“You helped me become a hero, Slade. Thank you,” said Oliver as he prepared to leave Slade, a man who had once been his saviour and his enemy, on the very island that had been their purgatory. Oliver glanced back one more time, fully knowing that this man would never be able to hurt anyone else ever again. Slade would never be able to lay a hand on anyone he loved ever again. Slade would spend the rest of his life in the hell that was this island, and for that Oliver could breathe easier.
“You really think you’ve defeated me, kid! You really think this prison will hold me! I will find a way out of this hole, Oliver. When I do, I will fulfill my promise to you. I will take away everything you love. I will take away your light, Oliver,” menacingly screamed Slade as he pulled at the bars of his prison cell.
“I didn’t make you into a hero, Oliver. She did. She is the only reason that I am standing here alive today, isn’t she Oliver? You did not kill me because she asked you not to, but I know you better, kid. You made a promise to not kill but you broke that promise to save her from Count Vertigo. You killed to protect her and not even you could fully understand why, but I knew, as you do to now, kid,” Slade silently whispered making the hairs on Oliver’s neck stand up.
“She is more than just the woman you love, kid. She is your light, your heart, the other half of your soul. SHE IS YOUR SALVATION! She made you a hero and I promise brother, I will rip her away from you if it is the last thing I will ever do. I promised you that I would take away the one person you love most. I keep my promises, kid. I will take away your beloved, Oliver. I will take away your Felicity, and I will do to her everything that you have ever inflicted on me. I will show her your true nature, the murderer you really are. Then I will kill her in front of your eyes. You will watch all that light, all that innocence and intelligence, all the goodness and belief in you, all that love, spill from her as her blood pools around her dead body. And it will all be because of you, brother. I won’t be fast. It will be painfully slow and torturous. I will make her scream like you’ve never heard her scream before, kid. Those screams will be the last sounds to ever leave her beautiful mouth and they will haunt you for the rest of your miserable life,” vowed Slade.
“She will be your undoing, brother, just as you are hers. When she lies lifeless on the ground, the light gone from her eyes, her blood surrounding her body that is when I will have truly fulfilled my promise to you, kid. You will have suffered the same way that I have suffered. You will feel the complete despair that I have felt. You will be engulfed in the same darkness that you have damned me to. I will have kept my promise then brother.”
“So cherish her, love her. Bask in her light, her goodness and her innocence, while you can, brother, because one day I will rip her away from you. I WILL TAKE AWAY YOUR FELICITY! And there will be nothing you can do about it! That is my promise to you, brother!”
All Oliver could do was picture those images that Slade had concocted of how he was going to hurt Felicity. How he was going to kill her. It stopped him in his tracks. Those images froze his mind and body, constricted his breath, and stopped his heart because he knew that everything that Slade said about Felicity was true. Felicity was his light, his heart, the other half of his soul, and his salvation. She was the true reason he was a hero. The images of Felicity dead and gone from the world, was nothing he could ever handle. Oliver knew that if he lost Felicity that he would be truly dead because she was the only reason he was alive.
Oliver knew that the words that were about to leave his mouth would confirm Slade’s belief that Felicity was the person that he loved above all else in the world, but he could not stop himself. His heart wouldn’t let him.
“You will never lay a hand on her ever again, Slade. I will give up everything to protect her. I would kill for her. I would die for her. I would destroy anything and anyone that would ever wish to hurt her, Slade. If you ever dare lay a hand on her ever again I will choose to kill you, brother. I made a choice to be a better man when I chose not to kill you. I made the choice to be the man that she believes I can be. I chose to be a hero. But if I have to choose between being a hero and protecting her life, I will always choose her. Always,” promised Oliver as he looked dead straight into Slade’s eye before turning and leaving the purgatory that would be Slade's prison for the rest of his life.
The moment he saw her standing by Diggle, safe and sound, he breathed a little easier. She was safe and that was all that mattered to him. The promise that he made to Slade was a promise he intended to keep until his dying breath. Felicity was his light, and he would do anything to keep that light alight.
“You okay, Oliver,” asked Felicity as she stared up at him. Hundreds of other questions flowing through her eyes, all directed at him, asking him if he was truly alright. He could not help but smile because she was his light even more in that moment than any before. She would guide him, push him, to be a better man, and for that he was thankful for. He thankful that fate had put him on a path aimed directly at her because without her, he would not, could not be the man that he was at that very moment.
“I’m fine.” Knowing he truly was because he was with her.
“Let’s go home,” said Oliver, entwining his hand in hers’, letting his light guide him home.