Oliver Queen wasn't entirely sure what caused him to wake from his peaceful sleep. He opened his eyes and took in his surroundings. It didn’t take long to recognize the nondescript white walls and the faint smell of disinfectant.
A hospital room.
Felicity’s hospital room.
It had been five days since he and Felicity had been shot at while heading home from the Christmas tree lighting ceremony.
Five days since he had proposed to Felicity.
Five days since Felicity had been shot.
Four days, six hours, and… his eyes focused on the clock on the wall… 34 minutes, since Donna had informed him that Felicity might never walk again.
He closed his eyes tightly, trying to push away the feeling of guilt that still ate at his insides.
He instead, tried to focus on the positive. The fact that they were both alive.
Felicity Smoak was still alive.
A distressed sigh caused him to lift his head from the spot it rested on top his arms. He was sitting on a chair next to Felicity’s bed. He looked at her, she was slightly propped up by pillows. Her left hand was raised up by another pillow. Her face was scrunched in concentration, focused on the small object that she held in her right hand.
“Hey,” Oliver whispered, his voice was rough from sleep. He stretched his arms over his head. His muscles ached in protest, stiff from the position he had been sleeping in.
Felicity’s gaze met his briefly before focusing back on her hands. She muttered a quiet greeting in return. She chewed on her lower lip. A sign that told Oliver she was frustrated by something.
“How long was I asleep?” Oliver asked. He couldn’t remember falling asleep. The last thing he remembered was talking to Felicity as she gently ran her fingers through his hair.
Felicity glanced up at the clock on the wall. “About an hour,” she answered. “Guess you needed it.”
Oliver was surprised. He couldn’t remember the last time he had slept for an hour without nightmares plaguing his dreams. Especially given the recent events. He had spent the nights immediately following the shooting doing everything he go to try to track down Damien Darhk. He hadn’t slept and when he had, his head was filled with visions of Felicity. Her blood on his hands, her screams of terror in his ears. Visions of her dying in his arms.
“Ughhh,” Felicity groaned. Oliver looked at her, her eyes were closed. “I give up.” She placed the object that she held, on the table next to her bed. She held her left hand up, examining it.
“What?” Oliver questioned. He leaned closer to the table, he recognized the object as a bottle of nail polish. Bright blue. The exact colour of Felicity’s eyes. The brush lay discarded next to the bottle, where Felicity had dropped it.
“I was trying to paint my nails,” Felicity explained, her voice was strained.
Oliver carefully took her left hand in both of his, studying her nails. He could see the chipped purple remains of the old polish. Her thumb and second finger nails had a single layer of the blue. There were a couple spots where the polish had gone past her nail and coloured her skin. Overall, it didn’t look too bad to him.
He looked back up at Felicity, focusing on her face as she frowned at her hand. “It doesn’t look so bad…” his voice trailed off as he saw her roll her eyes dramatically.
“It’s terrible,” Felicity objected. She pulled her hand out of Oliver’s grip and waved her hand in his face. “This took me 45 minutes. 45 minutes. And I only got one layer on two fingers.”
Oliver bit his lip, he wasn’t sure how to respond. Part of him wanted to laugh at Felicity’s overdramatic reaction, but he knew that would only antagonize her more. Instead, he took her hand in his hand, he laced their fingers together, drawing small circles with his thumb in an attempt to calm her.
After a few moments, he could feel some of the tension leave Felicity’s body, she relaxed back against her pillows.
“Why do you need to paint your nails?” he asked carefully.
“I don’t,” Felicity admitted sorrowfully. “But, Thea was here earlier, when you went to get something to eat. And she brought it to me. She said that she noticed my old stuff had worn off and thought it might cheer me up.”
A small smile crossed Oliver’s face, a feeling of love for his sister filled him.
“But it’s too hard,” Felicity murmured, her voice cracked.
Oliver looked up to see tears forming in the corners of Felicity’s eyes.
“Hey, no tears,” he protested softly. He brought his hand up, cupping her cheek gently. His thumb caught a tear that slipped out of her eye.
“Sorry,” Felicity muttered. She closed her eyes tightly, as if trying to fight off any remaining tears. After a few moments, she opened her eyes. Her eyes shone with emotion.
“You don’t need to apologize,” Oliver comforted.
“I’m just…” Felicity looked down, focusing on their entwined fingers. “I’m sore. And… I’m scared. The doctor said I might not be able to move my legs, ever. But if I can’t even paint my nails… What if.. What if I can’t do anything anymore?”
Oliver could hear the fear in her voice. He stood up, moving to sit next to Felicity on the bed. He rested his free hand on her knee, squeezing it gently. “Felicity,” he called to her, waiting for her eyes to meet his before continuing. “You got shot five days ago. Of course you’re sore.”
“You aren’t,” she contradicted. “You’ve been shot and you’re back out doing all the same things the next night.”
“I’m definitely not the best one to look up to in that respect,” Oliver winced. “You also just had major surgery. Give it a few days. You’ll be back to painting your nails and behind your computers in no time.”
Felicity looked at him, he caught a flash of doubt in her eyes.
“Do you know how I know that?” he asked, before she could question him. “Because, you, Felicity Smoak, are remarkable. You are the bravest, smartest woman I have ever met. And you never give up. And I believe in you.”
A small smile lifted the corners of her mouth.
“Now,” Oliver started. He moved back to his chair next to the bed. Then, he reached over and picked up the nail polish brush. He dipped in back in the bottle and lifted it out, brushing some of the excess paint off. He took her hand, laying it on the bed in front of him. “Let’s see what we can do about this.”
Felicity’s eyes widened as she watched Oliver carefully apply a coat of the blue polish to her nails. “How…” she trailed off.
“It’s been a while since I’ve done this,” he explained. “When Thea was younger, she broke her arm. And for about six weeks, she couldn’t braid her hair, or paint her nails. She always said that our mom pulled her hair too much and she didn’t like the smell of nail polish. So… I learned.”
Felicity watched in awe as Oliver carefully moved the brush over each nail. Coating each one in the bright blue polish.
“You’ll feel better,” he promised. “In a few days, you won’t be so sore. You will paint your nails again. But, until then, I can always help.”