John Diggle was a smart man, but more importantly he was an observant man. He had seen the looks and touches between Oliver and Felicity, and he had seen the love so apparent that each felt for the other. Which is why he was confused about the sudden distance between them after Russia, and then Oliver’s relationship with Sara. He had suspicions as to the reasons behind both, but it wasn’t confirmed quite yet. He knew Felicity had to be hurting, but she wasn’t activity like he would have expected. He expected her to finally break if he was being honest, but instead he saw her accept everything and continue to come to work (both jobs) with a smile. There was a distance now between Oliver and Felicity, but it seemed like it wasn’t truly fazing her and THAT confused him the most. However, it could be due to the fact he saw Felicity leave the club every weekend night with a different guy, after Arrow business was done. Diggle would also bet everything he had that Oliver knew none of this- that she was hurting and the way she was dealing with it all….especially that last one.
Over and Digg had just come back from a successful mission, with Sara staying behind to be with her dad for a little bit. Oliver was first to go get changed, leaving Digg a small window of time to talk to Felicity. The girl was constantly on the move, probably evading this very scenario of Digg wanting to talk to her.
“So are we going to talk about what’s been going on?” Digg bluntly asked which caused Felicity to stop typing and look at him.
“What do you mean Digg?” She looked confused and had almost had him fooled. Almost.
“About Sara joining the team…..along about her and Oliver.” Digg saw that Felicity didn’t change her expression, and instead just shrugged as if it was no big deal.
“What’s there to talk about? They are together. It’s their lives,” she stated it as simply fact.
“But are YOU okay? I know you had feelings for Oliver” Digg prompted. Hoping that she would open up.
“Sure. I mean I’ve always known how Oliver felt about me. He sees me only as a friend and IT girl. I mean I stupidly hoped briefly, but if anything this past month has shown is that Oliver feels no romantic interest in me. Which is fine, because I always knew that. It’s not like he owes me anything,” again Felicity stated all this as if it was the most obvious thing in the world.
“But…..” Digg attempts to say something only to be cut off.
“But nothing Digg. He has proven extremely well that he NEVER cared about me that way. I know what you’ll say, like you did before, that you think he wants me to be safe and protected. However, that does not make ANY sense if you think about it. If that was his true intention, he would have kicked me off the team and fired me from QC, because it is widely known and documented that I am close to the Arrow as well as Oliver Queen. So there would be no keeping me safe by not being with me….see it makes no sense. Besides, I mean to sleep with Isabel in Russia, and then be in a relationship to Sara in order to ‘protect’ me somehow? That would be completely cruel, and that simply isn’t Oliver. He wouldn’t be cruel and heartless enough to flaunt around his conquests or relationship if he knew how I felt AND that he felt the same way. So you see? Oliver Queen feels NOTHING for Felicity Smoak.”
“Well what about you? I’ve seen what you’ve been up to- I mean I see you go home every weekend night with a new person. Don’t you want more than that?” Digg finally saw a brief crack of emotion slip through, one that spoke of sadness and acceptance.
“I learned long ago that happily ever after will never happen for me. I mean it’s been my extensive experience that the concept of being loved, of being cherished as something precious, and to feel that kind of happiness is never going to happen. And that’s okay since I’ve made peace with it. I’m okay with my life as it is.”
“But are you HAPPY?” Digg pushed not liking the response Felicity just gave.
Felicity took a moment to gather her thoughts.
“I’m okay. My life is just…..it’s my life. I’ve accepted long ago that I will never be loved or even deserved to be loved. Don’t shake your head. (She gives him a sad smile) Everyone has always left or ran away, and I’ve always been found lacking in some way or another. It’s just the way it is. No worries though okay?”
“Nope. Never going to happen. I will ALWAYS worry about my sister,” Digg said with his own sad smile.
“Which is why you are a great big brother,” she said with a big smile. They were more than friend, each was the sibling they wished they had.
“Just so you know. I disagree with everything you said…..except the part where I’m an awesome big brother. (Felicity laughs at that) You deserve to be happy- TRULY happy and loved.” Digg knew not to push it anymore with Felicity, but it still made him want to crush something to hear Felicity state she was ‘lacking’ and not deserving of love.
“Well off I go. Tell Oliver by for me,” and with that Felicity left the Foundry.
“You can come out now Oliver…..” Again John Diggle was not a stupid man. He knew that for Oliver to take that long changing, it meant that he had been eavesdropping of Digg and Felicity’s conversation.
Oliver came out with a devastated expression, slumped shoulders, and Digg was sure that there were unshed tears in Oliver’s eyes.
Digg didn’t speak. Didn’t break the silence. If Oliver wanted to talk, then HE would need to step up first. To own what he was feeling versus Digg having to tell him. It took several minutes of silence, for Oliver to speak in a soft and pained voice.
“How could she believe I don’t care about her?”
“Oh she KNOWS you care Oliver. Weren’t you listening? She knows EXACTLY how you care about her- as a friend,” Digg said in a sarcastic yet neutral tone.
“You know it’s more than that!” Oliver’s anger briefly flared up only to set off Digg’s temper to respond in kind.
“Nope. HOW would I know? How would SHE know? I mean, she brought up many excellent points. Mainly you don’t flaunt all your relationships, even the purely physical one, or even HAVE any for that matter when you love someone else. Because it only wears a person down to believe that they aren’t good enough and oh look- CONSTANT proof that others will ALWAYS be chosen over them. So no Oliver. I don’t know what you mean when you say you feel ‘more.’ Because if this was some idea to keep her safe then you should have fired her from QC, kicked her out of the Foundry, and erased her from your life if you were SO concerned that she would be a target due to the Arrow or Oliver Queen. To do that would be a selfish prick and a possessive move. One that ensures she feels only self-doubt, has no self-esteem, and constantly have her question her own worth. That’s again IF you cared about her like THAT, but my mistake man- I guess you really don’t.” With that Digg gives Oliver a glare.
It’s then that Oliver looks at the camera footage in front of the club, and he sees Felicity leaving with a good looking guy. However Oliver also sees how her smile doesn’t reach her eyes, and how her inner light seems to have dimmed. He sees this man passionately kiss her and that she responds in kind, which causes Oliver to smash his fist on the desk. He goes to leave the Foundry when he is blocked by Digg who has his arms crossed.
“She should be leaving with strange men. It’s not….” Oliver trails off as he does his nervous tick of rubbing his thumb and fingers together in a circular pattern.
“Oh I agree. I think she deserves MORE, but you don’t have the right to say what she should or should not do. ESPECIALLY when it comes to men. Afterall, it’s not like you are her boyfriend, or are in a relationship with her. As she summed it up, you don’t have a claim on her, just like you’ve proven numerous times that she has no claim on you. Think about that,” and Digg walked out.
‘What have I done? What have I done? What have I done?’ are the frantic and near hysterical thoughts that are running on a loop in Oliver’s head. He only wanted her to be safe and away from the Arrow, but then he thinks back to what Felicity and Digg said- calling it beyond cruel. He only wanted her to be happy, but to hear that she believes that she doesn’t deserve it or will never get it? Oliver feels tears go down his cheek. Then he thinks of the men she goes home with since she made it clear that no one will ever care about her longterm.
With that Oliver gives out a cry and a growl all in one. It should be HIM that gets to make her smile. It should be HIM that gets to take her home and make love to her. It should be HIM that she confides to, and feels that bond of love and devotion. It. Should. Be. HIM!!! But instead the opposite happened, in which he hurt her and made her believe that she’s less than amazing, that she is not remarkable, and that she will never be loved.
Oliver crumbles to the ground as his knees buckle at that realization.
What have I done? What have I done? What have I done? WHAT HAVE I DONE?!?!?!
He hears the Foundry door open and quickly composes himself. It’s Sara, and he knows that look. It’s the look he sees from himself when he needs to escape reality, to lose himself in physical pleasure for awhile. But he can’t. He can NEVER do that again, because it cost Felicity something so incredibly precious. Her happiness and light. He makes it clear to Sara that he’s not willing to help her out with that tonight. He’s made the decision to never do that again.
He and Sara fell into a rhythm of working in the Foundry, going on patrol, but they no longer slept together, touched each other, or even kissed. They were in a ‘relationship’ in name only, just like his parents’ marriage. Technically together but no love between them. Sara for her part never seeks him out, or helps him when he’s had a bad day. She does none of that, and Oliver only can think about how it would be different if he was with Felicity.
‘What have I done?’ It’s what Oliver asks himself every night. He constantly replays Felicity and Digg’s conversation. He messed up badly, except he didn’t pay the price initially- Felicity did. The sad thing about it all, is that Oliver despises himself, not only for how his actions affected Felicity but for the fact that if he hadn’t heard Felicity and Digg’s conversation, he still would be in denial and sleeping with Sara. It breaks him inside that he knows with a certainty that had he not overheard that conversation, he would be hurting Felicity more and more, causing her to cut ties possibility for any maybe or future. How could he have even thought that being with Sara could be a substitute for his love for Felicity?
He plans to be worthy of Felicity. To be a hero- to be HER hero. He no longer looks at other women, and found he has no desire for them at all. He only wants Felicity, and no other woman would do. So when he is in the clocktower and Sara tells him they are done, Oliver experiences utter relief. With everything that happened on the island, Oliver felt guilt about Sara and could not break up with her. He is so relieved when she does end their cycle of avoidance and he decides that no matter how long it takes- he will make himself worthy of Felicity Smoak.
If Felicity were to ever give him a chance (or even if she doesn’t), Oliver has a NEW life’s mission that he will show her how wrong she is about herself. That she deserves the world. The road will be touch, and he may never fix the damage he caused, but Oliver is determined to be the one to show the world how passionate, amazing, beautiful, kind, smart and remarkable in every way Felicity can be. One day he hopes to be given the privilege of her love…..but he knows it’s entire probably that it may never happen.
‘What have I done? What have I done? What have I done?’ continues to play in Oliver’s head every night and everytime he sees Felicity. He did this to her, and though he wants desperately to fix this, it is most likely he broke her and them beyond repair.
Even when she goes out with other men (Felicity never says anything but Digg makes sure to tell Oliver), Oliver will always be faithful to her for the rest of his life. Digg never mentions Oliver’s SUDDEN self-imposed celibacy, but Oliver knows that Digg knows about it. However, Digg has no clue how Oliver’s nightmares have shifted from the island to dreams about being married to Felicity, starting a FAMILY, only to wake up to the reality that he screwed it up. Oliver understands it all now. What Digg had tried to help Oliver understand before Sara, before Russia, before it all. Oliver had a brief chance…an opportunity…to have peace and happiness bestowed upon him, an unthinkable gift from the gods, but that Oliver threw it away and destroyed it. He destroyed that chance, and with it any future happiness for him or Felicity.
“What have I done?” Oliver whispers in the dead of night, with only the Foundry to witness his grief.