A/N: As usual, this began as a trope. And then...well...just read. It's a multi-chapter fic. Shoutouts to befitandchase and hopedreamlovepray for being the first ones who were subjected to the feels. Consider yourself warned.
When Oliver and Digg had walked out of the lair that night there had been something in their eyes. Something she didn't understand at the time. Oliver's gaze lingered on her, a sadness and regret there that didn't make sense. She'd quirked an eyebrow at him, but he'd schooled his features quickly and pulled his hood up. That was the last time she saw him alive. Two hours later he was dead.
They were just supposed to be patrolling. Felicity was only half listening over the comms, using the quiet night to catch up on backups and upgrades she'd been putting off. She had her feet up in the other chair, eating from a pint of ice cream when their tones shifted.
Sensing something was off she sat up and put the ice cream to the side, fingers flying as she found their location and pulled up all the available cameras in the area.
She looked at the map in confusion and tapped the link in her ear, "Why are you guys in the warehouse district? I thought you were covering the other side tonight?"
There wasn't an answer immediately and she began to get worried.
"Small change of plans." Digg said, his voice low as if he was whispering.
Fear surged through her. Something was wrong.
"What's going on?" she demanded
"Oliver got contacted by the Bratva, they wanted to meet."
"What? Now!" she screeched. The Bratva had been relatively quiet. At least she thought they had been, Oliver hadn't mentioned them in months.
"Where is he? Why isn't he on the comm?" she clicked a few more buttons and watched, an icy fist around her stomach, as his link went dead. "Digg, what the hell is going on?" she demanded
"He had to go in alone. They weren't going to let me in." Digg's voice was tight.
"He's in there without backup? Without a weapon?" she asked incredulously
"It was the only way."
She fell silent. All she could do was stare at the cameras and wait for them to leave.
It was a long twenty minutes when suddenly she heard Digg on the move. She sat on the edge of her seat, waiting to hear word that everything was fine.
His sharp intake of breath and muttered cursing was not what she wanted to hear.
Before she could ask what was wrong he was in her ear. "Felicity...it's not good." he said in a strained voice.
A whine of panic filled her head, she'd never heard him like that before. "Wh...what do you mean?"
"Get the crash cart ready." he said harshly. "I'll be there soon."
"Crash cart!" she exclaimed, not understanding what was happening.
Her feet were moving somehow. On auto pilot she moved around the med bay, pulling supplies and getting the area ready. When she was done all she could do was pace the floor around the table, wringing her hands.
When the door to the basement banged open she jumped a foot and froze.
Digg stumbled in with Oliver over his shoulder. He laid him on the table and Felicity gasped in shock.
Oliver's face was almost unrecognizable. There were numerous cuts and bruises. The skin around his eyebrow was split, as well as his lip, and his nose looked like it could be broken.
Digg tore his shirt in two and she was propelled forward. He'd been beaten badly, but the deep knife wound in his side made her cry out. She grabbed gauze pads on autopilot and pressed them over the spot, growing dizzy when they immediately soaked through.
"Digg..." she said with a quaking voice,
"I know." he bit back, his attention on getting the leads hooked to Oliver's chest.
When he flipped on the machine and it didn't show any cardiac rhythm Felicity had to clutch the table to keep upright. "No!" she gasped out and raced to the cart, hoping it was like that first time, when the wires were just loose. But the wires were fine.
She cut frightened eyes to Digg and just shook her head. His mouth was pulled in a thin line as he grabbed the paddles and adjusted the levels.
Felicity jumped when Oliver's body jerked and held her breath as she looked at the monitor, but the line was still flat.
Digg turned the knobs again, and again Oliver's body bowed as electricity was sent through it.
The line was still flat.
He did it twice more, each time with the same result.
Horror filled her as she watched Digg step back, the paddles limp at his side.
"NO!" the word was torn from her throat as she raced to Oliver's side. She started chest compressions, unable to count out loud because her throat was too clogged with tears. She looked to Digg in desperation and then turned her attention back to Oliver.
Her eyes were so watery she couldn't see him, but she didn't dare take her hands off his chest. This was not happening. She could not even begin to consider that this was happening.
She didn't know how long she kept pressing on him, willing his heart to resume beating. At some point she felt Digg's hands wrap around her wrists from behind and pull her back.
With a massive wrench she tore away from him and collapsed on top of Oliver. She couldn't breathe. Sobs choked her as she buried herself in his neck. Her hands grabbed his face and she screamed at him to wake up. She screamed it over and over again, but he didn't listen.
Digg caught her hands in his, turning her away. She fought him. She fought him as hard as she could, her fists pummeled his front until her knees buckled and he caught her. He just held her as she broke.
She cried so hard she was sick, and then she cried so hard she blacked out.
When she woke up she was on the couch in the lair. At first she didn't remember. She'd fallen asleep on the couch after a long night more than once. When her throbbing head and her sandpapery eyes made themselves known she remembered.
With a gasping sob she sat upright, throwing the blanket off her legs. Her eyes cut to the medical table in hopes that everything was just a horrible horrible nightmare. She staggered to her feet and somehow made it to the table. When she was a few steps away she could already see she hadn't dreamt it. It had actually happened.
The cart with the defibrillator was pushed to the side, the paddles dangling towards the ground. Detritus from where they had tried to save him littered the floor and blood had dripped off the side of the table.
A horrific noise filled the space and it wasn't until she covered her mouth with her shaking hand that she realized she had made it. With one arm wrapped around her middle she felt her knees crack on the concrete as her legs gave way.
Oliver was gone.
It didn't seem real. He was the strongest person she'd ever known. He'd survived unimaginable horrors and thwarted death for five years on the island. Then he'd returned and risked his life to save the city. To be taken out by the Russian mob seemed wrong and unreal.
She didn't hear Digg come in, nor did she jump when he laid a hand on her shoulder.
"Where is he?" she managed to ask through a clogged throat.
"Felicity...he's gone." he said as gently as possible,
Her head snapped up and she glared at him, "I know that! Where did you take him?" she practically snarled.
He sighed heavily and rubbed a hand across the back of his neck. "I made it look like a mugging gone wrong." he said thickly.
She gaped at him, "You...he's...just lying in a street somewhere?" she couldn't even begin to comprehend. When he just nodded she felt her stomach roll and she made a desperate lunge for the trashcan.
"I have friends in the M.E's office, they're going to make sure this is as quiet as possible but...we can't hide it." he said once she was sitting on the floor, weak and shaking.
With jerky movements she threw herself to her feet and stumbled to her desk to grab her bag. "I have to go. I have to leave." she said suddenly. She couldn't be there. The lair meant Oliver, and...she couldn't be there.
"I'll drive you." Digg offered but she brushed him off.
"No. I'm fine. I'll be fine." she said, but after she'd dropped her keys for the third time he took them from her.
"Felicity, you're not fine." he said softly.
She turned to him with a trembling lip, "How could I be fine? He's..." she couldn't make herself say it.
Tears spilled over her cheeks and she felt him pull her into him again. This time she wrapped her arms around him, a part of her recognizing that she wasn't the only one who had lost Oliver.
She almost balked when Digg guided her towards the car he always drove Oliver in. It was the one they had taken that night. She got mutely into the back and gasped. His bow, quiver, and the top half of his costume were laying on the seat.
When they'd left that night he'd gone in the outfit, but he hadn't returned that way. He would have had to change quickly to meet the Bratva.
Her fingers reached for the leather as if by their own volition. Her chest ached as she pulled it close and buried her face in the hood. It smelled like him.
She curled up around the jacket and tried to let her mind go blank as Digg drove. When she got out in front of her building he noticed she had the hood, but didn't say a word.
"I'll call you tomorrow." he said, giving her one last hug.
That first night was the worst. She didn't sleep. She roamed from her couch to her bed. She'd left the curtains on her balcony open even though she knew it was pointless.
He used to come in through the balcony sometimes.
She carried the hood with her, her fingers nearly constantly moving over the leather. Somehow it was the only thing keeping her tethered to the earth. As long as she was touching it a part of him was there.
She'd turned off her phone and didn't go near the t.v or computer. She didn't want to hear. She didn't want to know what they said.
In the early hours of the morning she stood on her balcony and slipped her arms into the jacket. When she pulled the hood up a waft of air hit her nose and for a split second he was behind her.
The tears hit her so quickly she could barely make it to her bed before she fell apart.
She woke up to sunlight that seemed cruelly bright and the hood still around her head.
She laid still for hours, staring blankly. Oliver had been her life. She'd just existed before she met him. He'd given her a purpose. He'd shown her things about herself she'd been too scared to discover. He'd made her better.
And she'd made him better. He had needed her, as much as she had needed him. They had been so much more together.
The worst of course was that she had been desperately, and irrevocably in love with him.
She'd always suspected he knew.
What was she suppose to do now?
She didn't move the rest of the day. At some point Digg appeared at her side. She never questioned how he got into her apartment.
The bed sunk as he sat down next to her, looking at her sadly. She couldn't even feel self conscious about wearing the jacket. He reached out slowly and pushed the hood back, laying a hand on her head.
"I'm sorry." he said
She grabbed his hand and held on. "It's out." he told her and she knew he meant the media had the story. Oliver would be splashed over every paper and tv station. There would be speculation over whether it was a mugging, or an overdose. His past would be drug back out and paraded as evidence for why this turn of events was not surprising. And no one would ever know what he'd done for Starling City.
"I brought food. You need to eat."
She nodded, because she knew he'd want her to.
He sighed and squeezed her hand. "I'll check on you tomorrow."
"How's Thea?" she asked suddenly, her voice rough with disuse.
He just shook his head.
"Is Roy with her?" the girl had been through enough.
"Yeah, and Walter's flying in tonight."
"Good." she said and pulled her hand away.
He took something out of his pocket and left it on the table next to her. "Burner phone. I'm the only one with the number. Answer it." she nodded again, tears pricking at his concern.
She let her eyes fall shut, wanting to be alone again. His hand brushed over her head one more time and then he was gone.
A few hours later she made it out to her kitchen and heated up whatever he'd brought. She didn't taste it, but she was shaky and weak and knew she had to eat something. She ate as much as she could and made it as far as her couch.
A shrill repeated ringing woke her from nightmares of Oliver dying in front of her over and over again. She sat up with his name on her lips and pushed damp hair out of her face.
The phone Digg had left stopped by the time she got to it. A text alert came through a few minutes later. It was a reminder to eat and take a shower. She ignored him.
This is how she existed for the next two days. She floated. Digg either came by or called her to make sure she still functioned on some basic level. On the third day she remembered she had a real job that she hadn't ever called in to and she found she didn't care.
Digg came by late, three days after Oliver had died to find her in the same yoga pants and t-shirt she'd been wearing since he'd brought her home, the jacket never far from her side.
He looked at her with pity. "I thought I told you to take a shower." he said as he stepped inside to find her laying on the couch. She barely lifted her eyes as she shrugged.
He crouched in front of her. "You can't keep doing this."
She looked at him quickly, and glared. He gave her a small smile, "Well, at least I got a reaction."
He made his way into her kitchen to put away groceries. "I'm making you a hot meal. You're going to get in the shower and put on new clothes. And if you don't do it I'll do it for you." he used a tone of voice with her that she was sure he used with A.J. and she continued to pretend like he hadn't spoken.
When he stood over her looking his most imposing she saw the worry and concern he'd been trying to hide. Without a word she got up and headed for the bathroom.
She hated that when she was finished she did feel a bit better. Guilt gnawed at her, and the ache in her chest flared so suddenly she was short of breath. She walked into her kitchen with wet hair and a fist clenched to her breastbone.
Digg pulled a chair out for her and put a bowl in front of her with a glass of water and told her she couldn't get up until she was done.
He sat across and waited even though it took her almost an hour.
When she was finished she looked at him expectantly, because she knew he had come there to tell her something.
"The service is tomorrow."
He paused, expecting her to fall apart or have another breakdown, but she was numb now.
"What time?" she asked in a cracked voice.
She tried to nod.
"I'll pick you up." he told her, his hand reaching across the table to clasp hers.
He looked at her for a long moment and opened his mouth like he was going to say something and then cursed under his breath and stood.
"It won't always be this hard." he told her as he passed behind her, brushing a kiss over her hair as he did.
She didn't get up as he went to exit. Just as she was expecting to hear the door shut behind him he swore vehemently and slammed it in front of him instead, his gun drawn.
In his other hand he held a piece of paper and a dagger.
She looked at him in confusion.
He did up the lock and deadbolt and hurried to her side, hand grasping her by the upper arm as he lifted her from her seat.
"Get in the bathroom." he directed, already towing her along next to him.
Fear slammed into her.
"Digg...what's going on?" she asked.
He pushed the paper, dagger, and his back up handgun into her hands as he walked her backwards into the bathroom.
"Stay here! Lock the door. Don't leave this room until I come back. Do you understand."
"No." she answered honestly, her heart thrumming wildly in her chest. "What is going on?"
"Bratva," he said seriously and left the room.
She did as he said. She locked the flimsy door and sat with her back to the tub, gun held in front of her in shaking hands.
Her eyes slid to the paper. With a gasp she recognized the symbol. It was the Bratva star Oliver had on his chest. There was something written in Russian, but she had no idea what it meant.
By the time Digg returned she was a nervous mess.
"Why are the Bratva pinning threatening notes to my door? How do they even know where I live, much less that I exist?" she demanded as she followed him back into the living room. She didn't even notice as he took the gun from her and asked to see the note again.
He hadn't answered her and she was angry, "Digg! Does this have to do with Oliver?"
"Yes." he said, holding out the paper, "This means 'debt paid'." he pointed to the Russian word she hadn't recognized.
"Debt paid? What debt?" she asked in confusion.
He scrubbed a hand over his face and locked his eyes on her. "The Bratva knew about you. They knew you were connected to Oliver. Part of the reason he was meeting with them that night was to..." but he didn't get a chance to finish.
Horrified her hands flew to cover her mouth.
"Stop!" he commanded, coming forward to grasp her arms, "This was not your fault. Oliver was killed because someone was challenging his position as Captain. Do you hear me?"
"Are they still out there?" she asked, as she brushed errant tears off her cheeks.
"I think you're safe, but don't think about going anywhere without me. Got it." he leveled her with a hard look.
"You should be with Thea tomorrow." she protested,
"Thea has her own detail. I hand picked them myself. You can consider me your bodyguard now." he told her, and his tone let her know it wasn't up for negotiation.
By the time he left all she could do was sit on her bed, watching as the moon slowly tracked across the sky. She had put the jacket back on. His scent wasn't as strong now.
She'd never know how she managed to get herself up and function that next morning. She hadn't slept, but luckily muscle memory was a real thing. She went through the motions. Doing her hair, putting on make up. The black dress in her closet taunted her and she put it on without looking in the mirror.
Dark glasses slid over her eyes and she sat, waiting on her couch, at quarter after ten.
Digg let himself in, but she was on her feet before he could fully enter.
They rode to the cemetery in the same car. It wasn't until they were halfway there that she found it odd Digg was still driving the Queen's car. Then she was distracted by the thought that pulling up in Oliver's car and getting out of it with his bodyguard may garner her unwanted attention.
However, it was too late to change anything as Digg was already driving through heavy iron gates.
The media was being kept back she was glad to see. Several limousines were pulled to the curb and Digg joined them. He had pulled in right behind the one that held Walter, Thea and Roy.
Felicity watched as they emerged from the car, Thea looking as if a strong wind would knock her down, she held on to Roy's arm like it was the only thing keeping her from flying away. Walter flanked her other side, his hand out to catch her elbow if needed.
Digg opened the door for her and she saw several heads turn their way. The car, and Digg were highly recognizable, but she couldn't give a care to what anyone thought right then. She had to find someway to make it through the service like she'd lost her boss and not the love of her life.
Digg hung back a few paces, and she knew this was just as hard on him. He was expected to blend into the background and be invisible.
She slowly began to walk across the damp ground, her heels sinking into the earth when a man approached her. Digg was at her side almost instantly.
He was tall with dark hair, and there was something familiar about him she couldn't place although she felt like she should know him.
"Ms. Smoak?" he asked and she nodded,
He held his hand out and Digg started forward again. The man cut his eyes over him almost like he was appraising him. "I'm Bruce Wayne, I just wanted to say how very sorry I am for your loss."
Felicity's breath stuck in her throat. Bruce Wayne, one of the richest men in the world, knew who she was and was offering her his condolences, as if he knew Oliver was more than just her employer.
"Oliver and I went to prep school together." he said by way of explanation. She slid a shaking hand into his and he squeezed it tight. "Thank you." she managed to get out.
"May I escort you to a seat?" he asked courteously and offered her his arm.
Other mourners were passing around them, and she could feel their eyes. Why was she there? With Oliver's bodyguard, and Bruce Wayne treating her like a widow. Something was happening that she couldn't explain or understand right then.
That same something told her she could trust him. She felt Digg start as she slipped her hand into the crook of Bruce's elbow.
"She'll be safe with me." Bruce said to Digg, his choice of words caught her attention, and something passed between the two of them. She didn't understand, but whatever it was made Digg fall back two paces.
Bruce selected a row far enough back that she wouldn't feel like people were staring at her the entire time and she was grateful. She sank into the chair with relief, she had yet to look up to where the awning was. She couldn't look at the casket. As long as she didn't see it, it wasn't real.
"Bruce, good of you to come." Walter's crisp voice said over her shoulder and she jolted. Bruce stood to shake his hand and tell Thea how sorry he was. Felicity turned to look at them and Walter recognized her.
"Felicity!" he said in surprise. She got to her feet and looked at him in barely concealed fear. If he questioned why she was there, or even why she was sitting next to Bruce she didn't know how she'd answer.
She wasn't expecting him to grasp her by the elbows and lean in to press a kiss to her cheek. "I'm so sorry my dear, I know you and Oliver were close." he whispered into her ear and she was suddenly blinking back tears. "It would be perfectly alright if you moved closer." the meaning wasn't lost on her, but all she could do was shake her head no at his offer.
She managed to mouth a barely audible sorry to Thea and exchange a look with Roy before Walter was guiding them away. Bruce's hand on the small of her back reminded her she was standing and she half fell into her seat.
More people were filing in and still she hadn't looked to the front. She'd kept a handle on everything until a noise to her right made her look up and she saw it. It was black with heavy brass. A spray of some sort of flowers was laid out on top and she almost gagged imagining their sweetness.
Bruce slid a starched handkerchief to her. She took it without word, clenching it in her fingers as someone who had never met Oliver stepped to a microphone and began to speak.
It was all too surreal. The pain in her chest grew until she felt like her heart was going to be crushed under the weight. Bruce's hand dropped across her back. "Breathe," he whispered to her and she took a gasping inhale.
She didn't hear a word of what was said. When it was over she gladly took his arm again, her knees wobbly.
"Do you want to go up?" he asked and gestured to the casket where people were filing past.
The world seemed to tunnel down to just that casket. Her vision blurred, and white spots sparkled in front of her. She heard her name being spoken but it sounded like it was very far away.
Bruce was leaning down to look in her face and she blinked rapidly, suddenly able to hear again.
"Let's go." he said, and without giving her a choice began to lead her away.
She'd gone several feet when she realized this was the closest she'd ever be to Oliver again. With a jagged sob she spun and started back only to be stopped by Digg.
"No, sweetheart, you don't want to do this." he told her as gently as he could. Her hands landed on his chest and she looked at him with pleading eyes.
"Bring him back, Digg. Please. Bring him back. I can't do this." she didn't even recognize her own voice, "I can't..."
There was a hand on her waist and she was surrounded by these two men, one who she trusted with her life, and one she just met but for some reason knew would never hurt her.
She was being turned, and ushered back to the car and was sitting in the back seat before she could even process what had happened.
Bruce crouched by the open car door and looked at her with sympathy. He handed her a small black card. "I believe we could help each other in the future. That's my private line." he said with a small smile. She shut her eyes tight, and when she opened them he was gone. The only evidence he'd even been there was that card and a white square of cloth with a black monogram.
A dark laugh made it's way out of her throat. Her life had turned absurd. She sat in the back of Oliver Queen's car, with Bruce Wayne's handkerchief in her lap.
And none of it mattered.
Digg got her back to her apartment. She made it through thanking him and telling him goodbye before she walked numbly into her bedroom and tugged the jacket around her without even bothering to change.
The rest of the day was a blur. Part of her was telling herself that she couldn't keep doing this. She had to start living her life again. Go to work. Talk to people. Exist. But she didn't know how she was supposed to do that. He'd been everything and now he was gone.
She fell asleep from exhaustion and woke up when it was dark. With a groan she rolled over and stared at the ceiling. She had to do this. She had to figure out how to live.
It took every ounce of effort she had to force herself off the bed. She took the jacket off and hung it in her closet, taking a moment to run her hands over the material one more time before she shut the door.
She showered and changed, and finally allowed herself to look in the mirror. The skin under her eyes looked tissue thin and bruised it was so dark. Her cheeks had sunken in more due to her almost non-existent eating habits and she was paler than she'd ever been.
Her stomach actually grumbled and she looked down in surprise. "Alright, I'll find something to eat." she said and stepped into her bedroom.
The curtains to the balcony were closed, which caught her attention since she'd been leaving them open.
Without a thought to her safety she crossed to the balcony and pushed the curtains back open. A shaft of moonlight entered and she could see a figure sitting in the corner chair.
She froze. And then gave a slightly hysterical laugh.
The shadow looked like Oliver.
"Great, now I'm hallucinating." she said aloud and turned to leave the room.
When a hand clasped around her wrist she tried to keep walking. She needed food. And maybe some wine. And something to help her sleep without dreaming.
She took another step and the hand on her wrist was still there. The breath caught in her throat as she looked back and stifled a scream. The Oliver shaped shadow was now standing. And it still looked like Oliver.
She pulled but it didn't let go.
With a shaking hand she reached back and turned on a small lamp. She blinked rapidly at the brightness and then because she couldn't believe what she was seeing.
It was Oliver.