Early mornings, just as the sun begins to rise, are always his favourite time of day. It’s the only time of the day that he really allows himself to savour a moment of peace before their hectic day began. It’s made extra special and even more precious because of the person with whom he shares his bed with. The rays of light streaming through their bedroom window create a halo of light around her head, a literal embodiment of the light that is her. His Felicity.
For three years he has been able to bask in her light, her goodness, her innocence and intelligence, her love and belief in him. These three years that they have been together have been his happiest, and frustrated, stubborn, crazed and scared years of his life, but he would not have traded them for anything in the world. It has all been worth it because he has her. She is the light of his life, his partner, best friend and lover all wrapped up in a beautiful and remarkable package, and soon, he was hoping to add the title of wife to that list. The ring, specifically designed for her, had been sitting in the back of the drawer of his side table for over 3 months. Every time he had planned to ask her something would always come up, an emergency at QC, or another target for the Arrow, or babysitting duty for their godson. It felt like fate was conspiring against him, but he was not so easily deterred. He had her and he was never going to let her go.
“Good morning,” Felicity hummed sleepily and she snuggled even closer into him, breathing in his scent as she settled her head into his shoulder.
“Good morning, beautiful,” replied Oliver as he ran his hand slowly and delicately up and down her back, placing a kiss on her head.
He marveled at the peace her presence brought to him. She was always able to bring him back from the darkness and grief that had become permanent fixtures in his life. She fought his darkness and protected his heart and soul without even acknowledging or knowing it. For that he was grateful. He was grateful that he had her in his life. She was his light, his other half and his heart. The nightmares that used to plague his sleep had slowly dissipated and only made a rare appearance after a mission went awry, and it was all thanks to her. She made the darkness that he had lived so long in dissipate. She made them disappear with her light, her goodness and her intelligence. He never thought that he would be graced by the presence of an angel after everything that he had done, everything that he had been through, but there she was a babbling beautiful angel that he had never expected that made every morning worth waking up for. She made his day better because she was in it.
“Stop thinking so hard, Oliver, you might hurt yourself there,” teased Felicity as she snuggled even closer into his body.
“I wouldn’t want that now would I,” he teased as he placed a kiss on her lips and holding her tighter to his body, right before their alarm goes off.
The QC board meeting was going as planned, with each the heads of departments going over the advancements that had been made that quarter when Oliver’s phone began beeping, then Felicity’s. Diggle rushing into the boardroom, with a look of discomfort on his face, solidified that something was wrong, really wrong. All three of their calls had come from an unknown international number. Their calls were coming from Amanda Waller, and that was never a good thing.
“What is it, Amanda,” answered Oliver, much more harshly that he had intended to. His dealings with Amanda and ARGUS never turned out how he planned.
“We have a problem, Queen,” replied Amanda even more coldly, “there has been a prison break at one of ARGUS facilities.”
“Well, the state of ARGUS’s prison systems doesn’t really apply to me, Amanda.”
“Well this should, Queen. The break happened at one of our maximum security prisons. It happened on Lian Yu.”
Oliver’s heart literally stopped in that moment. Lian Yu, the island that was his purgatory, a place that he had scarcely thought about over the last three years, the prison that held Slade Wilson.
“He escaped didn’t he,” asked Felicity, fear dripping over her words.
Oliver had never told her the promise he made to Slade in that prison all those years ago. She may know everything about him, every piece of him, but that didn’t mean she needed to know what Slade had promised to do to her if he ever got his hands on her again. Felicity dealt with her own nightmares after that night, nightmares that he never wanted her to ever have to face. When he promised Slade that he would do everything in his power to protect her that meant not telling her things that he never thought would ever happen. Why burden her with such thoughts when she did not need to know about them?
“How the hell did he escape, Amanda,” voiced Oliver, his voice dropping several octaves becoming the voice projected by the Arrow.
“We don’t know. The facility is one of our most secure in the world. It’s supposed to be unescapable. All I know is that Slade escaped and almost all of our guards are dead, expect one.”
“What are you not telling us,” asked Diggle.
A moment of silence settled around the room when Amanda didn’t immediately answer.
“He escaped during one of our test experiments.”
“What kind of test experiment, Amanda,” Felicity questioned.
“That is classified, Ms. Smoak.”
“CLASSIFIED! What the hell were you thinking, Amanda! The man is a crazed mass murder and you decide to experiment on him. What the hell did you do to him?” bellowed Oliver.
“That is enough, Queen! We were experimenting with his bio-electricity. Our scientists have been toying with the idea that human beings may have the capacity to control small amounts of electricity around them. Slade was a perfect specimen for the experiment. We don’t know how he escaped the restraints. We’ve been trying to track him but we’ve had no luck in finding him. We won’t stop until we have found him. The only reason I am contacting you Oliver is because of courtesy. I know what Slade promised and I’m contacting you now in order for you to prepare yourself.”
“How long since his escape,” Oliver queried, his blood beginning to boil and fear beginning to push its way into his mind.