WARNING: This fic deals with Ectopic Pregnancy so if this is a sensitive subject for you or if it bothers you take caution. Also an avalanche of Koalas and Feels Ahead!
"Don't freak out…" Felicity murmured under her breath for the tenth time in two minutes.
Yet, her mind seemed to ignore her by conjuring all kinds of cringe-worthy scenarios.
"It's probably a false alarm," she whispered to no one in particular, in hopes that if she repeated it enough it might just become the truth.
She glanced at the timer again:
Those were without doubt the longest three minutes of her life.
Her mind wandered into possible topics she could occupy her mind with until it was over. She contemplated doing some research for tonight's mission, but decided against it since she didn't have her tablet and it wasn't safe to do research from her phone. She settled on playing some'Angry Birds' on her phone instead. But as soon as she got through the first shot and missed due to how bad her fingers were trembling, she closed the app and took another look at the timer:
She was almost certain she preferred to be tortured.
For a moment there she even went as far as to consider calling her mother, but she shot that idea down as soon as it formed in her head. She wouldn't give Esther Smoak the satisfaction of ranting about how she's always known Felicity was a failure… Calling one of her boys was out of the question either – she was on the verge of a breakdown already, she couldn't deal with their pacing, too. Thea was not an option either, not because she didn't trust the girl – because she did, she was like a sister to her – but the younger Queen couldn't keep a secret to save her life. She'd accidentally let something slip in front of Roy who would call Oliver in a panic, or she'd mention something to Moira, who would also ring Oliver, assuming he knows already.
The only way Oliver was going to find out about this was if she told him herself and he would definitely need to find out before his mother or sister.
Felicity then briefly considered calling Moira – the woman that had become like a mother to her in the past years. Once she'd gotten past her irrational fear of her, that is. Even though she knew that Moira would be on the first flight out, if Felicity asked her to, she didn't want to disturb her time with Walter. They'd only just renewed their vows after rekindling their relationship and she didn't want to get in the way of their happiness.
Felicity started counting down the last few seconds in her head and she wondered briefly if that's how people on death penalty feel, minutes before their were executed. Granted, her situation wasn't nearly as dire, but Felicity thought she was allowed to be melodramatic.
In those few seconds left her brain went to a place she'd had forbidden it to- the good parts. The good side of a positive outcome that her situation could bring. It flashed before her like a movie – the life they could have flying before her eyes in bits and pieces.
The shrill sound of the timer going off on her phone pulled her out of her reverie and she scrambled to her feet, nervously approaching the sink.
One part of her thought that the terror she was currently feeling was completely irrational – she'd faced murderers, psycho serial-killers, stubborn firewalls and a pissed off Oliver Queen on a nearly daily basis, yet she was terrified of five pieces of plastic.
The other part of her, however, felt that this fear was completely justified, considering how drastically this event could change their lives.
Taking a deep breath to settle her nerves, she braced herself in front of the bathroom sink where the five sticks were neatly lying next to each other. Felicity looked at the first one – a bright pink plus sign. Her hands gripped the sink even tighter. Her eyes moved towards the second stick – a smiley face.
Her heartbeat increased.
Number three had two blue lines on it. At this point Felicity's breathing had become rather shallow.
On the fourth one there was a simple 'yes'.
With a resigned sigh Felicity turned her head to the right and glanced at the last test:
She couldn't control the hysterical burst of laughter that escaped her throat as the word registered in her brain.
"Oh God! Oh God! Oh God!"
Suddenly, the only thing keeping her upright was the death grip she had on the sink. She forced herself to breathe.
A couple of minutes passed in a similar fashion until her heart beat slowed down and she finally found the courage to look up and see her reflection in the mirror. Taking in her pale face and slightly shaking frame, Felicity started to feel stupid.
She should have known something was up when her period was late; however, it wouldn't have been the first time it was a couple of days late, so she didn't really feel the need to get worried just yet. Then life and her two jobs as Head of IT at QC and Resident Computer Genius for the Arrow took over and her missing period was temporarily forgotten. On day five she chalked it up to stress – it's been known to happen before. When she got sick two mornings later she just assumed the sushi she and Oliver had for dinner was bad. Then again, she had no reason to assume that was wrong, considering she hadn't been sick since. When the tenth day came around and her period was still missing she decided to take a test. Just in case.
When she entered the pharmacy, though, her nerves had gotten the better of her and she just grabbed a bunch of the more reliable tests (she'd watched enough TV and movies to know about the 'false positive' / 'false negative' issue) and all but ran to the checkout counter.
Felicity didn't know why she was so nervous about this… It wasn't as if she found herself pregnant after a drunken one-night-stand with a faceless stranger she wasn't likely to see again and had no means to contact… She wasn't '16 and pregnant' either.
She was a thirty-year-old married woman with a stable job and a better life than she ever imagined for herself. Granted, it was also a life more dangerous than her wildest dreams, but that was beside the point at the moment. She didn't need another freak out episode right now and if she went down that road it would be exactly what would happen.
It was then that she realized she has to tell Oliver about this.
Her knees gave out.
Now it looked like taking the tests was actually the easy part.
The way Oliver found out about Felicity's condition was a far cry from perfect.
They were eating dinner with Roy, Thea, Digg and Lyla, enjoying a slow Saturday for a change and catching up on each other's lives.
"I'm pregnant" Felicity blurted out, her voice two octaves higher than normal.
Thea dropped her fork.
Diggle nearly spit the swig of wine he just took.
Lyla developed a cough.
And Oliver… Oliver as good as froze in his seat, eyes bugging out at his wife's news. His brain seemed to go into 'lockdown' mode.
Felicity tilted her head to the side slightly, much like she always did when facing the consequences of her verbal gaffes.
"Wha-what?" Oliver's voice was barely above a whisper as he stared at his wife with a blank expression.
"I'm pregnant?" it came out as more of a question than a statement, but to be honest her nerves were starting to get the better of her.
Thea was the first to recover. She quickly pushed her chair back and all but sprinted towards her sister-in-law, showing everyone the exact reason why she was nicknamed 'Speedy'. Before Felicity could do anything about it she was being squeezed by the younger Queen who was babbling excitedly in her ear. Felicity couldn't hear a word she said though, because her attention was focused solely on Oliver, who was yet to have any kind of reaction aside from shock.
"Thea," he said after a short while, "careful," he cautions, his voice soft and quiet.
Felicity let out a breath she didn't realize she had been holding – maybe that was the reason she was starting to feel lightheaded – as she saw Oliver's expression morph from blankness to a tender look he reserved solely for her when they were alone.
That was all it took to break the ice and suddenly Felicity was pulled into Lyla's embrace and soon the three women were standing in the middle of the dining room, in a group hug, jumping excitedly.
Once they part, it's Digg's turn to congratulate her. He pulled her into a tight, yet gentle hug and whispered a 'congratulations' in her ear, pressing a kiss to her temple.
"Well, guess you can't call me 'Junior' anymore, Blondie," Roy said, approaching Felicity with a grin.
"You will always be 'Junior' as long as you keep going with the 'Blondie'," Felicity grimaced slightly at the nickname. Roy's been using it for two years now, but that didn't mean she had to like it. She did, however, manage to form her own form of retaliation by coming up with 'Arrow Junior' (since Roy trained under Oliver and took a liking to bows and arrows), which she shortened to just 'Junior' with time. She and Digg frequently called him that not only to see his annoyed expression, but also because it struck a chord with Oliver as well, making it twice the fun.
A throat being cleared interrupted the slightly awkward hug between Felicity and Roy.
"Can I have my wife now?" Oliver's voice was bordering on annoyed, "Please?"
Roy stepped back, knowing better than to mess with an annoyed Oliver Queen.
"Hi," Felicity waved awkwardly and smiled at her husband.
"Hey," was Oliver's response, his expression mirroring her own.
"Thanks for dinner, see you tomorrow." Digg said quickly, pulling Lyla along. He knew all too well how that particular exchange was going to end and he had no desire whatsoever to witness it.
Catching along, Roy nodded eagerly; his poor brain already scarred one too many times from walking in on the other couple's 'alone time' and hurried to go stand behind Thea.
"Look at the hour, we're going too." He all but pushed his girlfriend out of the room towards the entrance door.
"Well, I sure do know how to clear a room." Felicity chuckled nervously, looking at their, now empty, dining room.
Oliver let out a soft snort and stretched out an arm "Come here," he said, his voice barely over a whisper.
Felicity stepped into the circle of his arms, gladly, and when they tightened around her all warm and strong and safe, she felt at peace for the first time that day. Her nerves were gone.
"I love you," Oliver whispered into her shoulder, pressing a kiss to it to emphasize his words. His arms tightened the tiniest bit.
Felicity reached towards one of Oliver's arms and placed it between them so that it was lying on her still-flat stomach.
"We love you, too" she said into his chest.
The meeting was boring.
Hell, all meetings were boring in the business world, but this one in particular was the mother of all boring meetings.
On top of that it was going on for two and a half hours now.
Unfortunately, it was also a very important meeting.
Usually, Oliver would tune the suits out a bit, stealing glances at Felicity, when things got especially tedious, but she wasn't here today.
Since they found out about her condition, Oliver had been adamant that she shouldn't stress herself out unnecessarily. Had he had it his way, he would have banned her from the Foundry as well, but he was a man who knew when to admit defeat and pick his battles. He wasn't so stupid as to risk his wife's wrath when it came to Arrow business. While it seemed to be unspoken common knowledge by now that the Arrow had sidekicks, it was actually the other way around. Since the second year of their working together Felicity had slowly established her authority over them. Be it by being the voice of reason, or breaking up arguments, or simply putting Oliver in his place when the need arose.
That's not to say he wasn't the "boss" or anything. It was still his mission and everything, but they had come to a silent understanding (Diggle, Roy, Sara, Barry – at the times he visited) that if Oliver wasn't around, or in the middle of a raid, then authority transferred onto Felicity.
No matter how much he wished he could wrap her in bubble wrap and ship her off to some safe, unmapped location where he wouldn't need to worry about danger, stress and complications, Oliver knew Felicity would never stand for it.
From the corner of his eye he got Diggle's small wave that meant his friend would be back in a minute and gave him a slight nod of acknowledgement.
Turning his attention towards the CFO, who was still speaking, Oliver willed himself to pay attention to the older man, in hopes that maybe he could get to some sort of a solution and end this torture sooner rather than later.
What he would give to be with his wife right now…
The sudden silence in the room caught his attention and he followed his colleagues' gazes towards the glass door of the conference room where stood no other than Felicity's assistant.
"Mr. Queen," the woman's voice had an edge of panic and her face was devoid of all color. Her breathing was labored which tipped him that she'd probably run the distance between Felicity's office and the conference room.
Oliver's blood ran cold.
"What's wrong, Ms. Hammond?" Oliver asked, willing his voice to not betray the fear that was starting to bubble up inside of him.
"It's your wife, sir," she replied breathlessly. "She's… She's bleeding."
Oliver felt like his air supply was suddenly cut off. He was on his feet and pushing back his chair before he could fully acknowledge his actions. "Where is she?" he asked, all but running towards the woman. "Why didn't she call me?"
"Your phone is turned off, sir." Ms. Hammond said quietly, afraid that she may have invoked his wrath. "She's in the en-suite bathroom of her office."
Oliver cursed. He had turned his phone off. He usually put it on silent, but after the fifth text from Thea insisting to know whether he and Felicity had picked their Halloween costumes he'd turned it off, because his sister was starting to annoy him.
Oliver saw Digg over Ms. Hammond's shoulder.
"Digg! Call an ambulance! It's Felicity!" he shouted at his partner before sprinting out of the room and down the hallway towards Felicity's office as fast as his legs could carry him.
The panic that he'd fought to restrain bubbled up inside him now. All sorts of scenarios running through his mind every next one more sordid than the other.
He shouted at the people in his way to move, maneuvering between them expertly. He wasn't going to let anyone stand between him and his wife in such a moment.
In truth it had taken him about two minutes to get to her office, only to him it felt like two hours.
"FELICITY!" he roared, throwing the door of her office open, completely oblivious to the loud clang of metal against glass as the door handle banged against the glass wall.
He crossed the office in five large strides.
As he stood in front of the bathroom door he realized just how much he was dreading what was waiting for him on the other side. For the tiniest moment he didn't want to find out. He didn't want to know.
"Oliver?" Felicity's weak exclamation was what pulled him out of his stupor.
His wife needed him.
Without anymore second thoughts he pushed the door open to find his beautiful wife sitting on top of the toilet. Hunched over and clutching her stomach.
"It hurts." She whispered her voice weak, her face pale and she had clear tear tracks on her cheeks.
Oliver forced himself to swallow the bile that rose in his throat at the sight of his wife looking this way.
Not now. She needs you to be strong. He reminded himself as he leaned down and wrapped one arm around her knees and the other around her torso, pulling her up against him.
It was then that he saw the pool of blood on the floor. It wasn't by any means big, but it couldn't have been a good sign either. He'd only started reading up on pregnancies and everything related to them, but he was pretty sure bleeding was not part of the deal.
"Everything is going to be alright," he soothed her, his voice a quiet, shaky whisper as he pressed a kiss to her hair.
With that he strode out of the small space and out of her office.
He wanted to scream with frustration. His pace was not fast enough to his liking. He wished he could run or zipline his way down to where the ambulance would be waiting. Yet he was aware that he couldn't do that while carrying Felicity. He didn't want to make matters worse.
So he settled on walking as fast as he possibly could while keeping to a bare necessity of movement. He forced himself to ignore the stares and whispers as he tore through QC, he absolutely forbade himself to think about his wife, trembling and whimpering in pain in his arms. He could afford to think of nothing else but getting her to someone who could help.
He briefly considered taking the stairs when he reached the elevator, but the thought of having to run down twenty five floors while making sure his wife was safe in his current state made him shudder, so he got in and settled on pushing the lobby button repeatedly while cursing under his breath.
"Oliver," Felicity whispered, her voice even weaker than before. "Oliver, the baby… I'm scared…"
Oliver pressed a shaky kiss to her forehead. "You'll be fine, sweetheart. Both of you will." He said with more conviction than he actually had. He wasn't sure who he was trying to persuade her or himself?
"Just stay with me," he pleaded with her. "Don't close those beautiful eyes."
Felicity nodded, wincing as another cramp began.
Oliver felt something running down his torso and regretted it instantly when he averted his gaze to see what it was.
His wife's blood was currently soaking his white shirt.
The fact that he was holding Felicity in his arms was the only thing that kept his knees from buckling in that moment.
The rest of the way down – which felt like hours – was spent in silence that was occasionally broken by Oliver's halfhearted reassurances and Felicity's pain-full groans.
Yet just before they reached their destination he felt her go limp in his arms.
"Felicity!" he shouted. "Felicity, open your eyes. Look at me! Please, look at me!" He pleaded repeatedly, leaning forward to nudge her cheek with his nose. "Sweetheart, please,"
He couldn't hold the tears any longer. He was more terrified than he has ever been in his life. He felt like he was losing her – right there in his arms and he could do nothing about it.
The ding of the elevator arriving at its destination sounded better than anything Oliver had heard.
"Oliver!" he heard the unmistakable voice of Diggle call as he ran towards them.
"God," his partner muttered, letting his feelings show for only a moment, before slipping into his military persona and leading him towards the exit.
"The ambulance just arrived," he informed Oliver with a flat voice, devoid of all emotions.
As soon as the paramedics saw them coming the pulled out a gurney for Oliver to place Felicity on.
"How far along is she?" asked the female paramedic immediately.
Oliver fought for strength to speak "she wasn't sure... Our appointment with her doctor was in 2 days…" he stuttered through his answer, unable to recognize his own voice.
They lifted her up into the ambulance.
"Sir, I can't let you up," the paramedic said stoically, as Oliver went to follow after them.
"I'm her husband."
He wanted to be furious and shout and stomp and put an arrow through them for trying to keep him from his wife at a time like this.
Yet he didn't have the power to breathe properly.
So he settled on the next best thing.
She must have seen something in his face because she stepped back and let him climb in.
"You stay out of my way." She ordered him sternly, as he settled on the bench so he could take Felicity's hand.
"How long has she been bleeding?" she asked Oliver.
"She wasn't when I found her… On the way down she started bleeding again." He pointed to the bloody stains on his shirt and Felicity's legs.
"How long has she been unconscious?"
"Just before… we came to you…. When we reached… the lobby…" Oliver's voice was shaking so bad he was barely getting the words out.
"Sir, I need you to breathe, I need you to answer these questions for me. I can't have you faint on me too, you hear? Your wife needs your help."
Oliver nodded, the pep talk from the medic seemed to do the trick and he managed to pull himself together.
"Has she been bleeding before?"
"How was she feeling this morning?"
"Fine. No complaints."
"Is this her first pregnancy?"
"How old is she?"
They continued in a similar fashion until they reached the hospital.
The doors opened and the other medic helped get Felicity down and into the ER.
Oliver rushed to her side while the paramedics updated the doctor on Felicity's condition.
"Sir, I'm Dr. Lurch, I'll be taking care of your wife." The middle aged man shook Oliver's hand.
We're going to take her for an ultrasound since you haven't had any. Once we've had that I can tell you a diagnosis. I have theories based on the information I received, but I'd rather have more information before saying anything more…" They were on the move as the doctor explained everything to Oliver who was only half listening to him, the loud ringing in his ears and the sight of his wife lying pale and motionless in front of him were making it difficult to focus.
"I'm afraid you can't come any further," Oliver felt the doctor's hand on top of his own. "I'll send a nurse to keep you updated once I know more, but there is a good chance she might need surgery."
"Just… Just save her…" and going against everything inside of him he let go of Felicity's hand and watched as they wheeled her away from him.
The next few hours are a blur.
Oliver Queen was not a religious man by any means, but that night he'd prayed repeatedly to any and every deity he could think of.
Oliver's awareness slipped once a nurse came to inform him that his wife has been taken into surgery. She said she'd been having an ectopic pregnancy and that they'd caught it just before it had ruptured her fallopian tube. She gave him her condolences and also said she'd be back when they know more.
Diggle had arrived shortly after them, holding Oliver up when his legs finally gave out and leading him towards the nearby chairs.
Thea arrived some time later; Oliver assumed Digg must have called her, because he certainly wasn't in a state where he could do that.
They didn't speak.
What was there to say anyway?
He was grateful for his sister's support, but her constant voicing of his inner worries were driving him mad.
He had looked to his left where his sister was sitting and surely enough Roy was standing there, keeping an eye on her.
He had never appreciated Roy more than when he led Thea away towards the cafeteria.
At some point he felt Diggle nudge his side.
He looked up to see a familiar doctor approach him.
"Felicity Queen?" he'd asked.
Oliver was on his feet in a second.
Dr. Lurch approached him then. "As you've been informed, your wife's ultrasound confirmed my suspicions. She was experiencing an ectopic pregnancy." He explained "That happens when the egg gets fertilized outside of the uterus. In your wife's case it was one of the fallopian tubes. " He'd added upon seeing Oliver's blank expression.
"How is she? How's the baby?" Oliver asked, speaking for the first time in hours.
The doctor's expression turned ashen and Oliver had to repeatedly tell himself not to shake the answers out of him.
"Your wife is going to be fine, given time. Unfortunately, an experience like this is a lot heavier on the mind and heart than on the body. The good news is that we'd caught her condition before the fetus caused the tube to rupture so we didn't have to remove all of it. As for your child, I'm afraid there was nothing we could do. Fetuses don't survive ectopic pregnancies. My condolences, Mr. Queen." The doctor then placed a comforting hand on his shoulder. "We'll move her into recovery shortly. A nurse will come to take you to her." And with that he turned to leave.
Oliver stood frozen in his place. He wasn't sure he could fully comprehend what the doctor had just told him.
As for your child, there was nothing we could do - seemed to run on repeat.
He couldn't stop the gut wrenching wail that tore out of his throat for the life of him.
When Felicity wakes up, the first thing she feels is like someone had pumped water into her stomach. She felt bloated and uncomfortable. And oh so tired.
She blinked against the bright light that overwhelmed her eyes as she opened them.
"Felicity?" she heard Oliver's unmistakable voice call out to her and tilted her head to the left in order to see him.
She couldn't say a word because next thing she knew Oliver was leaning over her and peppering her face with kisses.
"Hi," she smiled weakly as he pressed his forehead against hers.
"Hi," Oliver replied as he pulled away from her and went back to his seat.
It was only then that Felicity was able to see how he looked like.
"You look like hell," she commented taking in his ruffled hair, tired eyes and blood-stained shirt.
It was then that the day's events caught up with her.
"Oliver, the baby!" her voice was full of alarm. She groaned at the pain that sitting up caused her.
She looked up at him and saw the expression on his face.
He looked utterly lost.
"No," she whispered, not needing words to know what happened.
"No, no, no, no," her head shook in an almost frantic pace as she clutched at her stomach, ignoring the pain. "Please no, tell me it's not true," she pleaded with him with tears falling down her cheeks.
He only clutched her hand tighter and shifted his gaze to the floor.
That's when everything went black again.
"Oliver?" she murmured groggily. Her eyes barely opened as she searched the bed for his hand.
"He's in the bathroom changing, dear," came a soft female voice.
"Moira?" Felicity gasped in surprise "How - ?"
The older woman smiled ruefully. "Thea called me. Walter and I left London immediately after." She sat down in Oliver's chair and ran a gentle hand through Felicity's hair.
" I am so very sorry, sweetheart," she said softly, grasping Felicity's hand in hers.
The younger Queen just closed her eyes and forced herself to breathe.
"If you ever need to talk to someone about it, I'm here for you," Moira offered.
Felicity was sure that at some point in the future she would be grateful for the offer but right now she could not feel anything but a cold emptiness.
"I'll go get some coffee and tell the nurses you're awake," Moira stood up suddenly and turned to leave the room, but not before pressing a kiss to Felicity's forehead.
It was then that she saw Oliver again, this time looking a little bit better and with a clean shirt.
They didn't say a word as he approached her and took her hand in his.
What could they possibly say to each other that would fill the void in their hears?
"Good, you're awake," a middle – aged man in a white coat said upon entering the room, who Felicity assumed must be her doctor.
"Mr. Queen," he greeted Oliver and then turned to Felicity, "Mrs. Queen, I'm Dr. Lurch and I performed the surgery on you earlier today. First of all, allow me to say that I am very sorry for your loss."
Felicity grimaced again, she wished everyone would stop saying that.
Oliver's hand tightened around her.
"I would also like to bring you up to speed with your current condition, since your husband refused to be told anything until you were awake. You were experiencing an ectopic pregnancy, that means that – "
"I know what that means." Felicity cut him off a bit too harshly. "Sorry," she added halfheartedly.
"It's quite alright," the doctor smiled ruefully. "The good news is there were no complications during surgery and we were able to save some of the tube the fetus was lodged in," Felicity couldn't help but cringe at the cold phrasing. "Your recovery has been going well so far as well. I'd like to keep you until tomorrow afternoon just to be completely sure everything is alright. You may feel bloated, tired and in pain, which is all normal. If you need pain medication, do not hesitate to push the button to your right, a nurse will come in and administer the painkillers."
Felicity and Oliver nodded mutely and after a moment's silence the doctor continued.
"I realize that now might not be the right time, but it may bring you some comfort to know, that despite this tragedy you still have a very good chance of conceiving, if you decided to have children again in the future. You have a seven in ten chance at getting pregnant again with only an one in ten chance of it being another ectopic pregnancies. Of course, if you do decide on trying again, I would recommend to see your doctor immediately upon finding out you've been successful. They will need to monitor you for a while to eliminate the option of a repeat pregnancy of the first one."
Half of what the doctor said just passed through Felicity – in through one ear and out through the other.
"Why did this happen?" she asked, this was the only thing she wanted to know. "I've always been healthy. I don't drink aside from the occasional glass of red wine, I don't smoke, I lead a healthy life, I have no family history of such occurences…" she rambled.
"Unfortunately today, every 1 in 100 pregnancies is ectopic. Sometimes it just happens, without cause…"
"Thank you, doctor," Oliver stood up to shake the doctor's hand, the dismissal clear in his voice.
He was at his breaking point and he was sure Felicity was a lot worse and Oliver felt like he might snap if the doctor recited yet another statistic at him.
The older man nodded taking the hint and left them alone in the room.
"We can get through this," Oliver said quietly, returning to his seat beside Felicity. "We'll get through it…"
He willed himself not to panic when she offered no response.
The next three months were agonizing for both Felicity and Oliver.
Felicity had slipped into a bad bout of depression. She refused to eat, drink, talk and she rarely left their bed. At some point she'd even asked Oliver if he'd sleep in the guest bedroom.
She didn't ask again once refused her, she simply turned around so her back was facing him and she fell asleep. Or she pretended to. Oliver didn't know.
He didn't know anything anymore.
He understood better than most what Felicity was going through, hell, he's suffered the same loss as her. He understood her need to be alone and why she was acting the way she did. That's why he stood by her.
No matter how many times she screamed at him, or told him to leave her alone, or broke down in sobs that tore at his very soul, he stood by her. He pretended not to hear her disgruntled mutters when he all but forced her to eat and drink. He didn't say a word about her brilliant light fading with each next day she spent surrounded in her own personal hell.
For better or for worse. For sickness and in health – he had vowed to her on their wedding and he'd be damned twice over if he ever broke that promise.
But Oliver was only human after all. While he never let her see just how much this affected him, he didn't want her to worry about Oliver's pain in addition to her own, he couldn't stop the nightmares from coming. He couldn't stop that awful feeling of helplessness that took over him each time he laid eyes on Felicity, who no longer lived up to her name.
In those moments when everything threatened to become too much, his mother stepped in. She was his pillar in all of this. It was only then that he'd learned the real reason behind the age difference between him and Thea.
His mother had suffered a situation similar to Felicity's.
Moira offered to talk to Felicity countless times, but his wife just could not stomach the conversation, stating she was tired each time they broached the subject.
However, there is only so much a man could take. Which is how Oliver found himself in the place he was currently at - sitting on the floor outside his bedroom, clutching a worn piece of paper in his hands and crying his heart out.
He cried for the child he never got to meet, he cried for his wife's pain, he cried for his own sorrow and for being unable to do anything to make things better for either of them.
At some point he heard the soft creak of the door being opened and heard Felicity's soft footsteps come to a halt beside him.
"Oliver?" she asked the confusion clear in her voice. It was the first time she'd addressed him in two days.
Normally, that's when he would use his entire arsenal of willpower to pull himself together and put on the 'supporting husband' act, but he was tired. He was so goddamned tired and so sad.
She slumped on the floor next to him.
"What's that?" she asked, noticing the paper he was holding.
He simply handed it to her wordlessly.
Oliver heard the breath catch in her throat the moment she realized what she was looking at.
"Is that - ?" Felicity's voice died in her throat and he didn't need to look up from the floor to know she was crying.
Felicity was staring at the blurry black and white photo. The only thing they'd left of their baby – a wrinkled sonogram.
"Yeah," was all Oliver could offer in response.
"How?" Felicity asked, not exactly knowing how to put her question into words.
"I asked the doctor for one while you were in recovery." Oliver offered in response, his voice strangely hollow. " I know it's stupid, but I miss them. We'd only known a week, but I needed something to remind me of them."
It was in that moment that Felicity realized just how selfish she'd been the past three months. Seeing Oliver crumpled on the floor in front of their bedroom, crying while clutching the image of their child, hit her straight in her heart. She realized how he was so preoccupied with her own pain and problems that he felt the need to hide his grief from her. And she felt horrible.
She felt sick.
"I'm so sorry, Oliver," she choked on her words, wanting nothing more than to wrap her arms around him, but not sure how he'd respond to that considering how she's behaved.
This time Oliver did look up at her. "What for?" he asked.
"For being so goddamned self-absorbed, and selfish."
"You were going through a lot, Felicity, I don't blame you," she realized she hated that flat tone of his voice that he was using right now. The same one he's used for twelve weeks now, come to think of it.
"Can I hug you?" she asked tentatively.
Oliver's only response was a sob that sounded oddly relieved.
Felicity needed no further invitation. She wrapped her arms around him with as much force as she had.
"Cry, Oliver." She told him, breathing the words into the crook of his neck. "Let go. I'm here for you." She vowed.
And so he did.
The next year was by no means easy for them. But after that night Felicity had found Oliver crying over the sonogram, she had willed herself to get better. If not for herself then for him.
It took her a while, but she eventually was ready to face the rest of the world. She eventually found the courage to talk about her loss with Moira and found her mother-in-law to be a priceless source of comfort. She'd apologized repeatedly to Thea, Lyla Roy and Digg for pushing them away, even though they all said they didn't blame her at all.
She and Oliver had had a long and honest talk after that night about everything that they'd gone through. She'd asked about the Arrow business and Oliver had explained that Digg and Roy had that covered with Lyla joining them when needed. She'd asked about her other job and Oliver told her not to worry about it. She was on a sabbatical. They even talked about any future children, although they both admitted that it was too soon for them to try again.
Another twelve months later, Felicity entered Oliver's office with a nervous smile on her face.
"I'm pregnant." Was all she told him before he'd swept her in a gentle, yet fierce hug.
This time they'd told no one about it. Not even Digg. They'd fabricated many excuses for the appointments they had to go to for the first trimester of the pregnancy. Their lies seeming to be more believable when they fabricated them together than on their own.
She went through many blood tests and ultrasounds in order to make sure beyond the shadow of a doubt that everything was alright this time around.
They had both been beyond relieved when everything turned out to be fine. The baby was situated in the right organ this time around and all seemed well. They'd both cried when they heard Felicity's OB/GYN tell them the news.
Once they were absolutely sure she was out of the woods they gathered their friends and family for dinner and told them the news.
At five months Felicity was admitted for a couple of days due to high blood pressure. Oliver had nearly suffered a heart attack when he got a call from her saying she was at Starling General. It turned out to be nothing, but Oliver was sure his life had been shortened by at least a year. He refused to leave Felicity's side for another two weeks until she yelled at him in her "loud voice" to "stop hovering before she put one of his arrows through him".
Then came the cravings. From normal things such as Big Belly Burgers at odd hours of the night to carrots dipped in white chocolate that Oliver had a hard time not gagging at.
They'd opted to not find out the sex of the baby, coming to the conclusion that it didn't matter as long as the baby was safe and healthy.
After the first time they'd heard the heartbeat, Oliver bought a machine that allowed them to hear the heart at any time.
Sex was a bit of an issue and since Oliver didn't listen to Felicity when she'd told him it was alright and safe and that he wouldn't hurt the baby. He seemed skeptical – despite his obvious embarrassment – when Felicity brought that up with her doctor on her next checkup.
In the end it came to Felicity all but jumping his bones one night, when she couldn't take it any longer.
And she did not hesitate to tell Oliver ' I told you so' – repeatedly – afterwards.
Theodore Thomas Queen was born on the 23rd of March in Starling General - 7 pounds, 20 inches and seemed to have inherited his mother's 'loud voice'.
I'd love to hear your thoughts on this.