Notes: This is some weird thing that came to my mind? I really wanted to make it as IC as possible, but considering the kind of fanfic this is and the kind of relationship they have now I'm not sure how accurate I can keep the characterizations. Hopefully how they're portrayed as people isn't too far off. Everyone keeps grilling Oliver about the island and I hope Felicity won't be one of them, I hope that when he tells her it's because he wants to.

This is really short and not the smut I wanted to write, but it's something I needed to get out of the way. I may give Catalyst another chapter. Still thinking about it.

X

His body spams as he is awaken from another nightmare. He doesn't have them often and less so since he started sleeping with Felicity, but there are certain nights images play around in the back of his mind and the coppery smell of blood follows him into consciousness for days. He left the island and even though he was shaped to fight he's afraid the island will never leave him.

Oliver takes a deep breath and runs his hands over his face, wiping the remains of dream away, fragments still floating around in his vision as images and feelings slowly drift away; when her hand gently touches his back her blood stained body flashes behind his closed eyelids. Her fingertips run down along his spine, counting his vertebrae and brushing over scarred flesh and he lets his body relax, focus on the warmth of her skin instead of the cold feeling of death.

"Sorry for waking you up."

"S'ok." Sleepy voice and lazy lips pressing against his shoulder in the ghost of a touch and Oliver is reassured she's real, alive. "Do you want to talk about it?"

Pale flesh covered in red and wounds that never stop bleeding; it isn't bullets and arrows damaging his body that scares him, but it's the images of the lifeless body of those he cannot bear to lose fading against the back of his mind. He can still see her sprawled on cold wet ground, bloody matted blond hair about her face when it should be covering his pillows. No, he doesn't want to talk about it. Oliver shakes his head. "No."

She traces the crisscrossing scars on his right shoulder with delicate fingertips and warmth irradiates from every inch she touches. Oliver can't remember the last time someone's touch has managed to soothe his raw nerves like she does and he appreciates every moment they spend together, every morning he opens his eyes to see she's still lying next to him, not yet left for warmer and brighter places. "You never told me about those."

You never really asked, he thinks, grateful her curious and pained looks never made it to her lips, forming words that would push him further back. Her finger dips into the creases of dark places, of every year he spent wishing he had died instead, being torn apart and put together as the pieces didn't quite fit and reminds him he made it out, diving into an ocean he could thread through.

His body is a map, she had told him once, wandering through the maze of his past, finding connections and start points and tonight she does it again, running her fingers down the scars, recounting what each means and he knows she's making stories up in her head, figuring out with her mathematical and logical brain which weapon caused each damage. She takes his silence for what it is and Oliver's afraid he'll never be able to let anyone in fully. She never pushes so he lets her be part of his present but not of his past.

"It's not that I don't want to talk about it," he starts, sitting back against the headboard as she pulls the sheets around her body to cover her naked chest and turns to face him, expectant eyes burying into his and the sudden realization of just how young she is hits him. She's untainted, sheltered by her books and intelligence from a world he should have never been part of and it's her innocence that wraps itself around his body and protects him from everything else, that keeps the ground solid beneath his feet. "I don't want my past to touch you." He hopes it makes sense to her as it does to him.

Felicity crawls on top of him, sitting on his lap and splaying her hand over his heart. She glows in the half light of the moon outside, lips scrubbed clean and eyelashes making shadows on her cheeks. "What if I want to touch it?" It's not a question that requires an answer because she leans forward and presses her lips to the scar on his left shoulder, the faint pink line that jerked their relationship into motion. She flicks her tongue along it, not leaving any spot untouched.

"Things happened in the island, bad things I wish I could forget."

"You weren't alone." Surprise flashes in his eyes and she rolls hers, eyebrows raised in the way that always makes him want to kiss the lines on her forehead away. He rests his hands on her hips and brushes his thumbs over the delicate soft skin. "I can spot your lies a mile away; do you think I can't see the half-truths?" She doesn't wait for an answer, rests her palm against his cheek and presses her lips to his, lingering until he tries to deepen the kiss. "You don't have to talk about it. Not until you're ready, but sometimes sharing the burden makes it easier to carry."

There will always be shadows lurking in his doorways, ghosts flickering on the corner of his eyes from a past that can never be erased, but it isn't her fault and it isn't her burden and he can't allow himself to let it be.

Felicity's hand leaves the spot above his heart, runs across his chest and traces the contours of the burn scar and the tattoos that follow bellow. There's more marred flesh than there's untouched skin and once he had been ashamed of those marks. She kisses each spot her fingers touch and he wonders if she's creating some kind of protection, if she's trying to bury herself inside of him and hold him together, to split him open and sew him up again without all the emptiness inside.

When her lips find his chin he turns his head to capture her mouth instead, curling his fingers around the soft skin of her back as her hand cradles his cheek. The kiss is slow, sensual, as his tongue flicks over her lips before meeting hers, blood rushing south when she rocks against him. He lets her lips go to trail kisses down her neck, tracing invisible lines with his tongue like she had done just a few moments before, aware of the mark that may possibly appear later, but losing the train of thought when she reaches a hand down to guide him into her.

She had been tight the first time they had decided to stop dancing around each other, snug like a glove that had been made to fit him and him alone. She had babbled on for minutes when he had asked if it was her first time, stuttering until she finally cleared her brain enough to let him know she hadn't been with anyone since she realized she had feelings for a certain oblivious idiot who was too busy fighting crime to pay his IT girl any attention. She had been wrong, of course, because he has noticed her from the moment they met, he just took a little too long to catch up.

Oliver lets the memories flicker in the back of his mind as he focus on the present, on the way she moves on top of him, the way her curly blond hair sways around her head and her perfect round breasts bounce ever so slightly in the same rhythm, eyelids closed and lips half parted as her breathing becomes shallow and he follows her movements. She's beautiful and perfect and he realizes that she's the answer to a question he hadn't even know he had been asking, a force that keeps him rooted to the ground when he's almost slipping into the terrible fear and pounding loss and he finds out that it doesn't matter how long it will take him to move out of the shadows and into the burning sun because she's here.

"Felicity?" His voice cracks with that one word, a name that still feels new and fresh and yet so familiar as it falls out of his lips. She opens her eyes, glazed over and almost black in the peak of lust, flushed cheeks and skin that glistens with a thin layer of sweat. "I think I'm in love with you."

The words are enough to make her go still, hands splay against his chest and she clenches around him, stopping moving right in the beginning of an orgasm and a slow, content smile stretches across her face. She leans forward and kisses him, steals the words from his lips and cleans the lingering feelings with her tongue as she touches corners and nooks she knows so well. "I think I'm in love with you, too."

Oliver flips them over, burying himself inside her as she locks her legs around him, mouths coming together as their hips move in synchrony. His past is a mess of drinking and cheating and partying and being the kind of playboy the media expected him to be, violently interrupted by a painful wakeup call. The straight line of his life is visibly fractured by a gap of five years, separating a past whose naiveté he longs for but doesn't want to go back to, and a future of soothed scars and brighter days that is being built up right now.

She falls asleep quickly, wrapped around him like a safety blanket, breath softly fanning across his neck as her hand rests above his heart and their legs are so entwined he can't tell them apart. There's a heavy load that's been lifted from his chest, replaced by a light weight that tugs at his lungs and leaves him breathless. He had missed feeling like this, happy and loved and unburdened. He only hopes that someday she'll be able to undo him again and put the pieces back together where they belong, that she'll help him stop seeking for forgiveness for the person he's become, that he will love her enough to make her stay.