You can't breathe.
In the middle of hyperventilating, your back slides down the wall of the much too brightly lit elevator until you wind up in a crouched ball on its floor.
Your mind runs a mile a minute with a million different conflicting thoughts fighting each other for the top spot to hassle you.
The machine takes you to the lower levels of the Arrowcave, the only place that should be empty at this time so that no one will be able to witness your attack.
The doors whoosh open to reveal Oliver, now on red alert, rises from his motor repair work to see who has arrived.
When he recognizes you and the state you're in, he quickly yet cautiously makes his way over to your trembling body still slumped in the elevator.
“Hey, hey. Hey-”
Everything turns bleary as a result of your eyes tearing up. A blurry Oliver kneels down in front of you.
The uncommonly fast and harsh pounding of your heart hurts like crazy inside your chest.
It feels like your airways are purposefully blocking the room's oxygen from entering your lungs, which freaks you the hell out even more.
Afraid of your body's betrayal, you grab hold of your friend's arm, anything to act as an anchor for normality.
“Okay, just breathe,” he instructs, trying to get you to make eye contact with him. “Breathe. With me, okay?” You nod weakly and try to match Oliver's measured inhales and exhales.
“Good, nice and easy.” He goes through this with you several times, as long as it takes until your breaths are no longer frightfully unsteady.
When the coast looks clear, Oliver asks, “Are you okay to stand up?”
“Yeah. I think so.” Oliver helps you up and over to Felicity's designated Overwatch chair. Finally, things are starting to feel back to normal. Even your hands have stopped shaking.
You let out a long sigh.
Oliver waits another minute before asking, “How long has this been going on?”
You remain silent.
“(Y/N), you know you can come to me for anything,” he says, pulling up another chair. “Especially about something like this.”
“But you're always so stressed with being a vigilante and with personal stuff. I didn't want to add any more burdens to your already complicated life.”
“You could never burden me. Friends are never a burden."
His words hang in the air for a moment and just as you're about to question whether he could fully understand what you go through sometimes, he makes his confession.
“I've had my share of anxiety attacks,” Oliver shares candidly. “No thanks to Lian Yu.”
“I had- I had no idea...”
“No, there's no way you would have. It's not something I generally like to share. Like you, I suppose."
You get up to hug your friend, feeling grateful to know you won't be alone to deal with this the next time it should happen.
“Thank you, Ollie,” you say as your chin rests on his shoulder.
“Of course, (Y/N).”