It's odd being in the lair alone. But Roy is out with Thea while Oliver, Diggle and Felicity are dealing with Queen Consolidated related issues. Not ready to go home to an empty apartment, Sara's spent the last couple hours working out. She's hoping to exhaust herself enough that she'll be able to pass out on the couch, TV blaring in the background until Felicity comes home, which promises to be late. Sara knows she could call Laurel or her dad, but she really doesn't feel like being around anyone but Felicity tonight, so she'll just have to be content to wait. Dozing on the couch seems like the easiest way to pass the time.
It's pitch black when she leaves, exhausted and sore. She might have overdone it a bit. Oh well, nothing that a couple hours of sleep won't fix. The sky is full of threatening clouds and it seems like a downpour is going to start any moment. She hurries towards the apartment and manages to make it just as the torrents of water fall from the sky. She lets out a sigh of relief. But as she's climbing the stairs, the thunder begins rolling. By the time Sara reaches the apartment, the storm outside is almost deafening and even though she escaped getting soaked, she still feels chilled.
Ever since the Queen's Gambit, Sara's had a bit of a phobia about storms—especially strong ones. Booming thunder and pounding rain bring back the bitter taste of salt water and terror. Each time, icy cold dread washes over her and the feeling of desertion is fresh in her mind.
It's frustrating and irrational, which is why it's a phobia. She hasn't experienced a storm this bad in a long time, certainly not since she returned to Starling City. At least when she'd been with the league, Sara had had Nyssa there to ground her, distract her, comfort her.
Sara knows that Felicity would do the same, if she was here. But the dinner meeting is definitely going to run late. And the downpour is enough that it might not be safe enough to drive, no matter how skilled Diggle is.
Sara lets herself into the apartment with a resigned sigh. Seems like sleep is definitely out of the question. If she's lucky, she'll be able to almost drown out the rain with headphones while watching something on Felicity's laptop—assuming that it's not with her.
She's nervous enough that she almost misses the folded up piece of paper on the table with her name on it.
According to the weather reports, it's supposed to rain pretty hard tonight. I tried to get out of the dinner, but with Isabel Rochev being there, we have to make sure we play our parts to perfection. Oliver apologizes, even if he doesn't know exactly why I'm worried.
And now this note is already longer than it needs to be.
Sara chuckles, impressed that Felicity even rambles on paper.
Anyway, the point is that since I can't be there with you if it storms, hopefully what I left in the bedroom is the second best thing.
Sara smirks. Well this could be interesting.
Not like that!
Hearing Felicity's voice as she reads the words, Sara can't help but laugh.
I really wanted to be there with you, even if it doesn't rain. Don't worry, I already punched Oliver for making me come with him. I'll be home as soon as I can.
Curiosity piqued, Sara folds the note back up, having every intention of keeping it. It's just so Felicity.
The last thing Sara expected to find in the bedroom was a blanket fort surrounding the bed. Finding the entrance at the end of bed, Sara kicks off her boots and sheds her jacket before climbing inside. To her surprise one corner of the fort is being held up by the floor lap with adjustable arms. She clicks on the one arm that isn't pointing up. It creates a cozy atmosphere. Sara scrunches the blanket entrance together in hopes of blocking everything else out. There's a back pack near the top of the bed. Sara unzips it and pulls out Felicity's laptop, headphones and some of Sara's favorite DVDs.
Opening the laptop reveals a post it note.
Do you really want to watch the movie wearing that? Go change.
Sara shakes her head and sets everything down. She slides out of the fort and changes out of her jeans. Deciding she needs something to drink as well, she heads for the kitchen. Opening the fridge for a bottle of water, Sara finds a white carton of Orange Chicken with another post it on it.
Because you forgot to eat.
Normally, Sara would be worried that she's become too predictable, but the fact that Felicity knows her so well is exactly the kind of comfort she needs on a night like tonight. She grabs a fork and heads back into the bedroom. Slipping back inside the blanket fort, she gets comfy, picks out a DVD and puts on the headphones. Watching the various studio logos appear, Sara feels herself relaxing.
"You see what I'm saying?"
As the familiar dialogue begins, Sara opens up the Chinese container and digs in.
"I know he's your best friend, but you do live with him."
Suddenly she's starving.
"It's not that I don't like Ed."
Sara takes a moment to turn up the volume a little bit more and the outside world—more specifically, the storm quickly forgotten.
"Ed, it's not that I don't like you."
Felicity comes home, thoroughly impressed that she was able to make it up the stairs. Once the apartment door clicks shut behind her, she kicks off her heels. Considering she's usually still up as Oliver, Sara and Diggle defend the city, Felicity's not quite sure why she's so exhausted. Then again her concern about Sara had taken up a lot of energy.
When Felicity had noticed the prediction of a heavy thunderstorm, her first thought had been of Sara. And then she remembered that as Oliver's assistant, she was scheduled late into the evening, and her heart sunk. Sara had looked absolutely miserable when she'd admitted her fear of storms and Felicity had vowed that Sara would never have to experience one alone as long as she was in Starling City.
But now, only a few weeks later, Felicity was already breaking that vow.
Oliver had been adamant that Felicity had to come with him, but he'd also been apologetic—even though it was obvious that he didn't understand why Felicity was so determined to get out of the dinner. But as someone who understand the need for secrets, he didn't ask.
Taking advantage of his pangs of guilt, Felicity was able to leave the office for an hour and set up the blanket fort for Sara. She ordered the Chinese and began setting things up as she waited. When it arrived, she was nearly done. She wrote the note to Sara as she ate Lo Mein. She left Sara's Chinese in the fridge next to pyramid of water bottles on the shelf. It took her a while to remember where she'd left the post its. She quickly scribbled out her prompts and stuck them in the appropriate places.
Forty-five minutes after arriving at her apartment, Felicity surveyed the bedroom with pride. Everything seemed perfect. And even if it didn't rain, Sara would hopefully be touched by the gesture.
It's still raining as Felicity quietly makes her way into the bedroom, but it's more of a gentle rain than a raging storm. Felicity gently opens the door to the blanket fort and peeks inside. Sara is dozing, headphones haphazardly on her head, the dimmed computer screen casting a glowing halo around her. The white carton of Orange Chicken is nowhere to be seen and Felicity is relieved to see it in the garbage when she looks around the room.
Not wanting to disturb Sara, Felicity quietly changes before extracting her laptop, the headphones and three DVD cases. She sets them on the dresser and slips into the blanket fort.
She's in the process of maneuvering Sara under the covers when she wakes up.
"Hey," she greets, sleepily. "You're back."
"I am," Felicity agrees.
"You're amazing," Sara grins.
Felicity smiles. "It worked?"
Despite Sara being awake now, it's still a struggle to get under the covers. Felicity feels a bit awkward and ridiculous, but it's worth it to hear Sara laugh so easily, so joyfully.
They snuggle together, the blanket fort still over them and it feels like they're protecting each other.