So exactly no one is surprised that I'm posting after Arrow again. And I do promise that I plan on finishing all of my other stories. Especially since Arrow is out for the summer (my heart breaks as I re-read that) and therefore there won't be new plotlines and Olicity goodness that will distract me. Full disclaimer - if you haven't seen 'Unthinkable' yet (why are you on FF instead of watching the finale?!) then you really need to watch it before reading this. If you have seen the finale, how nuts was that?
I own nothing.
It had been her idea.
All of the best and most dangerous plans involving her always were. But the city was on fire and Slade was anticipating his every move. Slade had trained Oliver, had forced him to become a strategist on the island.
So he had decided to listen to Felicity, to follow her lead. Because Slade Wilson didn't know Felicity Smoak and therefore he wasn't prepared for her.
Their lines hadn't been rehearsed; he hadn't been sure he'd be able to say those things more than once. And he wasn't sure that she could hear them twice.
Oliver Queen was a professional liar. 99% of his words and actions were lies; covers to protect the Arrow and his past. The plan was simple. Felicity had pointed out that it should be easy as pie, a walk in the park.
But then he'd been standing there and she was waiting for him to play his part. He'd specifically plotted their conversation so that it would be within range of the mic and camera. All he had to do was lie. Lie and leave her.
"Oliver," she gripped his arm and stared up at him. He needed to be convincing. "You're not making any sense." It was there, just the slightest downtick in her tone. He needed to say the words. She needed him to lie.
He stared down at her as a war raged beneath his ribcage. It was supposed to be easy. A few lies and then Slade's downfall.
"Slade took Laurel because he wants to kill the woman I love." The words came easily. The truth. He was stalling.
"I know. So?" She prodded.
"So he took the wrong woman." Oliver told her.
And he had, Jesus Christ, Slade had taken the wrong woman. What a thing to be realising as he set up Felicity to be captured. The gravity of the situation was crushing.
The band around his heart tightened as he watched her blue eyes widen in surprise. And in that moment he realised that he'd been too transparent. She wasn't acting anymore and neither was he. Her eyes flicked across his face, looking for a trace of the lie he was supposed to be telling. "Oh!" She breathed out in understanding.
He was an idiot. He was such a fool. He stared into the depths of her blue eyes and saw his future. A future that she was willing to risk to save the city, to save him.
He shook his head and the words fell out in a rush. "I love you." Those three words had always been the hardest for him to say. It had taken several years for Laurel to coax the words from him and even then he hadn't been sure he meant them.
He had just told Felicity Smoak that he loved her. It wasn't necessary. His previous statement would be enough for Slade. He regretted the words even as he said them because Felicity believed them. Oliverbelieved them. And regardless of the outcome tonight, the two of them couldn't be together.
She glanced down at his lips and his heart constricted further. They shouldn't be here, in this hollowed mansion full of ghosts. Those words should never have been uttered so carelessly for the sake of the villain of the hour. The meaning behind them was precious and deserved to be treated with respect. She deserved better than this.
He leaned closer, unable to keep a friendly distance. Mere inches spanned between them and he could feel her warm breath against his chin. Now was not the time to be wondering if her lips were as soft as he'd often imagined.
"Do you understand?" He asked her tenderly, passing her the syringe. He wasn't even sure what he was asking her. Did she remember the plan? Did she know that he'd come for her? Did she realise that they were only playing a part? Or did she know that he had never before meant those words the way that he did now? His eyes pleaded with her even as he wondered what his own words meant.
"Yes." She assured him in a way that only she could. Yes to everything.
He stared into her eyes for another moment, grounding himself, preparing to walk away from her. He drew in a deep breath and took with it a little bit of her light. He turned away from her and prayed that he'd see her again, that they'd make it through this alive.
His steps were sure, though his mind was not. He opened the door and paused for the slightest of moments when he heard her gasp a sob. His grip tightened on the doorknob and then he was gone.
No matter of planning could prepare him for the sight of the blade tucked snugly against her throat. If his previous confession hadn't drawn from him an awareness of his feelings for her, he was sure that the sight of her with Slade would have. The fear in her eyes was real. The sword against her delicate skin was real. The rage rolling off of Slade in waves was real.
Suddenly their plan didn't seem so brilliant. His bow was on the ground next to him and she was on her knees. What if Slade lashed out suddenly, the way he'd killed Moira? What if she was unable to cure him before he took her life?
Oliver was aware of Laurel struggling next to Slade and Felicity but he needed to focus. He tried to talk to Slade, to make him see the perversion of his vengeance. He fought to keep his eyes from Felicity as she gathered her courage.
Slade dragged her to her feet and Felicity struck before he could settle the blade against her throat again. He was moving against Slade before the echoes of her retreating footsteps faded.
The fight was hard-fought. Even without the Mirakuru, Slade had always been a physical threat.
And when it was over, when he had Slade defeated, he thought over his options. Slade goaded him to kill him. Lance's words, Sara's words and Nyssa's words echoed through his mind. He could end it right now. He could kill the man who'd murdered his mother in cold blood.
"This isn't happening because you weren't willing to be a killer; it's happening because you were one."
Oliver knocked Slade out. Slade, Lance, Sara and Nyssa were free to expect him to kill. He'd done so in the past and there was no changing that.
But Felicity believed in him. And he had no intention of breaking her trust.
It was time to be the hero she had always believed him to be.
"Well, you did it." She said, fixing a smile on her face before facing him.
"I had help." I couldn't have done it without you. I can't do any of this without you. He wondered if she heard the same subtext that he did as he said the words.
"Yeah, it was really smart." She replied, nodding slightly, nervously. "The way you outfoxed him."
He blinked heavily. He wasn't ready for this conversation.
"Talk about unthinkable." She grinned with forced amusement that didn't touch her eyes. He couldn't quite smile back. "You and me, I mean."
He did his best to ignore the way her words burned in his chest. They weren't unthinkable. He loved her. She loved him. She made him better. She was the light at the end of the tunnel.
But he wasn't at the end of the tunnel yet.
She raised a hand to scratch at her head wound and closed her eyes. "When you told me you loved me, you had me fooled." She opened her eyes and dropped her hand. "For a second that," She took a deep breath and stared up at him bravely. "That maybe you might have meant it."
She was so beautiful. And in that moment he would give just about anything to tell her. But she'd just been used against him, and even if this time it had been her idea, it had happened before as well. It would happen again.
He watched as she realised he wasn't going to answer her silent questions, her pleas for honesty. Her eyes dimmed just a fraction. "What you said." She clarified.
His lips tilted around the edges, though the pain in his eyes matched hers. "You-you really sold it." She finished, giving him the out he needed.
He smiled as she continued to be everything he'd ever needed, everything he'd never thought to ask for.
"We both did." His smile disappeared as the words left his mouth. Fighting against the pain that came with his decision, he inhaled sharply. She had stood in front of him and given him the option, the choice to be with her, to be honest. And when he hadn't, she had given him the escape he needed. He swallowed thickly as he watched her process the denial.
His eyes never left hers. One of these days he would cease to be amazed by her kindness and selflessness. Not a trace of hurt crossed her features as she smiled up at him.
"Let's go home."
He nodded and slipped past her, allowing her to gather her thoughts.
He already was home. The island or Starling, the location mattered not. Felicity was his home. And someday when he reached the end of his fight, when he was ready, he'd finally cross that welcome mat.
Any thoughts? I think this one is probably a one-shot. Thanks for reading!