Title: Sick Day
Summary: Felicity experiences what it's like to take care of a sick Oliver. Established Olicity.
Disclaimer: Still don't own them.
It wasn't as if she hadn't noticed it when he'd come into the office that morning. He'd been quiet and brooding, more so than normal, and he had certainly been grumpy. He'd barked at both her and Digg more than once throughout the course of the morning so of course she'd known that something was wrong. It wasn't as if he didn't bark at them on any normal day but he'd just been so off in his delivery that it was obvious that he wasn't himself.
It wasn't, however, until Digg brought them all lunch that she finally figured out what was going on. Oliver was sitting behind his desk, the bag from Big Belly Burger untouched, when a coughing fit suddenly seized him, the sound of it startling her so much that she choked on her soda. Her eyes flew to him, watching through the glass wall that separated their offices as he turned his head and coughed into his elbow. He fell silent a few moments later, resting his head in his hands.
He was sick.
In all of the time that she had known him, that she'd been his friend and his partner, never once had she seen him get sick. Injured, yes, but sick, no. It had been nearly four years that the three of them had been working together and she couldn't remember a single instance where he'd had so much as a runny nose. Oliver simply didn't get sick. That wasn't like him at all. But as she continued to observe him, as she watched him massage his temples before pinching the bridge of his nose, she had to fight the urge to go to him and offer him some kind of comfort.
But she remained where she was, sitting behind her own desk as Digg sat in the chair opposite her. When their eyes met, she knew that he was just as surprised as her that their fearless leader was fighting what seemed to be a pretty nasty cold.
"I think we should try to get him to go home and rest," Felicity said quietly, her eyes flitting back to Oliver's drooped shoulders, "He sounds terrible."
Digg's eyebrows furrowed, "You want to be the one to tell him that?"
She sighed. He wasn't going to be happy with either of them suggesting that he take some time off. He never was. But she couldn't stand seeing him look so miserable. Even his posture was different. He didn't look like the confident, sometimes rigid CEO that everyone was used to seeing. Instead, he looked like a man who needed a break and maybe a cup of tea.
She pushed her chair back and stood, moving slowly toward his office. She stepped inside, closing the door gently behind her. Oliver began coughing again, not as bad as the last time, but bad enough that the sound of it made her cringe. He sounded as if he was in a good deal of pain.
"Oliver, are you –"
"Felicity, I'm fine. It's just a cold."
She scoffed, "Really? Are you sure about that? Because the last time I checked, you weren't a doctor. You could have bronchitis or pneumonia or strep throat. You should go home, Oliver, get some sleep. We should probably get some medicine in you, too."
Oliver shook his head and began coughing again. When the spell finally passed and his shoulders stopped shaking, Felicity laid her hand on the back of his neck, her fingers stroking through the short hairs there. He sighed and leaned back into her touch.
"Please, do this for me? I hate seeing you like this. You need to take care of yourself. If I have the sniffles you always insist on me staying home. Well this is clearly much worse than the sniffles so I'm insisting that you go home and sleep. Please?"
He lifted his head to look at her and she caught sight of his bloodshot eyes and flushed face. He really was sicker than she'd thought. Her hand moved from his neck to his forehead. He was burning up.
"I'll go if you come with me," he told her, his eyes sliding closed.
She smiled. It had taken him almost two and a half years to come to the conclusion that they were better together than they were apart. Two and a half years of making her wait, making her jealous with the random women that came in and out of his life. But looking back, she knew that he hadn't been ready before then. He had needed time to grow into the man that he thought she needed him to be. He had needed time to realize that he truly did deserve to be happy and that she was the one that would bring him that happiness. That certainly didn't mean that it had been easy, waiting for him to come around, but in the end, it had been worth it.
"Of course," she agreed, "What good is an executive assistant if there isn't an executive around for her to assist?"
Oliver's eyes blinked open. They were slightly out of focus as he looked up at her. Even with him sitting and her wearing heels, his head still reached the middle of her chest. She combed her fingers through his hair, disheveling it further.
"Let John take you home, I'll be right behind you. I have a couple of things that I need to finish up here but I promise I'll be there as soon as I can."
He nodded and stood, forcing her hand to fall to his shoulder. She pushed up on her toes to press a kiss to his too-warm face.
"You have your key right?"
Oliver looked at her for a moment, clearly confused, before he nodded. They weren't officially living together but more often than not they were together at her apartment. It had only taken one time of being caught leaving the Queen family mansion in the previous night's clothes for her to decree that she was never spending the night there again. From then on, they only spent the night together at her place.
She helped him into his coat and powered down his computer before following him to the outer office that was hers. Diggle was finishing his lunch.
"Do you mind taking Oliver to my place?" she asked him, "He's calling it a day."
John didn't hesitate as he threw away the remains of his food and got to his feet.
"You alright, man?" he asked Oliver.
Oliver shrugged, "I'll survive."
He bent to kiss her, just quick brush of his lips to hers, before they headed for the elevator. Felicity stood watching and waited until the doors closed on the two of them before moving back to her desk. It didn't take her long to send out a memo that Oliver had gone home for the remainder of the day and to reschedule the three meetings that had been on his calendar for the afternoon. As soon as she'd finished forwarding the calls from his office phone to her cell, she slipped on her coat and climbed into the elevator.
Felicity stepped into her apartment and toed of her heels before crossing the hardwood floor in her bare feet. Oliver was stretched out on her couch, his frame much too large for the small sofa, and she wonder how he could possibly be comfortable. His head rested against one arm of the couch while his feet dangled over the other. She shook her head. There was a perfectly good bed in her room that he could've slept in. He knew that, of course, because he'd spent plenty of nights at her apartment but she knew without having to ask why he'd chosen the couch over her bed.
She picked up his discarded suit jacket and tie and took them to her closet. She slipped off her dress, finding a pair of well-worn MIT sweatpants and one of Oliver's t-shirts to wear before heading back out to where he slept in the living room. Resting her palm against his cheek, she sighed. He really was warm and it worried her slightly. Leave it to Oliver to get sick for the first time in all of the years that she'd known him and get really really sick. That was Oliver. Go big or go home. She shook her head.
Gathering a box of tissues, two bottles of water, and a bottle of cold and flu medication, she took the supplies back to her bedroom and set them on the nightstand on her side of the bed. She arranged her pillows against the headboard so that she would be able to sit up and work or watch TV while he slept beside her. She dug another pair of sweats from the drawer in her dresser that Oliver had claimed at some point in the last eighteen months but she didn't bother getting him a t-shirt. She knew that he'd be more comfortable without one so she skipped it. When she was sure that she had everything that they would need for the rest of the afternoon, she went back to the couch one last time. She crouched down beside him, running her fingers through his sweat-damp hair.
He sighed, turning his head into her hand but slept on.
"Oliver, baby, wake up. Come on, let's go to bed."
For a moment he didn't respond but she knew that he was hearing her. He shifted uncomfortably and then his blue eyes opened slowly. He tried to blink the sleep from them but it was useless. He was clearly exhausted.
"I hate being sick," he grumbled, struggling to sit upright on the sofa, swaying slightly when his feet were finally back on the floor.
"I think everyone hates being sick, Oliver. But you're one of the lucky ones, you hardly ever get sick. At least you're not like me. I get sick all the time. Sinus infections, colds, the flu, my allergies, I feel like I'm always sick. You would think with all the medicine and vaccinations available in this day and age that –"
She stopped talking. It didn't matter how long she'd known him or how long they'd been together, something about being around Oliver made her brain-to-mouth filter stop working. This time it had been for no reason at all. Most of the time it happened when she was nervous or scared or really happy. No, this time it was just because he was there and she knew that he'd stop her if she went too far. He'd say her name in that way she secretly liked (although she was pretty sure it wasn't much of a secret anymore) and smirk at her because he secretly liked it when she rambled (again, not much of a secret anymore). Their routine had hardly changed in the last four years. The one thing that had changed was the status of their relationship and the fact that she was now allowed to care for him, she was allowed to show him and Digg and anyone who was around just how much she cared.
They had tried at first to keep their relationship quiet. She had been somewhat affronted when he'd told her he didn't think that they should make it public knowledge that they were an actual couple but his explanation, as much as it hurt her feelings, had made sense. People at QC already assumed that there was something more happening between them and that that had been the reason that Oliver had pulled her from her position in IT to be his executive assistant. Of course, there had been a small truth to that rumor. There was more to their relationship back then but it hadn't been as scandalous as people had assumed. It had been deadly and illegal and get-her-sent-to-jail-for-the-rest-of-her-life scary, but it hadn't been scandalous. He hadn't wanted people to think that they had been right. He didn't want anyone to believe that that image of her that they had painted was real. He valued her too much to let other people degrade her. That explanation had healed her slightly frayed heart.
It had become public knowledge, however, about six months into their relationship. They had been at some function for one of the many charities that QC supported, which one she really couldn't say, and while she hadn't attended the fundraiser as his date, they had ended up dancing together for most of the night. She'd stayed beside him as he'd chatted up business associates and the heads of the organization that they were supporting. He'd kept his hand on the small of her back as she'd talked to her former colleagues from IT that had attended. They'd certainly been acting like a couple throughout the night so she had been sure that someone would notice. But it hadn't been until the next morning when she'd been surfing the internet looking for any updates on the current target that they'd been tracking that she realized how in love they had looked.
The first picture of them that she had seen had taken her breath away. They were in the middle of the dance floor, Oliver in a custom made tuxedo that accentuated the hard planes of his body and her in a fitted gown made of emerald silk, and it was the look on his face that gave them away. Her eyes were closed as they swayed in time with the music but Oliver's were not. He'd been looking down at her with such reverence and longing that her eyes had filled with tears. She had blinked them away to skim the article that had accompanied the photo and when she found the quote that he had given the reporter, she'd gasped in shock.
"Miss Smoak is my assistant, that's correct, but she is also my friend and my partner and the love of my life. I'm sure that people are going to assume that our relationship is the reason that she and I have worked so closely together for these last few years but to be honest, our relationship is new. It is new and wonderful and perfect and I have no problem telling you now that I love her wholeheartedly."
She had printed a copy of the article immediately and taken it to work with her. She had circled his quote in red ink, written her own response beneath it, and left it on his desk for him to find. They hadn't bothered to hide their relationship after that.
"Come on, let's go lay down. I have some medication for you that I think will help," she urged, holding her hand out to him.
He took her proffered hand and stood, leaning on her as much as he dared, knowing full well that she'd never be able to support the full weight of his body. They moved slowly toward the bedroom on the other side of her apartment.
"I don't want any medication, Felicity."
She rolled her eyes, "I know how particular you are about what you put in your body but we've got to get this fever down or you're never going to feel better. Just this once, don't argue with me okay?"
She felt his eyes on the top of her head as they crossed the threshold of her room. He sat down heavily on the edge of the mattress and looked up at her.
"Do you think I argue with you a lot?" he asked.
She laughed as she began to undo the buttons of his shirt. He made no move to help her.
"You argue with me about almost everything, Oliver. It's just who you are. It's in your DNA, I'm pretty sure. I mean, it doesn't help that we're both so damn stubborn because then we both always think that we're right which, of course, results in more arguing."
He frowned but he didn't contradict her. She didn't mind arguing with him, not really, not anymore. Sometimes – and she would never admit this to him – she would purposely pick a fight with him in order to get a reaction out of him. It was never about something that was really important, something that actually meant anything to one of them. It was usually about something silly, something trivial, and she only did it to mess with him. She only did it because she liked the way that he would lean over her, his arms braced on either side of her as he used her desk for support, and get right into her face as if he could actually intimidate her. In the beginning the tactic had worked. He'd freak her out when he got that close, when he invaded her personal space, but not it's what she wanted. It was what she was hoping for every time she picked at him.
"I'm going to need you to help me here for a minute, Oliver," she groused, "Either stand up or lift your hips or something."
She was kneeling on the floor beside him as she worked to get him undressed and when she glanced up at him, his expression made her blush. She rolled her eyes at him and at herself. He was incorrigible. So sick that he could hardly stand up on his own and he was still making a pass at her.
"Not a chance, Mr. Queen. You need to rest. Maybe later if you're feeling better we'll have time for … that but right now you and your germs are going to take a nap."
She couldn't help but laugh as he pouted at her. It was a little surreal to see him this way, exhausted and vulnerable and just a little bit whiny. But she had to admit, she sort of liked taking care of him for once.
Eventually she was able to swap out his slacks for the sweatpants that she'd laid out for him and get him to lie down on his side of the bed. She went around to her side, pouring the correct dosage of the cold medication into the little plastic cup and handing it to him. He downed it without bothering to open his eyes before passing the cup back to her. She set it aside and slid into the bed beside him. When she'd settled herself against the headboard and had picked up her tablet, Oliver moved closer, his head coming to rest in her lap, one arm banded around her thighs.
Felicity smiled. She set her tablet aside and moved both of her hands to his head, her fingers dragging rhythmically in an attempt to relax him.
"Felicity?" he murmured.
He sighed, nuzzling into her further, "Thanks."
She shook her head, scraping her nails lightly over his scalp and down the back of his neck. When he was finally asleep again, when the sounds of his soft snoring reached her ears, Felicity closed her eyes and rested her head against the headboard. It didn't take long before she had drifted off to sleep as well.