Title: Camden, Maine
Disclaimer: Of course, I own nothing or season 2 would've been a whole different ball game.
Summary: Follow-up to "Not Another Mistake". Oliver and Felicity take their much needed and well deserved vacation.
A/N: I hadn't expected this one to come so easily but it did and I guess that's a good thing. These five chapters each represent one day of Oliver and Felicity's vacation, set after the season 2 finale. If you haven't read my fic "Not Another Mistake" this one is going to throw you off a little. This is the follow-up I promised after finishing that piece. Also, I waited until all five chapters were finished so you are getting the complete story at once. Thanks in advance for reading and I hope it doesn't disappoint!
He felt her before he saw her so when she appeared beside him on the porch, he wasn't surprised. He transferred his gaze from the rolling waves of the northern Atlantic to his partner. Her hair was disheveled, her glasses slightly off kilter, and he couldn't help noticing that the sweater that she wore over her flowered pajama pants was the same one that he'd worn the day before. She was rumpled and sleepy and possibly the sexiest thing that he'd ever seen.
When she started to fall into the chair beside him, he stopped her and directed her to his lap. He needed to hold her.
"This place is beautiful. Why here?" he asked, indicating her choice of Camden, Maine for their vacation.
She shrugged, her head resting on his shoulder, her arms folded over his where he held her to his chest.
"I've always loved it here. Camden. Boston. Portsmouth. The east coast in general."
He knew that she'd gone to MIT, that she'd obviously lived back east, but she seldom talked about that time in her life. She very rarely discussed her past, almost as rarely as he discussed his. He realized that the night before when they'd driven up from the airport in Portland that she hadn't used a map or GPS to get them to Camden. She'd directed him from memory.
"And the cabin? How'd you find it?" he inquired.
Cool, briny ocean air rushed past them, tangling her hair further, and she burrowed into him.
"The summer before my last year of college, I decided that I was going to take a break and explore. Going home had never been an option. My mom and I … I just couldn't stand the thought of spending my summers in Vegas. Normally I'd register for summer courses and stay on campus. But by that point, I'd lived in Boston for three years and I'd never ventured too far from school so I made it my goal to find a new city every couple of days. I traveled all over for three months."
He couldn't deny that he was impressed. He was well aware of the fact that the beautiful woman in his arms was a bit of a free spirit. He was familiar with how open and willing she was. She'd always been up to any challenge that he had presented her with but the fact that she had spent three months traveling unfamiliar territory all on her own was surprising.
"I ended up here towards the end of July. I was staying at a B&B in town. It was beautiful and so quiet and I fell in love with the ocean. The second or third day that I was here, I wandered into this used bookstore. That's when I met Mae Rose," she explained, her voice trailing off.
He tightened his arms around her when she didn't continue and rested his chin on the top of her head.
"She was the owner. She was eighty-four and one of the kindest people that I'd ever met. She talked my ear off the first time I met her. I mean, you guys think I talk a lot, you should've met Mae Rose. When I left the bookstore that afternoon, I was sure I'd heard her whole life story. I'd convinced myself not to go back because, good lord, I'd been there for close to three hours!"
She laughed and the sound made him smile. She turned her face further into his shoulder, her nose skimming the exposed skin of his throat and he felt her warm breath there.
"When I went back to the bed and breakfast that evening for dinner, I started a conversation with the owner's daughter. She asked me how I'd spent my day and I ended up telling her about my run-in with Mae Rose. Kate, the owners' daughter, just smiled and sat down with me. She told me that Mae Rose was a widow, that her husband had died in 1944 during the war. They had a son, just the one, but he was killed in Vietnam. Apparently she had no other family. Of course, I felt awful that I'd been so eager to leave. I went back the next day and every day after. I ended up staying here for the last three weeks of my vacation. It was easily the best summer that I've ever had."
He wanted to know more. He wanted to hear more about Mae Rose and the summer that Felicity had spent with her. He wanted to know who this woman was that Felicity clearly loved. But he sensed that his curiosity would have to wait.
"What do you want to do today?" he murmured.
She shrugged, "We can do whatever you want. There used to be a cute little coffee shop in town. And there are quite a few shops. It's mostly knickknacks and souvenirs but they're charming."
"What about the bookstore? Is it still here?"
"Honestly, I don't know. I'd – I'd like to find out. Will you go with me?" she asked softly.
He pressed his lips to her hair, "Of course."
Neither of them made a move to leave the comfort of their chair. He couldn't remember the last time he'd felt so rested and calm. He hadn't worried about Roy or Laurel or John since stepping foot on the plane the morning before and he hoped that he would feel the same way for the rest of the week that they were there. There was nothing to distract him from her, nothing to take his attention away from loving her.
"Does it remind you of the island? The ocean, I mean. Does it remind you of Lian Yu?"
It was his turn to shrug.
"In a way I'm sure it always will. But it's not really the island that I'm reminded of. It's the days before we drifted to the island. There's a lot of it that I can't remember. I don't even know how long we were out there before my dad…" he swallowed hard, unable to get past the lump in his throat.
"He was alive?"
The fact that she didn't sound surprised should've worried him but he was beginning to realize that nothing he said to her really shocked her.
"He and one of the crew members survived when the Gambit capsized. We drifted for days. We had no food and very little water. My dad he – he had his book. The list. He gave it to me before he shot the crew member and then himself. He wanted me to survive."
They drifted into silence again and he understood that what he'd told her would be a lot to take it, that whether she showed it or not, his words had disturbed her. The only person he had told about his father had been his mother. He'd been ashamed that he hadn't done enough to save him. He had spent years running through a thousand different scenarios in which he could've stopped his father from committing suicide. But too many years had passed for him to believe that he could've prevented his father's death. He had come to terms with the fact that his father had done what he'd believed what was necessary in order for him to live. And he had lived, he had survived, to prove that his father's sacrifice had been worth it.
"We should probably shower," she suggested, jerking away from him slightly the moment she realized how her words had come out, "And by weI mean both of us. But not together. I mean, we both need showers. Separate showers. Why don't you ever stop me when I do that?"
He laughed, tugging her back until she fell into his chest.
"Because it's adorable," he told her, "And we can do it your way, if you want, but I'm telling you right now, I have every intention of showering with you before this week is over."
She shivered and he knew without looking at her that her face was flushed. They hadn't talked about it yet, hadn't addressed the fact that almost three months into their relationship and he hadn't made love to her. And it wasn't because he didn't want to. It was because if he did, he would never want to stop. But that would change before the week was out. He wouldn't be able to hold out for five days, spending every night with her asleep in his arms. She didn't know it yet, but he had every intention of showing her just how much he loved her beginning that night and he would continue to show her every night thereafter.