Epilogue – All in
AN – Ok, my schedule has changed so I need to post everything now instead (hope no one minds the additional postings today)! Now that the action is over here's some emotional resolution as well (at least it was for me)! Again, thanks for sticking this out with me! I hope you have enjoyed the ride as much as I have!
DISCLAIMER – Oh if only wishes came true but alas I do not own CW's Arrow!
Thea and Felicity brought flowers to place at Tommy's grave this time. They paused for several moments of silence before Thea linked her arm through Felicity's and spoke.
"Thank you for coming with me." Thea's voice was soft, subdued.
"You're welcome." Felicity also spoke in a soft voice as they turned to leave. This was the first chance they had gotten to visit Tommy and Felicity was glad Thea had wanted her along. She had been worried about Thea especially as it seemed Roy had been avoiding the Team. Felicity wasn't even sure if Thea knew Roy was the reason she was in the hospital as the Team had withheld that information. Roy had provided the basics to Oliver and Diggle but Felicity had yet to see him since Armageddon.
Felicity (and everyone else) now used her computer program name to refer to the whole final showdown with Slade. It had beenalmost two weeks but they were still overwhelmed with the repercussions and fall-out of that battle. Slade Wilson was dead and buried this time. Isabel Rochev had been ousted but managed to get away before the police moved so they expected to see her again. Sebastian Blood wasn't as smart and he wascurrently still in jail with a multitude of charges filed against him. Fortunately his arrest meant Detective Lance had been cleared as there was evidence that Blood had pushed for that arrest – anything Blood touched was tainted by his downfall so for now Sara's father was safe. Sin was still processing all the big reveals but Thea had hired her at the club so they could support her and keep an eye on her.
Team Arrow was also trying to keep an eye on Thea considering not only their revelations to her but also the fact that Malcolm Merlyn was alive. There had not been time to talk about Malcolm's return yet but Felicity was definitely worried about all that Thea had had to deal with recently.
"How are you Thea? You've handled everything that's been thrown at you and have done whatever was needed but I know it's been hard on you. I'm here if you want to talk." Felicity spoke up now to start the conversation.
Thea did want to talk to Felicity but she and Roy still needed to talk. Roy had been changed by the Slade experience and still hadn't told her much. She still hoped they would talk and she would get answers but she didn't want to explain that to Felicity just yet. For herself, Thea was still reeling from the fact that her father had saved her, had helped them. It was still much easier to focus on seeing Tommy as her brother than on seeing Malcolm Merlyn as her father. Thea now understood the importance and necessity of answering with half-truths and keeping things from your family and just how hard that could be.
"I'm fine Felicity – so is Roy." Thea couldn't look Felicity in the eyes when she spoke and she spoke again so the other woman couldn't press the issue. "What about you and Ollie? Have you talked yet?"
"No, there's been no time. The Board moved so quickly to put him back as CEO and the majority of our time is spent there now. Then there's the continued press and police presence – we haven't even been to the lair since we returned immediately after Armageddon. Our only downtime is a few hours at the Plaza each night and we are so tired by then that we just eat and then sleep."
"You guys need to make time Felicity—" Thea began but Felicity quickly spoke up.
"We all need to make time Thea and we will." The women had reached Felicity's car by then and as they slid inside Felicity spoke again. "Do you mind if we go by the lair?" Felicity didn't offer a reason as she didn't want to explain that it still felt like home and she needed to spend time there now.
The lair was just a short drive away but as she pulled in Felicity noted that both Diggle and Oliver were there instead of at QC. She entered the code and passed through the familiar door to head their way.
"What are you guys doing here?" Felicity asked in greeting as she saw them working on the small amount of needed clean-up that they still hadn't gotten to yet.
"Where else would we be?" Diggle responded with a smile.
The words were now a code for them and Felicity knew they were concerned about her visit to Tommy's grave and simply her being away from them for an extended time. Felicity smiled at Diggle to both reassure him and to thank him. She then turned to smile at Oliver as he approached her.
"Lately you've been at QC." Thea commented as Diggle's response made no sense to her. She wasn't really surprised when the trio exchanged a look and laughed. "You know that you guys do that a lot right?"
"Do what?" Felicity stopped laughing to ask. One day she would explain to Thea that 'where else would we be' had become their shorthand for 'two of us were concerned about the third member of our little group and thought you might need help so we are here to support you'. Just who the two were changed but the sentiment remained the same - we are all in this together.
"You have complete conversations without words, speak in plurals, finish each other's sentences. It's really kind of annoying." Thea smiled as she complained. She was actually glad to see Oliver like this and was glad she was also part of their group.
Roy had just made his way into the lair and heard Thea's comment. He too had noticed those things about the Team and cursed them for it. Now he could see just what it meant to have those connections, those people you respected and trusted close by. He had been angry before and rejected all that they offered – that choice had almost cost him his life and nearly damned others as well.
Roy hadn't shared everything that had happened after he walked away from the Team that night but he had explained the basics. Slade had been tracking them all –it's how he knew Roy had left and it's how he knew Felicity's location during Armageddon. Sin had been picked up earlier and Slade had already intended to take Thea again and the cameras he had previously placed in the Mansion made that easier.
As for Roy, Slade sent a couple soldiers pick him up so they could 'talk' about how much Oliver had ruined their lives. Roy didn't reveal details but he couldn't help but look to Oliver and saw the other man understood just how that discussion had gone.
It was that torture that had given Roy some understanding of Oliver's position. He still didn't agree with everything Oliver had done but he did understand his choices better. Roy now knew more of what Slade was capable of and he didn't want anyone like that near Thea either. Slade had no control and no mercy - that was obvious to Roy before the torture had even begun.
Roy had realized quickly that his only chance would be to convince Slade he was with him and hope he could help the Team when Slade attacked, hope he could somehow keep Thea safe. It was that hope that allowed him to find the control Oliver had tried to teach him - even without any physical scars to remind him Roy knew he wouldn't forget that lesson.
He also knew he wouldn't forget hurting Felicity. He still hadn't mastered the awareness Oliver had tried to teach him and that lack had put Felicity in the hospital - bloody and broken. He had replayed that moment a million times in his mind and knew he could have prevented her injuries if only he had been more aware.
He took a moment now to survey the room - Oliver and Diggle continued their clean-up efforts while Thea sat in a chair near Felicity. Roy noted that Felicity still winced when she turned to speak to the guys and Roy himself cringed at the evidence of her continued pain. She was the reason he had not returned home - to the lair. She was also part of the reason he desperately wanted to return here. He wanted to be part of Team Arrow again but he wasn't sure he was ready and he wasn't sure he would be welcome.
Roy stepped toward and spoke hesitantly. "Hey." He watched as Oliver and Diggle turned and moved toward him and he could see Thea's smile but his focus was on Felicity. When Felicity smiled at him he finally took a breath.
"I'm sorry Felicity." Roy didn't move any closer to her but he didn't take offense when Oliver did. He was surprised when Felicity smiled at Oliver and then moved toward him herself. He was completely shocked when she didn't stop but actually hugged him. Roy looked to Thea and then Oliver but both were smiling - well, Thea was smiling widely but Oliver wasn't frowning.
"It's okay Roy. If you hadn't been with Slade, hadn't helped us then we could all be dead now. I know you didn't mean to hurt me." Felicity could see the same tortured look in his eyes that she still saw in Oliver's and she had to try and help.
Roy laughed for the first time in days, weeks. "You are just going to forgive and forget, aren't you?" He then remembered Slade commenting on Oliver's friends forgiving him but then asking if they could forgive themselves as easily. Roy knew he could forgive Oliver as Felicity had forgiven him but he wasn't sure he could forgive himself.
Felicity leaned back in to whisper to Roy, "You have to learn to let go of the past. I am glad you can understand Oliver a bit better now but I'm still sorry you had to go through that."
Roy jerked back unable to believe the blond could possibly know – he couldn't believe Oliver would have shared that, even with Felicity. He wasn't sure how to ask the question but Felicity spoke again.
"I don't know what happened Roy but I know Slade and I know you. You've changed. I see the same look in your eyes that Oliver still has sometimes. We are here for you if you need us – Oliver can still help you." Felicity smiled at Roy once more and hoped that he would let them, let Thea help him heal but that choice had to be his.
As she turned to walk back to Oliver she noticed with surprise that everyone was there – well, not everyone as Sara wasn't, but Oliver had told them that she was taking time for herself and her family. She would return to help if they asked but she really wasn't part of the Team Arrow family.
"This the first time we have all been here together." Felicity commented in surprise and pleasure. She really hoped her new family would last as it was the first time she truly felt like part of a family, part of something more than herself, and she didn't want to lose that.
Roy laughed as just like that Felicity had made the decision for him and brought him back to the Team. When he met her eyes and then Oliver's he made a silent promise to appreciate what they could teach him and to be the person they thought he could be. He then turned to Thea and could see that she was glad he was here too. She was still afraid for the Team and afraid of his possible involvement but she loved him and was all in. He was all in too and that meant they needed to talk and now was as good a time as any.
"We need to talk." Roy spoke quietly as he approached her. "I actually need to talk to all of you but Thea, first…please." Even though 'please' sounded foreign to him he could see Thea was pleased that he didn't make it an order and that she came first. She moved quickly to take his hand.
"Let's go upstairs – you can talk to them later." Despite not being an actual Team Arrow member Thea was a Queen and could give orders as well as the rest of them.
The remaining trio just watched them go and then returned to their work in companionable silence for several minutes. Oliver and Diggle had finished the clean-up and started to train and Felicity had moved to work on her computers.
It was good to be home if only for a short time. Felicity knew QC came first right now as Oliver needed to re-establish full control and be a constant presence there. As Oliver was there putting in long hours Felicity and Diggle put in long hours too…not to mention she had to recreate the network she had crashed.
Felicity had been pleased that on their first day back Oliver had quickly sought out Charlie to shake his hand and thank him. She had hugged the man herself and both Diggle and Oliver had teased her about making Charlie blush when she had kissed his cheek. It had felt good to be back at QC and to know that they could do good at their day jobs too.
As she had told Thea, there was one important thing they hadn't had time for yet - she and Oliver hadn't talked. She knew they needed to but there was still so much going on. So much had changed and yet some things remained constant. The three of them continued in the pattern they established just days before and spent nearly all their time together, they bantered and teased, they shared the penthouse suite at the Plaza...but she and Oliver hadn't actually talked, not even about saying those three little words.
Felicity knew what her feelings were and hoped she knew what his were. Their life together felt natural, right to her and she was eager to move forward despite the difficulties in the past. Felicity bit her lip as she stood up and grabbed a few things from her desk drawers. Considering the level of intimacy she already had with the man, Felicity couldn't figure out why she was so nervous about them talking.
Oliver and Diggle continued to train but Oliver kept glancing toward Felicity. He knew she was tired, they all were actually. He was still somewhat surprised that all of his efforts had been focused at QC in the last couple weeks since they had fought Slade but he was glad he still had his partners there too. Things were finally slowing down and he hoped that a couple slower days, a little more downtime, and then he wouldn't appear to be rushing Felicity when he tried to talk to her. He knew she had been shaken by Slade's attempt to get her to choose between Sin and Thea...he knew because he was the one that slipped into her bed each night to calm her when the nightmares hit. They never talked about it and he always left before she woke up but Oliver found it was harder and harder to force himself to leave her. She was by his side at QC, in the lair, and he wanted her by his side in bed too.
Diggle noted Oliver's distraction and could only shake his head in frustration. It had been a rough time since Armageddon but his two partners were being stubbornly slow about finally talking. They both did a lot of looking and the touching was more obvious now but still no talking. He had almost reached the point of locking them in the Plaza suite and finding someplace else to be until they worked it out. As Felicity bent over and Oliver's eyes moved over her body Diggle snorted and knew that a hotel room wouldn't be conducive to the two of them talking.
"I'm meeting Lyla for coffee. I'll meet you guys be back at the Plaza in a few hours." Diggle wanted to see Lyla but he was also just desperate to be away from the tension his partners generated without even trying.
"I'm glad you are seeing her John!" Felicity offered a smile with her support.
"Good luck man. We'll see you tonight." Oliver grinned his encouragement.
Once the door closed behind Diggle both Oliver and Felicity looked at each other and froze. They both felt the very tension Diggle had wanted to avoid but they moved toward one another instead of away. Once they were merely inches apart both paused and waited, unsure.
"We need to talk." Both Felicity and Oliver blurted out before they chuckled at their awkwardness.
"Me first though." Felicity spoke quickly so she wouldn't lose her nerve. "I need to tell you about my past – what I shared with Thea at Tommy's grave that first time. She was upset and she didn't think I could understand the lies and betrayals but I can. I know I told you my father left when I was young but I didn't tell you the rest." Felicity had moved away and started pacing as she had rambled. She knew she was stalling but she couldn't seem to force the words out now. Her voiced wavered and tears gathered in her eyes and she hadn't even told him anything.
Oliver moved forward to stop Felicity's pacing and he drew her in for a hug. As he held her he kissed her temple then whispered into her ear. "You can tell me anything Felicity but you don't have to tell me until you are ready." He did want to know everything about her but he couldn't stand to see her so upset.
Felicity felt Oliver's love for her and it seemed to unlock the burdens she had been carrying for years. She blurted out her story, sharing not just what she had told Thea but more of her feelings and fears as well. Also, unlike her conversation with Thea or even Diggle, Felicity allowed the tears to fall. She also allowed Oliver to comfort her and hold her in his lap while she cried.
Oliver decided then and there to take his time with Felicity - he had been eager to move forward, to move her into his bed but now he knew he had to wait. He and Sara had only broken up recently and Felicity already had legitimate concerns about being the 'other woman'. He couldn't let her have any doubts about his feelings or her place in his life. He had been careless about her feelings in the past but he wasn't now and he wouldn't be so again either.
He was all in – he had already told her that he loved her but now he would prove that with his actions. He wanted them to have forever and if that meant they take some more time they would. Felicity was more than worth it. He wanted her to see his commitment, his choice and she needed time to be able to see it. They would go on as partners but there would be changes - he would ask questions now, he would be there for her to talk to, he would be there for her period. Only when she was ready and understood that this was it, that he was all in would they take the next step.
Felicity finally calmed down and leaned back to say thanks but Oliver quickly met her lips with his own. This kiss started sweet as theothers had but quickly became heated, much more heated than Oliver had intended anyway. Felicity was gasping for air when Oliver managed to pull away but she managed to smile and say, "That was our fourth kiss."
AN2 – So that's it….except not technically! ;) I will be posting a one-shot sequel with a more satisfying hot tub scene! It's called Steam so if you are of age and interested then pls check it out!