I cannot promise that I will not become frustrated when you leave me and the world seems to fall apart around me. I cannot promise that I will not curse those who sent you when the dryer breaks, and the transmission needs to be replaced, and the dog eats the couch all in the same week - most likely the week after you leave. I cannot promise that the sand and mud that cakes my floor will not cause me to give you harsh looks and rude thoughts. I cannot promise that my heart will not be torn in twelve different ways when you march away from me. I cannot promise that I will not let my anger show when you refuse to answer questions. I cannot promise to understand why you share things with your comrades that you will not share with me. I cannot promise that there won’t be times when my heartache makes its presence known before my pride can mask it. I cannot promise that I will not show my worry and my concern when it is best for you not to see it. I cannot promise to understand why you do so many of the things you do.
But I can promise that for as many tears of sadness and frustration and anger that are shed there will be double that of tears of pride. I can promise you that for every time you are away from me, I will learn to cherish the times that you are with me. In everything I will honor you and honor your sacrifice. I can promise to teach our children to do the same. I will use every moment that you are not with them to showthem the amazing man that you are through my actions and my pride. I can promise that there will never be a night where you are not the subject of my final prayer and the keeper of my dreams. I promise to try to be understanding that there are many things I will never understand. I promise to keep you with me in everything and to do my best to keep grace in this life. I will be strong for you as you are strong for me and I will carry you with me in every moment until your sandy boots again sit just inside our door. ❤️
He took a hairpin out of my untidy hair (by now my complicated arrangement of ringlets must have looked as if a couple of birds had been nesting there); he took a strand of it and wound it around his finger. With his other hand he began stroking my face, and then he bent down and kissed me again, this time very cautiously. I closed my eyes - and the same thing happened as before: my brain suffered that delicious break in transmission.
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A rough gasp of air from behind her, subtly moving the hairs from the nape of her neck. It sent an uncontrollable shiver down her spine that made her close her eyes. She felt hands on her shoulders, warm against the thin fabric of her shirt; then the calloused palms were running down her arms, shoulders down to her wrists. It was like a flame to close to her skin, leaving a trail of heat in its wake.
She was afraid to turn around.
Five hours earlier
“Oliver, are you okay?” she asked, sitting in the back of the white van, furiously tapping away at her laptop. She was trying to access the camera within the building the Arrow was currently in. For weeks they had been tracking a bomber known as White Noise. The man, woman, whoever, had been bombing strategic buildings in different parts of Starling, crippling those around the blast. So far, White Noise had successfully set off two bombs, one at Starling Bank and the other at the mayor’s office. Luckily the casualties had been few, but the wounded were many.
Oliver had been beating himself up over the losses, something as Felicity had told him, wasn’t his fault. He was doing it all the same. They had finally caught a break tonight when a radio transmission was captured saying that the drop off point for a GPB was at a community center in the Glades. GPB was short for general purpose bomb, and now Oliver was inside, scouring for the bomber.
“I’m okay, up on the roof. Have you gotten camera feeds yet?” His voice came out slightly garbled with the weak signal.
“Working on it. Soon I’ll be able to see you. And him. Or her. I’ll be able to see everyone. Kind of like Big Brother in 1984. Big Brother sees all. Have you ever read that book? Nevermind, answer that later, go shoot some arrows now.”
He let out a short laugh, which was followed hiss of breath. Then there was silence.
“Oliver?” She waited for any sound to come over the mic. The van was silent except for the accelerated beating of her heart.
A loud crash over the headpiece caused her to jump, hands pressed to her ears. “Oliver? Oliver!” She burst through the back doors of the van, abandoning her laptop, and sprinted towards the front of the building.
She pushed open the doors of the community center, pushing past people to race up the stairs. Her breath came out in gasps, her eyes scanning her surroundings wildly. She opened the door that said “Roof Access” and continued to sprint up the stairs, coming to a stop when Felicity reached the roof.
The cold air whipped around her as she turned her head to and fro, searching for Oliver. A gunshot sounded to her right, and let out a scream when she saw Oliver clad in green falling over. A figure shrouded in black leapt off the roof before she could do so much as call for help. Rushing over to Oliver groaning form, her hands found the wound in his shoulder. Blood gushed from it substantially, and she tried to staunch the flow with her fingers to no avail.
“It’s fine, it’s fine. You’re fine. It’s just the shoulder. Oh my gosh.” Her hands were covered in blood.
“Felicity…” Oliver croaked, “Get me to my house.” His face was pale under the mask, sweat beading on his forehead.
Felicity gulped, fearful for his condition. She searched his eyes, seeing the absolute resolve in them for her to take him home, she nodded.
This was not the first bullet wound he had ever survived.
But it still felt like a wound to her own heart. Oliver was asleep on his bed, his mouth slightly open as he breathed in and out softly. The bandages she had used to wrap his shoulder already had a spot of blood on them, the wound already seeping through. She would have to wake him up soon to change it, but she found she didn’t want to.
He was shirtless, but then, that was something she was used to. Kinda.
She was sitting on the edge of his bed, hand clutching his. Felicity liked to watch him sleep, the lines on his face smoothed away by the sweet escape of slumber. She came to the realization that she was a creep, watching a man while he slept, and stood up abruptly, looking around the bare room.
Now when she thought bare, it was not so much that the room didn’t have furnishings, because it did. It had all the commodities of a hotel. But that was it, it looked like a hotel room. There were no personal belongings, anything that she could identify as Oliver’s. Nothing to say that this was his room.
Her heart ached for him, for his loneliness. How forlorn did he feel, night after night, coming into this room and having nothing, no one. Thea was gone, his mother dead, Oliver was truly alone in this world.
I’m alone too.
She walked across the room to his dresser, opening drawers to rows of neatly folded dress shirts.
Okay, Now I am a creep. Looking through his drawers.
But Felicity still felt herself opening more and more, when she came across his underwear drawer she shut it immediately, cheek warming at the sudden intimacy of it all. She looked down again, hand hovering over the handle.
But I’ve always wondered… hm…
She opened it, and closed it again.
Ha! I was right. Briefs.
Smiling to herself, she went to the table near the window, noticing for the first time a single box. The box was wooden, adorn with asian symbols. It stood solitary, right in the center, interestingly out of place in the otherwise austere room.
She let her fingers run across the carved calligraphy on the lid, fingering the latch softly, daring herself to open it. It seemed so private, that she longed to see what was inside, to see a small part of Oliver’s mind.
She took a breath, placing her hands on either side of the lid, and easing it open slowly.
Inside the velvet inlaid chest was a small stack of photos. Each with the sides well worn to the touch. She lifted them from the box, slowly shutting the lid.
Flipping through them, she saw the familiar faces of Thea and Moira, multiple photos of Oliver with them. The photos all had something in common; they were all candid, never posed or scripted in any sort of way. Thea alway seemed exasperated at her brother while Oliver was always smiling mischievously towards her. Moira gazed at them adoringly, seemingly proud of her children. Another picture showed what Felicity guessed was Oliver’s father, Robert Queen. She could see where Oliver got a lot of strong features from.
Flipping to the last photo in the stack, she let out a little gasp of surprise. It was a picture of her, obviously taken unknowingly. It was when Barry had came into town, the night of the party held in honor of Mrs. Queen. She was looking over her shoulder at something, hair down and clasped loosely in the back, a dark pink dress bedecking her form. Oliver must have taken this before Barry arrived. Felicity warmed to think that Oliver kept a photo of her, any photo of her to himself, and she wondered why… why.
She felt his breath on her neck before she knew he was there. His hands caressed her shoulders, before running along her skin to her wrists. Felicity hadn’t even heard him get up, and she felt embarrassed to have been found looking through his things.
Not wanting to face him, she looked at the ground.
“Felicity.” His voice sounded rough with sleep, sending a thrill of pleasure through her.
She turned, slowly bringing her eyes up to meet his. They were soft, a deep baby blue, making her melt when she saw how tender they were. Oliver brought a hand up to brush his fingers from her cheek to her jaw. Felicity angled slightly into the touch, letting out a soft sigh.
She held the photo up, image facing him and asked, “why?” The question seemed to echo in the silent room. The proximity of Oliver to her form made the room feel suddenly cavernous, heat emanating from him like a furnace.
It became apparent to her, that he was very shirtless, and also very muscled, sending a flush of heat through her.
His eyes traveled from her lips to her jaw to her eyes and back hungrily. He let a hand trail to the back of her hand, slowly pulling out the hair tie that held her hair back. The locks fell around her shoulders, a golden mane that framed her face. Oliver let out a sigh of contentment as he let his fingers run through the tresses.
“I’ve wanted to do this for so long,” he breathed.
“Oliver…” she whispered, trembling from his touch, “why?”
“Felicity..” the name fell from his lips like snow drifting from the sky. With two fingers, he slid the glasses off her face, letting his fingertips touch the spots where the frames had left marks.
With her hair down and without her glasses, Felicity felt like she was laid bare before him, as if there was nothing for her to hide behind and nowhere to run. He could see her.
“Because, I love you, Felicity Smoak.”
He took her face between his palms, holding her as gently as she were made of glass. Her lips were still trembling at just how careful he was being with her—the tenderness he was showing.
Oliver’s lips were so close to hers, an ache began to build inside her, a longing to feel them on her.
Their breath mingled, only a sliver of space left between them.
And then, he closed it. Just a brush of lips, a gentle grazing of skin, enough to send electricity coursing through her. She let her hands slide slowly up his bare chest, as he let his lips brush against hers again. She longed for more, hungered for it.
She let her tongue slowly slide alongside his lower lip and he groaned, a thrill of pleasure heating her core. She thought briefly of his wounded shoulder and just what this sort of physicality would do to it, but promptly forgot all thoughts when Oliver brought his mouth upon hers sharply, teeth clashing in his haste to have nothing between them. He pressed her body against his, her soft curves molding against his hard build.
As their tongues touched in a sensual dance, their breaths intermingling in gasps, she thought, “This. This is why.”
The box was a piece of his heart, and her seeing it was all she needed to know. They were closer then two human beings could be.