All mistakes are my own. Explanation at the bottom for my silence till now.
The Beginnings of the Dynamic Duo
"You can't make a person love their kid, Dig. Trust me," Felicity adopted a wry smile. The smile she pulled out when hurt and trying to hide it. Humor was her only defense.
There was a quiver in her lips.
A wobble in her voice.
Not all wounds were visible.
Not all scars can heal.
She fidgeted with the glasses on her face. And crushed herself closer to his side, on the tiny bench they were sitting on.
"I don't know Lyla. I don't know her story, or where you came into. But I know what it's like to be the kid that stood in the way of a parent's career. I know what it's like when that parent leaves because pushing papers in Podunk, Nevada and living barely above the poverty was not the life he envisioned for himself. I know what it's like to be the cause of the parents' split."
Dig wasn't good with words. Never was.
Words can be manipulated.
Actions were sturdier. More reliable, and easier to read.
Perhaps the easiest to get at were the words that weren't spoken. Silences were very telling of a person.
Dig didn't know how to offer comfort the way Felicity generously offered, with words and reassuring rambles.
He was to silence the way she was noise rambling.
In another life, it would have been strange to be so close to someone who so obviously needed white noise for comfort. But they were Dig an Felicity, two very different people bound together by Oliver and their desire to save their city.
She paused to look at the encroaching high tide, "Not that I'm saying that you or her are poor. Actually from the size of your house, you do rather well for yourself. Oliver pays- er- paid- good money."
She shook her head, "I was trying not to ramble, and ended up doing it anyways. All I am trying to say is that not everyone is meant to be a parent. It took me a long time to realize that leaving us – leaving my mom and I- made my dad a shitty father. But that doesn't mean he is an evil person. Pretending to be happy, when really he was anything but happy, destroyed the man that my mother fell in love with."
Anger welled up inside of him. Anger towards the faceless man that abandoned a baby-Felicity.
He imaging knobby knees, too-long limbs and big sparkling eyes. Defenseless. Innocent. Abandoned.
Anger towards Lyla for not wanting his baby. Dig was full supporter of women's right to choose, but this was not a situation that he thought he would ever be in. He was in love with her, and her him. Why was it so difficult to be happy?
He knew that she would keep the baby for him. That she would sacrifice her happiness if it meant his. But how could he dare ask for it? She would grow to resent him and their child. And he would constantly be worrying when it would all fail. When she would break from under the weight of the façade he asked her to create.
That had been an awful conversation, when he and Lyla sat down and for the first time talked about what they expected of their future. For never wanting to settle down and have kids.
And the startling realization that Dig's dream of a house brimming with children was not something he and Lyla shared. Where he saw family dinners, noise and brightness, she saw clandestine rendezvous, shadows, secrets, and them as they were now.
"We are going to be fine, just fine, John Diggle." She had finally broke the silence, something he knew she probably wanted to do right from when it started.
"How can you possible know that, Felicity." He looked at her then, and saw how serene she was looking into the endless horizon of the bay. The twinkling streetlights from the Westside highway glittered against the darkness of twilight.
He always admired her ability to keep calm in the face of disaster. To keep on the path she set herself upon. The grimmer the situation the more resolute she became. She believed in him, and Oliver, despite overwhelming evidence opposing that faith in them.
He wished he had her ability to believe.
Felicity was like a lighthouse, she guided them, gave them direction, and comfort in knowing there was an end.
"I just know, Diggle. Ok?"
"Ok." He replied.
"Roy, now you are going to mount the motherboard."
Both Felicity and Roy were within a circle of technological destruction. And if the destruction wasn't be her own doing, Felicity would have been outraged. Felicity flopped onto her back looking directly up to the Salmon Bar.
Before, when Felicity didn't know Oliver or Diggle well, she would avoid looking at them in their various stages of undress out of modesty. But now. Well, a little distraction did a whole world of good sometimes, when at every corner, and turn, their city had been burning.
It was three weeks after finding out what was the matter with Dig that things within the Foundry resembled the normalcy before the Slade debacle.
Felicity judged normal of a graded curve; she was tech support for a super hero after all.
A baby, Lyla had been expecting.
A little Digglet.
Felicity couldn't imagine a better dad-to-be than Dig. His kids would use his gigantic arms like monkey bar to climb up. He would be protective and caring. Gentle, but stern.
Her heart hurt for him.
She knew he was struggling to reconcile his desire to be supportive of Lyla with his heartbreak for losing a future with kids in it as long as he stayed with her.
Which, of course, meant most of her nights – or perhaps more aptly her wee morning hours- were spent sitting with him by the docks.
It had reached a point that even Oliver noticed Dig's downward spiral of mood.
Not to say that Oliver was oblivious, because Felicity knew without a doubt that he picked up on things she would never she. Like Oliver's ability to hit a gunman two hundred feet away and without looking.
The man had eyes like a hawk, but he was also a bit self absorbed. Leading to the obliviousness.
Like the fact that Oliver hadn't noticed that Roy had been sleeping in the Quiver for five consecutive nights. After Felicity dug a digital whole into Roy's finical records and saw a gapping negative balance. By digging further she realized that a week had marked the day since the bank repossessed Roy's house, and his personal items. He had been sleeping in his car and showering in the lair, until the bank repo-ed the car too.
Roy was broke, homeless, and jobless.
How could she suggest he take up residence in her unused guest room without inciting his anger or insulting his pride?
Roy could carry any burden, but to willingly accept help was against his very being.
They were a team damn it. How could she help him when he refused to accept the necessity of help in the first place?
Felicity liked Roy, liked his determination, and his self-reliance. She liked how he pinked around the ears whenever she showed him affection after he returned from missions. How he would shyly smile after she told him a job well done with something tech related.
When she looked into his file she saw his background. Absentee father – like hers- and a druggie mother. He was in foster care, and bouncing around houses up until the age of sixteen where he became emancipated. He became an adult who had to worry about bills, taxes, and jobs at sixteen where Felicity hadn't had to act like a full-fledged adult until her twenties.
Felicity hated Roy's tragic story. She hated that he was slotted to go to college, almost have finished his senior year until he lost his job at a diner. Then he had to drop out of high school and take on two jobs to keep where he lived.
Good-bye to the dream of college.
Felicity hated that he felt the need to hide his intelligence in order to appear tough. As if she couldn't see his intelligence by his ability to retain and understand the information he was exposed to for the first time.
"Come on Blondie, I know I'm hot." Felicity realized that she had been staring at him.
Roy fluttered his eyelids and made a fish face at her. She sincerely hoped that wasn't how he kissed Thea because it was gross. And the noises he was making… Ew. Slobber.
"But try to control your staring at me."
Felicity snorted and nudged him with her foot, " I see right through your tough-guy façade Roy Harper, and you are a grade-A goof."
Roy scowled, "Am not."
"Seriously, Blondie, I am not a goof."
Felicity's silence incited an even stronger denial.
She closed her eyes to think, to really shut off any external stimuli and focus on a solution
Quiet. Focus. She pictured Roy's face, and ran through possible pressure points in her head. Aha. Got it. Honesty and emotions scare the shit out of you Roy-my-boy. It is for your own good.
"I worked for five months on this lair. Five months. And Slade destroyed it in five minutes; he wasn't even trying. He was playing with the safety of everyone I love, in the lair that I basically designed."
"Felicity, no one blames you, you know that."
Felicity opened her eyes to pleading blue ones.
"It doesn't matter, whether people blame me, because I blame myself. And now I don't even see my boys anymore." She added a wobble to her voice and a quiver to her lip. "I thought that once Slade was gone. That once we defeated the villains I would be able to breathe. But I can't breathe. Even if I could I am so lonely, Roy."
This was getting too real to quickly. The sentences that were being flung at Roy were not just a plot to get him to accept her help. They were terrifyingly all the things she had bottled up.
"My boys: Oliver is busy trying to regain Queen Consolidated I haven't seen him in weeks and I am trying to be understanding. But I hate that Laurel literally eclipses everything in the world. I hate that right now I feel like I am not worth a Laurel Lance. He is one of my best friends, but lately I am feeling more and more like some goddamned tech support. Unpaid, by the way." She blinked away the very real, burning wetness within her eyes.
She hated this insecurity, and jealousy that only Oliver could evoke. But honestly, it wasn't a new phenomenon. Felicity had been going up against the Laurel's of the world for as she long as she could remember.
Felicity was not roll-out-of-bed beautiful and she knew that. She needed makeup, and had to go one daily runs, and struggled with her crazy frizzy hair for years before she realized it needed product.
Felicity knew she was decently pretty, but she felt like was right back in high school, with her head gear and huge professor goggle-glasses when she compared herself next to Laurel.
She hated this insecurity, and the terrible memories of her high-school-non-existent-self-esteem it brought.
"If I didn't check on his tracker, then I wouldn't even know if he was alive and Dig is dealing with some very sensitive issues. Issues that are emotionally taxing to constantly try and support him through."
Roy was confused by her babble, which was the usual effect of listening to her stream of conciseness. But the vulnerability in her face was plain to see.
"I need someone I can depend on. Someone to help me rebuild the lair. A roommate that makes the house not so silent. Someone to save me from my insane babble at night. A friend. Please. Roy, please, I know it's a burden, I know your dealing with Thea's departure, but I need a friend, right know, and I feel like I am friendless-Felicity again."
Roy smirked, "People actually called you that-"
She scowled, "-I had a rough time in high school, Ragamuffin-Roy."
"How did you even-"
"Of course, Felicity. Of course, you can depend on me. And I mean, if you wanted me to live with you, you only had to ask. Long speech not needed." He smile was small. Soft though, and genuine. But then it turned playful, "I know old maids like you like some fresh eye candy like me around to keep going."
She snorted and nudged him with her foot, before directing him on the next step in reconstructing the main motherboard of the lair.
It wasn't until much later that night, when she was showing Roy the guest bed room, that he hugged her.
In her hair he whispered, "You are incomparable, Felicity Smoak. You know that."
Felicity fell asleep that night, for the first time in months, content.
So here is the story. To help lessen the burden of the college debt I have gotten the job so the time for daily updates is nonexistent. An exhausting and mind-numbing job. And I have been slowly working on this monster chapter.
But here is the deal. I need to know that the people who read this get something from it because it becomes mighty difficult to put down hours of time carving out a chapter and then get minimal-to-no feedback.
ALSO, I am looking for a beta-reader if anyone is open to that.
Look for an update soon.
More reviews correlate to a faster update time period. Promise.