there has never ever been a better cloak than this

I don’t regret a single moment…You have changed so many [lives] for the better. Including mine. Knowing you has changed my life. You’ve opened up my heart in a way I didn’t even know was possible. I love you.

Felicity Smoak to Oliver Queen, Arrow 3.20, The Fallen

Because this entire speech deserves focus. This is the first page of Felicity’s gift to Oliver. This is her reminding him that what he’s done has made a difference. To everyone, but especially to her. Oliver thinks that everything he’s done has led him to this moment, and he doesn’t know what that means for him. If everything was leading here - the island, the people he’s lost, the pain he’s suffered, the death, the tears, the agony - if everything he’s ever done has been for nothing but this, yet another sacrifice, then what was the point? What was the point of trying to do better, trying to be a hero, trying to be Oliver Queen? If all he was ever meant to be was Al Sah-im, the Arrow, then what was the point?

And Felicity is the one to remind him that there was a point. He saved people’s lives. He touched people’s lives, changed them for the better. Roy said as much a number of times. John would say the same. Without Oliver, Roy would still be a lost kid caught up in the system, no hope of making his life better. Felicity would still be working a 9-5 job: safe, yes, maybe even happy enough, but fulfilled? Her heart would still be kept under lock and key; she may never have opened it up long enough to let someone in. 

Felicity is telling Oliver that no matter what has happened, she doesn’t regret a single moment of it. Not even the past year, when things were as bad between them as they have ever been. She doesn’t regret that and would never take it back, because taking it back would mean not knowing Oliver Queen, and that would be a far worse pain. An incomparable one.  

The first time Oliver said “I love you” to Felicity, it was under the cloak of deception. The second and third times, it was in roundabout ways. The fourth time, it was a goodbye. 

The fact that this is the first time Felicity has said “I love you” to Oliver - and that it took so long - is significant. She’s held it in her heart for so long because she’s been afraid of all the goodbyes. She thought that would be the worst pain she’d ever suffer. Now, she knows better. Better to know Oliver, to love Oliver and to lose him, than to never have known him at all. But one thing she will never do is let him go without reminding him - again - that he is someone who deserves to be loved. Someone who has inspired people, opened up their hearts and minds and lives and someone who should never, ever, ever regret the choices he’s had to make, because yes, they led him here. They led him to a world in which he has friends, family, people who love him fiercely, who would suffer the wrath of a thousand Ra’s al Ghuls to see him to safety. They led him to love.