I don't have the fourth ready yet, but this was is written so it may as well be posted. This gives you a little more insight into Oliver's thoughts during and immediately following Felicity's mission with A.R.G.U.S.
Thanks to everyone who's been reading and reviewing. I'm in my third semester of University right now so I'm barely finding time to even write. I promise I'll msg everyone of you back after the semester is done.
Enjoy! I own nothing.
Their new lair wasn't as ideal as their previous one but Verdant was no longer an option. Oliver, Diggle and Roy had moved all of the equipment immediately after their return from Lian Yu. To say that they had missed Roy's super-strength would be a massive understatement. Isabel might be dead but the company wasn't his anymore and therefore Verdant was no longer a safe place for their hideout.
The past month had been ripe with difficulty.
The immediate fallout from Slade's vengeance upon the city had been horrible. The police force had been stricken with injuries and a few fatalities. Thankfully the death toll had been low aside from the A.R.G.U.S' agents who had been stationed in the tunnel.
Thea's disappearance had been a blow he should have expected. He had known she was making her way out of town but the fact that she'd done so at Malcom Merlyn's side had been hard to accept. Amanda had found video evidence of Thea meeting up with Malcolm and Thea's letter to Roy left little doubt in Oliver's mind.
They had all betrayed her. And so she had left with a man more twisted than Slade himself. Oliver could only hope that Malcolm's love for Thea would keep her safe. He did his best not to think about what his sister might become under Malcolm's influence after the year she'd had.
Roy had struggled with Thea's decision to leave, especially after he'd learned what had happened during the time he'd lost.
"I killed a man!" Roy bellowed, taking a swing at Oliver. "I almost killed Thea! Why didn't you just put me down?"
Oliver ducked and sidestepped the irate young man. "All of us have killed, Roy."
Roy shook his head in dejection. "I'm a murderer."
Oliver moved closer and dropped a hand on his shoulder. "You weren't yourself."
Roy blinked up at him tearfully and Oliver suddenly realised just how young he was. "You said I changed your life. You called me a hero. Do you still believe that?" Oliver asked him heatedly.
Roy's eyebrows crinkled in surprise. "Of course I do."
Oliver squeezed his shoulder. "I've killed people, Roy. And I don't even have mirakuru to blame. If I can be a hero, can't you?"
Roy was silent as he thought over Oliver's words. "If the mask fits, Kid."
Quentin Lance had suffered severe internal bleeding and had almost died. Thankfully he'd received medical attention at Glade's memorial, which had ironically become the best hospital in the city during the attack. He was making a slow recovery under Laurel's constant care.
Perhaps the only person who had thrived during the last month was John. After hours of worrying about Felicity on the plane home, he'd announced that he was going to be a father. Oliver's lips twitched upwards as he thought about how excited his friend was. John Diggle would make an excellent father.
Yet another reason that Oliver needed to get his life back together. His 'black driver' needed payment of some sort if he was going to raise a child.
So did his blond EA and IT specialist.
Oliver sighed and dropped to the mat.
He'd missed her. Those 27 days had felt like an eternity. An eternity without communication telling him how she was doing.
"Oliver Queen." Amanda's annoyed tone filtered through the phone.
Oliver glared at the wall. "How is she?"
A sharp peal of cruel laughter surprised him. "She's the same as she was three days ago. She'll be docking in Starling in four days. So if you could stop blowing up my phone like a worried boyfriend, I'd appreciate it. Some of us have jobs to do."
"Bitch." He muttered angrily after setting down his phone heavily.
Felicity had been back for four days now and she'd kept her word. She was back to herself the morning after her return. There wasn't a trace of hurt or discomfort in his presence.
It had taken him exactly two minutes of standing in her kitchen to realise that she'd misunderstood his silence on the beach of Lian Yu. She'd given him the out so he'd assumed she realised he wasn't ready.
But she truly believed the two of them were unthinkable. Or at least she believed he could never love her.
Which was ridiculous.
When had he ever actually told her he didn't return her feelings? He'd once told her that he'd never lie to her, and he had kept that promise even when it hurt. He never promised to come back from a dangerous mission, because he couldn't guarantee it. He told her things that no one else would ever learn about him. And when he'd told her that he loved her, he'd meant it.
But she didn't know. And he couldn't tell her, not again. Not when he'd decided he wasn't ready, they weren't ready.
He'd been so ready to see her again that he'd waited down at the pier for three hours before her boat came in. Waller hadn't specified when she'd be docking and he wasn't going to call her back. So he waited, standing out in the hot sun. Impatiently.
He'd fought a grin as her boat docked and he caught a glimpse of her golden curls. And then she'd climbed off the boat with her hand held by someone else.
And he'd realised suddenly that his someday was dependent on the fact that she'd give him one. He was hoping for a future with a woman who might fall in love with someone else while he waited.
He punched the sparring dummy furiously, barely stifling a roar of frustration.
John glanced up at him and his eyes darted over to Felicity before shaking his head and going back to his work.
"The computers are all set up!" Felicity announced happily and Oliver turned to face her. She was beaming with the kind of excitement that only new tech could bring her. Oliver felt a grin stretch his own features in response.
Felicity's work with A.R.G.U.S had paid well and apparently one of her conditions had been that Waller replace all of their tech with the newest models. Dig had explained how taken with their tech Felicity had been during their visit to A.R.G.U.S.
"Chow time!" Roy announced as he stomped down the steps. Felicity's grin brightened when she saw the bags of Big Belly Burger.
"My hero!" She announced slyly and Oliver smothered a chuckle.
It had taken Felicity mere moments to notice how down Roy still was about having killed the police officer. She'd given him a Felicity pep talk and had somehow managed to throw the 'H' word around in every conversation they'd had since.
Roy rolled his eyes self-deprecatingly but Oliver didn't miss the grin on his face as he turned away from them.
The four of them sat down at the work table and dug in. Oliver glanced around at his team and counted his blessings. A month ago he'd feared he'd lose all of them. But they'd made it through and here they were.
Felicity had insisted on team bonding upon her return.
She dropped the sandwiches on the table and placed her hands on her hips. She frowned at the three of them.
"We work too hard. And yeah, I know we need to. But we don't, not really. When was the last time we all just hung out? When was the last time that we shared a meal together?" She paused and scratched her nose self-consciously. "I never had a family before, not really. But I always thought it was cool that my friend's families ate together. Telling each other about their days and stuff." She cleared her throat. "And we're a family, so we should do that."
Dig stood up and made his way over to the table. He hugged her tightly before dropping the seat beside her. Roy jumped to his feet and kissed her cheek, sitting on her other side. The three of them turned to look at Oliver. He moved slowly over to her and paused, feeling uncomfortable after the displays of affection he'd witnessed. His words had hurt her and confused both of them a month ago. He hesitantly reached out and placed his hand on her shoulder. She smiled wetly up at him and he turned to take his place across from her.
The first meal together had been a bit awkward. They'd all struggled to talk about something other than their mission. The city needed to be rebuilt and their team would need to help.
But the second day it was easier.
And as they feasted on Big Belly Burger the conversation flowed easily.
"How's your new job, Roy?" Felicity asked before popping an onion ring into her mouth.
Roy mumbled around a mouthful of food and Felicity snorted in amusement. He glared at her and swallowed carefully. "It's good. The club is right around the corner so it's not weird to be in this part of town all the time."
Roy had the easiest time finding a new job. He'd been officially laid off when Verdant was closed and his skills were useful in the club scene. He'd found a gig as a bartender and bouncer at Jesper's, a club a block away from their new lair.
"How's private security treating you, John?" Oliver queried.
Dig laughed. "Well, I miss driving your rich ass around, if that's what you're wondering." They all laughed, despite Oliver's best efforts not to. "It's fine. I basically drive the Newport twins to and from school and sit in the car all day. Besides they're kind of cute."
Roy rolled his eyes. "You're going so mushy on us now that you're going to be a parent."
"Hey! They're like 6 years old with matching blond pigtails and they're way too polite to be so rich. Trust me, Harper, those kids would have you wrapped around their little finger within seconds."
Oliver's eyes raised to meet Felicity's as the two men teased each other. He winked at her and she laughed before looking away.
They were a family. And for now that would have to be enough. He had time to figure everything else out. He did.
Any thoughts? Thanks for reading!