Title: Decidedly Grey
Spoilers: Through Unfinished Business
Disclaimer: I don't own them, just amusing myself.
Summary: Oliver deals with Tommy quitting and then Felicity ends up dealing with Oliver. Episode tag to Unfinished Business, in a way.
Author's note: I was attempting to write a second chapter for Couch, but this came out instead which really doesn't match that story at all, so now it's a separate story. Also, the passage of time on Arrow drives me crazy. Is it night is it day? Who knows? So I will clarify that this story takes place after Tommy quits (night time), but before Diggle and Oliver have their little chat about Deadshot (the next day, according to me). Let me know what you think!
Felicity quickly walked down the stairs into the lair. Admittedly driving out to the Glades this late wasn't the best idea. Oliver had given her and Diggle the rest of the night off, but she had gotten antsy at home knowing about the messy state of the lair and had decided to come in and clean up a bit. She wouldn't touch any of the weapons, but she figured that at least setting her computer area to rights would ease her mind enough to be able to go to sleep.
She dropped her bag on the computer desk which now was in its appropriate position, meaning Oliver or Diggle must have moved it after she left, and turned on the desk lamp. She was shrugging out of her coat when a shadow loomed out of the darkness toward her. Felicity shrieked, stumbling back a step, and a second later the rational part of her mind informed her that Diggle would be disappointed in this reaction after their training sessions.
"Felicity?" Oliver's voice came from the shadow that was clearing the gloom.
"Oliver." Her heart was pounding, but she was no longer afraid. "You scared the crap out of me."
"Oliver, are you okay?" Now that she could see him, Oliver looked utterly exhausted with red rimmed eyes and a defeated expression. As he walked unsteadily closer, she caught a whiff of alcohol. "Wait, are you drunk?"
Oliver had now reached the desk and perched himself on the edge, seeming to seriously consider her question. "Yes. I am drunk. It's been a while."
"Is everyone okay- Thea, your Mother?"
"Tommy left. He quit the club tonight. Because of me. Of what I am." Oliver trailed off, lost in his own thoughts.
Felicity wasn't sure how to respond, so her responsible side took over. "Okay, first things first, where are your keys?"
"Of your jacket?" She hoped it wasn't his pants pocket because that would be more than a little awkward.
"And your jacket is…" She looked over to where Oliver had emerged and in the low light was able to see that he had also moved the couch back to its original position. Hopefully, his jacket was over there.
"How about we relocate to the couch and you can tell me what happened with Tommy." She hoped he could move back under his own power, already knowing that she wasn't strong enough to haul around a semi-conscious Oliver Queen.
"Okay." Oliver lurched to his feet, pitching slightly forward before she stepped up and stopped him with two hands on his very solid chest. He steadied himself and looked down at her, their faces closer than she was prepared for. "Thanks."
"No problem." She whispered and then wrapped an arm around his waist to help with their journey to the couch. Once Oliver was settled on the piece of furniture, she noticed a half full bottle of scotch on floor and a leather jacket crumpled nearby.
"I'll be right back. Don't go anywhere." Not waiting for a response, she transferred his keys from the jacket to an interior pocket of her hoodie. Then she went over to the refrigerator and took out a bottle of water. As she made her way back to the couch, she briefly considered calling Diggle, but it was well past midnight and it seemed like Oliver was a morose thoughtful drunk rather than an angry drunk or a hyperactive drunk like her. Besides he could walk well enough, wasn't slurring words, and even in his inebriated state she did still trust him.
In her absence Oliver had gone from merely slumped on the couch to leaning forward with his elbows on his knees, head resting in both hands. He didn't move after she settled herself by his side, so she tapped him on the shoulder with the water bottle and said, "Here, drink this."
Waiting until he took a drink, she continued. "Now tell me what happened with Tommy."
She almost repeated the question, but Oliver turned his head to look at her with pained eyes. "Tommy quit the club and left."
"Because of you?"
"I thought you and Tommy had worked things out."
Oliver sighed and sank back into the couch. "I did too. I thought after Helena and the Savior he had come to accept who I am now, but I was wrong. He also has to lie to Laurel about it which with our history is just…Today when Lance accused him of selling Vertigo out of the club, I actually believed it for a minute. Given our past it's not the craziest accusation and for a second I thought like the Hood and not his friend, and Tommy recognized that. I think that's what pushed him over the edge. He even said he thought I might put an arrow in him for bribing an inspector….So the question I have been asking myself is if I'm really that person Tommy sees? I do kill people. I'm doing what I think needs to be done to in the end help people, but if my best friend can't recognize that then maybe I have turned into this horrible person."
Felicity was stunned for a moment by this amount of self reflection. "Oliver, you're not a horrible person. I don't always agree with all the things you do, as you well know, but you're not a horrible person. The fact that you're bothered this much by what Tommy thinks is proof of that."
When Oliver didn't respond she continued, "I don't know how much you have told Tommy, how you've tried to explain the need to be the vigilante to him, but maybe you need to let him in more so he can understand." She knew Oliver hadn't shared details about the list and the Undertaking, with what happened to Walter those topics were kept confidential, but she didn't know what he had told Tommy about the island. Even after working with Oliver for a couple of months, she knew very little about his time on the island and some of that was without his knowledge after hacking into the secure police records of his polygraph test.
"I haven't told him much. I guess I thought he knew me well enough to trust me."
"He found out about another side of you that he didn't even expect existed. Given that he knew you before the island and the vigilante is so radically different from who you were before, it makes sense that he no longer trusts his instincts about you. Besides, I think Tommy Merlyn is used to seeing the world in shades of black and white, and you my friend are decidedly grey."
"Why do you work with me?" Oliver's response wasn't one that she was expecting.
"I often ask myself that same question." Felicity shifted to rest her head on the back of the sofa, looking up at the ceiling so as to better sort out her answer. "It's not one reason. I want to find Walter. The information I gave him got him into trouble and I feel responsible for that. But I also believe that you could do a lot of good in this city. You're obviously still trying to figure out the best way to do that and I'm going to continue to push you for less collateral damage, but there is a need for the vigilante. And by helping you I can help the city too."
She was then surprised by a weight on her lap and looked down to see Oliver staring up at her.
"I didn't mean to get drunk." He admitted, switching topics again and not commenting on his newly reclined position using her as a pillow. "I haven't been drunk in years."
"Really." Felicity was happy to see that some of the tension had left his face. Without thinking she ran a hand through his hair.
"Mmmm." He rumbled appreciatively. "After Tommy left I grabbed a bottle of scotch and came down here to clean up. Somehow one drink turned into this."
"Well, you are a large man, but your tolerance is probably lower from your time on the island." She continued to absently stroke his hair.
"Will you stay with us then, after we find Walter?" Oliver's eyes were now closed. "You make us better, me and Diggle."
Felicity smiled, that was probably the sweetest thing he had ever said to her. "Yeah, I probably will."
A few minutes passed and when she looked down she realized that Oliver was asleep. She really didn't want to wake him, so she decided to wait another 15 minutes or so before trying to move him off of her and go home. Tonight had been a revealing experience. It was nice to know that she was having some sort of positive influence on how Oliver operated, and that even though sometimes it didn't seem like it, he was worried about going too far. She also had to revise her opinion of Oliver from thoughtful drunk to thoughtful, chatty, and somewhat cuddly drunk. She would leave the thoughts of how this evening had impacted a losing battle with her attraction to Oliver Queen for tomorrow.
When Felicity woke the next morning it took her a minute to realize why she was in the lair. She was curled into corner of the couch and covered with a blanket instead of Oliver. In fact there was no sign or sound of the man which was probably best for awkwardness sake. She wasn't a morning person and didn't want to find out what her foggy brain would lead her to say to him after last night.
After a particularly satisfying stretch she noticed that Oliver's keys were still in her pocket. Taking them out she walked over to leave them the computer desk and gather the rest of her things. She stopped and grinned at the sight of something waiting for her on the desk. Next to her purse was a chocolate sprinkled donut, and picking it up revealed a word scrawled on the napkin below in Oliver's handwriting - Thanks.