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Finding Beauty in the Ordinary

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Oliver wakes up with the sun rising through his window, as he’s done every morning since coming back from the island. It doesn’t matter that he has been back for more than 7 years now, he’ll probably wake up this early his entire life. To be honest, it’s a habit he doesn’t really care to shake off anyway, especially when it means he gets to appreciate the weight of the woman sleeping in his arms for a little longer.

Oliver smiles and pulls out the bright blond hair stuck in his mouth, like they end up being most mornings. If someone had told him a few years ago that he would grow to like having hair in his mouth, he would have laughed in that person’s face.

Yet, he’s grown to like the feeling now, and to link it to the feeling of safety, love, and family. He will never grow tired of being able to wake up quietly and cuddle close to Felicity, without that feeling of danger and that need to move to survive.

Felicity is nested in his arms and Oliver has one arm around her waist, spooning her from behind. He can’t quite think of a better way to wake up.

Felicity lets out a little sigh in her sleep, and Oliver smiles and pulls her closer to his body. He presses a small kiss to her shoulder, and the back of her neck. He doesn’t linger long enough to wake her up. He just wants to be close to her.

The sound of Chloe babbling coming from the baby monitor interrupts the quietness of the morning and causes Felicity to stir up from sleep. Before she has the time to wake up completely and get out of bed, Oliver stops her.

“I’ll get her. Go back to sleep.” he says, before pressing a kiss to her cheek, getting up from the bed and making his way out of the bedroom quietly.

Oliver walks towards Chloe’s bedroom and he smiles softly when he hears his daughter talking to herself from outside of the door.

When he enters the bedroom, he finds Chloe standing up in her crib and holding the bars of the crib to keep herself up. When she sees him, a bright smile blooms on her face, and the sight of it warms his heart. He will never be over how happy his daughter seems to be every time she sees him. One would think that after two years he would be used to it, but he isn’t. He can’t imagine ever getting tired of seeing it.

Chloe starts bouncing up and down in her crib with the excitement of someone coming to get her.

“Hello baby girl, how did you sleep?” Oliver says in a soft voice.

“Hewo Daddy” she answers, before holding her arms up to be picked up.

He makes his way closer to her and lifts her up into his arms, pressing several kisses on her head, forehead and one on her chubby hand.

“Daddy, Nemo?” Chloe asks her father, eyes full of hope.

“Again?” asks Oliver indignantly. “Don’t you get tired of watching that fish getting lost over and over again?”

He laughs when all she does is stare at him, waiting for the answer she wants, and knowing her father will eventually cave.

“Okay, we can watch Nemo. But later on in the day okay? Because we have things to do before, and I’m going crazy with that fish,” he says, before tickling her. Chloe giggles and tries to push his hands away from her while hiding her face in his neck.

Oliver brings Chloe over to the changing table, and changes her diaper while speaking softly to her. The little girl reaches her hands up to try and grab his nose, and he ducks, laughing.

“Okay, okay, we’re almost done, no need to poke me.” He says, before blowing raspberries on her tummy to make her laugh.

He finishes attaching the new diaper, and he lifts Chloe in his arms, carrying her on his hip.

“What do you say we go and see mommy?” he asks Chloe, bouncing her gently in his arms.

“Mommy?” she asks, perking up at hearing a mention of her mother.

“Yeah, let’s go baby girl,” he answers, which has her smiling at him.

“Mama, mama, mama!” she yells in excitement, while bouncing her legs in his arms.

“Yeah mama, let’s go wake her up.”

They make their way to the bedroom, and when he opens the door slowly, he finds Felicity still lying in bed, half asleep.

Oliver turns towards Chloe, and puts a finger on his mouth.

“Shuuush” he says, smiling when it has Chloe putting her finger on her lips to imitate him, while saying shush very loudly.

Oliver looks down at the little girl, his heart swelling with love at the image in front of him.

Sometimes, he still can’t believe he’s the father of this beautiful little girl. He doesn’t believe he was that lucky to not only find a woman so perfect for him, but also have an amazing little girl. However when he looks at Chloe with her blond curls and blue eyes, he can’t help but smile at the fact that she is his spitting image when he was that age. He couldn’t doubt he was her father, even if he had any reason to.

He presses a kiss to Chloe’s cheek, before he comes closer to the bed. He lowers on it with Chloe still perched in his arms, before lifting her up and pretending to throw her on Felicity, which has the little girl busting out laughing.

Felicity, who is lying on her back, opens her eyes and smiles softly when she sees Chloe so close to her.

“Hi baby, did you wake up daddy at the crack of dawn again?” she asks with a smile.

“Mama,” Chloe simply answers, extending her arms towards Felicity to be held by her mother.

Oliver places Chloe’s on his wife’s stomach and Felicity’s hands automatically come around her to hold her up and make sure she doesn’t fall down. He lays down next to Felicity on the bed, with his chin resting on her shoulder, and presses a kiss hello on his wife’s cheek, before he turns back to look at their daughter.

“Guess what we’re watching again today?” Oliver says softly, before laughing at the simultaneous reactions of Chloe perking up and saying ‘Nemo!’ and Felicity groaning in annoyance.

“Not again! When will that phase finally be over? Couldn’t our kid be obsessed with Frozen like every other kid?” she laments, while Oliver just laughs into her neck.

“To be fair, I would take Nemo any day over hearing that ‘Let it go’ song over and over again.” he says, bringing up a hand to caress Chloe’s face and smiling when she gets excited at hearing the name Nemo.

“A: I am very impressed with your knowledge of children’s animations movies, and B: You make a good point. Nemo it is! Right princess?” she says, tickling Chloe’s stomach gently with one hand while still holding her up with the second one.

About half an hour later, Oliver, Chloe and Felicity are still lying in bed when Felicity’s cell phone rings.

“This better be an emergency. It’s my day off and I so do not want to spend it dealing with whatever the latest problem is that the board members have found,” Felicity says, frowning but reaching for the phone nevertheless.

Oliver pulls back a bit and watches Felicity speaking on the phone while still holding Chloe with one hand. He sits back up and puts his other hand around Chloe to help stabilize her. Felicity smiles softly at him, before frowning again at what they are saying to her on the phone.

After a few minutes, Felicity hangs up and sighs loudly before lifting up a hand to push Chloe’s hair back from her forehead.

“I take it that wasn’t good news?” Oliver asks, already knowing the answer.

“I have to go in today. Something is going on with one of our suppliers for the newest model of the battery and Curtis is freaking out about the presentation on Monday, I just… I’m sorry.” she says, turning towards Oliver.

“Hey, you don’t need to apologize.” Oliver says, before leaning down to peck Felicity on the lips softly. “You go deal with that, I’ll stay with Chloe, and we’ll be here whenever you come back home okay?”

“But Roy is visiting today, and I won’t be able to see him...” Felicity says, still frowning.

“How about we have lunch together then? Even a big CEO has to take a lunch break, and that way you’ll be able to see Roy for a bit. I know this isn’t ideal, but at least it’ll give Roy some motivation to come and visit more often!” Oliver says, caressing Felicity’s cheek.

“You know motivation isn’t the issue here… I just wish there was something we could do to fix this situation and have him come home permanently.” Felicity says, which has Oliver sighing sadly.

“Me too… But for now, lunch? Thea, Roy, Chloe and I will come and distract you from whatever disaster Curtis thinks is happening, and then you can go back to being badass CEO Felicity Smoak, saving the people of this city one invention at a time.”

“Well… saving their electricity bills at least.” she answers, smiling at Oliver’s words. “But okay, lunch it is,” she says, before lifting Chloe up and putting her on the bed so she can get up and prepare for the day.

 

*************************

 

Oliver is busy building towers with big Legos and watching Chloe burst out laughing every time she knocks the newly built tower down, when he hears someone enter through the front door. Still sitting crossed-legged in front of Chloe, he turns around towards the door and smiles when he sees Thea and Roy make their way inside. His sister pockets the key he and Felicity had given her a while ago, and smiles back at him.

“Please, don’t tell me this beautiful little girl is baby Chloe? She was so tiny last time I saw her!” exclaims Roy, looking towards Oliver and Chloe fondly.

Hearing her name, the little girl turns from the Legos in front of her, and a huge smile blooms on her face when she notices her favorite aunt and Roy are here. Chloe clumsily gets up from where she was sitting in front of Oliver, and she makes her way as quickly as she can towards Thea, lifting her arms up to be carried.

Oliver smiles as Thea laughs at her niece’s enthusiasm, before she bends down to pick up the little girl to perch her on her hip. Oliver pushes himself up from the floor, wincing when he heard his knees crack.

“Getting a little too old to be playing on the floor aren’t we, Oliver?” Roy asks teasingly, which has Oliver mock-glaring at him.

He makes his way towards Thea and Roy, and when he reaches the man he gives him a quick hug, tapping his back gently.

“It’s really good to see you, Roy” he says, squeezing the other man one last time before he separates from him and makes his way to Thea to plant a quick kiss on her cheek. She smiles at him, before she turns back to listen to Chloe babble very excitedly about things only she can understand.

Thea however, being the devoted aunt that she is, just coos and awws at whatever Chloe is saying. A fond smile grows on Oliver’s face. He loves watching Thea and Chloe interact, and he knows Thea loves being an aunt.

When he turns back towards Roy, he sees the other man is looking at Thea and Chloe with a longing look on his face. A surge of guilt rises inside him at the idea that Roy may never have that with his sister because of him. Because Oliver was the Arrow, and Roy decided to take the fall for him.

The other man surprises him however, when he turns towards Oliver and smiles self-deprecatingly at him.

“She doesn’t seem too happy to see her Uncle Roy…” he says putting up a strong front, even though Oliver can read through it and sees how affected the man seems to be by that fact.

“She’s just too young to remember people she doesn’t see very often…” Oliver tries to explain. “She’ll remember how much she loves you in no time Roy. We’ve all missed you.”

Roy shrugs, and Oliver can see that he doesn’t quite believe what he said, but is choosing to look past it as to not make things harder than they already are. He tentatively makes his way closer to Thea and Chloe, and reaches a hand to tickle the little girl gently.

“Hi not-such-a-baby-anymore Chloe, I’m your Uncle Roy.” He says.

Chloe’s attention is pulled away from Thea and a shriek of laughter, which has Oliver smiling, escapes her when Roy continues to tickle her.

Before long, Chloe has been transferred to Roy’s arms. She is still laughing hysterically while Roy blows raspberries on her stomach and tickles her. Thea is nestled close to Roy with one arm around his waist, and is resting her chin on his shoulder while watching the both of them fondly.

Oliver observes his sister and Roy and another pang of guilt hits him. He hasn’t seen his sister this happy in a long time, and while he’s grateful to see her smile that way, he also knows that it won’t last. She’ll be sad to see Roy leave tomorrow, like she always ends up being. Roy visiting is always bittersweet for them. They are happy and grateful at being able to see their friend but it is tainted by the thought of him having to leave them soon after.

He doesn’t quite know how to describe Roy and Thea’s relationship anymore. It’s clear that there are still deep feelings between them. Whenever he comes back, they are both very close, but he can’t say they’re actually together anymore. Not when they spend more time apart than together. The relationship is ambiguous, and Oliver just does his best to stay far away from it and not meddle, while worrying about both of them from afar.

Watching Thea, Roy and Chloe right now, and seeing how happy they all seem, Oliver swears to himself that finding a way to get Roy back to them will become his priority. He’ll speak to Felicity about it as soon as they get a minute.

The situation isn’t ideal, but he swears he’ll fix it. For the moment, he’ll just have to enjoy seeing his sister looking younger than she has in a while and smiling so freely. Even if it is only temporary.

Still, he can’t help but worry about her. Thea detaches herself from Roy and Chloe, letting them get reacquainted with each other and makes her way towards him. Oliver puts an arm around her shoulder and pulls her towards him, hugging her from the side and pressing a tender kiss to her temple.

“Are you going to be okay?” he whispers softly, not wanting Roy to hear but wanting to know how Thea is doing.

Thea nestles herself deeper into Oliver’s side and simply nods and smiles sadly, still watching Roy and Chloe play.

“Even though I know it’ll be hard tomorrow, I’m still so happy he was able to come and visit us. I wouldn’t give any of it away,” she finally answers, after a few seconds of silence.

Oliver squeezes Thea tightly against him, showing her his support, before he lets go a little. He wishes there was something he could do, that he could somehow change the past, but he knows that isn’t possible. Right now, the only thing to do is enjoy Roy’s visit, and think of a solution to have him come back permanently. It’s the best thing they can do for now.

A few minutes later, Roy breaks away from his little bubble with Chloe when she kicks her legs and starts wiggling in his arms, signaling that she wants to be put down. He makes his way towards Thea and Oliver, which has her automatically letting go of Oliver and nestling herself against him. Roy hugs her tight and kisses her temple, much like Oliver had done only a couple minutes ago.

Oliver can see the same sadness in both Thea and Roy’s looks, and he forces himself to push the wave of guilt he feels at the sight away. This isn’t the moment.

“Where’s your better half?” Roy asks after a moment, never missing an opportunity to tease Oliver.

“She had to go to the office. She was really sad she couldn’t spend the day with you,” he answers, and when he sees a disappointed look cross Roy’s face, he hastens to continue. “We’ll go and see her for lunch if that is okay with you though? I know she’d love to see you. Digg will go and get her around lunch time and bring her to the lair. That way, we can just make our way other there and there won’t be any chances of you being noticed in Palmer Tech.”

Which has both Thea and Roy nodding in understanding, before they all turn to look at Chloe, who has made her way back to her Legos and is happily playing by herself.

Oliver, Thea and Roy make their way to the living room. Oliver perches himself on the sofa where he can sit and talk with his sister and Roy, while keeping an eye on his daughter at the same time. Roy and Thea nestle together on the love seat.

Roy catches them up on his life, and what he is up to. He tells them about his job working as a mechanic in Atlanta and about the friends he’s managed to make while there. He asks Oliver and Thea about what is going on here and they both start updating him on the latest criminals they are fighting, and their lives in general.

Oliver is in the middle of a sentence when Chloe gets tired of her toys and makes her way up to him, pulling on his pants to signal she want to be picked up. Oliver, without even batting an eye, just reaches down and pulls her on his knees, before putting his arm around her. Chloe nestles into his chest, with her thumb stuck in her mouth, and he just continues his sentence as if nothing had happened.

“Look at you, being dad of the year.” Roy says with a soft smile on his face, happy to see Oliver so peaceful and settled. “I never would have pegged you for the paternal one… Guess I was wrong.”

Oliver smiles and hugs his daughter closer to him before simply answering, “I guess so.”

A few hours later, Chloe is fully engrossed in watching Nemo and Oliver, Roy and Thea are still talking in the living room when Oliver is pulled out of the conversation by his phone ringing.

He quickly looks at who the caller is and when he sees Digg’s name on the phone, he hastens himself into answering.

“Hey Digg, Did you find anything?”

“Yeah, I think you should come and check this out. There’s something fishy about this group. I don’t feel too good about it… I would feel better if we checked it out before anything worse than bank robbing happened,” Digg says. Oliver sighs and turns toward Roy and Thea, before glancing at the closed door of Chloe’s bedroom.

“Are you sure something is going on? This isn’t the best time Digg… Felicity was called into work and Thea and Roy are here. I need to stay and watch Chloe,” he begins to explain, before he’s cut off by Thea.

“We’ll watch her Ollie, don’t worry. Just go and check this out. And tell Digg that we’ll go and meet Felicity directly at her office for lunch. We’ll be discreet, don’t worry about it,” Thea says, and Roy nods along with her words.

Oliver watches them in silence for a few seconds, before he focuses back on the phone call. Oliver knows Digg well enough to know that if the other man is suspicious, something is probably going on. Digg has good instincts, and Oliver doesn’t doubt him.

“Did you hear all of that?” he asks Digg. When the other man answers positively, he continues, “Okay, I’m on my way. Can you call Felicity to warn her? We might need her help at some point and I’d rather she be aware of what’s going on. Also, if you can let her know about lunch, she’ll be thrilled about it.”

“Will do. Just get there man, something isn’t right.” Digg answers, before he hangs up the phone.

Oliver gets up from the couch, and he kisses Chloe on the cheek, which barely has her react, with her being fully engrossed in the movie. Once he is reassured that she will be ok with his absence, he makes his way towards Thea and Roy and hugs them both briefly, before grabbing his keys and helmet.

Before making his way to the door, Oliver turns to Roy and looks at him sternly.

“I’m leaving you with two of the most important women in my life, don’t mess it up.” He says gravelly. Roy swallows nervously and nods, while Thea just rolls her eyes.

Seeing his reaction, Oliver turns towards the door and grins proudly to himself. It’s good to know he can still put the fear of god into his sister’s non-boyfriend when he needs to.

 

*************************

 

Later in the evening, Oliver sits on the couch, sipping a glass of vodka while waiting for Felicity to come back home. Everyone is already in bed, and the house is quiet around him. Chloe, who had cried and moaned a little at the idea of her mother not being there to put her to bed had finally fallen asleep after being placated by Roy and Thea’s presence.

She had managed to persuade Roy to read three bedtime stories to her, which was two more than she usually got, and therefore hadn’t complained too much about going to sleep after Oliver had finally said stop.

“Let me spoil her a little. It’s not like I see her often,” Roy had said, when Oliver had told him that she normally should be in bed by this hour. That sentence had replaced the happy expression on Thea’s face by a sad smile, and Oliver hadn’t insisted anymore.

He knows Roy needs this, to spend time with their family, to feel he is needed and wanted here, even if it is by a two year old girl, and Oliver hadn’t wanted to take that from him.

Normally, Oliver has no problem with the quiet. He even enjoys it sometimes, and after a day like today, he should feel grateful to get a little peace and quiet. But right now, the only thing he really wants is his family surrounding him so he can be comforted by their presence.

He always feels a little off-kilter after a mission. The adrenaline of the chase and the fear of failing always hits him later in the day. All he wants right now is for Felicity to come home so he can check for himself that she is indeed safe. Only after he sees her, will he finally be able to relax from the long day and let himself breathe properly.

Intellectually, Oliver knows he is worried about nothing. Considering how Felicity’s day had started, it’s logical that she would be working late and be in the office well into the night, but he can’t help it. He’s always a little worked up after a mission and Felicity is one of the only people that can calm him down when it happens.

Thea is one of the only other people who has that effect on him, but after staying with Oliver for a little while after Chloe was asleep, she and Roy had gone to sleep early in the evening, claiming that they were tired. Oliver knows that they probably just want to enjoy each other’s presence and spend some time together. Considering Roy is leaving tomorrow, he understands the urge perfectly.

Roy coming back is always a bittersweet feeling for everyone involved. On the one hand, everyone is always glad to see him, and Oliver doesn’t often see Thea as happy as when she is with him. On the other hand, it always makes him leaving that much harder the next day. And Thea always takes it the hardest.

He is glad that she and Roy had decided to spend the night in their guest bedroom tonight. He knows it will be good for Thea to be around other people tomorrow and that she’ll need him, even though she would never admit it. Oliver will be able to be there for her like she’s there for him all the time. He’s glad to know he can still take care of his little sister sometimes.

When the clock ticks to eleven o’clock, Oliver decides to go and check on Chloe to reassure himself that at least part of his family is ok. He quietly makes his way into the bedroom, and instantly smiles at the sight in front of him.

Chloe is sleeping on her front with her cheek and knees pressed into the mattress, lifting her butt slightly in the air. The position looks supremely uncomfortable if you ask him, but she seems to be sleeping deeply and Oliver just stands there watching her sleep for a while, love burning through his chest at the sight of his daughter sleeping peacefully.

A few minutes later, Oliver makes his way out of the bedroom and a weight is lifted off his shoulders when he hears a key turn into the lock and Felicity makes her way into their house.

“Hi,” Oliver says, making his way towards Felicity while she removes her high heels, sighing in relief at her feet being free.

He smiles softly at Felicity, before he bends down to peck her lightly on the lips.

“Hi,” answers Felicity, smiling against his lips. She pulls back and instantly starts looking him up and down. After so many years together, Oliver knows her enough to know she is checking for any possible injuries on him, and his best option is just to stay still and wait until she is done.

After about a minute of careful starring, Felicity nods to herself and drops her forehead on Oliver’s chest, leaning her weight against him.

“Why did I ever think staying CEO of Palmer Tech would be a good idea?” she asks, nuzzling his chest a little and putting both of her arms around his waist.

Oliver smiles softly at her antics and hugs her tight, both of his arms coming around her shoulders and caressing her hair with one hand.

“Because you care,” he simply answers.

They stay in the embrace for a few minutes, both taking comfort in the other’s presence and finally relaxing after their hard day. After a few minutes of silent hugging, Felicity pulls away from Oliver.

“How did it go today? Did everything turn out ok? Are you ok? Digg told me what was going on when he called me earlier, but he never did say how everything turned out. Please tell me you didn’t do anything without back up, because I’ve had a really tiring day and this won’t make it any better.”

“I’m sorry about your day,” Oliver says, caressing Felicity’s face with the palm of his hand.

“I know,” Felicity says, taking his hand in hers. “Now answer the question,” she continues bossily, showing she won’t be side-tracked.

“Everything turned out ok,” Oliver reassures Felicity, making his way around her to help remove her coat, before leading them both towards the couch so they can have this conversation while sitting. “And no, I wasn’t alone. Digg ran the coms for me. You would have been proud of him, he managed to work everything like a pro. You’ve obviously taught him well.”

“My pride at him working the coms well is slightly outweighed by the fact that he touched my babies without my permission. But seeing as he managed to keep you safe, I’m going to let it go just this once,” she says, fake-pouting.

“I’m sure he’ll appreciate that. Anyway, we managed to catch them just before they shot a security guard and I left a nicely wrapped present for SCPD to find. It’s a good thing Digg was there, too. I never even thought they could evolve past petty theft, and if Digg didn’t have such good instincts…“ Oliver starts to say, thinking of what could have happened if Digg wasn’t so careful.

He was too focused on his own life, Roy being there, and taking care of Chloe... he didn’t even think to check more into these bank robbers, and an innocent man could have paid the price of his carelessness.

“Hey none of that, no blaming yourself,” Felicity cuts him off before he can go any further. “You’re not alone anymore and you don’t have to be in vigilante mode all the time. That’s why you have a team okay?”

“I know, but still…” Oliver says, taking Felicity’s hand in his and playing with her fingers, eyes focusing on their hands.

“But nothing. I know you love taking the weight of the world onto your shoulders, but this isn’t on you. We’re a team, we lean on each other. Nothing bad happened. You and Digg managed to catch these guys. You’re not alone anymore Oliver,” she says sternly, cupping his cheek with one hand to force him to look into her eyes and see how serious she is.

“You’re right. It’s nice to be reminded of that sometimes. I’m glad you’re home,” he answers, before pressing forward and kissing her softly on the lips. What he means to be a short kiss turn into a few longer ones, and Oliver smiles when he feels Felicity sighing happily against his lips.

“Enough about me,” he says, pulling back from Felicity. “How was your day? You look exhausted.”

“Well thank you honey,” Felicity jokes, and Oliver looks at her seriously, conveying the fact that this wasn’t what he meant, and she should know it.

“After hours of negotiating a new price with our suppliers, calming down a panicked Curtis, and dealing with angry board members who had heard the price of the new battery was going to be increased tenfold, I think everything is finally back in order. But god, if I never hear the word ‘graphite’ again it will be too soon,” Felicity laments, and Oliver kisses her forehead gently.

“I don’t remember ever being this tired in my life,” she continues.

“Really?” says Oliver with a teasing voice, raising his eyebrows to show his disbelief, “What about the time you walked all over Lian Yu to find me? Or when we were trying to save Ray and you didn’t shower, eat, or sleep for days? Or what about the time that…”

“Okay, okay, I get it you jokester,” Felicity cuts him off, laughing at his antics, which was Oliver’s goal the entire time. “Doesn’t mean I’m not exhausted though. My entire back hurts, and I think I could sleep for days if you let me.”

Oliver just smiles softly and pulls her towards him, hugging her with both of his arms around her. Felicity drops her head against his chest, and Oliver presses a soft kiss to her hair.

“How about we head to bed then? And before you sleep for days, I could give you a nice massage…” he says, pressing small kisses along her temple, cheek and jaw on the left side of her face.

“I would be very happy with you rubbing me thoroughly right now…” Felicity says, and Oliver freezes around her; “My back of course. Rubbing my back I meant,” she says, but Oliver can feel her laughing against his chest and doesn’t believe her for a second.

He knows that since Felicity found out the effects her innuendos tend to have on him, she has learned to use them in a much more purposeful manner, and she loves to use them to tease him and get him going.

“Felicity! Not this kind of massage!” he answers while shaking his head and laughing at her antics.

Felicity just sits up and laughs, before kissing Oliver’s still laughing mouth.

“I know, and unfortunately, I am way too tired for this kind of massage. But I’ll take your offer on the back-rubbing though” she says, getting up of the couch and pulling Oliver with her towards their bedroom.

“You are a menace.” Oliver simply answers, but he follows her none-the-less. He’s man enough to admit he’d follow Felicity to the end of the world if she’ll have him, and he wouldn’t regret one second of it.

 

************************* 

 

The next morning, Oliver is sitting on the couch while he watches Chloe play around the living room. When Felicity and he had gone to bed last night, Oliver had realized how tired she actually was when she had fallen asleep with her clothes still on. She hadn’t even stirred when Oliver removed them and tucked her in so she could sleep more comfortably.

So this morning, when Chloe had woken up, Oliver hadn’t hesitated in getting up to go and fetch her before she could wake up her mother. He had decided to let Felicity sleep as long as she needed.

“Papa, up?” Chloe asks, coming closer to him and lifting her arms up towards him.

Oliver smiles, and picks her up, sitting her in his lap and hugging her close to him. He always loves spending some quiet time with Chloe, and given his hectic schedule as the Green Arrow and the fact that Chloe is a lively little girl, he doesn’t get as much cuddle time as he wishes he would. Because of that, he always makes sure he takes advantage of it whenever Chloe is in the mood to hug him, and he always loves every minute of it.

“Did Nemo sleep well?” he asks her, pointing out the plush toy she is hugging close to her body.

“No! Bad Nemo!” she answers, shaking the toy a little to indicate who she’s talking about.

“No? He was bad? What did he do? Did he wake you up during the night?” Oliver asks, pretending to be shocked by the idea.

“Yes. Nemo bad boy.” Chloe answers sternly.

“Well, what should we do? What do we do when a little boy or a little girl hasn’t been behaving well?”

“Time out?” Chloe asks, uncertain.

“That seems like a good idea.”

Chloe wiggles out of his lap and onto the floor, carrying her Nemo plush toy with her, and once she reaches one of the corners of the room, she throws it on the floor, telling him he has to stay here.

Chloe watches the toy for a few minutes, and then she turns towards Oliver with a frown on her face.

“But I wanna play…” she says, and Oliver laughs quietly when he sees the dilemma she seems to be facing, and which is oh so important in her two year old mind. She can either play with Nemo, or she can leave him in time out for his bad behavior during the night…

“I think he’s probably learned his lesson Chloe, you can take him out of time out to play. What do you think?”

“Yes!” Chloe exclaims, before picking up Nemo and pressing a loud kiss on him.

“All better now?” Oliver asks, smiling towards Chloe.

“All better,” Chloe says, before making her way towards her chest of toys to play, with Nemo firmly gripped in her hand.

“I see she’s as soft as a parent as you are…” Oliver hears from behind him, and he turns around on the couch to see Thea looking at them from the doorway of the guest bedroom, with a teasing smile.

Oliver observes her as she walks towards Chloe and bends down to press a kiss on the little girl’s head. Chloe smiles at her before continuing to play with her mega bloks. Thea then turns around and makes her way to the couch, sitting next to Oliver and looking infinitely sad.

“Did Roy leave?” Oliver asks quietly, when he sees that no one is coming out of the guest bedroom after Thea.

Thea just nods in answer, still looking sadly towards where Chloe is playing with her toys. A pang of guilt and hurt hits Oliver when he sees the look on Thea’s face, and he swears to himself once again that he will find a solution so she and Roy can be together.

For now, he settles on comforting his sister, and he pulls Thea closer to him by putting his arm around her shoulder, until she drops her forehead on his chest and clings to him.

“I’m sorry Speedy, I wish we could do something,” he says, hugging her tight.

Thea stays silent and just shrugs in answer, but she stays engulfed in his arms, and Oliver likes to think she takes comfort in his presence a bit. He will fix it, but for now, this is all he can do.

Oliver keeps holding Thea close to him, while he observes Chloe dump the toy she’s playing with, and make her way towards the door of his and Felicity’s bedroom. Chloe looks at the door with longing, before she turns towards Oliver.

“Mama?” she asks with her big blue eyes filled with hope and adoration, still standing in front of the door but looking at Oliver, expecting him to come and open the door for her.

“We can’t wake up Mom, yet.” Oliver answers quietly, smiling but shaking his face at the little girl to tell her no.

Chloe looks at him and if Felicity hadn’t been so exhausted yesterday, Oliver might have broken down at the hopeful and loving look she is giving him right now. But Felicity’s sighs and exhausted face comes back to his mind, and he just shakes his face again, saying no to the little girl.

Chloe simply looks at him for about a few seconds, and when she sees that he isn’t changing his mind, she simply shrugs and makes her way back to where she left her toys.

“You know, before you and Felicity got together, you had the exact same look on your face all the time around her. And every time she left a room, you would follow her with your eyes with such a hopeful and longing look, just like Chloe is doing now. Hell, you still do sometimes. So how does it feel to have the emotional advancement of a two year old?” Thea asks, lifting up from his chest to stare at Oliver with a teasing look.

Oliver just laughs in answer and grabs Thea around the neck, pretending to choke her with his arm, and only releasing her when she is laughing, too. Thea teasing him has Oliver laughing. Not only because he doesn’t doubt she is right, he probably does follow Felicity with his eyes with a loving and hopeful look, still not fully believing that she is his, and he is hers. But also because it reassures him that Thea will be just fine.

She might be sad right now. Roy leaving will never be easy for her until they can come up with a way to fix the situation, but she’ll still survive and he’s confident that if not happy, Thea will be content until they can find a solution.

Oliver had fully intended to speak to Felicity about the issue yesterday, but he had decided to breach the subject another day when he had seen how exhausted she had looked. Still, he’s certain that once they do talk about it, and he, Felicity and Diggle start thinking about the issue, they’ll be able to come up with a solution that will work for everyone. There has to be one they haven’t thought of yet.

He doesn’t want to bring up the subject with Thea yet, because he doesn’t want to get her hopes up. He’ll talk about it with Felicity today, and they’ll start to think of the best solution for all involved. He puts his arm around Thea’s shoulder once again and just holds her while she starts telling him about the crazy customer at the club who had wanted to rent it for a night, and had asked Thea to only invite red-headed people for a private party.

A little while later, Felicity finally makes her way out of the bedroom and Chloe instantly lifts her head up and smiles when she sees her mother entering the room. Chloe gets up, and quickly makes her way towards Felicity, who picks her up and presses two kisses on each of her cheeks, before hugging her close.

Chloe nestles in her arms and drops her head on Felicity’s shoulder, nuzzling her neck and Oliver smiles at seeing how happy Chloe is to see her mother.

Felicity smiles at Oliver and Thea, and walks towards the couch, sitting next to him with Chloe nestled in her lap. He turns towards Felicity and pecks her softly on the lips, before he caresses Chloe’s cheek where it’s resting against Felicity’s shoulder.

Felicity smiles at him, before she looks at Thea, sitting on Oliver’s other side.

“Are you holding up ok?” she asks with a gentle and kind voice, having no doubt guessed that Roy has left with the sad look on Thea’s face and the way she is letting Oliver hold her, which Thea rarely does.

Thea simply nods in answer and smiles towards Felicity.

Oliver, with one of his arms still around Thea’s shoulder squeezes her gently, before stretching the other arm so Felicity can nestle into the pit of his shoulder, and he can hold her close to him.

A smile graces Oliver’s face, and he closes his eyes and breathes deeply, feeling the sun resting on his skin from where it’s coming through the window. Here, sitting on a Sunday morning with his family surrounding him, Oliver can’t remember being happier and he feels like the luckiest guy in the world.