It took 15 minutes and 26 seconds to completely stitch up Oliver. Every time he had to force the needle through Oliver's skin, he could hear a faint hiss fill the silence of the foundry.
"I'm done," Diggle told Oliver then silently laughed as he saw Oliver had passed out.
Oliver looked so peaceful when he was sleeping. Nothing like the rock-hard soldier that was constantly fighting for his life.
His rough features had smoothed out and made him look so much younger and innocent.
Diggle smiled again before returning his focus to his medical problems.
The younger man's blood levels were still worryingly low, but there was nothing Dig could do for him. He was, fortunately, breathing on his own and had no need for oxygen.
Diggle stumbled over to a chair and collapsed in it. He rubbed his eyes and glanced back over the unconscious Oliver.
"You are making this so hard. Why is it so much less stressful when you are on the streets?"
And of course Oliver didn't respond.
Diggle eyes closed and he dozed off.
He awoke two hours later when he heard a quiet whimper that sounded like a thunder clap.
He rushed over to the table where Oliver was rolling, in the midst of a nightmare.
"Oliver!" he shouted.
Oliver's eyes opened and he suddenly sat up, swinging.
Diggle caught his fist. "You're good. You were injured, but I stitched you up."
Oliver looked up with a confused look covering his face, but he quickly looked down at the ground, tightly gripping the sides of the table.
"Diggle. Starling City," he kept whispering to himself, over and over again until he finally calmed down.
Then, he stood up, groaning, and joined Diggle who had moved back over to the chair.
"You need to sit down," Diggle said, standing up and putting his hand on Oliver's shoulder.
Oliver leaned on him, but shook his head.
"What happened?" Diggle asked.
"He had more guards than I planned. One got behind me and caught me by surprise. I took care of him."
"Well, you seem to be okay," Diggle started, "but you lost a lot of blood."
Oliver just ignored him and limped away.
"Seriously," Diggle said, "you're going to hurt yourself even worse."
Oliver stopped and bent over a table. He shook his head. "I'll be fine, but..."
"But that was a close call. I'm just getting started. I guess after getting back from the island, I didn't care about my life. I didn't think anyone would notice or care if I kicked the bucket. I didn't think I would care if I finally bit it."
Diggle joined Oliver at the table. "Your family loves you. You're surrounded by people who care about you."
Oliver nodded, but his eyes still said he didn't believe what John was saying.
Suddenly, Oliver felt himself being pulled up. Diggle's arms wrapped around him.
Oliver leaned into the touch and smiled. He finally believed.