. His mother was dead, his sister was gone off who knows where but she did make regular contact and they would track her down soon enough. He’d lost almost everything and he was free to do what he wanted in life. Happy Oliver was even sexier than brooding Oliver, but neither had anything on shirtless Oliver.
Felicity shook her train of thought away, pain spiking and flaring down her spine. She retched and rolled to her side, unable to stop from vomiting. The pounding in her head increased tenfold. She didn't hear his approach, but felt his hand on her back. He rubbed warm circles into her back, gently holding back her hair. She knew it was Oliver without looking, her body attuned to his nearness. She would rather he not see her like this, but still relieved that he’s beside her.
“Felicity, are you alright? Can you tell me what happened? Do you know where you are? What year is it? Answer me please?” Oliver’s voice going higher with each panicked question.
She kept her eyes closed and rolled toward his voice. Waves of dizziness crashed into her from all sides, she whimpered and reached for her head. Oliver's fingers brushed hair out of her face, leaving his palm on her cheek. She cracked open one eye. Everything was blurry, she could barely make out the dark figure beside her as Oliver. Felicity closed her eye and groaned.
“Does it hurt that bad? Should I lower the lights? Can you feel you toes? What's your name? What's my name?” Oliver demanded.
Felicity huffed, how can I answer him if he doesn't shut up, she wondered.
Oliver stopped talking, “Felicity?”
She wondered if she said that out loud.
“Light’s bright,” Felicity croaked.
“Hold on,” Oliver blurted out.
She heard his chair scrape back and him run off. Even with her eyes closed she saw the lights dim, and she slowly opened hers. Her left eye burned and teared up when she opened it. Felicity reached up to explore her face, her brow was swollen and tender. She must look horrible. A fat lip, a swollen eye, and who knows what other damage. What the hell happened?
“Is that better? I have your spare glasses. Yours were broken when I found you.” His voice was strange. It shook and was breathy, she wondered if he was scared.
“What happened?” Felicity moaned.
“I was hoping you could tell me. I was running late so I went straight to your place after patrol. Your apartment was dark and your car was gone. You should have been back and you didn’t answer my call. I knew you were going to Lotus Leaf, so I went that way. I found you about a block away from the restaurant. You were unconscious and bleeding. I panicked and brought you here. You’ve been out about ten minutes since I found you, but I don't know how long you were out before. I was getting changed to take you to the hospital. John’s on the way,” Oliver stormed on and rambled as he began to pace.
“But what happened to my face?” Felicity squeaked.
Oliver took the seat next to her and rolled closer, taking her hand in one of his, his other hand brushing through her hair. He was in a black tee and leather pants, his jacket and hood were gone. She had never seen the sweet, tender look that was currently on his face before. He was sad, scared, and anger simmered below the surface of his expression. Felicity squeezed his hand.
“I really wish I knew. Your purse was gone. I think you were mugged,” Oliver growled.
“My tablet was in my purse. Is it gone?” Felicity tried to sit up.
“No, no lay back. What can you tell me?”
“Tracker in my tablet, we can find it.” Felicity explained.
Oliver’s eyes darkened, “And I can find who did this to you. But first, I need to make sure you're okay,” his voice softened. “What’s your name?”
“Queen Elizabeth,” Felicity mocked.
Oliver scowled at her, “Where are we, your highness?”
“Tower of London,” she chirped with a horrible accent.
“How many fingers am I holding up?” He held up his hand and one finger.
“Hey now, no need for rude gestures.” Felicity chuckled and instantly regretted it. “Ouch, my head hurts,” She pouted.
“You’ve got a big bump on the back of your head, let me get you some ice. Maybe I should still take you to the hospital. I think you have a concussion.”
Oliver’s thumb skimmed over her forehead. He leaned in close, Felicity felt his warm breath on her cheek. This could not be the first time they kiss, her head pounding and ringing, the taste of vomit and blood in her mouth.
“I threw up,” she blurted out.
“I’ll get a mop and clean it up,” he sighed.
Oliver pressed a light kiss to her forehead and disappeared before she could protest. Great, the guy she was crazy in love with, who was no longer her boss and on the verge of something more was about to clean up her vomit. This wasn’t how she wanted this evening to go. She was going to stop waiting on him and make her own move. Her plan was food, wine, and moving the popcorn bowl onto her lap so she could sit closer to him. She would have cuddled under the arm he always rested on the back of the couch, lifted her head when they talked, and pressed her lips against his. And just see what happened next.
That had all changed when she woke up swollen and hurting on a metal table. She wondered if they should shell out the money for a real hospital bed. She tried to sit up again, was able to prop herself up on her elbow, she looked down at herself. Her shoe was gone, her knee was scraped. Her clothes ripped and filthy. She’d have to wait to see a mirror to see the damage to her face. But when she lightly touched the bump Oliver had talked about, she saw that his leather jacket had been under her head.
Oliver returned with a bucket and mop, he handed her a glass of water and told her to take small sips. He quickly cleaned up the mess and took the mop back where he found it. Felicity waited until he was back and beside her to ask to get up. He protested but relented. He pushed a trash can close and helped her sit up.
“Just sit there before you try standing,” Oliver suggested.
Felicity was used to taking care of herself. Her mom worked two jobs and was gone most of the time. They couldn't afford for her to take days off for a sick kid, so it fell on Felicity to handle it alone, without her. Oliver stood next to her case she fell, he rubbed her back, it was all so new and wonderful.
“Ready,” Oliver asked.
Felicity slid forward on the table. Her skirt bunched up around her thigh closest to him, and revealed a large red and purple bruise on her hip. She hadn’t noticed the pain until she started to moved her leg. Oliver hissed and placed his hand over the bruise. His fingertips lightly touched her skin, it sent a shiver up her spine. He looked up, Felicity’s breath caught in her throat. His fingers splayed out on along her skin until his palm covered the bruise and his fingers skimmed her ass. His face and mouth so close that she’d only need to move an inch and she’d be against him. She wondered what he tasted like.
Felicity licked her lips, Oliver eyes dropped to her mouth and he watched. His fingers and nails gently dragged over her skin and hip. Goosebumps and delicious chills spread across her body. She forgot about the pain and only focused on the dark blue of his eyes. Oliver’s hand slipped under her skirt, a finger traced along her hip bone. Felicity bit her abused lip, dropped her head on his shoulder and moved closer. Oliver moved around her leg, and stood between her open thighs. His hand went to the side of her face, he took a deep breath.
“Fe-li-ci-ty,” he breathed her name.
“Oliver,” she sighed.
“John,” a deep voice said behind them. “Maybe I should come back after you're done with the introductions, so I can get Felicity to the hospital and police station. Unless it’s not as bad as Oliver said it was.”
John Diggle scowled at them, Oliver moved away but stayed close. Felicity felt a blush spread across her cheeks. John moved closer to get a better look at her face. John reached out and cupped her chin, turned her head left and right. He turned away and pulled out a penlight from the drawer.
“Focus on my finger, don’t follow the light.” John ordered. “Good, her pupils are reacting to light, he right one is a bit sluggish so a CT is a good idea. Do you remember what happened?”
“No, last thing I remember is getting dinner for us and then waking up here.”
“Us?” John probed.
“Felicity’s been giving me a crash course in business school,” Oliver offered.
John looked at Oliver and they stared at each other. Felicity wasn’t sure what silent argument she was missing but it didn’t matter, she was starting to regret those few sips of water as her stomach turned. She hit Oliver’s arm and held on as she slid to the floor and vomited into the closest round can she found.
“We’ve got to get her to the hospital. How many times has she thrown up?” John asked.
“This is twice,” Oliver answered.
“We better get going,” John advised.
“Wait,” Felicity used Oliver’s arms to sit up, she grabbed her head. “Whoa, okay wait. I need to get the tracker turned on. Someone needs to get that tablet. Not many people can hack in but we can’t take the chance that someone does. I have Arrow stuff on there and our operation plans.”
“Felicity, you have a head injury. It can wait,” Oliver tried to convince her.
“It won’t take long. Also, I wonder if there’s a camera near the restaurant that can tell us what happened.”
Felicity felt at ease in front of her work station, she quickly pulled up the tracker software and turned it on. It’d take a few moments for a clear reading on where the device was. She pulled up the video feed from SCPD traffic cameras. She knew the route she would have taken there and back. She drove, and according to Oliver her car was still near the restaurant. It was almost one in the morning now. She was normally the last pick up of the night, since the restaurant closed at ten. So whatever had happened to her happened in the last three hours.
The traffic cam showed her car pull past and into the parking lot. Felicity could only see her feet as she ran inside, and after a few minutes she walked out of the restaurant and leaned into her car. The Felicity on camera stepped into the frame and the looked down the street, off camera. She then reached for her phone, but Felicity knew from experience that the area was horrible for cell phone service. Felicity watched herself walk off camera away from her car. She must have heard something and wanted to call for help but didn't have service.
Oliver’s hand rested on her shoulder after he handed her an ice pack, she wasn’t sure what hurt more, but she chose to put it on the bump on her head. She held it in place with one hand while she tried to load up another angle. Oliver’s hand moved from her shoulder to the ice and he muttered about letting him help. She shrugged and got back to work with both hands. It took a hacked ATM camera from a closed bank to get the right video.
On the video, two men stood over a young teenage boy, holding a backpack out of his reached. Felicity approached, and all eyes turned to her. She and Oliver watched as the woman on the video offered her purse in trade for the boy, and one of the men jerked it from her hands. The second man let the boy go and stalked towards her, his intentions written clearly on his face. Felicity looked at the kid, who stared at her in horror. “Go!” she mouthed.
The teenager ran and Felicity’s shoulders sagged in relief. She then straightened as both men approached. One man tugged and tried to pull the other one away but he was pushed off and the bigger man grabbed her and pulled her close for a hard kiss.
In the Arrowcave Oliver growled, the ice pack sloshed and Felicity wondered if it would pop under the pressure of Oliver’s grip.
The Felicity on the video pulled back and slammed the heel of her palm into his nose. He threw her to the ground and she landed on her hip and her face bounced off the pavement. Felicity kicked out her foot and connected with his knee, which caused the man to drop to the ground screaming. His friend grabbed him under the arms and pulled him along. Her shoe dangled from her foot and slipped off when she lowered her leg. The man hobbled back in frame and lifted her up by her arms and yelled. As he shook her, her head slammed back into the cement at least three times before his friend pulled him away again.
Felicity lay there without moving for twenty minutes before the hooded vigilante arrived. He dropped to her side, hands brushed over her body. He picked her up, his arm under her knees, her head on his chest. He looked down at her and brushed a kiss to her head before he walked off.
“I'm going to kill them,” Oliver grumbled behind her.
“Not if I get to them first,” John added.
“Tracker’s live, I got a location. Fifth and Oak, looks like an old office building,” Felicity cut in.
“You need to get checked out, Oliver go with her. I’ll take care of this,” John ordered.
“I want to go after them,” Oliver demanded.
“Yeah, that's not the best idea, your girl needs you so go with her. Hold her hand in case she needs any shots.”
Felicity's head shot up,she grabbed her head and groaned, “No one said anything about shots.”
“John's right, let me go changed and we’ll get going,” Oliver offered.
She watched him walk away and noticed John watching her. She gave him a little smile and grimaced when it tugged on her lip.
“Oliver is going to give me a full report from the doctor and we will make sure you get the rest you need. No more chasing down muggers without backup. But that was a nice punch to the nose, next time remember you're supposed to run away after. Here, take some aspirin, it will help ease the pain.”
“Yes sir,” Felicity said with a salute. “Wait are they aspirin or aspirin .”
“Normal aspirin, I promise.” John chuckled.
Oliver returned in blue jeans a black henley and his leather coat. He handed her his grey sweatshirt and helped pull it over her head.
“Are you ready?” Oliver took her hand.
“Nope, I can't go to the hospital. I lost my shoe.” She pouted. “There is no way the Queen of England will go anywhere without a shoe. Sorry, can’t go, no shots...I mean no shoes no hospitals. I’m the Queen and I decrees...decreed it so,” her words slurred and dropped off the pressure in her head unbearable.
“You want to be a Queen, I’ll make you a Queen. But first, the hospital,” Oliver retorted.
“Uhh, What!?” Felicity gasped. “ Did he just?”
“ Huh?” Oliver blushed and looked away.
“Dig! You promised they were just aspirin. Why am I hallucinating?”
“I swear it was just aspirin. You are not hallucinating.” John had a smile on his face. “I'll get the guys, you two need to talk.”
John walked away, grabbed two handguns and pulled out his phone.
“Roy, meet me at 5th and Oak, we got two thugs that need to learn how to treat a lady.”
John gave a quick wave and was up the street entrance stairway and out the door. Oliver watched John go, his hand holding on to her a little too tight, but he didn't look down. She tugged on his arm until he looked at her. Felicity arched her brow.
“Hospital now, talk later,” Oliver offered.
“If it leads to kissing and sex then what are we waiting for!?” Felicity exclaimed. She pulled herself to her feet and limped toward the stairs. “Are you coming?” She attempted a flirty wink.
Oliver sucked in a breath and started to cough.
“Soon your highness, very soon,” Oliver purred.