-3 Months Later-
Felicity had never felt calmer or more at peace than she was at that very moment. Her mind was clear, clearer than it had been in months, as she sat on the deck, feet grazing the bluest water she had ever seen, looking out at the horizon.
The storm had cleared.
The darkness abated.
The swell of the waves died down.
The sun had broken through the clouds.
Felicity thought it was metaphoric, a reflection of the journey she had taken since Oliver stepped into her office that faithful day and fed her his incredibly unbelievable lie about that bullet hole-ridden laptop. For every step they had taken, every twist, every turn, all the darkness that engulfed them, and the obstacles they had faced, they weathered through, together, better and stronger than before. Every step they had taken, every choice they had made, together and individually, had led them to each other. They made each other better, stronger, and more resilient than before. And for that she was grateful. She would be forever thankful for the journey that they had shared together.
She never thought that her life, her choices, would lead her to this point, to this moment. But here she was, watching the world continue to spin while she remained still, frozen in the moment. Until she felt his strong arms wrap around her waist and a kiss placed upon her shoulder.
“What are you thinking,” asked Oliver quietly.
“That all this feels like a dream,” answered Felicity, her voice equally as quiet as she continued to stare at the horizon.
“It’s not,” Oliver replied, his voice so steady and assuring.
Oliver had insisted that they go on a vacation and escape the madness that had become their lives, for a moment at least. It was a vacation where they could be together, just Oliver and Felicity, no masks, no responsibilities, no cameras and paparazzi, just the two of them together, basking in their love for one another.
It was a vacation that Thea had vehemently insisted on, and that the entire team and Moira had whole-heartedly agreed to and pushed for.
It had been three months that had passed since Isabel’s ill-fated attempt to takeover Queen Consolidated. Three months since the Queens had finally taken back what was rightfully theirs. Three months since Starling City recognized the heroism and the humanity of the Arrow. Three months to heal from the trauma, both physical and psychological, that they had all suffered. Three months since the two of them realized that their friendship, their partnership, was so much more, so much deeper, than they could have ever imagined.
They had barely left each other’s side in the three months since the takeover had ended.
In the past three months, their relationship had endured and strengthened, becoming near unbreakable, as they helped each other recover from the trauma that had both faced in those terrifying 24 hours. While the trauma of those 24 hours may never fully leave them, they gave each other the strength, the light, the love and understanding, to move on and heal from the ordeal. They gave each other the ability to exorcise some of their demons, reveal their hidden truths, and admit their darkest fears to one another. They had faced a daunting crucible together in those three months and came through better because of it.
“This isn’t a dream. This is us,” Oliver spoke, as he drew Felicity closer to him in their embrace, “This. Us. It is everything worth fighting for. It’s everything I never thought I was going to fight for when I came home from the island. It’s nothing I could have dreamed of. Us, you, it’s nothing I thought I would ever deserve after everything that I had done. But I’m glad, so glad that I walked into your office that day and asked for your help. I’m so grateful that you agreed to help me, help guide me, help save me when no one else could. This isn’t a dream, Felicity. This is our life and I’m so happy that you decided to share yours with me.”
“I love you, Felicity.”
“I love you, too. All of you, Oliver.”
“Really? All of me, Ms. Smoak,” asked Oliver, his voice full of joy and mischief, something that Felicity had become accustomed to in the last three months. “Pray tell what parts of me you like most? And please, try to be as explicit as possible.” Placing another kiss on her shoulder, a kiss that sparked shivers across her body.
Felicity laughed and lightly smacked Oliver’s arm before answering him
“Well, you’re extremely handsome. You’ve got an incredible body. You’ve got a great ass,” a statement that caused Oliver to laugh and rest his head on Felicity’s shoulder. “You’re kind of a billionaire. You’re the city’s hero. Your strength and your smarts, even though you got a D in 10th grade algebra. Your ability to always put others first, no matter the situation. Your smile, the one that only I get to see, the one that lights up your entire face and makes my heart beat faster. And your heart, that’s the part I think I love most,” spoke Felicity before turning around and facing Oliver.
“I love every part of you, Oliver. I love all the parts that have been shrouded in shadows. I love all the parts that still have light within them. I love all the parts of you that have been broken and all that parts that have healed. I love all of you, Oliver.”
Felicity could feel the love, the jumble of emotions, and the tears that were bubbling underneath the surface, as she looked upon the face of the man that she loved with every fibre of her being. She saw all of him in that moment, all the scars, all the fears, all the triumphs and failures. But also all the care, happiness and love despite all the darkness that had been inflicted upon him. She saw everything that made him the man today. And she loved all of it. She knew now, more than ever, that she could never imagine her life without this man by her side. This man, who willingly opened up his heart to her despite of all his fears, and who made her face her fears in the process. This man, who inspired her, challenged her, frustrated her and loved her beyond all comprehension. She loved this man, a man who had slowly, but surely taken over her heart, her heart which she would have gladly and willingly given him.
“Quid pro quo, Mr. Queen, what do you love about me,” asked Felicity, her lips forming a small smile as she stared lovingly at the man in front of her.
Oliver didn’t think that his heart could beat as rapidly and wildly as it was at that very moment, staring into the eyes of the woman who had captured his heart with a tilt of her head and a knowing look, asking him all the things he loved about her.
He never really had a way with words, even prior to the island. He had the cash, the status, the looks and the patented Ollie Queen smile that worked on pretty much every woman that he met. He never really had to use words, which in hindsight might have been an indication of the depth of the relationships he was having with those women. Felicity was different though, he knew that the moment he met her. She saw through all the flash, all the bravado, all the walls that he had erected. She broke through all his defenses, stripped him bare of all his armor. She was the one person that never ceased to amaze him. Her belief, love, and trust him in amazed him every single day. Some days he didn’t feel worthy of such belief, love or trust. Today was not one of those days.
The fear of losing her would never truly be abated. But he couldn’t imagine having a life without her in it. The possibility of opening up and letting someone in had always terrified him. The idea that someone had so much power, so much influence and control over another person scared him shitless. But he knew now, better than he had ever before, that keeping his heart and his soul locked up would do him no good. Keeping himself separate from the world would only darken whatever light was left within him. It would turn him cold, dark, impenetrable and irredeemable. He only came to that realization after realizing that she had already captured his heart and soul without him even noticing.
He knew now, more than ever, that he could not live a life, any life, without her in it. He needed her. More than he needed anything else on this earth. He would give everything he had, every piece of him, and pay any price to keep her safe and happy. She was the light and he was lucky enough to be her shadow. She sparked something within him. Something he thought was long buried, dead, and drew it out. She made him want to be a better man, not only for her, but for the city as well. He was better for having her in his life. He didn’t know why, or how, or what he had done to have this remarkable woman in his life. All he knew was that he would do everything in his power to ensure that he kept on deserving her every single day for the rest of his life.
Felicity was the only woman for him, for now and forever.
Now he just had to verbalize that to her without his heart escaping from his chest.
Oliver smiled at her, the smile that was reserved only for her.
“You are incredibly remarkable, Ms. Smoak,” said Oliver, as he tugged her even closer into his body, keeping his eyes on hers the entire time. “You make me smile, more than I have ever smiled in my entire life. You make me happier than I have ever been or ever thought I could be. I love your ability to call me on my bullshit when I need it. I love that you challenge me when no one else can. I love that your voice is the only voice I need to hear when I wake up in the morning and when I go to sleep at night. That your voice is the one I hear when I’m out there saving our city. I love that beautiful brain of yours, which has saved me and our city so many times. I love that I can always rely on you to tell me the truth, even when it hurts. I love that you babble constantly because it fills my heart with so much joy. I love that you have a heart, and that is so bright and so true, that it led me out of the darkness. I love that you are my still point in all of the chaos. I love that you look as just as beautiful as you do when you wake in the morning with nothing on, as you do when you are dressed to the nines. I love your strength because it allows you to love a man as broken and damaged and stubborn as me. I love that you are my home, that you are my heart and the other half of my soul. I love every part, every piece of you. All of me, loves all of you. I love you, Felicity.”
Oliver carefully wiped away the tears that had fallen from her eyes. Eyes filled with so much love and happiness aimed solely at him that it stopped his heart and left him breathless.
The kiss that followed obliterated every kiss that he had ever had before. This kiss, a kiss imbued with so much love and trust and belief than he had ever felt before, literally and figuratively stole his breath away.
The darkness was gone.
The storm had cleared.
The sky was blue.
The sun was shining.
The waves had settled down.
And the world kept on spinning.