“‘And what other kind of man would you want leading you into battle?’ he says, reading my noise. 'What other kind of man is suitable for war?’ A monster, I think remembering what Ben told me once. War makes monsters of men.”
He felt like he’d been watching every move Tommy made since his best friend was given back to them. And as the weeks evolved into months, he noticed the way Tommy gravitated towards Felicity.
It wasn’t quite the way that so many people just seemed to naturally attach to her. It was more focused, and yet more unconscious. Oliver was pretty sure Tommy had started it, but Felicity didn’t take long to begin reciprocating. Oliver couldn’t be sure how conscious she was or wasn’t of it.
But any time Felicity walked into a room Tommy was already present in, he looked to her immediately. He checked her status visually anytime he left a room without her. If Felicity was talking, Tommy was listening.
And if they were within arm’s reach, they were touching.
To be more accurate, Tommy was touching Felicity. He was, by and large, the initiator of contact. On days Oliver more rode the edge, he thought uncharitably that Tommy couldn’t keep his hands off her.
But it wasn’t that he was being… handsy. It was more as if Felicity was his living touchstone, and if he could just feel her arm or shoulder or waist under his fingers, he could keep hold of himself.
Felicity often reached back. If Tommy’s hand landed on her shoulder, her fingers would circle his wrist. If Tommy wrapped an arm behind Felicity’s back, she’d lean into his side. If Tommy fleetingly touched his arm, she mirrored the action almost precisely.
And if Tommy looked even remotely distressed, Felicity would be there, fingertips brushing the hair off his forehead, tipping his chin to make Tommy look her in the eyes, taking his hands or his arm or his waist.
It made Oliver uncomfortable.
It wasn’t the displays of affection that bothered him. Tommy had always, always been a tactile person, and Oliver—used to be, too.
It wasn’t even that Oliver was jealous. Not exactly.
What he was was worried.
There hadn’t been a better solution, at the beginning, than Felicity’s spare bedroom in her townhouse when Tommy first arrived and needed to be put—somewhere. And now there was just no good reason to upset the stability Tommy so clearly needed while the whole team pulled together to put him together again.
But for all that Olvier, Diggle, Roy, Sara, even Lyla and increasingly more occasionally Laurel rotated through the rooms of the house on a consistent basis, there was a great deal of time that Tommy and Felicity spent alone together.
Something about their constantly developing closeness—the way Tommy oriented on her like she was his magnetic north—made Oliver… nervous.
It looked, at first glance, like a good thing.
God, he wanted it to just be a good thing. These two people who were so important to him.
But what it felt like was trouble.
Like taking an innocent step and hearing that not-yet-fatal click underfoot.
Oliver just prayed—for as much as anyone with his encompassing lack of faith in benevolent higher powers could pray—that this thing with Tommy and Felicity wasn’t waiting for them to shift their weight wrong and blow them all to hell.