they're doing it for each other's sake

I Have To Tell You Something (Olicity, Season 4 fix-it, post 4x08)

I’m choosing to live in a little world of delusion where the second they got home from Central City, after they cleaned up from Savage’s attack and they were laying in bed, wrapped around each other, Oliver whispered,

“I have to tell you something.”

His voice is full of trepidation, worry and concern marring the quiet in the room, but it’s not the only thing: fear. He’s scared, out of his mind; it’s the kind of fear that you feel in your bones, that makes you feel like every single bit of you is being torn apart because what if

What if…

It’s dark, the only light in their room coming from the city outside their window. He feels her stiffen, only slightly, and he knows without a single doubt that she knew something was wrong, the entire time… and that she’d trusted him to tell her.

And he hadn’t.

The fear is a living thing inside him, slowly choking him, squeezing his chest until he can barely breathe…

He almost says, “Nothing.”

Almost.

He can’t let it control him anymore, he won’t, not his actions or his future. God, for as long as he can remember, he’s lived his life in fear. It’s driven his actions, for years, long before the island, before the Gambit ever went down… and he can’t do it anymore. He finally has someone in his life who knows him, who he can trust with anything and everything, including the kind of man he is, someone he can rely on, someone he can lean on… and he trusts her to keep this secret.

Because there is no other choice to make.

Oliver holds her closer, his eyes slipping shut, steeling himself.

“You’re kinda freaking me out a little bit here,” she whispers, and he takes a shaky breath, knowing she’s trying to make light of it, just a little, because she knows him, she knows he’s struggling… and he loves her all the more for it.

He presses his face into her hair, breathing her in… and starts.

“When we were in Central City, I saw… a woman that I had known a long time, a very long time ago.”

She’s quiet. 

He feels her heartbeat pick up.

“She had a little boy with her,” he continues, his voice cracking, and she stops breathing. “Felicity…

“I have a son.”

Silence.

Felicity says nothing, for what Oliver quickly starts to consider the longest second of his entire goddamn life - what happens now? What if she’s upset, angry with him, pushes him away for lying to her, for keeping this from her, for trying to keep this from her? And he just did exactly what Samantha asked him not to… what if she finds out, what if tries to keep William from him?

The mere idea of that is enough to take his breath away and he holds onto her a little tighter.

Please

Felicity finally takes in a quick breath and sits up, her movements jerky and uneven as she pushes back, away from him. 

Tears burn his eyes before he can think twice and he moves to follow her, the apologies already on his tongue when she spins around and turns the light on.

Oliver blinks as the sudden light pierces through the darkness and he props himself up on his arm, his other hand still reaching for her, but falling short. 

Felicity grabs her glasses, taking another breath before turning to look at him.

“You have a son,” she repeats slowly.

“Yeah,” he whispers, nodding. He looks up at her where she’s sitting next to him. His elbow starts to hurt from leaning on it but he ignores it.

She’s quiet again, for a long minute, and he can read her like a book - he sees the second she reaches a conclusion, and it sends his heart plummeting.

“And you weren’t going to tell me,” Felicity says, her voice so soft it’s barely audible. She stares at him. “Were you?”

The hurt in her voice is like a knife slicing through him, and he closes his eyes for a second, biting his tongue, before nodding.

“She asked me not to. His mother. Samantha.” Oliver sits up, pushing himself back to sit against the headboard. “Not just you, but everyone. Anyone. She said… she told me… I wouldn’t be able to see William, if I told anyone.”

“Wow,” she says… and then follows it up with a soft, almost reverent, “William.”

Oliver closes his eyes… and waits…

Felicity grabbing his face and pressing a soft kiss to his forehead has them flying open again, finding hers.

“Wow,” is all she can say, and he sees the tears in her eyes… and the hint of a smile on her lips.

All he’s capable of is a nod.

“It seems Central City was pretty busy for you.”

An incredulous laugh slips out of him before he can stop it. “You could say that.” Oliver’s hands come up, cradling her forearms. “Felicity, I’m sorry. You were the first person I thought of, the first person I wanted to tell when I… when it was confirmed.”

“And… it is?” she asked. “Confirmed?”

“Yeah.”

Felicity nods, taking a deep breath and letting it out slowly. 

And then she looks at him.

“Tell me about it.”

Oliver stares at her for a beat. “You’re not…”

“Oh no, we’re gonna have words, about some of the choices you made, don’t think you’re getting off that easy, mister.” He gives her a breathy chuckle, or maybe it’s more a sigh of relief than anything. She holds him tighter, her thumbs running over his cheeks. “But you told me…” 

Felicity smiles.

“You told me, Oliver, and now… now I want you to tell me about it. If you want, I mean, I’m not trying to insert myself where I’m not-”

“I want to,” Oliver assures her, sliding his hands down her arms. “I want to.”

And he does.

He tells her everything.