The trio sat in silence for a long while and as the minutes dragged on Felicity was unable to keep certain thoughts from her mind any longer, thoughts which had been put on hold only for her worry over Detective Lance’s condition.
She was leaning forward with her elbows on her knees as she stared absently into her half-depleted cup of truly gawd-awful coffee--or perhaps her taste buds had just been spoiled by her position as Oliver’s EA--when the worst of her recollections hit her.
A thin line across her neck burned as if it could actually remember a pain she hadn't actually experienced, and the cardboard cup slipped from her fingers before she even remembered she was holding it.
It was like the firing of a gun--or at least one might’ve thought it was for the violent nature in which Felicity jumped--when the cup hit the ground and spilled its contents on the hospital tile. Her hand flew to her neck on pure instinct of danger, to the thin bruise that had formed there, as she failed to suppress a gasp of terror.
Oliver was alert and ready impossibly fast beside her, his hand on her arm before those around her had even looked up at the quiet clamor of the spilled beverage. “Felicity?” he asked in concern, but she was already pushing herself to her feet on shaky legs.
She couldn’t be there right now, not where everyone could see her potential breakdown. It was a panic attack: shortness of breath, racing heart, dizziness, trembling, the unshakeable sense of terror that was its namesake and cause.
“I’m sorry,” she muttered absently without so much as a sidelong glance as she stepped over her spilled coffee and made a beeline for the nearest bathroom, hardly noticing Oliver as he called her name once more in concern. Priority one: run cold water over face.
After three splashes of cold water later, she kept her hands held to her face, turning her focus to breathing deep while simultaneously trying to stop the trembling of her hands. When she at last felt her breaths coming more easily and at a fairly standard pace, she finally rested her hands on the sink basin as she turned her gaze upward to take in her reflection.
There was a darkness under her eyes she wasn’t pleased to see and a general weariness that was all too noticeable. She’d tried sleeping on the plane out to Lian Yu… but it had been a hopeless effort. Then there was the damage. The abrasion on her temple. The bruise across her carotid artery...
She pulled her finger across the mark. That nut job hadn’t even broken the skin, and yet Felicity could quite certainly say it had been the closest she’d yet come to death.
Personally, she didn’t know how Laurel was keeping it together. She’d been Slade’s prisoner for far longer, yet she seemed as though the matter had left her mind completely. It was probably because she was distracted by her father’s predicament.
Felicity instantly hated herself for the small bout of jealousy she felt for Laurel over this split focus because the man could die. She shouldn’t be jealous of any kind of distraction like that.
She was just being silly anyway because, dammit, she’d stared death down and lived! It wasn’t even the first time it had happened, nor was it the first time she’d been threatened by a madman trying to get to Oliver. She’d even been hurt worse before, had the scar on her shoulder and a giant healing scab on her temple to prove it.
So, she would just suck it up and go back out there and not detract from the focus that should be on Detective Lance right now because he needed and deserved their concern far more than she did. Yes, she would bottle it all up for now and have a good cry later if need be, when she was alone.
Oliver had already cleaned up the mess she’d left behind in her haste. His attention was on her almost the instant she walked back out into the waiting room. Felicity had to drop her eyes as she sat back down because if she didn't she might turn into the blubbering mess she was in the back of her mind.
Oliver shifted in the seat next to her. “Felicity-” “It’s fine.” She knew she answered too quickly, but she needed him to drop the issue, at least for now.
Oliver read this in her expression and her body language and she was relieved when he silently agreed.