“I’m sorry,” Felicity cried quietly into his shirt, embarrassment creeping up on her. “This is stupid. I don’t even know why…” “No no, hey,” Oliver shushed her, running his hand over her back. “You have nothing to be sorry for.”
“Digg never hears about this, okay?" she asked, trying to force some playful iron into her words. "I know you boys share just about everything, but I don’t need both of you holding this breakdown over my head.”
Felicity felt a rumble reverberate through Oliver's chest as he chuckled softly. Pressed up against him, the sensation was a rather comforting one that also stirred those butterflies in her stomach, the ones that always seemed so ready to startle when he was around.
“I’ve kept your other secret so far,” Oliver said. He gave a lock of her hair a small tug and Felicity laughed, relieved to feel something positive course though her for a change after all of the emotional distress of the plane ride and the hospital. “Another shouldn’t be a problem.”
The bottle-blonde drew back with a watery smile and wiped a little at her eyes before pulling her glasses back on to bring Oliver’s blurry image into focus. “Oh, that secret is child’s play, Mr. Queen,” she said with another shaky but real laugh. “Come talk to me again when you’re a real pro.”
Oliver laughed as his hands slid back to their previous place on her arms, and then he lifted a hand to draw his thumb across her cheek, wiping away some of the moisture she’d missed. “There’s my girl.”
She couldn’t help but return his smile as her heart gave a small flutter at hearing this term of endearment from him, one he’d only ever used once before--although she’d been drugged and unable to truly appreciate it at the time.
“Come on, I’ll take you home,” Oliver said as he turned to lead her to the exit, his hand still lingering at her elbow.
But, as she started to walk with him, Felicity found herself hesitating, something that was quick to catch the ever-aware archer’s attention. He paused and turned back, brow furrowed in question and concern.
“Actually, I…” Felicity looked down and sniffled, wringing her hands together as she debated asking what had been on her mind since their return trip on the plane from Lian Yu. “Oliver, can I… stay at the mansion tonight?”
The man was a little surprised by this request and paused for it and for the hesitation and the undercurrent of fear she displayed--fear of being alone. As was her nature, Felicity took this pause as hesitance to agree on his part, and she hurried on to explain before he could get a word in, hoping to convince him.
“I know it’s over," she said, getting worked up again as she started thinking about all of it again. "The chaos and the super goons and the psycho zombie supervillainesses that don’t stay down when you hit them with a van, and Slade...”
That one word--his name--was somehow all-encompassing enough that it spoke the morbid volumes of the terrible man all on its own.
“I know I should be relieved. I mean I am relieved, but it’s all still really fresh," Felicity continued. "I don’t even know what’s waiting for me at my apartment, and Verdant is totally trashed, and I’ll just feel a lot better if I sleep with you tonight-”
She grimaced. “I mean, not 'with you' with you," she amended quickly, "but, you know, in the same... general... vicinity.”
'Gawd,' she thought to herself. 'That sounded so lame…' “I promise I’ll be super quiet. You won’t even know I’m-”
After what Felicity didn’t realize was a second failed attempt to draw her attention through the use of her name, Oliver reached out and placed his hand on her forearm. This ceased the wild air flourishes that accompanied her words and halted her ramble mid-thought, drawing her anxious gaze to his calm one.
“Felicity,” he breathed out as he grinned that small grin that was hers, “you don’t even have to ask.”
Felicity's embarrassment over yet another ghastly faux pas on her part evaporated rather instantaneously as gratitude and a swell of something deeper quickly took it’s place. She smiled a small but honest smile. “Thank you.”
Giving her one more of those smiles, Oliver tucked his hands into his pockets, beckoning with his head for her to follow as he turned to lead the way out of the hospital. Relieved that she wouldn't have to be alone that night, Felicity was quick to keep step with him.