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Living with Loss

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Another train; another ride to visit Barry and the team at Star Labs.

Felicity needed to get away, and a relatively quiet weekend of few crimes in Starling City was the perfect time to visit her friends in Central City and forget about the loss of Oliver. Barry had insisted she come as soon as she'd called, anyway.

Looking out the window of the train, she thought back to what she and Oliver had promised – or rather, what they hadn't promised – the last time they'd spoken. He'd said he loved her, that much was true, but he certainly hadn't promised he'd come back. Felicity hadn't told him she loved him, but she'd assumed it went without saying; that he already knew.

Now, she wished she'd said it one more time – the last time – so he'd have had it to hold on to as he fought to the death with Ra's al Ghul.

Still rewinding their last interaction through her head and substituting the words she wished she'd said for the few she did, Felicity startled when Barry suddenly appeared before her and sat down in the seat opposite. She pressed a hand to the centre of her chest, willing her heart to slow down.

"Barry! You should probably stop doing that."

"Sorry, Felicity," Barry half-grinned, raising a somber eyebrow that negated the light-heartedness of his smile. "How are you doing?"

"Oh, you know," Felicity replied, "I miss Oliver. That is, we all do. It isn't the same without him."

"I know it's not the same for me as it is for you and your team, but I miss him too. He taught me a lot."

Felicity tried to smile, but it wasn't easy. She nodded as the tears brimmed in her eyes for what felt like the millionth time.

Barry's eyes darkened in sympathy and he leaned in to kiss her gently; a friend's kiss. Thankfully he didn't say anything further, but he changed seats to sit beside her, drawing her close and surrounding her in his easy comfort. She closed her eyes and breathed in his calming scent.

The train rumbled on, its 'chukka-ta-chukka-ta' rhythm turning into words she recognized: Shoulda-said, shoulda-said.

Things would be alright; they had to be.