"What if we just… disappear?" Oliver asked, apparently out of nowhere, from where he was lying with his feet propped up against the back of the couch, his head by Felicity's leg.
"What?" Felicity asked, a little surprised at the question. She'd been absentmindedly playing with Oliver's hair, and her fingers stilled in their motion through it.
"I mean, the only thing that's really keeping us here is our jobs, right?" Oliver asked, sliding into an upright position to more easily facilitate conversation between them. "I'm sure Thea could make some sort of arrangement so I could do mine from a distance if I asked her, and you could…" He trailed off, the word he was looking for apparently escaping him.
"Freelance," Felicity supplied.
"Yeah," Oliver said. "That." Felicity didn't respond. She couldn't deny that the idea of leaving everything behind and starting over somewhere new with Oliver at her side, building a life with him, was extremely tempting, but it all seemed so sudden.
"It wouldn't be right away," Oliver reassured her, evidently noticing her troubled expression. "We'd get everything settled here first. And it doesn't have to be permanent. We could just go away for the summer at first, and come back if it doesn't work out." Felicity took a deep breath to calm herself and thought it over. What Oliver was proposing was something she hadn't given so much as a single thought to, hadn't even considered, until this moment. But with the added caveats of their having time to say their goodbyes and settle their affairs before they left, and having the option of returning to Starling City if things didn't work out, the idea went from tempting to irresistible.
"Okay," she said after she'd mulled it over for a while.
"Okay?" Oliver asked, brightening. Felicity caught her breath for a moment. Somehow, the casual manner in which he'd proposed the question had meant that she'd missed how much he'd actually wanted this.
"Okay," she repeated, shaking off her shock. "Let's do it." Oliver smiled, that broad smile that made his eyes crinkle up at the corners and Felicity's heart skip a beat every time she saw it. He kissed her enthusiastically, then leapt up from the couch and disappeared to elsewhere in the apartment, presumably to start making preparations. Felicity smiled in spite of herself, Oliver's joy infectious.
The next few days were spent sorting through their belongings, packing up what they wanted to take with them and putting everything else into storage. Then they made a list of the things they still needed to do and employed a divide and conquer strategy with it, each of them taking half. Soon, with their to-do list conquered and their goodbyes said, they were ready to leave Starling City and start their new life. Even if they ended up returning at the end of the summer, Felicity was excited to find out what the next few months would hold for them.
A few day later, she sat beside Oliver in the passenger seat of his car as they drove up the coast with their belongings in cardboard boxes in the backseat, Starling City disappearing around a curve in the road behind them. Oliver had one hand on the steering wheel and the other on the center console between them, his fingers entwined with Felicity's.
"You want to know something strange?" he said. "I'm happy." Felicity smiled at that, though it broke her heart to know that he'd been struggling and suffering for so long that true, sustained happiness was an unfamiliar feeling to him. She could only hope that he would find plenty of it in the months to come.