First an apology - I haven't updated in months (I know). I've been working at a camp in the wilderness and this is my first chance to actually write/post anything. This is incredibly short (I'm aware) but I've wanted to write about this since the spoilers first came out. fair warning *Spoiler Alert*.

I hope you enjoy it. I decided to take things in a tiny bit of an AU direction.

Are you gonna stay the night?

Oliver's teeth ground together as he watched over her. The bandages on her face were a painful reminder of the way their night had gone from peaceful to chaotic. His fingers brushed her soft blond curls from her forehead.

It was his fault. She had been targeted not because she worked with the vigilante, but because Oliver Queen loved her. He was a target in all facets of his life. And so were the people around him.

He should walk away; tear her presence from himself the way he'd tried earlier with Diggle. People around him got hurt. If there was anything he'd realised in the past two years, it was that.

And yet as his eyes traced her delicate nose and soft pink lips, he couldn't find it in himself to leave. She had been his saving grace since the beginning. There was no mission without Felicity Smoak. More importantly, there was no Oliver without Felicity. She had become a part of him, creeping quietly into his heart until all of the holes were knitted back together with the kind of love that only Felicity could provide.

He should leave her. He wanted to leave her.

But he wouldn't.

He considered all of the ways that he could push her away and keep her at arm's length. He could follow his own advice to Roy and save her the trouble of loving him.

But she already loved him. She hadn't said the words and neither had he. But he loved her more than words could express. And she had handed him her heart along with her life long ago.

His instincts screamed at him to let her go, to save her from this life.

But it was too late for that. She was as much the Arrow as he was. She was his partner and everything good about him could be accredited to her. There was no facet of his life that could continue without her.

His inner demons told him that he was selfish to stay the night, to stay at all.

His mind told him that he'd be better off dead if he left now.

His heart told him that neither one of them would survive it if he tore her out of his life now. They were two halves of the same whole.

If it was only himself he would hurt, he truly believed that he could walk away now. But her heart was a delicate, intricate, exquisite treasure. And it was his. He would rather die a thousand deaths than hurt her again.

So he would stay. He would watch over her as she slept off the horror that had been their first date. He would strategize and protect her until his dying breath. But he wouldn't leave. He couldn't. He would take the nightmares in the nights to come. Because she was alive. And so was he.

Thoughts? I know it was short but it felt kind of huge. Thanks for reading.