Author's Note: This is my take on Season 4 Episode 6 of Arrow titled 'Lost Souls'. This is how things might have gone down between Oliver and Felicity if he were just a bit more dominant. Specific spoilers for the episode, and some lines come straight from the show. Written as a Christmas gift for my friend Katt. Thank you for all the beta work you do, and for the friendship! This also fills the 'Regret' square on the Bingo card over on the LiveJournal group spanking_world.
Disclaimer: I don't own any of these characters, and I'm not making any money from this story.
Warning: Non-consensual disciplinary spanking of an adult. Just to be clear, non-consensual spanking is not something I condone in real life – but I LOVE it in fantasy.EXPRESSIONS OF LOVE
Felicity had been working for three days straight at Palmer Tech. She'd been away from Sterling City for several months, and after coming back she found a distress call from her old boss Ray. She'd thought the man had died months ago, before she left; everyone had. But as it turned out he was alive and in need of help. As soon as she realized what had happened, a wave of guilt hit her hard. She'd been off playing house with Oliver and fulfilling all of the fantasies she'd had about him over the past four years, and all that time Ray had been in trouble. Now she simply couldn't do anything other than focus on trying to find him and help him.
Her assistant Curtis tried to tell her to go home. He'd said she would be able to focus better after she'd had a break, but the thought of going home while Ray was still suffering made her sick to her stomach. She'd dozed off for a couple of hours each night on the couch in her office, but even that had been filled with bad dreams.
After Curtis went home on the third night, Oliver showed up.
"What are you doing here?" she asked while barely glancing up at him.
"I thought you were coming to my campaign fundraiser," he said, looking her up and down.
She knew she was disheveled, she just didn't care. "I thought that was on Wednesday," she said, still typing.
"It is Wednesday."
That brought her eyes up to his. "Oh."
"What's going on with you?" he asked.
She played the recorded message she'd found from Ray.
"Ray," she confirmed. "He's alive. We all thought he died on that rooftop, but he sent this distress call three days ago. He's alive, he's in trouble, and I have to find him."
"Why didn't you tell me?" Oliver asked.
"I didn't see the point. There's not much you can do until we know where he is. I need time to trace where he sent this from, and I need to find out if I can contact him the way he contacted me. It's all computer work, not a job for the Arrow."
"Is this why you haven't been home for the past two nights?"
"Of course! Ray is in trouble! He needs someone to find him!"
He gave her a look she didn't quite recognize or understand. He put his arm around her waist and started guiding her towards the door as he spoke. "We're going home."
"What?" she looked back over her shoulder at her computer, but didn't try to fight him as he pulled her along.
"You need a shower and a nap. We're going home. You're going to rest, and then you're going to come back and look at this with fresh eyes tomorrow."
"No," he said gently as he pushed the button for the elevator. "No buts. We're going home."
She scowled at him, but it didn't appear to faze him, and soon she found herself in his car on the way home, whether she wanted to be or not.
It was a short drive to their apartment, and she fumed the entire way. Didn't he understand that Ray needed her help? Didn't he understand that Ray had been trying to contact her for months? Didn't he understand that if something happened to Ray because of her negligence that she'd never forgive herself?
He parked and by the time they got to their door, she couldn't keep quiet anymore. "I tell you Ray's in trouble, and your first response is 'you need a shower'."
"And a nap," he said pointedly. "You're not going to be able to help Ray if…"
"Oh stop!" she huffed and plopped down on the couch. "You sound like Curtis."
"Well, Curtis is a smart guy. Did Ray's message say what kind of trouble he's in?"
She gave him a patronizing glare. "If it did, that would have been the first thing I told you."
He crossed his arms and said in a purposely calm voice, "Okay. Is there anything I can do to help?"
"Well, have you magically learned to code in the last seventy-two hours?" she asked sarcastically.
"That was a rhetorical question," she snapped.
He raised an eyebrow. "I know."
Feeling a little guilty, she held her hand out to him, and he took it.
"I will however take your undying support," she guided his hand to her shoulder, "and back rub."
He said gently, "You can have both as soon as you…"
"Shower," she said for him.
"And take a nap. Come on." He nudged her to stand up.
"Come on, come on," he said, coaxing her to stand.
Before they could make it to the stairs, her phone beeped.
"Oh," she exclaimed as she dug her phone out of her purse.
"What?" he asked.
"I set an alarm to alert me when the computer finished compiling."
"Felicity," he said in a warning tone.
"Two seconds." She rushed over to her home laptop and opened it up. But before she could type in her password, he snapped the laptop shut.
"What are you doing?" she asked.
He kept his hand on the laptop so it would stay closed and said, "Shower. Nap. Then laptop."
"But I need…"
"No? What do you mean no?"
"I mean no, you're not going to get on the laptop right now." He put his arm around her waist again, pried her cell phone out of her hand, and guided her to the stairs.
"This is ridiculous!" she snapped, pushing on his arm to get him to stop. "I need to check the data."
He didn't move his arm, but he did stop moving her forward. "Is the data going to be gone later if you don't check it now?"
"Of course not, but that's not the point."
"Yes it is the point, you're just too exhausted to see it." He started moving again, and led her up the stairs, and to their bedroom.
"Oliver," she whined.
Once they were in front of the master bathroom, he took his arm off her waist, and gave her a slap on the ass that was just a touch too hard to be called playful.
"Hey!" she whirled around and covered her ass with both hands while glaring at him. Both of them were guilty of giving the other a light slap on the ass once in a while in jest, but Oliver wasn't smiling.
"Shower. I'll bring you pajamas."
Muttering about domineering men, she turned on the shower, stripped, and stepped in. A huge part of her attraction to Oliver was his take-charge nature and his heroism in the field, but she wasn't sure she liked those qualities when they were directed at her. But then the water felt so warm and wonderful cascading down her body, that she didn't have the energy to be irritated with him anymore.
"Your pajamas are by the sink," he said.
She grunted in response, and continued to enjoy the shower. Ten minutes later, she turned off the shower and opened the door, expecting Oliver to be waiting for her, but the room was empty. She dried off, put on pajamas, and went to find him.
He was sitting on the edge of their bed, and gave her a soft smile when she came out. He held his hand out, and she walked up to him, putting her hand in his. He pulled her close, put his hands on her hips, and maneuvered her to stand in front of him between his open legs.
"Feeling any better?" he asked.
Pouting, because she didn't want him to be right, she nodded.
"The past couple of nights you texted me to let me know that you were going to sleep at the office because you were working on a project. Did you actually sleep?"
Glancing down at their entwined hands, she muttered, "Yes."
"Was it more than five hours each night?" he asked.
"Three hours each night?"
"Not exactly," she muttered.
He sighed with exasperation and pulled her down to sit on one of his thighs. "You need more sleep than that, Felicity."
"I know." She leaned against his chest, as he wrapped an arm around her back and hugged her. "I couldn't sleep. I kept having nightmares, and anxiety dreams. If you make me get in bed now, I doubt I'll be able to sleep for more than an hour before a dream wakes me up."
"Do you still… have feelings for Ray?"
"What?" She leaned back and glared at him. "No! Of course not."
"Then why can't you sleep?"
"Because it's my fault that he's been missing for so long. He's been trying to contact me for months, Oliver. Months! And who knows what kind of trouble he's been in that whole time. I have to find him, and I can't sleep until I make this right."
He rubbed a hand up and down her back. "It's not your fault."
"Yes, it is!"
"It's really not, and I think once you've had some sleep, you'll be able to see that."
"I just told you I won't be able to sleep until I find him. If you'd just let me check the computer…"
"You know," he cut her off, "I can tell you with certainty from my time on the island that sleep comes pretty easily after a little bit of pain."
"Pain?" she looked at him warily.
Nodding, he moved his hand down to pat her ass. "Ten hard smacks on the seat of your pajamas and you'll sleep like a baby."
She jumped up off his lap and backed away. "No! Not just no - hell no! You are not spanking me!"
He held his hands up in surrender and stayed seated. "It was an offer, Felicity, not a demand."
She stopped backing up and glared at him distrustfully. "A sexist and ridiculous offer."
She could tell from his expression that he was offended and maybe a little hurt.
He shook his head and said, "If you told me some pain would help me, I'd let you spank me. I'm not offering because you're a woman and I'm a man, I'm offering because we're partners."
"Where the hell would you get the idea that partners would help each other by spanking them?" Felicity demanded, trying to get him to see how ridiculous it was.
He looked away for a moment and a faint blush appeared on his cheeks. "From Slade. Back before everything went wrong between us, and he was mentoring me."
The flash of anguish that crossed his face helped pull Felicity out of her shock. She knew how conflicted Oliver was about Slade and everything that had happened between them. She walked back over to him, sat in his lap again, and leaned the side of her face against his chest.
"So Slade offered to spank you to help you sleep?"
After a snort of laughter he said, "Not exactly. I almost got us killed by not following orders, and Slade didn't give me an option, he just did it. But I slept better that night than I had in weeks." He rubbed her back and added, "It also helped me get past what I'd done so I wasn't distracted by guilt the next day."
The thought of her own guilt made her squirm with shame, and she briefly considered letting him give her those ten smacks, but quickly decided against it. She couldn't get past the idea of it being sexist, and the thought of Oliver causing her pain was a little scary. It took a lot of arm strength to wield his weapon of choice. He could cause a lot of damage with those muscles.
He patted her back after a moment of quiet. "So the offer is on the table if you ever want that, and if you ever think I need it, you just let me know. But for now, you need sleep." He stood up and pulled her up with him. "So this isn't an offer, it's a demand." He pulled the covers back and pointed to the bed. "Get in bed."
When she glared at him and made no move to get in, he raised an eyebrow and added, "I will pick you up and put you in."
Reluctantly, she climbed in, and pulled the covers up to her chin.
Leaning down, he put both his hands on either side of her shoulders and gave her a kiss on the forehead. "I'll wake you up in five hours."
"No, that's too long. I don't need more than three."
"Five hours," he said, as he turned to leave. "And just so you don't waste time looking for them, I have your phone, your tablet, and both of your laptops downstairs with me." He turned the light off, and shut the door behind him.
She huffed, and lowered her voice to softly mock him, "Don't waste time looking." Rolling onto her side, she punched her pillow once and kept mocking him, "Ten hard smacks and you'll sleep like a baby." Scowling in the dark, she muttered, "Ridiculous." She closed her eyes, and even though she was still highly annoyed with her boyfriend, she was so exhausted that she slipped into sleep almost instantly.
# # #
She opened her eyes in the dim light and saw Oliver smiling down at her. "It's been five hours. Do you want to get up, or sleep some more?"
"It's been five hours?" Shocked that she'd slept so long, she immediately sat up, tossed the covers off, and said, "I need to check my laptop."
"It's on the table downstairs next to your phone, and a cup of coffee."
She leaned over, gave him a quick peck on the lips and said, "Thanks," before climbing out of bed, and rushing down the stairs.
He followed her and said, "Eggs for breakfast?"
"Sure," she replied without actually looking his way. She tried to bring up the data that had been compiling, but her computer seemed to momentarily shut off, and then Ray's face came on the screen.
"Felicity? Is that you?" Ray asked.
"Oh my God, Ray?" she said.
Oliver went to stand behind her and look at the screen.
"Ray, where are you?" Oliver asked.
"I don't know, and if that wasn't enough, I'm being held against my will. They want my suit. Or at least the tech, but the good news is that my tech is useless to them in my current condition."
"If you have your suit, then why don't you just uh…"
"Blast my way out?" Ray finished for him. "Yeah, that's not really happening."
"What? The suit doesn't work?" Felicity asked.
"Actually it worked a little too well. Let's just say instead of my usual six foot two, now I'm just two. Inches that is."
"You're…" Felicity trailed off, not sure how to put her question.
"Shrunk," Ray said, "and stuck this way."
"I injected myself with the nanites."
Felicity's mind spun with the implications of that technology.
"What can we do?" Oliver asked.
"Back at Palmer Tech, I have some schematics for a machine that should be able to resize me. It's in a file called…" The screen went dark.
"Ray? Ray!" Felicity said. She typed in some commands and tried to get Ray back online, but it didn't work. She looked up at Oliver and said, "I've got to get back to the office and find that file."
"Okay," Oliver said, "Go get dressed. I'll make you a breakfast to go."
Soon she was on her way to work with a travel mug full of coffee, and a bagel.
# # #
A day and a half later, she'd finally found the file. Oliver had sent her a few unhappy texts the night before, but hadn't pushed too hard for her to come home, understanding the urgency of saving Ray. Once Felicity found the file, she showed it to Curtis when he came back from lunch.
"This is amazing," Curtis said looking at the schematics. "Mind blowing really."
"I know, but I can't focus on how amazing it is while Ray is in trouble. Can you make this?" Felicity asked.
"I should be able to," Curtis said. "All the materials are here at Palmer Tech, except this." He pointed to an item on the schematics.
"What's that?" Felicity asked.
"It's a quantum manifold."
"Where do we get one?"
"Only one place; Court Industries, in the main factory. They hold the patent on it."
Felicity put her head in her hands. "They're our main competitor."
Curtis shrugged, "They might loan it to us if we ask nicely?"
Knowing that would never happen, Felicity just shook her head and sighed.
"Well things can't get worse." Curtis said.
They both heard a shrill shriek of joy coming from the other side of the room. They turned to see Felicity's mother, Donna, standing there grinning at them.
"Mom?" she said with disbelief.
Her mother gushed about her daughter being the CEO of a company while a dazed Felicity automatically went to hug her.
"What are you doing here?" Felicity asked.
"I wanted to see you."
"So you just decided to hop on a flight to Sterling City without a call to let me know you were coming?"
"Oliver said you've been working non stop for days. He thought you could use a break."
"You've been talking to Oliver?" Felicity knew she was more than a little tired, but she couldn't quite wrap her mind around Oliver and her mother talking about anything, especially without her.
"He's worried about you, sweetheart."
Felicity plastered a fake smile on her face, turned to Curtis and said, "Start working on it. I'll get you the manifold." Then she put her arm around her mom's shoulder and started heading her towards the exit. "Come on, Mom, I'll take you home, and you can get settled."
# # #
After getting her mother home, and making a bunch of excuses, Felicity headed to the Arrow's base of operations. She stormed in, ready to confront Oliver, but found it empty. She put in an earpiece, and said, "Anyone out there?"
John's voice came back. "What's up Felicity?"
"Where is everyone?"
"We just finished checking out one of the warehouses that Darhk owns. We thought there would be a lead on finding him, but it didn't pan out."
Felicity started typing, and said, "Since you're all there and in gear, I have a new mission for you."
Felicity told them about the quantum manifold, why they needed it, and where it was being held. After getting their agreement, she started looking up the building's floor plan, and security systems, while the rest of them headed to the building.
Half an hour later, Oliver's voice sounded in her ear. "We're onsite. How are we getting in?"
Unable to stop herself, Felicity said, "I can't believe you told my mother she could come and visit without talking to me first!"
"I thought it would be a good thing," Oliver said, clearly taken aback by her tone of voice.
"A good thing? What on earth made you agree to this?"
"Well you know, your mom doesn't really take 'no' for an answer."
"You faced down Mirukuru soldiers, and the League of Assassins, are you honestly telling me that you couldn't say no to my mom?" Felicity knew she was being snarky, but she felt it was more than justified.
"She said she missed you, and then she texted me one of those emojies with that single tear."
"You have been texting with my mother? How long has that been going on?" Her voice was bordering on shrill with those questions, but she was too frustrated with him to care.
John broke in with, "You guys think we could find a better time to fight about this?"
"John?" Felicity said awkwardly, "I thought only Oliver's line was open.
"Nope. Mine is open."
"So is mine." Laurel and Thea said in unison.
Felicity said, "Fine, back to business. I hacked the security panel, but it needs to be accessed from the inside. The only problem is that the building's interior is protected by pressure sensitive flooring, which means, Chatty Cathy, you're up."
"Chatty Cathy?" Oliver asked.
"Your new code name." Felicity snapped. "The only one appropriate enough I could think of to use in polite company. Once the loading dock doors are open, you'll have ninety seconds to find the manifold and amscray before men with guns show up. Chatty Cathy?"
"You know, when I get back, you and I are gonna have a talk," Oliver said, the displeasure obvious in his voice for the first time since she'd started this conversation.
Felicity's stomach did a little dive at Oliver's tone, but she told herself she didn't care if he was pissed, because she was pissed too. Then there were sounds of fighting, and they all focused on getting the mission done.
# # #
Ten minutes later, Thea had the manifold in her hand, and the Arrow team was out of harms way. They were headed to their vehicles when Oliver told Felicity, "We have it, and we're clear."
Breathing a sigh of relief, Felicity said, "Thank God," and leaned back in her chair, and took her earpiece out, relaxing marginally now that she knew she'd be able to get Ray what he needed. That was if they ever figured out where he was being held, and by whom.
Then her computer flashed off for a millisecond before Ray's face popped up again.
"Hello? Is anyone there?" He asked.
"Any luck with schematics?" he asked, and then quickly added, "I realize the quantum manifold could present a challenge."
"Nothing a little late night shopping at Court Industries couldn't solve," she responded.
With a sigh of relief Ray said, "That's great. Thank you, Felicity. Now we just have to figure out how to…" he trailed off, and froze as a shadow crossed his face.
"Ray? Are you still there?" She asked, wondering if the screen had frozen, but then she saw movement behind Ray. Damien Darhk's huge face appeared behind Ray just before the screen went blank.
"Oh no." Felicity whispered to herself.
# # #
Half an hour later, Oliver and John arrived back at Arrow headquarters with the manifold. Felicity was at the door waiting for them. She held her hand out for it, but instead of handing it to her, Oliver scowled and handed the tech to John. "Could you give us a minute alone, Dig?"
Felicity's eyebrows went up, and she decided she didn't want any part of that plan. "Ray contacted me again," she blurted out before John could leave.
"What did he say?" Oliver asked.
"Not much. He was about to give me more information, but he had to stop because Damien Darhk showed up."
"Darhk?" John said with surprise. "Darhk was there?"
Felicity nodded. "He's the one who's holding Ray hostage."
"Are you sure it was Darhk you saw on Ray's cam?" Oliver asked.
"Just as sure as I am that Ray is not getting out of this," Felicity said, crossing her arms.
Oliver thought about that for a moment and then said, "It's actually good that Darhk has Ray."
Felicity glared at him and said, "This would be the same level of delusion that made you think having my mother in town would make me feel better."
With obvious irritation, Oliver said slowly and patiently, "No, I think it's good that it's Darhk, because that means that we have an asset inside his circle."
"Lance," John said.
Oliver nodded. "I'll ask him to get us a location."
Still upset and frustrated, Felicity said, "And what if between then and now, Darhk decides to squish Ray underneath his shoe."
"If Darhk wanted to hurt Ray, he would have done it by now." John said.
"Dig's right," Oliver added. "We stay focused. We get Curtis the manifold, keep him working, and unfortunately wait and see what Lance comes up with."
Oliver reached out to put a hand on Felicity's shoulder, but she backed up a step. "I hate waiting and seeing," she said. "I have to DO something."
Sighing, Oliver gestured to the manifold and said to John, "Could you please take that to Curtis, and then call it a night?"
"Sure thing," John said.
"No, I'll take it to Curtis," Felicity spoke at the same time, and held her hand out for it.
Instead of handing it over, John said soflty, "Maybe you should go home Felicity. It doesn't look like you've eaten or slept in a while."
"Maybe you should mind your own business," she snapped.
"Okay, that's enough." Oliver stepped into her personal space, and said over his shoulder, "I've got this John, take care of the manifold."
"See you both tomorrow." John shut the door behind him as he left.
Felicity put her hands on her hips, and glared up at him. "How dare you talk about me as if I were a problem for you to fix!"
He put a hand on her back, and led her towards the conference table. "You have been short tempered and mean spirited for days. You're not taking care of yourself, you're running yourself into the ground, and I'm done putting up with it." He rolled one of the chairs out from the table and turned it around. He sat and pulled her over his lap.
Before she'd given any thought to fighting back, she found herself face down across his thighs staring at the metal flooring. "Oliver!" she exclaimed in both surprise and protest as he flipped her dress up. Then the palm of his hand started slapping repeatedly against her panties.
"Ow!" She pushed on his thigh attempting to get up, but his other hand in the center of her back held her down. The shock of what was happening was difficult to get past, partially because he was spanking her so fast that she'd already lost track of the number of swats.
"Oliver stop!" she yelled, and tried to roll her body off his lap, pushing on his thigh with her hands and at the same time pressing on the metal floor with the toes of her shoes.
The stinging swats didn't even slow down as he wrapped an arm around her waist, and apparently with very little effort, hauled her entire body a little further over his lap so that her feet came off the floor.
His spanking hand moved lower to smack her mostly naked sit spots with that same rapid fire pace. A high pitched squeal of protest came out of her, and her entire body tried to squirm away from the incessant swats. She kicked her legs and slapped at his calf with her hand as she yelled furiously, "Oliver! Stop hitting me!"
In answer, his hand moved even further down to spank the backs of her thighs.
"Ooow!" she yelled, and tried to put a hand back to cover the target area.
The spanking miraculously stopped, and Felicity lay still with her hand still covering one thigh. She was breathing hard, and now that the swats had stopped, she realized her entire ass felt prickly and the skin under her hand was warm to the touch.
Oliver spoke for the first time since starting the spanking, his voice surprisingly soft. "I know Ray's life is on the line, Felicity, and the whole team is doing everything in our power to help find him. I also know that you're stressed out, and running on almost zero sleep, and very little food, so I'm trying my best to be patient and understanding. But the Chatty Cathy comment, and the constant snippy attitude, and the rude comments once we got back from doing a mission for you aren't okay. And you're not going to be able to help save Ray if you pass out from exhaustion and have to be hospitalized."
Irritation, guilt, and indignity warred within her. She knew Oliver was right. She shouldn't be snipping at him when he was just trying to help, and she wasn't taking care of herself, but on the other hand she was massively pissed right now, because he had no right to spank her.
"Hospitalized?" she scoffed, "Don't be ridiculous."
He grasped her wrist with his spanking hand, and gently moved her hand away so she couldn't cover her thigh with it. Then he tucked it under her stomach so he could hold it there with the arm that was around her waist.
Panicked at the implications of that, Felicity hissed, "Let me up right now, Oliver!"
"What are you going to do if I let you up?" he asked, as his spanking hand rested on her overly sensitive behind.
"You mean after I slap you and call the police?" she snipped.
"Yeah, after that, what are you going to do?" His hand moved back and forth slowly across both cheeks, rubbing out some of the sting.
Caught off guard by his easy acceptance of her threat, and the gentle touch, she stammered, "Um… I… I guess I'll go see if Curtis has everything he needs."
"That's the wrong answer, Felicity. The right answer is; I'll go home, eat something healthy while I visit with my mom, and get some rest."
"Screw you!" She yelled, suddenly livid at everyone and everything. She felt his fingers in the waistband of her panties, and yelled, "Don't you dare!"
But the panties were already down around her knees, and his hand started slapping the already sensitive skin on her ass, which immediately ignited a horrible stinging sensation that seemed to grow worse with each smack.
"Ah! Oliver stop!" Her body writhed under the onslaught of smacks. Her legs twitched and kicked, and she instinctively tried to yank her wrist free from his grasp without success. Tears of frustration, pain, and anger welled up in her eyes, and when his hand moved down to slap her sit spots again, the tears slid down her face. She very suddenly felt defeated as she realized she couldn't win this battle of wills. The only way she was getting up was to agree with whatever he said, whether she meant it or not.
"Okay! I'll go home!"
The relentless slaps on her posterior immediately stopped.
"And?" he prompted.
She angrily wiped the tears off her face with her one free hand, clenched her jaw to force herself to stop crying, and said through her teeth, "I'll eat and rest."
The tight grip he'd had on her relaxed, and the hand that had been spanking her rubbed circles on her back.
"Good. I'll call you a cab. I don't want you driving on so little sleep."
She tried pulling her wrist out of his grip, and he allowed it. Then she pushed herself up off his lap, and he helped her to stand with a hand on her arm. She kept her eyes on the ground, yanked her arm out of his hand, and hissed, "Don't touch me."
He let go, and she took a step back before leaning down to grab her panties from around her ankles. She pulled them up into place, and smoothed her skirt down before finally meeting his eyes.
The two of them looked at each other for a few seconds. Felicity glared and rubbed her sore bottom, while Oliver sighed and stood up.
"Still feel like slapping me?" he asked tentatively.
He nodded in understanding and then cautiously took a step towards her. When she didn't back away he gently pulled her into a hug, which she refused to reciprocate. He rubbed a hand up and down her back and said, "If you still feel like it tomorrow after you've had some sleep, I'll let you slap me as many times as you want. But for now, you need to go home, eat, and rest."
When she didn't say anything or respond to his touch, he let go and pulled out his phone to call a cab. They were downtown, so it would only take a few moments for one to be there.
After he'd hung up, Felicity muttered, "I'm not sure what the hell you expect, but with my mother waiting for me at home, there's no way I'll be able to get any rest."
"Believe it or not, she's just as worried about you as I am," he said. "She'll probably cook you something and tuck you into bed herself if you let her."
"My mother's a horrible cook, and I can't sleep while Ray is being held by Darhk."
"I promise you that there is nothing more we can do for Ray until we get what we need from Lance and Curtis. So go home, visit with your mother, relax, and eat something. I'll be home as soon as I'm done with Lance. Okay?"
She crossed her arms and glared at him instead of answering.
Hearing the edge in his voice, she scowled and said, "Fine."
His phone binged, and he looked down at it. "The cab is here. Go get your purse and jacket."
Soon she was in a cab on her way home, sitting on her stinging behind, and cursing her boyfriend in her head.
When Felicity got home, she found her mother making a complete disaster of her kitchen. She poured herself a glass of wine, and listened to her mother make excuses for the meal she was in the process of ruining. But for the most part Felicity's mind went between panic at Ray being in Darhk's clutches, and irritation at the high handed way Oliver had treated her.
# # #
An hour later, Oliver arrived home. "Sorry I'm late," he said as he walked through the door.
Donna shushed him with a finger on her lips, and pointed to her sleeping daughter's form on the couch.
Oliver saw the empty wineglass sitting on the coffee table, and whispered with some disappointment, "Did she eat anything?"
"I tried making her something," Donna whispered back, "but I think your oven might be broken, because I was supposed to put it in for twenty minutes, and then all of a sudden smoke started billowing out, and I think the chicken might be slightly undercooked."
He looked at the kitchen counter, and his eyebrows went up at the disastrous looking meal that sat there. He pulled out his wallet and said, "There's a Chinese place just down the block. Do you think you could go get us some take out?"
When he tried to hand her money, she shook her head. "My treat. Is there anything specific you want?"
"Felicity likes their pot stickers."
The older woman nodded and said, "I'll be back in just a few minutes."
While she was gone, Oliver worked on cleaning up the kitchen, and wondering if it would be better to let Felicity sleep, or wake her up so she could eat first. By the time the kitchen was presentable, Felicity's mother was back with several containers of food.
"Could you make her a plate while I wake her up?" Oliver asked.
He walked over, sat next to her on the couch, and gently shook her shoulder. "Felicity?"
"Mm?" she opened her eyes and looked around.
"I want you to sit up and eat something," he said.
As the sleep left her eyes, she focused on him and glared. "You were mean to me."
He raised an eyebrow and said quietly, "Clearly I wasn't mean enough, because instead of coming home and eating something healthy like I told you, you had wine and passed out on the couch."
She pouted, and he pulled her into a sitting position. She winced and muttered, "Ow."
He leaned in close and whispered, "You're going to drink some water, eat your dinner, and then let me put you in bed."
Before she had a chance to answer, Donna was in front of them holding out two plates of food.
They both thanked her, and starting eating. Ten minutes later, Felicity had eaten all she could, and put her plate down. Oliver immediately put his down too and said to Donna, "Felicity and I are going to bed early tonight. Make yourself at home, and don't worry about cleaning up. I'll take care of that tomorrow."
"Oh, okay." Donna said, clearly feeling the tension in the room.
Oliver stood and held his hand out to Felicity. With a frown, she put her hand in his, and let him take her upstairs. Once they were in their room with the door shut, he grabbed a pair of her pajamas, handed them to her, and then steered her towards the master bathroom. "Get ready for bed."
She shut the door to the bathroom, and looked at herself in the mirror. There were bags under her eyes, and she didn't look particularly good. She put a hand on her ass, and could still feel some heat there, even though the sting had almost entirely faded. She turned around lifted her skirt, and tried to see her ass in the mirror. Her eyebrows went up in surprise when she got a look at the skin. She figured it would be bright red and maybe bruised, but it was barely even pink. She let her skirt drop with a scowl, and started brushing her teeth.
Five minutes later when she was done in the bathroom, she found Oliver sitting on the edge of their bed in his sleep pants. He held out his hand for her, but she backed up a step and shook her head. "You're not spanking me again," she whispered furiously.
"Well I wasn't planning on it," he said with a scowl, "but right now, you're making me rethink that." He stood, pulled the covers down on her side, and pointed to the bed. "Get in."
Cautiously walking over with a distrustful glare, she stepped around him while keeping her ass out of his reach, and got on the bed.
He pulled her covers up, kissed the top of her head and muttered, "Go to sleep."
Her eyes tracked him as he walked over to the wall, turned off the light, and then went to his side of the bed. He got in, rolled onto his side so that his back was to her, and fell silent.
Felicity glared at his back. "You need to stop being so bossy, and focus on trying to help me save Ray. You have no right to tell me when to go to bed, you have no right to keep me from my computer when I'm trying to solve a problem, and you certainly have no right to hit me!"
"Hit you?" Oliver scoffed, before turning over to face her. "I'd hardly call a few light swats 'hitting', and if I wasn't concerned for your health I wouldn't be forcing you to do anything. This is an intervention for someone I love, not me trying to boss you around."
"And what happens to Ray while you're intervening on my behalf?"
"We're doing…" His voice had gotten louder, so he cleared his throat and said in a forced quiet tone, "We're doing everything we can think of to find him and rescue him. I'm sorry if it's not going as quickly as you want it to, but there's nothing I can do about that."
"Ray was sending distress calls for weeks after the accident. I wasn't here to receive them, because I was busy traveling the world with you. I took the police's word for it that no body was ever recovered, because I was too swept up in being with you."
She could tell her words had hurt him, and said softly, "I'm sorry. It was my choice to uproot my entire life, leave my home and my job. I lost myself in you, and turned into this whole other person. And that kind of terrifies me."
Oliver said, "This isn't about Ray. It's about us."
"No… Yes… I don't know," she said honestly.
"Okay. I'm gonna give you some space, and let you figure it out." He got up, grabbed a shirt, and walked out of the bedroom.
Felicity watched him leave, and then felt even worse than before. She rolled over, and tried not to cry. A tear or two slipped out before her exhaustion caught up with her, and forced her to sleep.
# # #
In the light of day, after a good ten hours of sleep, Felicity woke up alone. Last night's argument, the ensuing spanking, and the second argument all came rushing back to her. Her cheeks heated up with shame at the things she'd said and done. Oliver was right. She'd been horrible. She'd used him as her verbal punching bag to let out her frustrations, and then yelled at him when he tried to help her. The spanking had just pissed her off in the moment, but in retrospect, she could admit that she'd needed someone to step in and force her to stop her self-destructive path. She didn't necessarily agree that a spanking was the way Oliver should have accomplished that goal, but she found that she didn't hate him for it. Mostly because she believed him when he said he'd submit to the same from her.
Now that she could be a little bit objective about the whole thing, she realized he'd used a lot of restraint over the past few days, and especially during the spanking. He was strong enough to leave bruises with one smack, but he hadn't left any on her. Then once she'd agreed to go home, he'd immediately stopped spanking, even though she was still being snippy with him.
While she was lying in bed thinking, her cell phone rang. She frowned when she saw John's name on her caller ID.
"John?" she answered.
"Lance came through with the information, and Curtis is done with the… whatever the hell that thing is to make Ray big again. We're ready to go attempt a rescue, but we need you at the computers to do it."
"I'll be there in fifteen minutes," Felicity said.
"Make it thirty," John said. "We have to wait for Thea to get here, too."
She hung up and rushed to throw on some clothes and brush her teeth.
# # #
An hour later Ray had been rescued and restored to his original size. Then they'd all spent the rest of the day catching Ray up to date on everything that had happened while he'd been detained. When it was time to call it a night, Felicity drove Ray home.
Once she'd dropped him off, she headed for her own home, and wondered what she was going to say to Oliver. Knowing Ray was safe put most of her anxiety and worries about him to rest, but that meant all of that residual nervous energy was now focused on Oliver and their relationship.
When she got home and found Oliver in their bed reading in just his sleep pants, she smiled with relief. When he looked up and smiled back, she could feel how much he loved her, and she knew they'd be all right.
"Hey," he said, setting his book on the nightstand.
"Hi." She took off her jacket and shoes, and sat on the bed next to him. "Where's my mom?"
"She went to a hotel for the night. I tried to talk her into staying here, but..." he shrugged, "…she didn't listen to me. How'd it go with Ray?"
"Fine, until I told him I sold his condo," she said with a smirk.
He laughed, and then there was a little awkward pause. Then they both spoke at the same time.
"I wanted to…"
"So are we…"
They stopped and both smiled.
"You go first," she said.
"I think we should… clear the air," she said.
He nodded in agreement, and moved over to sit next to her.
"Um... I wanted to thank you," she said tentatively, "for helping to save Ray, and I wanted to apologize for my mini, gargantuan, freak out."
"I wanted to apologize, too. I've been second-guessing myself all day. You were right, I had no right to spank you, or force you to go to bed. I should have been a better listener, and found other ways to help you."
She shook her head. "No, you were right, and I was wrong. I was just too upset in the moment to see it. You were right to force me to go home both times, even if I was pissed about it, because I'd gotten to the point where I wasn't thinking rationally anymore. It's like you said before; it was more of an intervention than anything else. If you see your loved one hurting themselves and doing unhealthy things, you should call them on it, and that's what you did. I'm not sure I agree with your methods, but I do agree with the motivation behind them." She leaned over and kissed his cheek. "So thank you."
With a relieved smile, he pulled her into his lap, and gave her a real kiss. When they broke apart, he said with an earnest expression, "Do you still want to slap me?"
"No. I'm ashamed of how horrible I was to you while you were trying to be sweet and supportive." She traced one of the many scars on his chest with her finger. "You've been through the kind of pain that would break a normal person, but you've always been gentle and loving with me. Now that I've had some time to process it, I've realized that even when you were spanking me, it was still pretty gentle and you were always acting out of love."
He frowned in confusion.
"Don't get me wrong, it hurt, but compared to what you could have done with your size and strength, it was gentle."
They were quiet for a few moments, and then Oliver said, "I don't have the best example of what a healthy relationship should look like."
"But I'll do everything in my power to make things work out between us, because I love you."
"I love you too, and we're gonna be fine. No matter what happens, we'll work it out together."
"How can you be so sure?"
"Because I realized that I didn't lose myself in you like I said before. We found ourselves in each other. We bring out the best in each other, and we're better together than we are apart."
He started kissing her, and pulled her down to the mattress with him, more than ready to demonstrate his love in a much more pleasant way than he had been the past few days.