Я чувствую это слово для вас
She is putting her things in her purse, checking her new computer for a final look at her updates when she feels his eyes on him. It isn't the first time she feels them. She turns quickly to see him look away from where he is sitting at his desk with the arrows. They are the last ones remaining in the lair, the only sound other than their breathing is the humming of the computers. The new lair is somehow smaller than the old one beneath Verdant so their stations are right next to each other. She is upset that she now doesn't have a good view of the salmon ladder. She ignores him and turns off her screen, brings up the strap of her purse on her shoulder. As part of her ritual, she pushes her chair into the desk and grabs her cardigan.
He opens his mouth and says something but she doesn't quite catch it. When she looks at him questioningly, he repeats himself in a lower tone. "Ya lubliu tebya."
She thinks it's Russian. She has heard him speak in Russian before in his most intimidating voice, but this is the first time she hears him speak in Russian directly to her. She is unfamiliar with the language so it sounds like he is saying one long word. She doesn't ask him what it means, just nods and leaves.
The next night, just before she leaves, he repeats the same thing. She smiles at him. "Good night, Oliver." she says and leaves, grateful that the new lair is closer to her house so that she can be in bed in a shorter time as she is too tired after a long day.
Roy hears it one night a couple of weeks later and asks her why Oliver is speaking to her in Russian while he walks him to her car. She simply shrugs. "He just started it one night." she tells him. "We don't have fond memories of Russia, I think he is trying to make up for that, who knows? Not that anything of importance happened. What happens in Russia stays in Russia. Or the Russian Federation, as the country is officially known." she adds. "I'm pretty sure he'll switch to Mandarin next week. Or whatever language he can speak. I'm pretty sure he can speak Hebrew better than I could."
Her ears are used to whatever he is saying and a few weeks later she can actually repeat it herself, but feels too embarrassed to say it out loud for fear that she would sound wrong. It takes her another week to feel ready. She grabs her purse and nods at him and on cue he says it. She pauses and looks up at him. "Ya lubliu tebya, Oliver."
He looks at her, stunned, a rare emotion coming from him. His eyebrows rise, his mouth opens as if to say something, but he doesn't. Without breaking eye contact, he nods at her and she leaves.
They don't hear from him for four days, which is the longest they have ever gone apart. She leaves no stone left unturned in Starling City, thinks about all the countries he could have disappeared to, almost arranges yet another difficult trip to Lian Yu to go interrogate Slade, thinking he might have to do with his disappearance. Even Diggle reaching out to ARGUS leaves them empty handed. An unknown caller her calling her in the middle of the night, waking her from her sleep gives them their first and only lead. The deep voice mutters some phrases to her in Russian and she picks up the word Bratva easily and immediately calls Diggle.
She doesn't know much about Oliver's history with the Russian mafia apart from the fact that he has a high ranking in their organization and wears their symbol as a tattoo and that they can be very helpful when needed, but according to Diggle, ever since he went after one of their leaders in the city to find information about Slade, the relationship has been shaky. She thinks she doesn't need to know more.
It is Diggle who suggest that they seek out Anatoly Knyazev in Moscow. During a difficult Skype conversation with a bad connection, he comments on Felicity's beauty which she finds inappropriate and promises he will help his now three favorite Americans and asks for 24 hours to give them information that would be helpful. Around the 13 hour mark, he calls back, confirming that Bratva is indeed involved with his disappearance but he can't do anything else to help out for fear of endangering Oliver's life. Felicity laughs at his sentiment, thinking that his life is already endangered.
With the new information, it doesn't take her long to intercept the Russians' encrypted conversations in the depths on the internet. She uses an online translator to make sense of the language that looks like a different brand of code to her. Skimming through countless pages of the usual degrading talks about women, she comes across the conversation of three people where they discuss an American in their ranks. At first the conversation reflects concern about having a non-comrade amongst them, then it becomes graphic with details about how they want to kidnap and torture the said American to make sure he would leave Bratva. When she reads what is translated as "in a body bag", she has to leave the lair to get some fresh air.
It is Diggle who comes up with the plan that they should just go in and ask for him to be released. It sounds relatively easy in comparison to their earlier plans even though they don't have any leverage. Roy suggests that Diggle can just show up as the Arrow and rescue him but then they all agree that it is too dangerous.
"Think Al Capone, Diggle." she finds herself saying. "They caught Al Capone on the charges of income tax evasion. There must be some dirt on these guys we can find to blackmail them with. If I can find even one unpaid parking ticket, we have our way in."
Another night turns into the day without any sleep. She eyes Roy and Diggle sleeping on mats on the opposite sides of the lair and then something happens. Her screen goes dark and then a second later, it is illuminated by what seems to be a live feed coming from a terrible quality webcam and then she sees him. Oliver is down on his knees, his eyes covered, a gash on the side of his face, with five men with big machine guns aiming at him. A tear escapes her eye and she makes an involuntary sound that wakes the two men and the three of them watch the stream in silence.
"We don't like being spied on." one of the men closer to the camera with a ski mask on says in broken English. "You have ten hours, or you can say do svidaniya to your friend." The screen goes black, all three of them are left in shock.
"What did just happen?" Roy asks.
"It was the Bratva." Diggle answers, placing a strong hand on Felicity's shoulder.
She hopes he doesn't feel her shaking. "They found out that I was looking into them." she says. "I got hacked." she adds, still in denial about the fact that some Russian hacker working for the mafia was able to bypass her firewalls.
"They didn't tell us what we are supposed to do." Roy comments and at that exact moment, on cue, all three of their phones starts ringing. Felicity picks hers up first. It is a text.
$10million. No cops. 41.136852, -124.147128.
"These are coordinates." Diggle speaks first. She is still too dumbfounded from the image of Oliver bruised and battered, surrounded by big men with big guns.
"How are we supposed to find 10 million dollars?" Roy shouts. "They have the guy with the money, why are they asking us to bring the money?"
"Technically we have more money than Oliver has between the three of us." she says, referring to the state of destitute Oliver is in with Queen Consolidated gone after Slade and Isabel's tricks. "Still, we don't have 10 million."
"What are we going to do?" Diggle asks.
"I'll figure out the coordinates, examine the area." Felicity starts. "In the meantime, do you think Amanda Waller would be interested in lending us some money? Or we can try Anatoly again? Another option is to 'borrow' some money from a bad 1 percenter in Oliver's old notebook." she suggests, using air-quotes when she says borrow.
Diggle suggests keeping Waller out of the equation in order not to owe any other favors to ARGUS so they try their hand at Anatoly. He starts laughing when Felicity greets him with Oliver's words in Russian as a sign of gratitude. She hears Roy smirking in the background, but ignores him. He agrees to send them the money given he was responsible for getting Oliver involved with the mafia in the first place, and Felicity promises that she will hide his tracks so that his involvement would not be known.
"Spokoynoy nochi, Ms. Smoak." Anatoly says before hanging up.
"What's up with all the Russian?" Diggle asks.
"Are you referring to the people of Russia or the language?" Felicity asks back. Diggle doesn't answer.
With an unspoken arrangement, the three of them start working on a plan. Roy volunteers to be the one showing up with the money at the coordinates, with Felicity and Diggle waiting for him in a car some 200 yards away from the factory at the given coordinates, ready to go find Oliver if they can. Given how the mafia took their time to cover their tracks and had the audacity to hack her computers, she thinks they should be more wary of their actions, but the other two men do not agree with her, claiming that once the mafia has their money, they would be satisfied. She is not so sure, but agrees to go with the flow. She looks up the blueprints of the factory and just to make sure, downloads them to her tablet.
Once they confirm that they have the money Anatoly promised in that offshore account she had created for emergencies, they head out of the city, following the coordinates on the GPS. Diggle drives them an hour outside the city, through forests and mountains while she studies the blueprints and Roy hums some song to himself over and over, until they come to an abandoned factory on the cliffs overlooking the ocean.
She hands Roy the other tablet she brought that he is supposed to use to make the transaction, though that's their backup plan. Their primary plan is to just go into the factory and find where Oliver is being held while Roy stalls the kidnappers. Roy gets out of the car in front of the factory while she canvasses the periphery inside the car and Diggle has his hand on the trigger of his gun, ready to shoot anytime, if it is necessary. She nudges Diggle to drive with the headlights off when she spots two sets of headlights coming from the road they just drove in from.
They park behind some trees at the back entrance of the factory, sit down in silence and listen Roy through the comms. She wishes she could understand Russian as it would be very useful since Roy isn't speaking and three men, at least from what she can make out, talk to one another using their mother tongue.
"I've got your money." Roy says, his voice straight and loud. She takes it as her cue to get out of the car and get inside the factory. She moves through the darkness quickly, not even giving a second glance back to the car to see if Diggle is following. She continues listening to the comms. The Russians raise their voices, talking to each other in their language. She takes that as her cue to hurry up.
She opens a heavy metal door and steps inside. She is momentarily blinded by the bright lights and when she is able to see, she sees two men guarding a door which, according to the blueprints she studied, should lead to some stairs. She hopes that they don't see her, but then the door slams behind her with a heavy thud and she, unfortunately, gains their attention.
"Ya lubliu tebya, gentlemen." she says with confidence but is appalled when the men start laughing at her. Unsure about what to do given their reaction, she walks towards them, careful not to make any noise. She is glad she is wearing her heeled boots and her borrowed coat given how cold it is. She is dwarfed by the tan coat but feels like it gives her much needed confidence as she puts her hands in the pockets and walks.
"Is that how American girls greet men?" the guy standing on the left of the door asks with a heavy accent.
"I thought it was customary to greet people saying good night when you meet them at night." she replies. "It is night time, you know."
"Your Russian teacher is terrible." the other guy says. "That doesn't mean good night."
"He didn't teach me anything, per se." she starts. "I just picked it up because he kept telling me that. It is a difficult language. Are you sure that Russian wasn't created by the KGB as a secret language, a code? I feel like it is. No language should look or sound that difficult. And this is coming from someone who works on computer codes for a living."
She momentarily forgets about the fact that she is in an abandoned factory filled with scary-looking Russian men with machine guns as she talks. Then Diggle appears out of thin air and knocks both men out. They fall to the ground in a heap.
"Were you planning on talking them to death?" he asks her with a glare. "Come on." He opens the door and notions her to follow. He leads and she follows. They climb up three flights of stairs and she finds it is suspicious that there are no other men with guns inside. In the meantime, Roy is talking about a Starling City Rockets game he went to all too enthusiastically on the comms and she can't believe her ears, but the Russian men actually talk back to him, agreeing with how great the game was. They are talking about the fourth quarter when Diggle stops her and carefully opens the door they are standing before.
The sight before them is devastating for her. He is held up by chains, hanging by his arms in the middle of the room, wearing only a pair of soaked jeans, his head down. There is dried blood on his face, there are bruises on his torso, standing out amongst the scars. She rushes to him, ignoring Diggle, just to make sure he is alive. He flinches when she touches him. He is cold, so very cold. She places a hand over his cheek, running her fingers through his newly grown beard, tilts his head so that he can look at her. "Oliver." she whispers his name to get a reaction.
"Felicity." Diggle shouts behind her, and before she can react, she is hit by someone and finds herself on the ground.
Her glasses fall from her face, everything becomes blurry. She hears grunts and then gunshots and finally silence. She feels movement above her and then by her side.
"Felicity." Diggle calls out to her as he crouches next to her and places her glasses in her hands. He then gives her a hand and helps her on her feet once she puts her glasses back on. Upon finding her footing, she reaches out to Oliver once again, ignoring the bodies around them on the floor. She tilts his head, calls out his name, but Oliver is just motionless, his eyes cast towards the floor.
It is Diggle who finds the keys and removes the shackles around his wrists. He falls to the ground as a heap of bones and muscles despite her efforts to keep him on his feet. She eyes his bruised wrists, wonders how long he has been shackled. She discards his coat she is wearing immediately and places it on his shoulders, starts rubbing his naked, icy chest with her palms in an attempt to warm him.
"We need to leave, now." Roy shouts into their ears.
Diggle helps her get him on his feet and they manage to get out of the factory by a mix of dragging, carrying and walking Oliver. She is running out of breath by the time they are outside. His skin feels warmer under her fingers now which makes her happy and when Roy arrives with the car, he is talking. In Russian.
"What's up with the Russian again?" Roy asks as he revs up the engine and drives them off. She is huddled back with Oliver in the back seat, cradling his head on her lap, hoping he'll get warm and fully conscious soon. Oliver continues rambling in Russian, his eyes closed, then goes silent. The last thing she wants is for him to fall asleep, so she asks Roy to turn on the radio and put the volume up.
They are almost at the lair when Oliver lifts his head up and looks into her eyes. "Felicity." he whispers, her name coming from his mouth is finally the first thing he says that makes sense. Her smile is stretched from cheek to cheek.
"We are here." she says, stroking his forehead. He is warm and responding, looking at her with a glimpse of a smile.
Roy stops the car and gets out, Diggle following right away. They open the door and help out Oliver and rather carry him down to the lair. She follows quickly behind.
When they have him in their makeshift medical bay, Diggle takes charge and checks Oliver's vitals and reflexes. Oliver passes with flying colors. His temperature is back to normal, there are no signs of hypothermia and his color is back, Felicity notices and he is back to talking in English.
"What happened, dude?" Roy asks, speaking for all three of them.
"They were after Oliver Queen, not the Arrow." he answers, his voice hoarse. "Apparently they missed the memo about my bankruptcy." he says with a smile and she thinks it's the best thing she has ever seen. "It took you long enough to find me, even after I called you." he adds, looking at her.
"You were the one who called me?" she asks in surprise. "Why would you speak in Russian?"
"I thought it'd make things easier with a lot of Russians around." he replies. "I'm glad you found me. Thank you, all of you."
"You'd do the same for us, man." Diggle says, placing a hand on his shoulder. "It's getting late, I'm going home."
"I'll go grab my stuff from Digg's car and I'll take us home." Roy tells Oliver. Felicity smiles at the fact that Roy refers to his place in the Glades where Oliver has been crashing for months now as home.
It is just the two of them in the lair with him sitting on the metal operating table, looking at her. She excuses herself silently to go turn off her computers. When she is done, he is standing, the look on his face making it apparent that he is still in pain. She thinks of offering painkillers, but knowing he is particular about what it is that he puts in his body, she doesn't say a thing. "You really scared me." she finally admits, standing a feet away from him. "Seeing you like that in that live stream… I thought I'd never see you again."
"I'm sorry." he tells, looking into her eyes with his tired ones. The honesty in his voice somehow manages to both scare and excite her at the same time. It is one of those rare moments when the look on his face tells everything, when he is devoid of all lies and deceit. It is then it hits her. His words in Russian. She thinks back to all those nights when she would be leaving the lair that he would say them. All this time she thought he was saying goodbye to her. Now, given the reactions coming from the three different Russian men she has interacted with in the last twenty four hours, she finally figures out what he has been saying.
"Oliver." she whispers, raising her arms to hold the collar of his tan coat. "Ya lubliu tebya." The words roll out of her mouth as she rises on her toes, quickly thinking about how he is still towering over her even when she is in heels, pulls him towards her and presses her lips against his. She feels Oliver smile into the kiss, taking charge, turning them so that she is against the operating table and then he helps her hop on the table so that he can stand between her legs and wrap them around his waist. He snickers as she drops the first aid kit on the floor. It is the most beautiful sound she has heard.
They don't hear Roy enter the lair, see them and sigh loudly before leaving.
A/N: I was supposed to update Rivers and Roads. Whoops...
This was mostly inspired by this headcanon: post/87548631842/headcanon-oliver-says-i-love-you-in-russian-but
And just after I saw that, the amazingly talented Renisanz on tumblr posted this, so a lot of inspiration came from there as well: post/87673814199/i-hate-putting-the-watermark-across-the-pencil
Disclaimer: I don't speak Russian despite what people at work think so all the Russian here is from good ol' Google. Let me know if I butchered the language completely.
Many thanks for reading.