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Good morning, Oliver

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Oliver woke up slower than usual, the sounds of voices and children laughing echoing in his dreams. That jolted him out of sleep when he realized the sound was not in his dreams, but in the same building where he was located. His vigilante mode kicked in and he was immediately on alert. He was not in his bed in the Queen Mansion.

Panicked, Oliver rolled over to leap out of bed, when he saw a computer with a note taped to the front. “Don’t panic, you’re fine. Just hit play on the video,” the note said – and he recognized Felicity’s handwriting immediately.

Still feeling out of place, he decided to follow the advice of one of the people he trusted most in this world – his girl Wednesday.

He was surprised when Felicity’s face appeared on the screen, looking different than when he had seen her yesterday. Her hair was shorter, and her face looked a little bit older – but she was more beautiful if that was even possible.

“Remember your mission. You can’t be with someone you really care about,” he murmured to himself before the audio on the video began.

“Good morning, Oliver, I know you are very confused right now about the bed you woke up in and the ring on your finger, but this video will explain everything.” Oliver glanced down in shock to see a gold wedding band on his finger.

Who the hell had he married? Was this some kind of weird trick or practical joke? No, Felicity wouldn’t do that to him.

“Now, I know this will sound unbelievable to you, but a few years ago you suffered a traumatic brain injury that made you lose a couple years’ worth of memories…and the ability to form new memories. So every morning you wake up and you are in your mind the man who has only been back from Lian Yu for a little more than a year. In your mind, Tommy just died and the Undertaking is recent history.

Tommy…Oliver’s heart clenched in grief for his friend. If what Felicity was saying, he didn’t have the luxury of the passing of time to heal that wound.

“For a while because, well, you’re kind of a hot mess emotionally, we pretended like nothing had happened. We recreated the same day over and over so that it wouldn’t cause you extra stress in your condition.” Oliver was touched that his friends and family would go to all that trouble for him. “But after a while, we stopped because you actually got more emotional after time went on. It seems that even with a brain injury, your bullshit reader is intact. Plus, reliving that time in all of our lives took an emotional toll on some of us.”

Felicity’s eyes looked sad, and Oliver could only guess he had done something to hurt her. That was not okay. He was only with her so she wouldn’t get hurt, and now she sacrificed herself every day to take care of him.

Felicity rolled her eyes on screen.

“Oliver Queen, you can cut that guilt trip immediately. This is not your fault. It was bad guys pushing you off one too many roofs. Your poor noggin just couldn’t take it anymore. Now before you start the guilt spiral and I have to break out my loud voice, let’s do a quick catch up for you on the past several years. I’m warning you, some of this won’t be pleasant, but please keep watching until the end.”

Oliver almost fell out of his seat when he heard his own voice yell in the background – “It’s worth it!”

So, he listened to himself and sat through the whole video. The first part was hard to watch – with headlines flashing across the screen.

His mother was dead.

Laurel Lance was dead.

And keeping track of the deaths, near-fatal wounds and resurrections of Sara Lance and his sister Thea were giving him a headache.

Diggle injured after an island explosion on Lian Yu. Felicity injured and in a wheelchair for a while after that same explosion, and apparently it was due to an older injury.

It was all almost too much for Oliver to bear, but suddenly the tone of the video started to change.

He had a son, William. Who was not lost in a miscarriage before the Queen’s Gambit after all – and looked very much like him. Images of him and William spending time together flashed across the screen.

And then there was Felicity. So many pictures of them as a couple popped up. His heart thought it would burst when a clip of their wedding was shown.

He looked down at his ring again and grinned. Oliver had married Felicity Smoak. Never in his wildest dreams did he ever think he would be worthy enough to deserve her. And she was HIS WIFE. It was a miracle.

Oliver looked back up at the screen and stilled at what he saw next. Felicity’s growing belly, then her in the hospital with him grinning next to her holding a newborn.

He had a daughter. He and Felicity had made that beautiful creature together. A picture of him holding the toddler, rocking her, melted his heart. His fingers twirled into her curly brown locks.

“Well, those are the major headlines, my love. Now, I know this is a lot to handle and you’re going to need some time to process. In the drawer on the table next to the bed is your journals. You always say you like to read it in your own words. You add to it every day so that you document what’s going on in our lives and don’t miss anything. Now process and read – but don’t take too long. It’s our daughter’s third birthday and you don’t want to be late to the party.”

With shaking hands, he pulled the book from the drawer. Flipping through the pages, he realized that she had been right – it was easier to see it all in his own handwriting. He glanced over the beginning part of his notes and found the pages he was looking for. Curling up in bed with the book, Oliver Queen started learning about his wife and daughter – and their life together.

An hour later, he emerged and entered the living room of his house. The place felt foreign and familiar to him at the same time. It was surreal.

“Daddy!” A little voice cried as his daughter ran at him and Oliver picked her up into his arms for a bear hug. This may be the first time he remembered holding her, but he loved her with his whole heart regardless.

“Hey sugar bear,” he said, using the nickname for her that was in his journal. “Happy Birthday!”

“I’m having a party and my brudder Will came! Uncle John and Aunt Lyla are here with my best friend Sara, and Auntie Thee and Uncle Roy are here with my cousin. You don’t ‘mum-member’ but my cousin is in auntie’s belly.”

“I remember, baby.”

“You wrote it in your book?”

He nodded.

“Good job, daddy. All the important stuff goes in there. Did you see the picture I made?”

Oliver smiled. Little hearts and flowers had been colored throughout the book, and there was a lovely picture she had made of their family.

“Yes, and it was so beautiful.” She beamed proudly at him. “I’m gonna go have cake now, Daddy. I will save you a piece. But I’ll tell Momma you’re up. You like to kiss on her first. Every time. It’s so gross.”

Oliver couldn’t help it, he let out a full-bellied laugh as his beautiful little girl skipped away. Felicity smiled at this when she entered the room.

“Good morning, you’re in a good mood today,” she said.

Oliver frowned at her words. “Am I normally not, in the morning?”

Felicity crossed the room quickly and took his hand in hers. “Some days are not great…the news hits harder than others. But for the most part you’ve taken it pretty well. Usually about lunchtime you are happy and ready to face the day. Hearing you laugh in the morning like this is kind of rare.”

Oliver looked down at their join hands and smiled.

“Felicity…we’re married.”

His wife bit her lip and nodded at him, a sparkle in her eyes. God, he loved her so much. He could not believe that he was allowed to show her how he felt. He had kept those feelings buried for so long.

“Can I…can I kiss you?”

Felicity’s dimples showed. “Well, isn’t that one of the benefits of being married?”

Oliver cupped her face and leaned in to kiss her. He felt it all the way down to his toes, and he guessed she did too because she moaned into his mouth. After he pulled away, he placed another short peck on her lips as if to seal the kiss.

He pulled back and smiled at her. “Best first kiss ever.”

Felicity laughed. “You say that every day.”

“Well I’m sure it’s true every day.”

She hugged him and started leading him outside. “Come on, you can say hi to everyone.”

Oliver tugged on her hand to stop her.

“Felicity – is it hard? To do this every day? Do you ever take a break and just don’t tell me about it? It’s not like I would remember.”

Felicity looked at him sadly. “You ask me that everyday too. No Oliver, it’s not too hard to be with you every day. We tried some days apart…in the beginning, but we always seemed to drift our way back to each other by the end of the day in foul moods so we just gave up.”

That made sense to him. Even before he and Felicity were in a relationship, he saw her every day at Queen Consolidated and it would feel weird to go through a day without her presence.

“I saw in my journal that you run a tech business out of the house,” Oliver said. “I’m so proud of you. Sorry that I made you my EA, that was a big mistake.”

She laughed at this.

“Every once in a while, I prance around the house in those short skirts just for old times’ sake. You always enjoy it,” Felicity said with a wink.  

“I can only imagine.” Oliver ran his hand through his hair. “What did I do to deserve you as a wife?”

She held both his hands.

“I need you as much as you need me, my love. We are a mortal lock.”

He pulled her in for another kiss, slow and tender as he tried to memorize how it felt begging his brain to remember.

The held each other for a moment, until Felicity started pulling him outside again.

“Now let’s go, we’re late. We gotta get out there before our girl eats all the cake. If she gets a sugar high – you’re putting her down for her nap.”

That night – he wrote notes about a day filled with family, laughter and love in his journal.