"Don't you dare!" Oliver suddenly heard himself yelling inside his office, acutely aware of both Diggle and Felicity standing up and looking over. Even with the door closed, his voice had carried through to his outer office. His friends looked concerned, Oliver himself looked angrier than a volcano and Moira Queen looked as calm as ever. She always did and whilst Oliver knew that oft times he had the same ability to be emotionless and stoic, it still irked him that Moira was far better schooled at it. When he had gone to be with his sister at the hospital, Moira should have been panicked and unable to think straight, afterall her daughter was dying, instead she had ordered Diggle to remain right outside of the room, conveniently forgetting that he was on Oliver's payroll and not hers. Then she had told Oliver to not speak to anyone, not until they knew that Thea was going to be okay. She had even insisted to all of the medical staff that no one else could enter. It was as if she were afraid of who might turn up. Oliver was still furious, and confused, at her insistence that not even Roy or Felicity be told. Roy was Thea's boyfriend, he would be no threat to Thea and Felicity, from a business point of view needed to run Oliver's diary. Moira had begged him to not speak to anyone, she did not want any information getting out or people getting in. She even started controlling the medical staff to limit their numbers. And then the blood test results had come back.
"Oliver, please remain calm." Moira turned around, a smile on her face. "The staff are watching. I am aware of your, close," she emphasised the word, "relationships with both of them, but there must still be some boundaries."
"Mother, sometimes you are an unsympathetic bitch." In fact it was all she had been since Thea got shot.
"And you will watch your tone with me. I am your mother."
"Are we sure of that?" He demanded, still angrily yelling.
She slapped him across his cheek and he continued, bitterly. "She needed a blood transfusion, Mom, and neither of us were a match. Explain that to me." Moira said nothing, her gaze on the floor. "She's not my Dad's, is she?"
"It's complicated," she was trying to sound sympathetic. Nothing would work on Oliver.
"Who's her father? When did you realise?" He waited and she said nothing. "Was it a full blown affair or one night thing?" Another long moment of silence. "Did you ever love Dad?" His voice was quiet, fearing that her answer could destroy his whole life.
"Of course I loved your father," she answered immediately. "He was my husband."
"Yet you cheated on him?"
"Did you love Laurel? Because you cheated on her."
"Once!" He shouted. "And you cheated on Dad with Malcolm and Thea's..." It hit him just before he saw his mother turn her gaze away. "She's... Malcolm's?" He turned away from her, shaking his head in disappointment. There was nothing else going on in his head as he punched down on his desk and stormed out in an angry haze. Moira flinched at the actions, opened her mouth to call him back and then stopped when she thought better of it. Oliver was a hard man to talk to and an even harder man to console.
He never noticed her reaction, he stopped seeing her the moment the realisation hit him. Malcolm Merlyn was Thea's father. Tommy and Thea were half-siblings. It had been bad enough thinking of the awful truth that his mother had gone anywhere near Malcolm, but to think that they produced a child, it was too much for Oliver. Storming away with a red haze all around him, Oliver's face simply screamed get out of his way. Everyone obliged. When he made it to the elevator, Oliver hit the call button so hard with his index finger that either could have broken. He felt no pain from it.
It seemed like an eternity when the elevator doors finally swooshed open and Oliver stepped inside knowing full well that she was right behind him. Even through the red haze of anger, Oliver's senses were still heightened. He had not seen her coming but he heard her; the delicate, fast and slightly clipped sound of Felicity's walk. Everyone had a different sound of walk. He had also smelt her approaching. Another unique tell-tale sign, one more dependent on what way the wind happened to be blowing.
The lift started its descent after Oliver hit the basement level. He needed to go fast on his motorbike, feel risky, to go so fast that all he could do was rely on his basic nature and reactions. He needed to concentrate on that action, to have nothing else in his mind other than keeping control of the bike and his life. Everything else would melt away when he was on his bike, his brain blocking it all to concentrate on the road, other vehicles and people. Oliver needed that peace.
With a hesitation clear in her voice, Felicity suddenly managed to mumble out: "Are you okay?"
How much had she and Digg heard, Oliver wondered but did not linger on as he jammed his finger onto the Stop Elevator button. Refusing to face her he mumbled the horrifying truth. "Malcolm's Thea's father."
"What? Oh my God. Is there anything I can...?" She trailed off her question, both of them knew that it was a futile question. Pointless to ask and impossible to answer. There was still too much in his head; Oliver needed peace and clarity, to have his mind empty.
His movement was swift and with no conscious thought as he grabbed Felicity by the waist, hoisted her up very slightly and practically slammed her against the side of the elevator. His lips crushed to hers as his body did the same. She was trapped between him and the wall. Forcing his way into her mouth, Oliver did not even notice if she had tried to stop him. He was distantly aware of her hands on his neck, in his hair and took that as a consent. Leaving their position at her waist, Oliver's hands began to untuck her shirt from her skirt. It was bright pink, he had noticed on his way into the office, wondering if any of the previous EAs at Queen Consolidated had ever worn such bright colours to work. Briefly his hands stilled on the bare skin of her waist before stroking upwards in-between their tightly pressed bodies.
The moan that escaped her lips was what caused him to unceremoniously drop her and step away, shaking his head. Keeping his head bowed, he refused to allow himself to look back up as guilt flooded him. How could he have done that to her, crossed a line so blurred and almost attacked her for his own primal, basic need without a care or concern for her? It was almost more like the old Oliver, the playboy Oliver than the person the island had made him. It was unforgivable. As he heard the rustling of her clothing, Felicity rectifying the damage he had done, he asked gruffly, "You ready?" He meant, were her clothes decent and could he start the elevator. Oliver had no idea if that was how it sounded.
"Yeah," she mumbled ever so slightly and he punched the go button, trying to alleviate his guilt and frustration with regards to her. In the back of his mind, he was still angry with his mother, but now he was angry with himself far more. The speed of his motorbike was calling louder. At the basement level, he stepped off and her hand on his elbow briefly stopped her. Yanking it free from her soft and warm, gentle touch, he continued to stalk away. "Oliver," she called with her usual innocent, harmless voice. How could he have attacked her like that? The guilt caused him to stop and wait, although he refused to turn around; if her innocent voice daggered him, her bright, emotive eyes would kill him. "Be safe."
It was probably the one thing that he could not promise her whatsoever.
Be safe, the words still echoed around in her head. The stupid, useless, pointless words. All of her words to Oliver in the elevator had been stupid and pointless, but then what was she supposed to say? What was anyone to say? 'Oliver, I know you've got some strange foe out there who's already attacked your family once, is clearly after you, and I know that over the past few days something odd has started developing between you and I, oh and that your mother's been lying for years about having an affair, Thea being the result, so she's actually only your half-sister and the best friend who died, that you blame yourself for, that Thea had a crush on was actually her half-brother and the son of a crazy, evil foe that your mother was kinda in cahoots with, but be safe, okay?' Yes, Felicity, she thought to herself as she picked up her cup of hot chocolate to warm her hands, that was stupid.
She had known the minute she had seen his face that he needed to be reckless, that he needed his mind to clear completely. That meant one of three things. One – fight and kill someone, which was a no go because he did not kill anymore and it was daytime, too early for The Vigilante to be out. Two – fight and destroy something at the lair, which he could do but Diggle or Felicity might try and talk to him. Three – drive hard and fast on his motorbike until he felt satisfied. Of course, Felicity had never considered that there was a fourth option that he almost completed in the elevator. She was still unsure of what to make of his actions there.
He had remarked to her that she was more than just a one off, more than just a quick screw up against a wall and yet, in that moment, in that elevator, she had almost become just that. Would that have resolved some of his anger? Would it have made things worse? Would she have allowed it? Part of her thought that, yes, she would never have stopped him, that she never would stop him, but she did not want to be a quick screw, or a long screw. Oliver was her boss, her colleague, her hero, her friend and she sometimes hoped that he could be more. Except they lived in the wrong world for that to be true and Felicity was truthfully unsure if she would want to add something to their list of what they were to each other. Could she really risk so much?
The truth was, and she knew it was the truth, he would never risk so much. He would never risk her friendship, her Hood helping skills for anything more. Even if she could be his type. Even if he truly wanted to, Oliver Queen would never risk that.
She heard a slight banging noise coming from her bedroom, it sounded perhaps like her window and someone knocking on it. Slowly Felicity stood and made her way quietly into her bedroom, hot chocolate still in her hands. If there was someone at her window, it was either a really loud burglar that had climbed up so many fire escape stairs it would be stupid, or it was Oliver. At the doorway, Felicity could see the masked figure standing there, gently knocking. It was not Oliver, it was the Hood, the Vigilante, her night-time boss. Apparently he had survived his motorbike jaunt; neither she nor Diggle had heard from Oliver since he stormed out of QC. She walked to the large window and unlocked it, opening and allowing the Arrow entrance. "I'm sure you could have used the front door."
With his gruffer than usual Vigilante voice, he replied, "The Hood doesn't do front doors."
"But he does talk about himself in the third person? What are you doing here?"
He took a step and somehow in one swift movement managed to put an arm around her back, his right hand cupping her cheek and bringing her close for a delicate, not chaste, but not face crushing kiss. She responded although confused, aware that there was no anger, no dire urgency like that morning until he broke away from her, his arm and hand keeping her close but their lips just so slightly apart. "I needed to apologise."
"This morning in the elevator. It shouldn't have happened."
"For a moment I thought you were going back on your word." He raised an eyebrow at her, questioning her. "About me not being a quick screw against a wall. Although it would have been against a mirrored elevator wall, so maybe a bit better than a brick alley wall."
"Neither. Not for you." His hood was still up, his mask still on and somehow his voice sounded not like Oliver, not the daytime, billionaire Oliver anyway.
"So you came to apologise for a kiss with a kiss? Even for me that makes very little sense."
"Since I came back from the island, things have been different. I thought I was going to do all of this alone. I thought that there would be no remorse, no need for a conscience, no need for help or friends or anyone to care about. Even in my personal life, other than my mother and Thea, there was no need for anyone else, no ability to have anyone else in my life."
There was a long pause. "But? Until?" she questioned, her voice shocking her with its own gruffness.
"You. You gave me a conscience, a reason to not follow the list, to find a way to fight after Tommy without betraying him. You never thought I was a killer, even after you saw me kill for you." He gently kissed her forehead. "I need you in my life, both of my lives, all of my lives."
"And you have me."
"Not how I want," he whispered and gently kissed her cheek. "Not how you want." He kissed her jaw.
"Oliver, stop teasing me," she pleaded attempting to step back. He was too strong. "We keep edging to something and then you pull back. I get that you can be attracted to me, that I can be your type, my self-esteem is greatly improved, thank you, but you keep pulling me close and then pushing me away and it isn't fair. If I can't be with you, let me not be with you."
"You can't be Oliver Queen's girlfriend."
"I know." Was he trying to upset her?
"It would be too public, you'd be in danger."
"I know, but I already am sometimes, by the way."
"But you're already the Hood's lifesaver, the Hood's secret. Only Lance knows you work for the Hood at nights. How would anyone know what you and the Hood did after work, later at night?"
"What are you…?" she stopped herself and then got a cheeky grin. "Are you suggesting role play, Arrow?"
It was rare to see Oliver Queen smile genuinely, it happened and mainly only to those he cared for most, but it was rare. It was rarer still to see a smile underneath the Hood, from the masked figure who stalked Starling City at nights, bringing justice to anyone that needed it. Felicity saw the smile in the dim light as she moved forward and kissed him.