Chapter 24

Oliver brought her to the guest room instead of the master bedroom once they’d finished their shower. Relief spread through Felicity. She didn’t think she could handle being in the bed she’d shared with Sara after everything that had happened that morning. Her thoughts shifted when he began to pat her body dry. His careful hands ever so gently wiped away the remaining moisture from her skin before nodding his head towards the bed.

“Lie down,” Oliver said. “I’m going to grab the first aid kit and I’ll be right back.”

Felicity eased herself into the cool sheets on her stomach, only stopping when her head hit the pillow. Her mind felt like a war zone, filled with hazardous thoughts that would either lead her into crippling fear or a full mental breakdown. She hated being left alone in such difficult times even if she knew Oliver would be back soon. The need for his comforting presence was overwhelming, and when he finally stepped through the door a few minutes later, dressed in grey sweats and a holding the first aid kit, she couldn’t help the sigh of relief that escaped her lungs.

“Hey, I’m right here,” he said, seeing her eyes fill with tears. He reached out, his fingers stopping only when they brushed against her cheek. Felicity placed her hand on top of his, holding it firmly in place where it landed near her temple. “It’s okay, baby,” Oliver reassured her. “I’m here now. I’m not going anywhere.” The warmth of his smile allowed her to relax somewhat and let go of his hand.

Nodding, she wrapped her arms around her pillow then buried her face in it as he went to work cleaning and disinfecting the cuts Sara had inflicted with the flogger. Felicity had gotten a glimpse of them in the mirror and had immediately flinched. Leaving marks that would scar her skin had been one of her hard limits. She hissed and groaned in pain as Oliver dabbed hydrogen peroxide over the open wounds until they were properly cleaned.

“I’m going to give you a local anesthetic then sew up some of cuts that need stitches,” he informed her. When Felicity caught sight of the syringe in his hand, she flinched.

“Do you know what you’re doing?” she immediately asked.

“Yeah,” Oliver replied. “I’ve done this before. Why? Are you scared?”

“I hate needles,” Felicity answered. “Or pointy things in general.” She heard Oliver chuckle and glanced over at him where he sat beside her hip. “What’s so funny?”

“I happen to like pointy things,” he said. “Particularly arrows. I have a thing for archery.”

“Really?” she asked. “And here I thought it was an utterly ridiculous sport. Is it even a sport? I mean, I know what a sport is. It’s an activity involving physical exertion and skill in which an individual or team competes against one another. But is archery really that hard? You point an arrow at a target and let go. That’s it.”

Again, Oliver chuckled, but his eyes remained focused on her back. Felicity hadn’t realized he’d already administered the local anesthetic until she felt something tug on her skin. It didn’t hurt, it just felt strange and unpleasant. “I’ll have to show you sometime,” he said. “Then you’ll see just how hard it is to ‘point an arrow at a target and let go.’ It requires a lot of concentration and focus, and it’s definitely not easy.”

Read More AO3 | FFN

Fav Fic/Fic Rec 2/? : After Hours by Velvetoscar​
Word Count: 26k
“Because you’re just an insecure mess that’s constantly trying to make others feel inferior to you because all you have is your tiny job with your subpar sports column and you know that nobody will remember you, Louis. You know that you are insubstantial and aren’t talented enough, not nearly, and you know that all you have is your bravado because you don’t have any other weapon to wield. You’re a tiny, forgettable person, Louis Tomlinson, in a sea of anonymity.” He says the entire thing in one breath, head a bit dizzy, pulse rabbiting.

And then Harry closes his mouth, startled as himself because… Where exactly did that come from, again?Silence settles between them.The cocky smile that had been soaked into Louis’ features slowly ebbs away. His eyes, blue and smooth as they are, diminish, their light shaded and muted and dull, seeming very distant. He looks…hurt. Sad. Small.

Something sharp hits Harry’s insides. He swallows, clutching the record across his chest as he drops his gaze.

Maybe he shouldn’t have said that.

He frowns, mostly to himself, but doesn’t apologize. Instead, he glances up at Louis, caught between guilt and shame.

Then, at long last, Louis clears his throat.“Well, uh. I guess that says everything then, doesn’t it?” His voice sounds frail, a pale imitation of the real thing.

His eyes fall to the record again. They look shaded and tired, a little sunken, the skin beneath them delicate, bruised, and thin. Harry wonders if it’s soft like flower petals. It’d probably scrape his skin if he touched, though.

Then Louis lifts his eyes again, a cutting blue that Harry feels in his throat.

“Goodbye, Harry.”

Summary: Harry Styles and Louis Tomlinson are the bane of each other’s existences. Unfortunately, they’re already in love–even if they aren’t completely aware of this minor detail. [A “You’ve Got Mail” AU]