a/n: Thanks again followers and reviewers. As a reminder, Oliver's thoughts are in italics.
Three Hours later...
He'd been a little bit rougher than usual on tonight's mission but he had wanted results fast. As the bike sped through the streets of Starling City the lights became a continuous blur. He thought about his day. Hanging out with Felicity had been enjoyable. I felt more alive, more human than I have in long time. Maybe if I hurry, I can make it back to her place before she wakes up, or at least go back and talk so I can get this off my chest. I hope she stayed at home like I asked. She didn't need to be out tonight.
Riding past the employee parking lot of Verdant, Oliver notices the familiar little red compact car. Why did she have to come? Why couldn't she have stayed at home like I told her in the text? Stubborn woman! I guess I stand no chance of confessing now do I? The Hood pulled his bike into the rear parking garage of Verdant. Bracing himself for the possible barrage that was going to hit, he entered the code: 1, 4, 1 in the door and stepped inside. The computer monitors were lit up and her desk lamp was on. She's definitely been working. It was eerily quiet in the cavernous room. Letting out his breath, he glanced around, spotting his confidante.
"How did it go?" Diggle asked as the vigilante descended the staircase.
"Fine, the money's been returned," he replied cautiously. His eyes, hiding in the depths of the green makeup, swept the room. "Where is she?" he asked.
Diggle chuckled. "In the bathroom. You have about 30 seconds to get out if you don't want to see an irate Felicity."
The hooded man looked at him with a questioning look.
"She has discovered that you found her files, that you watched one and that you copied all of them. She's not exactly happy." Diggle paused, hearing a movement upstairs. "You know that loud voice she has. Well I needed to go upstairs for a bit when she found out. I don't know how this is going to play out Oliver," Diggle counseled his protégé.
Her voice came booming down the staircase. "Oliver Queen don't you move!"
the men looked up at her. She was standing at the top in her heels, jeans and bright pink shirt, pointing her finger at Oliver. Diggle looked at Oliver. "I'll leave you two alone to work this out. Good luck, man." He nodded to Felicity as he passed her. I thought he had my back.
The man in the hood watched her come closer. Her blue eyes glistened, surrounded by smudged mascara. Her teeth chewed on her lower lip. A brightly polished nail jabbed him in the chest. He stood there stoically, knowing he deserved it. "You have no right to read my personal files," she declared.
He slowly pushed back his hood and opened his mouth to speak. "No, not one word. Don't deny it. I know you read them. You had no reason to read them. After this afternoon, I thought Oliver Queen was truly my friend, not my boss or my partner in crime." She paused in the middle of her tirade. "Oh I didn't mean that. I mean working with the Hood – literally a partner in crime that could get me arrested, not my best friend"
"Feli..." he interjected.
She stood in front of him, waves of anger rolling off of her. "Stop. Hear me out." She took a deep breath. "I once said that I felt I could trust you. You looked me in the eye and told me I could. I trusted you." Her blue eyes were burning holes in his soul as she reminded him of his promise. "And you, Mr. Hotshot Vigilante in the Hood broke my trust when you went snooping in my files." At least she's not yelling at me. Maybe this won't go so badly. She took another breath before continuing. "The Oliver Queen I spent time with today, he would not have done that to me. But this dark brooding version is a different matter. What possessed you to look at my files in the first place?" she demanded.
"Felicity, when I came back last night, you were acting strange. I thought you were hiding something, so I went looking." He tried defending his actions.
"You thought I was hiding something? Why didn't you just ask? I would have told you the truth." She looked at him crestfallen.
I react with survival instincts, saying trust no one. Sometimes I forget that with my true friends I really can just ask. He removed the leather costume, revealing his scars and tattoos. Tossing the jacket on the table, he turned towards her. He watched as she examined his naked skin. "After the island, I find it hard to trust what people say. I can only trust what I learn for myself. I was betrayed too often." Oliver paused. His eyes beseeched her to understand. She looked away from his intense gaze.
"Oliver, if you can't trust what I say, why do I work for you?" Felicity countered, turning back to face him again. The wounded look in her eyes pained him. This is all coming out wrong. Why can't I just tell her the truth?
He could sense her growing frustration and disappointment. "You texted me, with the intent of keeping me away so I wouldn't find out!" I only wanted you to have a restful night after a late night, and give me time to tell you myself.
"No, I wanted to tell..."Oliver pushed.
"Sneaking out of my apartment and leaving me at home. You really don't need me, do you?" Felicity argued.
""Of course I didn't need you tonight, I had …" Oliver replied without thinking.
"See, I'm just an amusing IT assistant to you. A liability," Felicity flung her words at him. He could see her hands trembling at her sides. Why didn't I say that I need her in more ways than one? He tried to reach out to her. She stepped back, her hand covering her mouth. What is she thinking?
"And that kiss?" Felicity's cheeks were flushed pink. "Was it just to distract me so you could get into my files? I know how you flirted with McKenna to get what you needed. Were you the vigilante then too, kissing me for a purpose?" He could hear her labored breathing.
He reached out, holding her upper arms to keep her close to him. He could feel how tense she was. If I kiss her now, she's not going to trust that it's real. Still holding her, he took a step closer. "No Felicity, I would never..."
"Oliver, I'm done! I can't trust a word you are saying. You're going to tell me what I want to hear, not the truth." He could see the tears forming in her eyes. "I know what you are capable of when it suits your needs. When you're ready to tell me the truth, come find me and maybe I will be ready to listen. Right now I'm just too angry." She used both hands to push against his muscular chest, propelling herself away from him. She walked up the stairs, wiping her eyes with the backs of her hands. She paused at the top. "Goodbye Oliver. Your secret is safe with me," she quietly declared. She will always keep my secret, no matter what. "But if you don't trust me to keep it, make sure the arrow is quick, painless and completely unexpected." She turned and opened the door.
Oliver watched her walk out into the dark, moonless night. Heaviness filled his heart. Enraged with himself and his poor choices, he shoved the metal table so that it fell, sending equipment skittering across the floor. With a broad sweep of his arm across the desk, he sent the computers crashing to the floor. Picking up the bamboo training sticks, he whipped them and whirled them, whacking the metal posts for hours, until his body and mind were numb. With his whole body slick with sweat, he sank to the floor, holding his head in his hands. What have I done?
a/n: I know this chapter is short but it is emotionally packed. Hope you enjoyed. After writing it I realized I needed to change the second genre. I didn't originally intend for it to get this tense.