Felicity sat at the computers typing away. Diggle went home to Carly hours ago, and Oliver was on a date with McKenna. Felicity was taking the down time to put together some backups of basic information just in case they needed to leave things quickly. Never bad to be over prepared, especially with the rate that Oliver was stirring up the bad element of Starling City. Plus, Felicity was bored, and when she got bored, she got curious. Which lead to googling, and maybe a little hacking. The guys should have known to never let her get bored. Felicity could not help but giggle to herself.
She scrolled through some web sites about Oliver. One piece of information caused her to stop, "He forgot his own birthday? December 9th. That was months ago! Who forgets their own birthday, especially after five years of not really celebrating it?" Felicity babbled out loud, "Well, maybe that is why he forgot about it. Out of practice of taking time for himself. Who cares if it's months late, I think I'll try to find him a gift. That shouldn't be too weird, right? Nah, I don't think." She noticed that it was past three in the morning. "Gah! Felicity, time to go home to bed and atleast attempt to sleep."
She shut the computers down and turned the lights off on her way out. Her mind was mulling over ideas of a birthday gift for the one guy in Starling City that had everything that he wanted. What could she possible get him that he did not already own?
After her run in with Helena, Felicity couldn't settle her mind enough to even think about sleep. She decided to wander the shops in the mall downtown. Her plain jane pony tail, shirt, and trousers did not stand out. Now, if someone looked down and saw her panda shoes, they might notice her, but outside of that, she was not noticeable. That was okay with her. She preferred her computers to people most days.
One of the last stories she stopped in was a book store. Books were just about a good a computers. They allowed her to escape into a new world. Lightly running her fingers over the leather bound spines of the books on the shelves made her smile to herself. In the back corner of the store, there was something that caught her eye. "Perfect," she said, with a grin.
Felicity walked into the Arrowcave early the next morning to get back to work. She had seen the news about McKenna, and Digg called her to tell her what wasn't on the news. No sign of Oliver yet. Felicity placed a package wrapped in brown paper that was tied with a dark green leather cording next to her on the desk. To her surprise, she heard the door click open at the top of the stairs, followed by Oliver's steps on the stairs.
"Oliv.." Felicity stopped abruptly when she saw his face. Tears clung to his eyes. His stoicism was broken. "Digg called me. I'm sorry about McKenna."
Oliver clinched his eyes shut and put his hand up, trying to get his composure back. "I just want to be alone, Felicity. I don't want to talk, okay?"
"Well, I have something I wanted to give you first, and something to say."
"Can it please wait?" Oliver said, almost pleading, which caught Felicity off guard.
She pushed her glasses back up on her nose as she turned to pick up the package. When she turned back to Oliver, he looked confused. "I got bored a bit ago, and might have googled you and Digg." Oliver tilted his head and raised an eyebrow, "Oh shush. You and Digg where out with Carly and McKenna." Oliver winced a little at that name. "Gah! I'm sorry, well anyway, what I was saying. I found your birthday. I realized that you did not even celebrate it. Come to find out you were being the Hood. I mean how does someone go five years with no birthday cake or presents and forget when he is back with civilization. I just don't unde.."
Oliver cut her off, "I didn't really have a reason to celebrate then nor now. It's just not a big deal."
That statement frustrated Felicity. "Oliver Queen, yes you do. You have a reason to celebrate. You are alive when many other people would be long since dead. I know more happened on that island than you have told anyone here. I've seen your scars. I've read your medical reports. Okay, so maybe I did more than google." Felicity admitted. "But I was worried about you. I see how much you hide. How much you keep in. How much you put up this stoic face to the world. I understand not wanting to talk, really I do. I mean, I prefer computers, and they don't talk back. Maybe beep at me. I'm rambling aren't I?"
Oliver snickered. Her rambling did make him happy.
"My point, is this, I wanted to do something for you. I don't know how many people notice me, but I noticed you. I want to help, but I don't want to push. I am babbling again." Felicity sighed. "Just open it. I wrote a note in there. That's less babbly since I could read over it. I'll head out and pick up some lunch. Does that sound okay? Then I can work, and you can beat up one of the dummies or something like that."
Some company sounded nice. Especially company that wouldn't make him feel like the worst friend or push him to explain all his demons. Oliver smiled to himself.
"Deal." Felicity grabbed her purse and headed out.
Oliver looked down at the present in his hands, "Thank you again, Felicity."
"Let's wait until you open it first," she said as she walked out of the door.
The door snapped shut and the lock clicked. Oliver sat down on the floor with his back against one of the cement pillars. His bow crate laid open next to him. He tried to remember the last time he had been given a present, especially one that was a total surprise. Felicity was right, he had totally forgotten about his birthday.
Oliver pulled on the leather cording that held the brown paper tightly together. It was a small rectangle package. The brown paper easily unfolded to reveal a dark green leather bound journal. The color matched his hood. Inside, the pages were blank. A pen laid next to the book, and a note was tucked inside the front cover. For a moment, Oliver just stared. He had never been given a journal. The note was hand written. Felicity's cursive was pretty and in blue pen. This was such a personal gift. One full of thought. Not a bottle of wine, or a car, or something with a ticket price more than most people's yearly salaries. Oliver realized that he was smiling.
I know you hide much of yourself. You always put everything and everyone before yourself. Your stoicism is amazing somedays. And there are somedays that I want to slap you to make you see that people do care about you. Wow, I can't believe I just wrote that! Back on topic! Until you can talk about it, write. Get it down. Get it out of your head. I hope this is a gift you like. I mean, you have everything. I just know that I like being able to have one safe place to go to help clear my head. You are not alone, Oliver Queen. Not alone to deal with your nightmares.. I would be lying if I wasn't curious about your scars or the years on the island. It's not my story to ask about, though. I just wanted you to know someone noticed you. Not the Hood. Not the playboy. Just you. Happy Birthday, Oliver Queen.
Oliver's hand was shaking by the time he read the last words of her note. He felt tears roll down his cheeks as he leaned his head back against the pillar. She had noticed so much about him in such a short time. It was so new to just be noticed for himself. Not the Oliver from before or the Hood of now. Felicity was wrong about one thing though, he did not have everything. Well, at least not until now. He now had someone that he felt could be one of his closest friends. He needed that. A best friend he didn't have to lie to. Someone he could be completely honest with. Someone that wouldn't push him to tell the stories of his nightmares. Someone that would help keep him grounded. Oliver let himself smile at that thought as he put the journal and note in the crate with his bow. It would be safe there with the rest of the things he held dear.