Thunderstorms split the sky the day of Oliver Queen's wedding. He wakes up sprawled across the spare full-size bed in Tommy's hotel room. He rolls off of the mattress, tugs on one leg of his jeans and then the other. When he draws back the curtains, the sky is dark grey, lit up every once in awhile by flashes of lightning. Raindrops pelt against the windows.
Oliver glances behind him at the opposite bed. Tommy did a faceplant there sometime late last night, and it doesn't look like he's moved since. The rest of the room is perfectly ordinary, nothing amiss or different from the night before.
The sudden rapid-fire knocks on the hotel room door make Oliver finch. His heartbeat jumps into a quicker tempo; his eyes quickly scan the room for any kind of weapon as he creeps towards the door.
"Tommy," a female voice yells from behind the door. "It's noon. The wedding is at four."
Oliver moves aside the ironing board—previously propped against the door so that if anyone made it inside they couldn't do so without creating a ton of noise in the process—unlatches the deadbolt and twists open the door handle. "Hey, Speedy."
"Oh good," she says. "You're awake."
"Tommy's not," Oliver says, as another crack of thunder makes him close his eyes and suck in a deep breath. He tightens his fingers around the metal of the door handle, feels how smooth and solid it is. He's here. Not on the island. Not drowning in a Yacht. Here.
"We can fix that." Thea pushes past Oliver into the room. She jumps on the bed, landing on her knees and Oliver has flashbacks to when she was little and would run into his bedroom and do the same thing on Christmas mornings. Always his, never their parents. They'd sneak downstairs and he'd make hot chocolate and they'd guess at the presents under the tree.
Thea shakes Tommy's shoulder, and he moans. "I'm up."
"Oliver's getting married," she whispers loudly in his ear. "Oliver's getting married."
Tommy gently swats at her. "I think I can take it from here," Oliver tells Thea.
She points a finger at him, then at Tommy. "Showers. Both of you. Then tuxes. Picture are at three on the dot. Don't be late."
Oliver and Tommy don't talk much as they get ready. Maybe they got it all out the night before, over drinks and laughter and barbeque wings.
Once the tuxes are on and they have a few minutes to kill before pictures, Oliver takes a black velvet box from inside his suitcase and sets it carefully in Tommy's outstretched palm. "Don't—" Oliver starts.
"I'm not gonna lose it," Tommy promises, lifting the lid to peek inside at Felicity's wedding band. "This is beautiful."
Oliver smiles. The happiness inside him feels strange, but he's not going to dedicate any time today to questioning or second guessing it. "I never thought we'd be here."
"Neither did I," Tommy says, "But for different reasons."
The Gambit. Lian Yu. Oliver thinks their reasons are almost the same. They both thought he wasn't coming home.
"I never told you about Hong Kong," Oliver says, suddenly fighting to keep emotion out of his voice. He's not sure why this part of his past feels open to him now. Maybe it's this realization of how heartbroken Tommy was when he thought they wouldn't have this moment. Maybe it's this realization of how glad he is right now that he gets this moment with Tommy. Maybe it's just the realization that the inner circle of his heart holds only a few people, and Tommy is one of them.
And there are things, important things, that Tommy doesn't know.
Tommy's face goes pale. "Hong Kong?"
Oliver nods. "Hong Kong. I wasn't on the island for five years. Not for all of them. You got— You were so close, and they would have killed you." He looks Tommy right in the eyes. "I couldn't let that happen."
"You—" Tommy's voice breaks. "You knew I stopped looking."
Oliver's heart spirals frantically downward in his chest. "No. I knew you kept looking. I made you think I was dead. I did." He plants his fist against his breastbone. "That was me. And I know you didn't deserve that, but I did it to keep you alive."
Shocked, Tommy shakes his head, his gaze falling to the floor. "Why are you telling me this now?"
"I don't want secrets today," Oliver tells him. "Not between you and me. The truth is, I think knowing that you looked for me for so long is part of what kept me alive. And I've never thanked you for that."
Neither of them acknowledge the tears in their eyes.
"You don't owe me thanks," Tommy tells him.
"I think I do," Oliver says. "For more than just that."
In one quick movement, Tommy grabs him close in a hug. Oliver closes his eyes, holds on tightly. "I'm glad you came back." Tommy clears his throat roughly.
As they back away, Tommy says, "Thea's gonna be up here any second to drag us downstairs to do photographs. We should get going."
It strikes Oliver as sort of funny that thanks to wedding photographers, brides are willing to ignore the tradition of the groom not seeing them in the dress until the actual wedding. But whether walking down an aisle or just standing next to her mother and future sister-in-law having a calm conversation, Felicity Smoak in a wedding gown steals all of Oliver's breath away.
As if she senses him there, Felicity turns away from the group the second he steps into the room. Her veil is long and fluttery around her shoulders, and she adjusts it a little as she walks toward him, careful of every step.
Oliver meets her halfway, and for a few moments, all they do is stare at each other. Felicity takes his hand, her fingers loosely wrapped around his. "Hi," she says softly.
"Hey," he tells her.
Thunder booms overhead; a camera shutter clicks.
And for as long as he lives, that's Oliver's favorite picture of their wedding day.
An hour later, Donna Smoak takes her daughter's arm and ushers her down the aisle. She pats Oliver Queen's hand and presses a kiss to his cheek, and Oliver fights a sudden surge of emotion.
Oliver and Felicity stand across from each other in front of the officiant. Felicity's hair is down and curly, swept over her left shoulder with dozens of pearl hair pins. Her wedding dress is full-length and figure-hugging. It glitters and shines, but nothing shines brighter than Felicity's smile.
Thea stands beside Felicity, and Tommy stands by Oliver. Donna, Roy, Diggle and a now-showing Lyla are in the front row. Sara Lance—whose recent return from the League of Assassins for the occasion was a total surprise—is right next to Laurel Lance. The rows behind them fill with acquaintances and coworkers that blur together.
Neither of Oliver's parents are there, and he can feel their absence keenly. It doesn't ruin the day. It's just another part of it. He suspects that Felicity feels similarly about her father.
The diamond ring feels heavy in Oliver's hands as Tommy hands it to him. Felicity's left hand is shaking just a little as she holds it out for him. Oliver steadies it in one of his own, lifting her fourth finger and sliding the wedding band over her knuckles.
Then it's Felicity's turn. She holds his gold ring in her fingers and slides it on carefully. Oliver can't take his eyes off of their hands, off of the ring on hers and the ring now on his and the sight of how perfect they look like that.
The exchanging of the rings is one of the last events in the ceremony. Oliver almost misses the officiant announcing them as Mr and Mrs Queen.
He doesn't miss the all-important "You may kiss the bride," because he's been waiting to kiss her —really kiss her, not just the quick pecks on the lips they'd allowed themselves for the photographs—since he saw her in her dress.
Oliver puts his hands on her waist; Felicity presses her fingertips to his cheeks. He kisses her eagerly, every part of him filled with unspeakable joy. The cheers from the crowd echo in his ears.
Their first dance is hardly an elaborate thing. Oliver's good at the standing and swaying part. He's good at wrapping his arms around her and holding her close. He's good at the occasional kiss and their own soft, private conversation. It's a wonderful little bubble.
There is no mention of a father and daughter dance or a mother and son dance, and that is by design. Instead, Donna comes over and takes his hand, laughing loudly and smiling widely as she drags him onto the dance floor.
"You made my baby girl happy," she tells him, with tears in her eyes. "And I am so grateful for that."
He opens his mouth to say something, but Donna continues, "I'm sorry your mom couldn't be here. Your dad too."
The pain from that loss that he's been fighting with all day goes from a dull throb in his chest to a sharp ache. Even as Oliver finds himself disconnecting, looking past Donna at the room around him, something about her acknowledgement of what he's been feeling starts to slowly ease the pain he's carrying.
"Thank you," he manages, his voice thick. "Thank you."
She pats his shoulder gently. "You're welcome, sweetheart."Standing by the dessert table with a flute of champagne in her hand, Felicity watches as Oliver dances with her mother. Donna's mother-of-the-bride dress is a dark purple, and Felicity remembers the trial of shopping for it, how none of the typical dresses would do because "My baby might only get married once in her lifetime and like hell am I not dressing for the occasion."
Standing by the dessert table with a flute of champagne in her hand, Felicity watches as Oliver dances with her mother. Donna's mother-of-the-bride dress is a dark purple, and Felicity remembers the trial of shopping for it, how none of the typical dresses would do because "My baby might only get married once in her lifetime and like hell am I not dressing for the occasion."
It was a good day with her mom, and Felicity only has so many of those to hold onto throughout her life. Something about her mother just jumping in and loving Oliver from the start has smoothed things over tremendously too. Felicity's never met her mother's mother because the woman died before Felicity was born, but she wonders if it's that loss that's brought out the compassion in Donna's heart toward Oliver, caused her to see him as a boy who lost his mom and not as The Former Playboy Castaway Oliver Queen.
Across the room by the bar, Thea and Roy are standing closer than Felicity has seen them since the night Slade's men attacked Starling. Thea hasn't been quiet about the fact that she wants to leave—and that she wants Roy to come with her. Meanwhile, Roy hasn't been quiet about the fact that he doesn't want to leave.
But they seem to have set aside their issues for the night, because Felicity thinks she sees Roy's hand settle on top of Thea's on the bar counter.
A gentle hand on her shoulder distracts Felicity from her musings. Tommy stands next to her, his tie loose around his neck, and his hair a bit disheveled. "C'mon," he says, with a tilt of his head. "Dance with me."
She doesn't even hesitate, taking his offered hand and following him out onto the dance floor. He keeps a respectable distance between them, his hand on her hip and her hand in his.
"I haven't seen him this happy in a long time," Tommy confesses, with a glance over at Oliver. "I can't thank you enough for that."
"I haven't been this happy in a long time either," Felicity says. "I can't believe we got here."
"I'm so glad you did," he tells her, giving her a quick smile.
They dance silently for the rest of the song, but her eyes never stray from his, and he doesn't look away either.
There are many reasons Felicity is thankful for Tommy Merlyn. That he is a friend to Oliver. That he is an older brother to Thea. That he's… that he's a friend to her. The good kind. The oh-shit-how-did-I-ever-get-by-without-you kind. And that friendship with her has only a little to do with his friendship with Oliver. They are two distinct things, and they're both wonderful.
Love isn't a thing Felicity hands out easily. She's ever-cautious with it. She's constantly careful that she doesn't accidently start loving someone who will only end up leaving her. And Tommy, well, Tommy has only ever validated her trust in him, treated it like it was precious, like he didn't deserve it but was going to do his damndest to keep it anyway.
And Felicity loves him for that.
Staring up at him, struck by how easily he takes the lead, how the music flows around them, Felicity is overwhelmed with gratitude that she gets this moment. A three-minute dance that silently acknowledges and celebrates the importance of Tommy Merlyn in her life.
When the dance ends, Tommy leans forward and presses his lips to her forehead. Felicity puts her hands on his arms and they linger like that. "Thank you for the dance," she tells him.
"You're the bride," he says, and she can hear his joy for her in the last word. "I should be thanking you."
It's after the next song that the DJ announces they'll be throwing the bouquet and the garter. Felicity screws her eyes shut and carefully tosses the bundle of flowers over her shoulder.
Laurel catches it, and Felicity almost wishes she'd seen the look on the woman's face when the bouquet sailed right to her. The photographer hurries to get a picture of Laurel and Felicity, and then Felicity's ushered to a chair while Oliver slides his hands under her dress to remove the garter.
This time, Felicity gets to watch the little bit of lace fly through the air, and her jaw drops a little as Tommy's hand flies up to catch it. He looks just as stunned as she feels.
They get pictures of him and Oliver, both grinning like schoolboys, and then Laurel and Tommy stand side-by-side for another photo op. Felicity can't help but look at them and wonder. Laurel's been quiet about her relationship with Ted for a few months now and he's not with them today, but surely Tommy would have said something to Felicity if he and Laurel were making another go at it.
Surely they wouldn't be carefully stepping around each other like they are right now if that were the case?
By the time they get to the toasts, Felicity's feet hurt. She's been awake and running around since early in the morning, and even though excitement and adrenaline has done a lot to keep her moving, her body is beginning to protest just a little. Thea is the one who suggested changing into ballet flats after the ceremony, and Felicity's eternally grateful for that suggestion.
She sits very carefully in Oliver's lap as Tommy raises a champagne flute and tells stories about the two of them in their youth, things that have nothing to do with what the tabloids would expect. These two men did not just party together. They weren't casual acquaintances.
They were the kind of friends who would die for each other.
Leaning a little more on Oliver, Felicity drops her head to her husband's shoulder, keeping her eyes on Tommy, smiling at him as he smiles at the two of them.
Raising his glass, Tommy says, "To the happy couple," and everyone drinks.
Oliver's hand slides up her thigh. "You have one last dance in you?" he asks.
Pressing her palm to his cheek, Felicity draws Oliver in for a kiss. "I think so," she tells him.
The cake has been cut, the toasts have been made, the bouquet has been thrown, the garter tossed, and the bride and groom take to the dance floor one last time. Closing her eyes, Felicity lays her cheek on Oliver's chest, and sways in time with him.
It's John Diggle who approaches them as the song ends. Felicity doesn't catch what he says, but he whispers something close to Oliver's ear.
Oliver gives her a look. It's agonized and regretful, and suddenly Felicity knows exactly what's going on.
"Let's leave properly so there are no questions," she tells Oliver. So they exit the ballroom with the cheers and clapping of the guests following them, but they don't go upstairs to their honeymoon suite. They climb into Diggle's car and drive to the lair.
For three more hours, Felicity sits in her wedding dress at her workstation, manning the comms and rerouting satellites and breaking into security systems all over Starling while the Arrow chases down bad guys.
Four hours after leaving the hotel, Felicity collapses onto the twin bed she bought Oliver for anytime it would be too unsafe for him to come home. After only a few minutes, she hears the lock at the top of the stairs disengage; she hears Oliver's voice saying her name and his footsteps coming down toward her.
Sitting up, Felicity watches as Oliver removes his mask and unzips his jacket. Every moment displays his exhaustion. He runs his hand through her now-messy curls. "I'm sorry," he tells her.
She takes his hand. "I knew what I was signing up for."
He climbs into bed with her, and she falls against his chest, struck, in her tiredness, by the contrast of her white dress and his green leathers. She's not totally comfortable—he probably isn't either—but she's so tired, she doesn't have the energy to move. Not when Oliver's hand is against her back, and she can feel his chest rising and falling underneath her. Not when she can look down and see her wedding ring glittering on her fourth finger.
They do make it to the honeymoon suite. They sneak in the next morning, after about six hours of sleep. Felicity closes the door behind her and shoves Oliver against it, kissing him desperately and thinking out loud about how she didn't get to take off his suspenders and what a shame that was.
He did get to help her out of her dress, but that was more necessity than foreplay. She was unable to get the zipper all the way down without assistance. It's not like he didn't get distracted. She's pretty sure there's a hickey on the small of her back that wasn't there before, and it was only her firm "no sex in the lair" rule that kept Oliver focused enough to get them back to the hotel.
Now, Felicity fists her hands in his shirt and drags him down the hallway towards the bed. He lets her, because she's found that he secretly loves to be pushed around a bit if she's the one doing it. And oh, fuck, when he's bossy with her intentionally in order to get her to push back, the end result is amazing.
She pushes him down onto the bed and climbs onto his lap. They haven't been quick and frantic in a while, and Felicity likes it, likes pressing Oliver down onto the mattress with the palms of her hands and undoing the buttons of his shirt. She likes watching him force himself to stay still while she kisses all over his chest and slides a hand beneath the waistband of his pants.
Neither of them are gentle when it comes to getting clothes off. Everything after that is a blur of hard and fast and bruising. Felicity bites at Oliver's shoulder and then soothes the area with kisses. She begs for more, begs for release, thrills at the harshness of Oliver's breath and the way he whines and grunts as they move together.
After, they both flop down onto the mattress, sweaty and panting. Felicity closes her eyes and blindly reaches for Oliver's hand. She draws it to her lips, kisses his ring finger. Her body is still buzzing.
"That was incredible," she tells him. She'd always expected Oliver's reaction to praise to be smugness, self-assurance. Of course it was incredible, what else would it be?
But throughout their relationship, that hasn't been the case. Oh, she's detected a distinct amount of pride when he's worked her up so well and so thoroughly that she's a desperate mess, but when she tells him, when she puts into words how he makes her feel, what being with him is like…
It's not pride. It's deep satisfaction colored with the sweetest reverence. And the fact that she's someone Oliver Queen so adores is not something Felicity takes for granted.
Oliver rolls over so he's on his side, looking down at her. With his free hand, he draws patterns on her stomach, her thighs.
She almost protests when his hand dips lower, almost closes her legs and tells him it's too soon, too much. But he covers her mouth with a long, deep kiss. Then he's touching her so slowly, so carefully, that it's not long before she's gripping the sheets beneath her, begging him to give her more.
He shushes her, kissing her slowly, his tongue licking into her mouth, ignoring the way she whines against his lips and bucks her hips.
She throws her head back and lets out a series of breathy cries when he finally lets her fall over the edge. After she's thoroughly and appreciatively kissed him, Felicity puts a hand on his shoulder to coax him onto his back. Wrapping her arms around his chest, she lets the touch of his hand stroking up and down her spine lull her to sleep.
When Felicity wakes up, the bed is empty. Oliver's sitting in the loveseat against the window. He's holding his phone to his ear, and she hears him talking in soft tones.
"Thea, please, take as much time as you need but… I wish you'd said goodbye instead of sending a text. To Tommy, at least. I know my activities are a lot and you need time to adjust, but—" His voice cracks, and Felicity's heart cracks with it. "Please call me. I love you."
"Where's Thea?" she asks.
"Getting on a plane," Oliver tells her. "She… she left me."
Sliding out of bed, Felicity reaches for Oliver's discarded shirt. It's to fight the chill in the room, not Oliver's gaze. "What? When?"
"She sent me a text." He looks at his phone. "About an hour ago."
Felicity pads across the room, so she can sit beside him. "Is she coming back?"
"I don't—" Oliver's voice is quiet, worried. "I don't know."
A/N: Due to the fact that this fic has had an incredibly nonexistant response here on , this is the last chapter I'll be posting on this platform. If you'd like to keep up with this fic, please subscribe to it on archiveofourown (it's the same title, published by always_a_queen) or tumblr, where I hang out as andyouweremine.