It doesn't hurt me.
Do you want to feel how it feels?
Do you want to know that it doesn't hurt me?
Do you want to hear about the deal that I'm making?
You, it's you and me.
And if I only could,
I'd make a deal with God,
And I'd get him to swap our places,
Be running up that road,
Be running up that hill,
Be running up that building.
If I only could, oh...
You don't want to hurt me,
But see how deep the bullet lies.
Unaware I'm tearing you asunder.
Ooh, there is thunder in our hearts.
Is there so much hate for the ones we love?
Tell me, we both matter, don't we?
You, it's you and me.
It's you and me won't be unhappy.
~ "Running Up That Hill"
It was still weird for them to be back in Star City. Felicity had taken back to it easily, but she knew that it had been harder for Oliver. He'd really enjoyed being free and happy and out in the world. They were needed, though. The Arrow was needed. The GREEN Arrow was needed. So, they'd come back and though they'd gone back to doing what they did so well, but that didn't ease Felicity's fears when Oliver went out into the field.
It wasn't just that being the Green Arrow was dangerous or being on Team Arrow in general, but the fact that the team...wasn't quite a team. Oliver and Diggle were still not back to being friends. John had really held a grudge against Oliver for everything that had happened when he was Al Sah-him, especially the fact that he'd taken and endangered Lyla (not to mention that Sara had been put in danger and left alone). Felicity couldn't blame John, but Lyla wasn't holding it against Oliver...so why was he?
"Be safe," she whispered to him as she reached out and pressed her hand against his chest. The brand new green leather of his chest piece under the palm of her hand. Felicity knew that Diggle and Thea both hated them doing this, Thea had thought it was cute the first time (but had quickly gotten over it) and Diggle just had been pretty much pissed since Oliver had returned. Of course, Laurel and Thea HAD asked them to come back to HELP. None of it made complete sense to her.
"Always," Oliver whispered as his hand pressed against her chest.
"Yeah, that's reeeeeaaallly not making me feel any better," she told him, teasing slightly, as she tilted her head to the side. He just grinned and leaned in to kiss her. It wasn't a long kiss, or else Diggle would clear his throat and be even more irked at them. "Come back home to me," she whispered only loud enough for him to hear. Her eyes were on his and she was practically begging him. "Please."
"Nothing is ever going to keep me from coming home to you, Felicity," he whispered back before placing a quick peck on her lips and then heading out.
Spinning around, she watched as they all went.
She still wasn't used to any of this. Laurel was busy that night or else she'd be going out with them as well, and she was definitely another one that she felt a bit awkward being so intimate with Oliver in front of. It seemed like Laurel had accepted things, but Felicity felt like she was still a bit of a wildcard.
"You sure you think things are fine?"
"You've been awfully worried about all hell breaking loose since we got back," Oliver commented as he moved past her. He was heading in the direction to change, but she caught his hand. He turned around and faced her, his face full of worry. "Talk to me," he whispered as he pulled her in for a hug and then pressed a kiss to her forehead. Diggle and Thea were already off changing, so they were pretty much alone.
"Things are just different now," she explained as she pressed her nose against the crook of his neck and took in his smell. He was sweaty and the smell of the leather was very apparent, but it was Oliver...HER Oliver...being the Green Arrow was part of him. She closed her eyes and rested her head on his leather clad shoulder, her nose still pressed to his neck.
"Because of us?"
"Because of us."
"You know that I will fight anyone...even death...to get back to you, Felicity," he told her as he held her away from his body, his hands on her shoulders as he looked at her.
She knew that.
"Maybe try not to die...anymore...you're not a cat...I mean, I know they're supposed to have nine lives...but you've used up at least five lives that I can think of off the top of my head," she told him with a sigh. "Also, you're not a cat."
He laughed. "Thank you for reminding me that."
"You're quite welcome," she told him and sighed. Felicity reached up and took his hand. "Breakfast after this?"
"I'll make you pancakes."
"I like pancakes," she beamed.
"Maybe a little too much," Oliver teased lightly and leaned in to kiss her again.
Felicity giggled into the kiss and held him in place to make the kiss a little longer. "Pancake festival is the best…"
"Did I hear pancakes?" Thea asked.
"Yeah, Oliver makes them," Felicity filled in Oliver's little sister.
"That was fast, Speedy," Oliver commented.
"Was it?" Thea asked, obviously getting ready to tease them. "Or were you two just too busy staring at each other...kissing...and planning pancakes?"
"You DO call her Speedy," Felicity said as she leaned in and whispered to Oliver. Her attention turned back to Thea. "You should come over. Oliver will make any kind of pancake you want!"
"Maybe another time," Thea said. "You two enjoy, though."
Once Thea was gone, he looked back towards where they changed. Diggle was coming out and Felicity frowned slightly, she hated the fact that they weren't friends--well, friendly. It wasn't just that it caused tension and conflict within their team, but it also had proven to be dangerous out in the field as they didn't seem one hundred percent with trusting one another.
She hated it.
"I'll go change," Oliver told her.
She reluctantly let him go and smiled at John as he approached her. "Want to come over for pancakes?" she asked hopefully even though she already knew the answer.
"Maybe another night," Diggle told her. She knew that he was trying to just be polite. It wasn't like Thea, who would honestly eat with them in a couple of nights. John Diggle just didn't want to be in Oliver's presence if he didn't need to be. It seriously made her sad. "Lyla's waiting up." She knew that was true, but Felicity knew that Lyla really wouldn't care if he had an early breakfast with them.
"Okay," Felicity responded, but couldn't hide her disappointment. "Tell Lyla I said 'hi'."
"Good night, John," she whispered as he headed out.
Oliver was out not long after, he'd taken her hand and scared her since she hadn't even known he was there, she'd still been staring after the direction John had left in. He dressed in the clothes he'd come in in and had a huge smile on his face. "You ready?"
She couldn't hide her feelings, not from Oliver. "John." Oliver's smile fell and he let out a frustrated sound. "You two need to talk--"
"Talking about our feelings isn't exactly our strong suit."
"Maybe not, but you guys have to have a point where you move on past this," Felicity told him. "No one's happy and you've all been put in danger because of it."
"You don't think I don't know that?" he snapped and then was immediately apologizing. "I'm sorry," he whispered and rubbed his face. "I just--"
"I know," she whispered.
And she did.
"Let's just go home," Felicity told him as she squeezed his hand.
"You can't assume the worst."
"I'm assuming that since Thea AND Felicity aren't picking up their phones that something's seriously wrong," Oliver told Diggle as they hurried from where they had to park behind the police line on the street. They'd been let through because Diggle had spoken before Oliver could, telling the officer that his sister was inside. It also helped that Quentin had spotted them from the front door of the Palmer Technology building and had waved them in.
His chest constricted and he felt like he couldn't breathe. He just wanted to push past everyone and run up the stairs to where Felicity's office was. She'd texted him an hour before telling him that Thea was having lunch with her and he'd been glad. He WANTED Thea and Felicity to get along and to grow close.
Oliver hadn't told her that he'd reached out to Diggle, he wasn't sure if they were going to get anywhere with lunch, but the man that he considered to be his brother had accepted his invitation. They'd just received their food when the televisions in the pub had been turned up and everyone's attention was pulled to it.
The headline had been 'Palmer Technologies Crashes Down' and they'd shown a brief shot of the building that had once been one that was consumed in fire and smoke and what appeared to be part of the building collapsed upon itself. He'd just moved from that moment, Diggle had been right there with him. Staying calm, at least on the outside, had somehow happened. He didn't know why because he felt like he was going crazy inside.
As they approached the entrance of the building, all Oliver could do was to look upwards. This had once been his family's building. His parents had both worked in it. He had worked in it. It was where he'd first met Felicity. The very top floors couldn't be seen, there was too much smoke and he was suddenly reminded of what had happened while they'd been away. There had been an accident with Ray…
Tears were threatening to fall and he reached out to take Diggle's shoulder, unsure if he was going to be able to make it. He couldn't breathe. His hearing was going in and out. Things were starting to get blurry while all he could think was that this was the end of everything. He registered the crunch of glass under his shoe as Diggle guided him in.
Quentin was right there waiting for them when they made it into the door of the building. "Queen--"
"Where are they?! Are they okay?!" Oliver rattled off in a single breath. Before Quentin could say anything in response, he was talking again. His nerves taking over. "Please tell me that they're--"
"Take a breath," Quentin said and was the one who was now guiding him. He led him to a chair and practically pushed him down into it.
"My WIFE and SISTER!" Oliver snapped. He wasn't a child or an invalid. He just wanted to know where they were. He wanted to see them. He needed to know that they were okay. "WHERE ARE THEY, CAPTAIN?!"
Diggle and Quentin were both staring at him and it felt like an eternity before either of them opened their mouths to speak. Diggle was the first one to get the words out, confused words, "Wait--"
"Thea's going to be okay," Quentin interrupted. "You can see her in just a moment...the EMTs should be just about done with her. It didn't look like it was anything too serious."
A wave of relief hit him, but Quentin hadn't said anything about Felicity. Oliver reached up, placing his hand on his chest, pressing against the shirt he was wearing. "My wife?"
"Your...wife?" Quentin questioned and seemed more confused than Diggle. "You're talking about…"
There was a quiet pause.
"Felicity," they all responded at the same time.
"You got married?" Quentin questioned a bit harshly. "To Felicity Smoak?"
Diggle shook his head. "You wanted to talk about feelings. Eloping without the rest of us being present at your wedding is going to be the first thing we discuss."
"Captain, please!" Oliver begged. Tears rolled down his face and he yanked on the chain that was hidden under his shirt, which held his wedding ring. While he and Felicity were away, they'd gotten married. When they got back, they'd agreed to wait to tell everyone. So, they both wore their wedding rings on a chain underneath their clothes.
"I'm not sure my feelings on this...union," Quentin replied matter of factly with his hands on his hips. "But Felicity...she's--" He paused far too long for Oliver's liking. "She's stuck in one of the stairwells," Quentin finally got out. When Oliver tried to get up, Quentin pushed him back down in the chair. "We're doing everything we can. Thea was LUCKY."
"Have you had any contact with her?" Diggle asked.
"From what I understand, somehow Thea and Felicity KNEW that something was coming...I'm still not clear on the details...they pulled alarms and got down an impressive amount of floors… When the building was hit and started to collapse, Thea thinks she was thrown forward and down a flight of stairs while Felicity was trapped behind a wall of rubble. The first responders had to drag Thea away and give her something to calm her, they practically had to sedate her."
"Felicity," Oliver whispered and finally let the tears fall. "Please...please tell me she's going to be okay."
Quentin just stared at him for a moment. "We honestly don't know yet."
His stomach churned and he had no idea how to deal with his feelings. She had just been worrying about him the night before. She'd made him promise to come home to her. He had. Oliver closed his eyes and gripped the ring until it hurt and thought of the words Felicity had said to him.
Come home to me. Please.
Thea's voice was enough to drag him out of the worst case scenario mindset for the moment. Thea was being escorted towards him with a cop, his little sister looked so small and vulnerable. Maybe it was the blanket she was wrapped in or her tear stained face. This time when he got to his feet, no one pushed him back down. He took Thea into his arms, wrapping her in them and just held her. He needed to hold onto this. To Thea. To the fact that Thea was alive. He knew that.
"Felicity--Felicity's got to be okay, Ollie...she was RIGHT behind me!" Thea told him.
"They're going to get her out, Speedy," he whispered.
"Just so you know," Quentin said and Oliver looked over at him while still holding onto Thea. "So far, we're only missing a total of fourteen people, including Felicity… She managed to get almost the entire building on alert fast enough to keep them safe."
"Can we help?" Diggle asked.
"Let me check in with my people and the fire department...I'll get back to you," Quentin promised.
Oliver just hoped that the fact that Quentin Lance knew their secrets and how much they all loved Felicity would help them. He knew Diggle's background. Oliver just hoped that he at least allowed John to assist.
"Ollie, she's going to be okay."
"She has to be."
"Are you ever going to tell me about that ring around your neck?"
They were sitting out where the police and fire officers had insisted that they remain for their safety. They'd been there for six hours and Oliver wasn't planning on leaving anytime soon. Luckily, one of the firefighters knew Diggle and he was allowed to help. It was something.
"It's a wedding ring," he explained. Oliver had been holding it, thinking good thoughts for Felicity and hoping that she was doing the same. That somehow she was holding her ring and thinking of him. Maybe it gave her comfort. He liked to think so. To know that he was waiting for her.
"Like engagement? Did Felicity propose?" Thea questioned.
He had a feeling that she was half honestly curious, but mostly trying to keep him occupied. "It's a WEDDING ring," he repeated and then looked over to see the disappointed look on his sister's face. Oliver sighed. "I'm sorry, Thea…"
"You didn't even TELL us?" Thea questioned, slightly angry.
"I guess...we just wanted to see what was going to happen first," Oliver tried to explain. "I honestly thought we would be here for a short time and then be able to go back to Coast City and the life we had there...and then...we'd have a big gathering to celebrate…"
"We would have come there...to you guys," Thea said. "I mean, I know that John's not your biggest fan right now...but he would have been there for you two…"
"Then why not invite us all?"
It was complicated.
"It was honestly a spur of the moment thing, Thea," Oliver said gently. "We didn't do it to upset anyone." He sighed. "I proposed...and then we were near Coast City Court House one day and Felicity joked that we should just get married...elope...court wedding...no fuss...just the two of us," Oliver explained. "It was like it clicked for us both that it was the right thing to do, so we just went and did it."
Thea sighed and was quiet for a long moment. Oliver watched her and waited for her response. He hated to think that she was upset with him...with Felicity...with them both. Their marriage hadn't been something that was supposed to upset people, it was something for THEM that made them happy.
"You should still have a party to celebrate," Thea finally told him. "And next time an exciting family event occurs...or is THOUGHT of...for instance...Felicity finding out she's pregnant...I expect to hear about it first and in a timely manner."
Oliver smiled. "I would hope that Felicity would tell me FIRST."
Thea shrugged. "Maybe she likes me better."
"Maybe," he agreed and for that moment, Oliver just kept thinking of Felicity and this happy party that they needed to have. How Diggle might actually smile and things might normalize between them all.
"It's been too long," Oliver said nervously. They'd taken seven people away by ambulance and none of them had been Felicity. He'd gotten up and started to run towards them every time and then Quentin would shake his head at him.
Fourteen people unaccounted for.
Seven were still in there.
"Ollie, if Captain Lance had something to tell us...he'd tell us," Thea tried to tell him. "And you know John's inside...he would be the first one coming out here to tell us that they'd found her...that they'd gotten her out...that she was okay."
And she was right.
God, she was right.
"Maybe it's taking longer because she was okay and we were separated...maybe Felicity tried to find another way around...another way out," Thea suggested.
"You have to stay positive."
It wasn't that he was really positive or negative. He was just thinking of all of the possibilities and his brain was trying to calculate how long that would have all taken and his brain kept coming back to the same truth...it was taking too long. They should have found her by then. He'd also realized that even though there were seven people still inside the building (at least as far as they knew), that didn't account for bodies they'd recovered. Bodies would likely be bagged and lined up somewhere INSIDE the building and then be transported out all together once they were finished.
"I just keep worrying that she's hurt."
"She's strong, Ollie."
This time when the door opened, he waited. They were carrying out a stretcher, the emergency backboard kind. There were several men carrying it out towards where the ambulances had been parked. He couldn't see the figure on the board, just that they were laying down.
"Queens!" Quentin shouted and started to wave his arm for them to approach.
It was then that he recognized that Diggle was one of the men carrying it. Oliver's heart skipped a bit and he sucked in a breath before hurrying over in their direction, Thea right behind him. "Felicity!" he called.
When he finally got to her, they were loading her up into the ambulance and there were so many people. He wanted to push past them all, but he couldn't bring himself to do it. "How is she?" Oliver asked when Diggle stepped back to let the people do their jobs.
"She's hurt," Diggle said seriously as he reached out and grabbed Oliver's arm. They were staring right at each other. "Lost a good amount of blood. Cold. Maybe dehydrated. Head injury. Might have broken ribs."
Blood loss, he knew that the hospital could make up for that. All of that, could be treated. He was worried because Felicity hadn't said anything since he'd yelled her name. Oliver waited and finally, people moved. All he could do was stare. Felicity was conscious, she had a mask on to pump oxygen into her. She was wrapped up in a grey blanket and from what he could see, her arm was what was injured. The EMT had splinted it and had it wrapped up, but it looked bloody.
"She's his WIFE," Diggle told the EMT.
"Get in," the EMT told Oliver.
Oliver didn't another moment. He got up and into the ambulance and sat down before looking to Diggle and Thea. He was about to say something, but Diggle spoke first.
"We'll meet you at the hospital, Man," Diggle told him and put an arm around Thea.
The doors shut and they were off. All Oliver could do was stare at Felicity since he was at the back of the ambulance and was trying to let the EMT do his job. All that mattered was that Felicity was okay and that they were going to help her.
"Thea...Thea...run...we have to run…" Felicity mumbled in her sleep.
She was in the ICU and only he was allowed to stay with her. Diggle had taken Thea home with him, since Oliver was worried about his sister. She'd been knocked in a blast, so he just wanted to make sure that she wasn't alone with no one to monitor her.
"You're safe," Oliver said as he straightened up and leaned towards her. He blinked his eyes rapidly. Somewhere along the way, he'd fallen asleep. He swore it had to be only for a moment. "Thea's safe."
Felicity stirred and made a whimpering sound.
"Felicity… Sweetheart… Open your eyes… You're okay. Thea's okay." He was there, holding her good hand and staring down at her, hoping that she'd just open her eyes. The prognosis looked good even though she was in ICU. She had three broken ribs, but her lungs hadn't been punctured and they hadn't caused any additional internal damage of any other kind. Her arm had been sewn up, they'd gotten a cosmetic surgeon in to do the job to make sure that she wouldn't have a huge scar from the underside of her wrist nearly to the bend of her elbow. That was how she'd lost so much blood. They'd pumped fluids into her and were trying to mainly make sure that she was being kept comfortable. They had been concerned with shock, but by the time they'd let him into the room with her, that hadn't been so much a worry any longer. There were also a spackling of bruising and minor cuts from what he was told.
"Oliver," Felicity whispered as her head rolled from one side to the other.
Oliver let out a sigh and shook his head and then smiled when her eyes started to open. "Worry about yourself first this time, okay?"
"How many people got out?" she whispered and she looked so sad.
"There were four casualties," Oliver reported quietly. "If you hadn't pulled the alarm, then there would have been a lot more."
Tears fell from her eyes and she closed them for a moment, turning her head away. "He called right before…"
"Who called?" Oliver asked. He realized in that moment that he hadn't pushed Thea to answer these questions. Quentin had told him vaguely what he knew from Thea, but there had been so many missing pieces. Now, here Felicity was trying to reveal what had happened. Who had almost killed his wife? Who had almost taken out half of the employees at Palmer Technologies?
"Damien Darhk," Felicity told him. She opened her eyes again and rolled her head back until her eyes met his once again. She still looked so sad. "He said he wanted to introduce himself...and as soon as he said that, I had this bad feeling...so I grabbed Thea and pulled alarms and told everyone to run."
Felicity nodded slowly. "He said that he knew who I was...that I worked with the team...and he wanted to make an impression." She paused for just a breath. "I know none of that says that he's going to try to take down the building, but I heard his name and--"
"You did exactly the right and best thing you could."
"We do what we always do?"
"Go after Darhk?"
Oliver was quiet for a long moment. Damien Darhk wasn't the first person who had threatened Felicity's life and he likely wouldn't be the last. That didn't make Oliver feel better or make him worry any less, though. "We're going to throw a dinner party...to celebrate our marriage."
Felicity just stared at him.
"Diggle and Thea know...and Lance…" Oliver confessed. He rubbed his face. "I'm sorry. It just...it came out…"
"It's okay," she whispered and as her hand went to her chest, panic flared across her face. "Where--"
Oliver was dropping her ring into her hand before she could finish the sentence. "I had to hold onto it."
"What are we going to do about Darhk?"
"We're not going to let him win...and we're not going to let him scare us into not living our lives," Oliver told her. "We've let darkness come between us and living for too long...if anything has taught us anything in all those months traveling...and just being happy...it should be not to let that darkness cloud or veil the happiness we have."
"Then, we won't," Felicity told him. "And I'm glad that you told them...now we just have to tell my mom."
"She already knows."
Felicity just blinked.
"I asked her permission before I proposed."
Oliver shrugged. "It seemed like the right thing to do."
"But...every time I've talked to her...she hasn't said anything."
"I know," Oliver told her. "She and I talked about it and she gets it. She's still happy for us."
"Though, she's already trying to arrange for grandchildren," Oliver explained.
"I actually should call her back."
Felicity gave him a weird look. "Do you have my mother on speed dial?"
"You're number one," Oliver told her. He and Donna might have an odd relationship, but he felt like it was for the best. They'd been talking ever since he'd called and asked her permission to propose and marry Felicity. She was a lot less scarier over the phone and she allowed him more time to think of responses. It was just over all less awkward.
"Please tell me Diggle's number two."
"Thea, actually." Oliver smiled and leaned down to kiss her forehead. "Diggle's number three."
"I'm not sure he'd agree with that ranking," she teased.
"Get some sleep. You need to rest. Heal."
"Can you call the nurse? I hurt," Felicity requested.
Oliver was on it. The last thing he wanted was for Felicity to be in any kind of pain. He called the nurse and she came in to administer pain meds while Oliver sat back down in the chair. All he could think as he watched the nurse with Felicity was that his wife was okay. Felicity was going to live. No matter who was coming for them, they'd fight back...they'd keep living life. They wouldn't let Damien Darhk strip away their happiness.
He was still happy.
He was happily married.
The secret was about to get out.
Oliver looked down at the ring he'd slipped on his finger. At first, it had felt heavy, but now...now it just felt like another part of his body. It was weightless and he only remembered it when he looked down at it. Nothing was going to take what they had away. "I'm going to have to start requesting that you come home to me," Oliver whispered once the nurse was gone.
Felicity had her eyes closed and seemed to be sleeping by the time the nurse left. A smile spread across her lips. "I always come home to you. No matter what."
"Fight to live."
"Fight to live."