A/N: Arrow 2.5 comics spoilers. Drabble based on two bits of dialogue spoilers. Enjoy! I'd love to know what you think!
Felicity didn't wake up until the car rocked back and then forward, causing her head to slip off the uncomfortable perch it had been resting on. She groaned at the throb of pain that filled her skull, the spot on her left temple still tender and sore. Low or mid grade concussion would have probably been the diagnosis if there had actually been time to get checked out by medical professionals.
Instead of a CT Scan she got Digg swiping out most of the dirt and grime with a handful of alcohol wipes while they crossed the Pacific in the back of an A.R.G.U.S plane headed to Lian Yu to deposit Slade Wilson on his very literal purgatory.
They'd been on the island for less than an hour before they had turned around to come back. She wasn't sure what day it was much less the time other than it was dark and she was exhausted.
Most streets were still without power but as she rubbed a weary hand across her forehead and looked out the window she was grateful to see her porch light still glowing brightly above her front door.
"I'd ask if you wanted help with your bags but…" Digg deadpanned from the front seat and she shot him an exasperated look in the rearview mirror. He knew there had been no time to pack a bag and she had been wearing the same borrowed clothes since they'd left. The sole item in her possession was the phone tucked neatly into her back pocket.
"Thanks for the lift," her eyes shifted over to Oliver who had been abnormally quiet even for him,
"Where to, boss?"
Oliver gave a swift shake of his head, bleary eyes only slightly focusing. He looked lost. "I...I don't know,"
His gaze flicked to hers and in an instant she knew he couldn't go back to the mansion.
She'd paused with the door half open, one foot on the curb as she studied him. An understanding passed between them and even though she was bone weary and stretched to the end of her emotional rope she managed a half a smile.
"Let him bunk with you, Digg, I bet he's not a terrible roommate." she said with forced levity and saw his shoulders sag in relief.
But when the assumed invitation didn't come they both looked to the front to see Digg swiping a hand over his face. "Sorry, man I would but...Lyla and I...we just need some time right now to sort some stuff out,"
"Understood," Oliver said immediately and she could almost visibly see him retreat into himself, "The uh...the foundry is fine then," his voice was tight and strained and it made her heart ache to see him floundering.
"No!" The word was out of her mouth before she knew what was happening, "You're not going there. Come on, stay at my place tonight until you figure it out,"
"Don't argue. Just get out of the car, tell Digg thank you and goodnight, and come inside."
Heart pounding, blood rushing she didn't wait to see what either of their reactions were she just pushed the door open all the way and got out on shaky legs. When her hand landed on the small gate leading to her place she heard the other car door shut.
He joined her on the front stoop and was silent as she dug around the bricks on the right side, trying to feel for the loose one, unable to remember if it was the third or fourth one back. With a triumphant cry she pulled out the spare key and finally gathered the courage to look at him.
The reality of what she'd done struck her hard and she barely got the key in the lock. This would be the first time they'd been alone since everything had happened. Since he'd said he'd loved her, and asked if she'd understood, and she'd been left wondering what all of that had meant.
Unfortunately the short talk they'd had on the island had done little to clear things up for her. She'd given him an out though, she'd had to for her own sanity. But he hadn't taken it, and it made her stomach flip to think about what that could mean.
As soon as the knob turned beneath her hand she began to talk to fill the void, "I hope my fridge isn't some sort of biohazard container," she flipped the lights on and stepped inside, the slightly musty smell of stale air greeting them. "I didn't have much in there to begin with but I'd eat just about anything right now. You've got to be starving. We haven't had anything since Beijing and I know how many calories you're used to putting away every day,"
"I'm not hungry," he said immediately like she knew he would and she didn't even bother to give him a look although she did roll her eyes as she paused by the hall closet to pull her shoes off, moaning slightly as she curled her feet in relief,
"Look, Felicity, you don't...I'll just get a cab and find a hotel,"
"Half the hotels were destroyed, and the other half are either without power or completely booked with people whose homes are without power," as she spoke she padded into her kitchen and took a deep breath before she opened the fridge, "Whew, excellent, I don't think I lost power though. There's leftover Thai that may be less than a week old, want to risk it? Maybe if I nuke it long enough…"
Oliver still stood in her foyer, hands shoved deep in his pockets as he stared at some point in the floor she couldn't see.
"This is too much," he muttered, as he ran a hand over the back of his neck, looking more agitated than she'd seen him in days, "I can't…"
"You can. This is what friends do, Oliver. I mean, I don't have very many, or a ton of experience in the area but friends help friends. It's a friendly gesture, one you should accept graciously and without complaint because we are friends."
Before she could awkwardly say the word 'friends' one more time she whirled on the spot and busied herself finding a bowl to dump the slightly dubious looking pad thai in before shoving it in the microwave and slamming the door shut with a touch more force than necessary.
He had her rattled. She didn't know where they stood. She knew what had passed between them in the mansion had been real. It was significant and meant something, but what that was and if Oliver even knew himself she had no idea. Right then all she could do was offer him her friendship since it had never failed them before.
When she turned she expected him to still be in the foyer, but he wasn't, he was only a few feet from her. "Oh my god!" she exclaimed, her already frayed nerves even more on edge as a hand flew up to cover her pounding heart, "Okay, rule number one, if you're a hero with super ninja skills living in this house it's required that you announce yourself before you enter a room."
She received a head tilt in response, but it was better than nothing. "It's either that or you wear a bell like my Nana's cat did because she used to stalk the cockatoo. That thing was vicious though so she must have had a death wish. The cat that is, not the bird, it lived to be fifty."
As always it was a gentle hand on her shoulder that got her to stop talking, and even though having him that close was making her head spin, he also helped center the manic feeling that was threatening to overwhelm her.
Two words, but they said everything.
"Of course," she said softly, staring up at eyes that were looking at her like she had all the answers,
A nervous cough escaped her lips and she stepped back quickly, adjusting her glasses and swiping a hand over her ponytail as she jerked a thumb over her shoulder and made to move out of the kitchen.
"Why don't I show you around quick while that's heating up,"
Much like when she'd exited the car she didn't wait to see if he followed. They walked a quick tour of the main level where she pointed out the half bath and second bedroom she used as an office. They were halfway up the stairs before she realized she was going to be taking him straight to her bedroom.
A hot flush crossed her cheeks and she was glad he was behind her, "So the only full bath is up here but we can take turns, no big deal and you'll be up here anyways. I'll make sure you know before I come up. No surprises, I promise," she said as she turned on the lamp next to her bed and made a quick, frantic glance around to see if she had left a pile of dirty underwear on the floor.
"This is your room," he said in a strangely affected tone,
"Yup," she said quickly, rocking back on her heels as she made to leave, "Let me grab some fresh sheets and-"
"No, I'm not kicking you out of your bed,"
She ignored him and moved around his still frame to head for the bathroom. With an armful of purple bedding she glanced at him over the pile blocking half her vision, "There's no way you'll fit on my couch, don't be ridiculous,"
"Felicity," he began again, this time in a stronger voice that just made her huff in irritation,
"Oliver, you're not sleeping on the couch. And it's too late to be arguing about this," she replied with an air of finality that he of course paid no attention to.
With a small, garbled noise from the back of her throat she dumped the clean linens on the bed and whirled to face him, "Oliver! I need you in my bed!"
Both their eyes went wide and the silence that stretched between them was agonizing. She could feel tears begin to form and before she could humiliate herself any further she clamped a hand over her mouth and hurried for the relative safety of the bathroom.
The door was solidly shut behind her back when she finally let out a muffled half sob that threatened to fold her in two. It was too much. And they were too raw, and too broken just then to give it the attention it needed.
Somehow she knew they were both aware of that.
She blew out a long, slow breath and avoided the mirror, grateful to see the pajamas she'd worn all those days ago still hanging on the towel rack.
With shaking hands she changed quickly, desperately wanting a shower but knowing she didn't have the energy right then to do it. Sleep first. Then maybe they could begin to tackle their ever growing list of issues.
When she came out into the hallway the door to her bedroom was partially shut and she assumed Oliver had actually listened and wasn't going to fight her again. Moving silently she had almost reached the stairs when he called her name.
She couldn't quite meet his eyes and she froze on the spot when he closed the distance between them.
Once again, he said it with as much gravity as it could possibly hold. It wasn't just thanks for giving him her bed, or her home, but for everything they'd done together, especially in the effort to defeat Slade.
The edges of her lips curled in reply, and her hand found it's home on the inside of his elbow before she knew she'd moved.
"If you need anything, let me know,"
He nodded once and then backed up until her hand fell away, "Goodnight, Felicity,"
The next morning, or afternoon when they finally woke up neither of them would mention how the night had gone.
She didn't remark on how even though she was beyond exhausted she had lay on her couch but couldn't sleep because she was worried about him.
She didn't talk about how his shouts had driven her up the stairs two at a time, tears clogging her throat as she sat on the top step and wondered if she should go in.
He didn't remember shouting her name so loudly as he dreamt of Slade's blade slicing through her throat it reverberated off the walls and brought her into the room, hovering over his restless form.
He didn't know how she struggled to tug the armchair from the corner to the side of the bed so she could watch over him.
And neither of them spoke about how they woke up in the same bed, with a periwinkle duvet tucked around them, holding hands after having finally slept for the first time in days.