So I originally had no intention of adding to this, but the Arrow fandom is full of the most amazing readers. Thanks to everyone who read, reviewed, favorited and followed. Here is part 2. I'll take off the complete tag because I think I'll play with this one a bit more. How great was last night's episode? Felicity was so great.
Spoiler warnings - Mentions of what happened in "Deathstroke" also spoilers for what's supposed to go down next episode.
Things were the tiniest bit frosty between the two of them in the days following their talk. He'd been annoyed that she doubted her worth and had watched from the sidelines as she put up a wall between the two of them. He should have seen it coming. She'd been far more honest than she had probably intended and she'd once again completely put herself out there. And he hadn't said anything. He knew that the words she needed to hear weren't available to him in the moment but he should have said something.
But then she'd had his back anyways. Diggle and Sara had fought him hard about his plan to take on Slade alone. Felicity had not only spent hours going through photos to find Thea but she'd also backed him up. Because it was Thea and she knew that he would never risk her.
He blinked, his glare turned contemplative as he regarded Felicity. She stepped forward, arms wrapped tightly around herself. She'd stayed far from the argument so far. But as she stepped forwards he watched as the walls she'd built fell. She would always choose him. Even when it meant losing the protection that guarded her still fragile heart.
"Go get Thea." She advanced on him, eyes fiery with determination that hid the fear for his safety quite effectively.
"Stop Slade." It wasn't a request. Her voice dropped as she stepped into his space. "Do whatever it takes."
His mouth popped open in surprise mingled with horror and relief. She was giving him permission. Partaking in the guilt that would haunt them after Slade breathed his last. She had his back and she would share the responsibility for the blood he shed tonight.
"End this." Her eyes burned into his, drawing from him a promise. "Once and for all."
He turned his back on her and on the impulse to kiss her goodbye. She'd given him permission to do what was necessary. Her eyes had promised that she wouldn't hold it against him. But she'd also made it clear that she expected him to return. She didn't ask him to promise this time. And for that he'd been tempted to kiss her. Because there were no guarantees and he might not see her again.
But Thea was waiting for him. And Felicity would be there when he got back. She was always there when he got back.
She was the best friend he'd ever had. And John Diggle was the brother he'd needed. Their presence in the lair the night that Thea came home had proven just that. Sara had been nowhere to be found and Roy was in the wind. But it always came down to the three of them. Despite his mistakes and the way he'd pushed them aside recently, they were a family down there. And he would fight for that family.
He would always fight for her.
He and John led the women into the lair that night. They'd managed a light-hearted night out at Big Belly Burger.
It had been Felicity's idea, naturally. With Lance in prison, Slade out of sight and QC out of Oliver's hands and in peril, they all needed a few moments of respite. So Felicity had insisted that the four of them grab a meal out before returning to the lair for their nightly activities.
The four of them had even managed a laugh or two. Laurel was working desperately to get her father out of jail and Felicity had talked Sara into joining them.
The absence of Roy was felt but not spoken about. Oliver knew his sins and he knew that he hadn't handled the boy fairly. He should never have tried to 'handle' him at all. He'd make things right when Roy came around.
He and Dig had just reached the bottom of the stairs when he froze. His jaw tightened and his sharp gaze tore through the space until it landed on Slade Wilson. Dig's hand was on his gun and he could feel the tension radiating off of Sara. Felicity was unaware and bumped into his back as she kept walking. His left hand shot backwards and wrapped around her wrist.
"What's going…oh!" She gasped and he felt her fingers curl around the hem of his sweater.
Slade Wilson was sitting in Felicity's chair in front of her computers. The sight of him in the lair was bad enough but the fact that he was sitting in her chair of all places filled Oliver with fury. Slade's lips lifted slightly as if he knew exactly what Oliver was thinking.
And suddenly he was aware of the fact that Slade Wilson was in the same room as her. Not only was he sitting in her chair, but he seemed to be aware of the fact that it was her chair. And that it would bother Oliver.
He had to get her out of there. His grip tightened on her wrist reflexively and she twisted until her hand was in his grasp instead. His fingers twined through hers as he searched for a way to get her out of there. But getting her out of there wouldn't be enough. Slade would hunt her now. He'd already betrayed his feelings for her just by reaching back and grabbing her on instinct.
Slade Wilson would have to die. Tonight. If Oliver allowed him to live then it would be at the cost of Felicity's life.
And just as he'd assured her all those months ago, there would never be a choice between her life and anyone else's.
"Well isn't this cozy?" Slade mocked. He was wearing the full Deathstroke uniform and his mask was rested on his knee. Oliver needed to keep him as far away from Felicity as possible.
"How did you get in?" Felicity asked, tone full of outrage and fear.
Despite the seriousness of the situation, Oliver almost smiled. The fact that Slade had managed to get through her security was a personal insult to the tech expert.
"Don't worry that pretty little head of yours, Miss Smoak," He paused with a chuckle when a snarl ripped its way through Oliver's teeth. "I may have shoved a blade into the keypad and shorted the circuit. Your expertise is still quite something, Felicity."
He was screwing with him. He knew it and he shouldn't have reacted. He was only confirming what Slade already knew. What everyone except for Felicity seemed to know.
"Huh." Felicity mumbled. "Something to work on."
"Nice digs, Kid." Slade continued. "Aren't you all going to join me? I feel rude sitting here all alone while you hover over there."
Dig tensed next to him and Sara hadn't moved.
"No? Straight to the fight then." Slade decided, standing and placing the mask over his features. "See I've taken your company from you, taken your sister from you, young mister Harper has left town, your cop friend has been arrested and oh, how could I forget? I told the lovely miss Lance your secret." He paused for effect.
And what an effect it had. Felicity's hand squeezed his as a gasp escaped Sara's lips. Dig sighed. Laurel was the very last person he'd wanted to know.
And Slade had known that too.
"And now all that is left is for me to kill the three that you surround yourself with." His tone was lethal and his words were a guarantee.
Dig's head swirled and Oliver met his gaze. Wordless communication passed between the two of them. Protect Felicity.
And then Slade was flying towards them. Oliver dove sideways, yanking Felicity with him as Dig pulled out his gun. He managed to get three shots off before Slade backhanded him across the room. Sara jumped from the stairs and landed on his neck. The two of them struggled and she took him to the floor. They wrestled and Oliver kept an eye on the situation as he dragged Felicity towards the farthest corner. She didn't fight him and for that he was glad. Her eyes were on John as he struggled to his feet, his hand brushing against his bloody temple.
"Oliver, you have to help them." She whispered fiercely as he tucked her into a corner.
He dropped her hand and raised his own to cup her cheek. Their eyes met and he willed her to understand everything he wasn't saying. He kissed her forehead quickly as tears pooled in her eyes and then he turned away from her. He didn't look back as he grabbed his bow and his quiver.
The fight was intense and without Roy they were at a disadvantage. Slade managed to get to his feet and he pulled Sara with him. He lifted her by the throat clear off her feet and Oliver loosed an arrow. It tore through Slade's ribcage and his foe let out a grunt of pain. He tossed Sara from him and she crashed into the glass case. The case shattered and Sara lay still in a mess of glass and blood. Slade turned to face him just as another arrow found its place in his gut. Slade's dark eyes glared through the mask as he tore both arrows from his body.
They ran towards each other and collided. The fight was fierce as they learned the ways that the other had changed since they'd last fought. Slade was stronger but he wasn't faster. They traded blows for several minutes until Slade landed a punch that broke a few of Oliver's ribs. Winded, Oliver fell to the floor at his feet.
John rushed forwards then and Oliver watched as the two men fought before Slade delivered a sickening blow to his head. Oliver yelled as his friend crumpled at Slade's feet. He jumped to his own, ignoring the stabbing pain shooting through his spine. He had to fight. Felicity would die if he didn't.
Slade laughed as he watched Oliver slowly advance on him.
"Worried about the girlie you hid in the back, Kid? You should be. What I did to the other two is easy in comparison to what I have for her. But I'll play with you first. I haven't decided. Would you rather I tell you in detail the ways that I'll hurt her and then kill you? Or would you rather watch and then die?"
Slade's words invigorated Oliver because he now had everything to lose. He'd fight until his dying breath. He didn't have any other choice.
The two of them collided once more and it was a whirl of movement and furious growls. Slade landed on his back twice but Oliver wasn't fast enough to move in for the kill. Finally Slade's hand wrapped around Oliver's throat and he felt himself being lifted in the air. He struggled but he was so tired.
Movement behind Slade caught his eye and his heart hammered as he watched Felicity sneak up on Slade. She was holding the salmon ladder bar in both hands. He fought to keep his gaze on Slade even as fear strangled him in tandem with Slade's hands.
She was inches away from him and moving her body into swinging position when one of Slade's hands dropped from Oliver's throat and reached behind him. He knew. Oliver struggled fiercely as Slade pulled one of the blades from his back. The bar collided with the side of his head just as the blade was thrust under Slade's arm and buried itself in soft flesh. Felicity gasped and stared at Oliver with wide, terrified blue eyes. The force of the blow caused Slade to stumble and drop Oliver to his feet. Oliver roared in anguish as he watched Felicity fall backwards with her shaking fingers wrapped around the handle of the blade protruding from her belly. Slade let out a harsh laugh of triumph and Oliver's vision clouded with rage. He reached forwards and placed both hands on either side of Slade's head and twisted. His muscles strained and he roared his fury until he felt the telltale pop of Slade Wilson's broken neck. The body dropped and he stepped over him blindly. A whimper tore him from his rage and then he was dropping to his knees to pull Felicity into his lap. Red blossomed around the blade, staining the top of her pink dress. His hands cupped her cheeks and tears rolled down his face as he examined the wound.
The blade had punctured her abdomen. He choked out a watery laugh. He thanked whatever God was out there that she'd been wearing her heels when she'd been stabbed. Standing four inches taller than Slade had anticipated had saved her life. The blade was exactly four inches south of her heart.
Slade Wilson had come prepared. He'd known just how tall she was. But he didn't know her. And something as Felicity as her penchant for tall heels had saved her life. He chuckled again, relief flooding his system.
He lifted her carefully and carried her over to the med table. Tears stained her face but her eyes were bright as she gazed up at him. He pulled the blade from his belly and went to work on the wound.
"You're hurt." She mumbled, her fingers brushing over the cuts and bruises that Slade had left him.
He shook his head. He was fine. And so was she. She was alive. She was alive.
The two of them would be having a hell of a fight later about the fact that she hadn't remained hidden. But he also knew that he'd lose. Because she'd saved his life. She always did.
He heard the sounds of both John and Sara stirring as he worked on her.
Slade Wilson didn't move though. He'd never stir again. He should have known better than to sit in her chair, to threaten her.
Because when it came to Felicity, she would always survive. There was no other option.
Thoughts? Thanks for reading!