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twinkle twinkle, my little star

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“For a boy, I’ve always liked the name Lucas,” Felicity revealed.

“Yeah. Lucas. That’s good,” replied Oliver.

Felicity smiled. H, Here they were just a normal, happy couple, discussing potential baby names. The troubles of their lives and the city stayed outside the bubble they had formed in the comfort and confines of their bedroom. Here, they weren’t just Green Arrow and Overwatch, sanctioned by the SCPD to help the city safe. Here, they were just Oliver and Felicity, expecting parents.

“I may have thought of a name for a girl,” Oliver said, bringing Felicity out of her thoughts.

“Yeah?”

“Mia.”

“Short for Moira.” Oliver smiled and nodded softly at the implication.

“It’s short and fiery,” she added.

Her lips turned upwards in a smile, “I love it.”

----------

The wails of his infant daughter woke Oliver from his slumber. After quickly scanning their bedroom for any imminent danger, he checked on his sleeping wife, who had also been startled awake.

He leaned in and kissed her forehead. “I got it,” he whispered, telling her to go back to sleep and get the rest she so desperately needed. Sleepless nights were normal for them, whether it be taking down a drug dealer during the late hours of the night, working on the latest prototype of a security system, or staying up late to finish a last-minute homework assignment. But nothing had prepared them for their greatest challenge yet: being parents to a newborn.

Baby exhaustion was a different type of exhaustion. The feedings, the crying, the diaper changes; Oliver and Felicity had basically taken shifts to try and fit in some sleep whenever they could. But at the end of the day, it was all worth it. Mia, their perfect little Mia, would just give a little smile or a laugh, and Oliver and Felicity would be completely enamored by her.

Oliver begrudgingly got out of bed, his eyes still heavy from exhaustion, and followed the cries of his daughter, leaning on his acute viligante hearing skills to guide the way.

He trekked into the nursery and checked on his daughter. At just four months, she had already started supporting herself on her own. They had been so proud of her that first day. He had claimed their daughter was already showing signs of the Smoak genes, but Felicity had rebutted that that was all Queen.

“How’s my little star?” Oliver picked her up and immediately cradled Mia in his arms, swinging ever so slowly to try and soothe her. Seconds, maybe minutes passed by, and the swinging wasn’t helping, so Oliver moved his daughter over his shoulder and sat them down on the rocking chair they had in the corner of Mia’s room.

The chair wasn’t enough for her either. “Come on, Mia...” The exhaustion was weighing on Oliver and his daughter’s insistence on not falling asleep again was getting to him.

He brought her back down to his arms. With one hand, he started trailing her arms with his fingers, hoping the touch would calm her and lull her into sleep. But still, no success. He needed to think. He was going to take care of this. He just needed to think. But he was so tired.

He walked back up to the crib and sat Mia down, still crying. He eyed the size of the crib and an idea popped up. He pulled Mia to a corner of the crib and climbed inside. He folded his legs and raised his knees up while sliding his upper half up to meet his daughter. He grabbed her from her corner and laid her on his chest, her back to his front, remembering the baby books that said to keep them on their back when going to sleep.

He brought his arms down to Mia, taking the tips of his fingers and rubbing back and forth, trying to soothe his crying daughter. It seemed that Oliver’s idea had worked as Mia’s cries lessened and her breathing evened out. Oliver found himself at peace, lying down with his newborn daughter on his chest, staring at the ceiling of her room and gazing at the constellations they had installed to give the room some light. It had been Oliver’s gift to Felicity as they couldn’t have a baby shower. She had loved it.

As he kept rubbing, his calloused fingers came across a soft leather chain: the necklace. The 4 pointed star necklace had been Mia’s birthday, well birth really, gift. He had crafted it out of one of his own arrowheads, giving it that personal touch. After the long labor and Felicity had rested, he had revealed the gift for his daughter, and it may have been the hormones, but Felicity had gotten emotional over the small token - the part of her father their daughter would always carry with her.

“For our little star,” she had said.

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“The universe is a complex piece of machinery, and balance must be maintained. One change requires another,” said the omniscient Monitor. “How would you propose I keep the balance?”

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Mia had been sleeping for a few hours now and would not be waking up anytime soon. Much like her mother, he had thought as Oliver walked into the room, leaving his bag out in the hallway.

He knew he shouldn’t be in here - he knew he had to go - but he still found himself here, here in her room. He was giving himself this one moment. He stared at his daughter a little longer, just taking her in.

“Mia, my little star. You have no idea how much you mean to me, how much you mean to me and your mom. Felicity and I have had a rough year but you, you, my little one, are the light in our lives. We’ve been through a lot together.” He clutched Mia’s hand with his pinkie finger, trying not to wake his daughter lest he faces her cries.

“I went to pris-“ Oliver stopped himself. While Mia was an infant and wouldn’t retain anything he was saying right now, it probably wasn’t best to mention prison time to his infant daughter. “I went away for a while and I didn’t get to see your mom and your brother, Will.”

“And then your brother, Will. He’s so smart.”

He chuckled. “He certainly didn’t get it from me.” He smiled, thinking of his wife and his son and how they had bonded over academics, and how he’d got to witness their bond strengthen over time together. “I don’t know how he’s doing right now.” Weeks, months had passed, and still, he nor Felicity had gotten a returned call from him at his grandparents’ home.

“But I know he’s where he wants to be, and he’s happy. Even...” He found himself choking up, the words struggling to come out of him. “Even if it’s not with us.”

“And then we got the news that you were coming and we were so happy. I-” Mia’s breathing picked up and Oliver was on edge, waiting to see if his daughter was going to wake. He waited and her breathing evened out again.

He removed his hand from Mia and slid his hands down the bar of the crib, trying to find his next words. “Your mom will tell you more about it, but you see, I didn’t get to go through this with your brother. Something happened a long time ago and I was away for a bit.” He lowered his head struggling. “In fact, it always seems like I’m away, because I didn’t get to go through this with your brother, and now I-” He found himself choking up again. “Now I won’t be able to go through this with you too.”

He lowered his head to the bar, taking in deep breaths, trying to find the will to finish his speech, if not for his infant daughter who didn’t know what was going on, but for himself.

“What your mom and I do, it isn’t easy. I’ve lost a lot of people over the years.” His father. His mother. His sister, almost. His wife, almost.   “But we do it because it’s who we are. Heroes.”

He chuckled, “I didn’t always see myself as a hero but your mother has a way of convincing me. She’s a hocker, you know.”

“Your mom and I, we found our way back to each other last year. When I came back, things seemed different at first, we were headed in different directions. We both made some choices the other didn’t agree with, but we had our reasons.”

He thought back to the ARGUS mission and Felicity confronting Diaz. “I didn’t back her choice before, but then I did, even if I couldn’t stop her. Your mother...” He knew where he was headed and it wasn’t going to be easy.

“Your mother is so strong. She always has been. We’re a team, her and I. From the very beginning. From the moment I stepped into her office with a bullet-ridden laptop and a poorly thought-up lie. It wasn’t always easy but we found our way.”

He twisted his wedding ring around. “Which is what makes this so hard.”

“Daddy has to go away for a bit. I don’t know if - when - I’ll be back, but my dear little Mia, my star,” he caressed the chain around her neck, “I will always be with you. You’ll have your mom, you’ll have Felicity. She’s the best person I know. If you grow to be even half as amazing as her, I’ll be happy. I’ll be happy knowing we -” he corrected himself, “knowing she did her best.”

“Be good for your mother, my little star. I love you. So much.” With that, Oliver took one last glance at his daughter and walked back out of the room. Grabbing his bag, he headed towards the front of the cabin and left into the dark of the night.

As the door closed behind him, Felicity’s security system was triggered.“ The Green Arrow has left .”

----------

A year to the date, Oliver found himself standing in the same room as where he’d once made a very important deal. And now, it was time to uphold his end of the bargain.

As the Monitor entered the space, Oliver revealed himself, green leather suit and all.

“I’m ready.”