A/N: Hello! Yes, I'm still alive!

It has been forever! Forever and I'm really sorry that it took this long! It's been over a year and that's just crazy!

I wrote my last chapter when I was wrapping up high school and since then I've graduated, gone through my first year of college, and am currently wrapping up the first quarter of my second year! Time just flies by!

I haven't forgotten about the story though, all the comments, faves, and follows go straight to my email, so I've been seeing them and I want to say Thank You to everyone that read my story whether it was a million years ago, or just recently. I truly appreciate it an email from the site always makes my day.

So why did it take so long? I don't know... life got in the way. I've been busy and inspiration left me for a while. I tried to write this chapter many, many, many times. It just never seemed to work. And, in my opinion, it's still lacking, but I wanted to give you guys something and I'm happy enough with this chapter to put it out there.

So for those who are still with me... here's chapter 12.


It took all of her restraint to pull away, but when she did, she was met with Oliver's familiar blue eyes. He was silent, his eyes trailing over her face in search for something. She wondered briefly, half amused, what he was looking for and then she realized he was looking for some sign of panic. The realization alone suddenly induced the feeling that had not been present a few moments ago.

She loved him. They had just kissed and it was the best thing that had ever happened to her. He was the best thing that ever happened to her and—oh God, they kissed. Friends don't do that. She tried to remember who had initiated the kiss, but she couldn't. All she knew was that she wanted to do it again and that shouldn't have been the case. They were friends. She tried to turn away, but his hands on her waist held her in place.

"Felicity?"

She didn't meet his eyes. Every cell in her body was urging her to kiss him again because it felt good—because it felt right. She was becoming increasingly sure that she had kissed him. What did I do? What did I do? One of his hands now rested on her cheek. His thumb moved over her cheek slowly and he repeated her name, but she couldn't concentrate on that because his touch was weakening her resolve not to look at him—not to kiss him.

"I'm sorry," she said hurriedly, ripping herself from his hold.

She hadn't even taken one step before he stopped her, gently wrapping an arm around her waist. His chest was pressed against her back.

"I kissed you," he reminded her, as if he had read her thoughts.

Their conversation before the kiss suddenly rushed back and she felt foolish for letting the panic overtake her. She closed her eyes and let out a breath. "Oh…"

He loosened his hold on her to allow her to turn and face him. He smiled, and then began laughing quietly to himself, shaking his head.

"What?" She asked. She couldn't help the smile that tugged at her lips.

Oliver stopped laughing, but continued to shake his head slowly. He gently ran his fingers over her forehead before leaning in to place a kiss where his fingers had just been. Just like she had done time and time again, she closed her eyes and let him.

She'd hated it when people touched her. Sure, she was your girl if you needed a hug, but that was it. There was no need to trail fingers over her skin, or place unnecessary kisses anywhere. There was no need to constantly be in contact on the bed or sofa, so yeah, maybe a cuddle or two was nice now and then, but never too long.

She had learned, early on in their friendship, that Oliver was the kind of guy whom would constantly be doing the unnecessary. At first, it was because he was drunk. He'd show up to her apartment in one of his drunken stupors and she'd let him in, make him coffee, if he wanted any, and send him straight to bed.

The first few times, she had gotten into bed with him, only to wake up in the middle of the night to find that she was completely wrapped up in Oliver's arms. She groaned, and tried to wriggle out of his grasp. Sometimes, she succeeded, and then she'd wake up a few moments later to find herself in the same position. She even began to wonder if she had just imagined escaping his hold.

One nightor morninghe had shown up, she had put him to bed, and headed for her couch instead, knowing the snuggle-fest that she would have had to endure if she slept in the same bed. He'd woken up early, and had proceeded to wake her up when he found her on the couch.

"Why are you sleeping on the couch? What's wrong?"

She rubbed her eyes, "Good Morning to you too. I trust you slept well."

"Felicity, what's wrong?"

"Nothing. You were drunk and needed to sleep. That's all."

"Yes but why are you sleeping here?"

She looked down at the couch, and then began to rub her eyes to buy some time. She didn't want to tell him that she didn't really like being touched because she didn't want him to take it the wrong way. "II..um… figured that you needed a really good night's sleep so I thought it might be better for you if you had the bed to yourself."

He looked confused for a moment before his expression changed to one of worry. "Do I disturb you from getting a good night's rest when I show up here?"

"No." She sat up and shook her head for emphasis.

"Is that the truth?" He asked, obviously not buying it.

"Well…no butit's really not that big of a deal. Really…"

"Felicity, you're my friend whose nice enough to put up with me, but if I'm disturbing or bothering you in any way, you need to let me know."

She looked down at her hands and he placed a finger under her chin, tilting it upwards. "I'm not a touchy person. That isI don't like it when people touch me. I meanI mean this is okay, but I'm not…um… cuddly. It's just something I've always hadIt's not your fault. I like hugs…you give great hugs. We can hug." As always he looked quite amused at her little rant, but he didn't say anything so she continued: "You're a really cuddly person in bedUm… not that I know how you are in bed. I mean when you sleep. And that's okay. Most girls like thatyour future wife will probably love that, but it's just not my thing."

He took a moment to hide his smile, quite unsuccessfully, and then he nodded. "I'm sorry. I didn't know."

"It's okay! You can't help it. I mean, who can control what they do in their sleep. Am I right?"

They had agreed to go back to bedprovided that they kept to themselves. She'd almost fallen asleep when Oliver spoke: "What are you gonna do about that when you have a boyfriend?"

She almost laughed, "He'll just have to deal with it."

"Oh, and you think that will be easy, do you?"

"How hard can it be not to touch someone too much?"

He laughed, turning on his side to face her. "I don't think you quite get it. When someone's in love, it's not that simple. It won't be easy for you, or for him."

She scoffed. "Believe me, I won't have a problem keeping to myself."

"Yes you will. You'll like to see him close his eyes at your touch." Oliver reached out to brush his fingers against her cheek. She knew he was trying to prove a point, so she did her best to keep her eyes open. She wouldn't give him the satisfaction of being right. But it was hard.

Despite the fact that she didn't like unnecessary actions like this one, there was something in his voice and something about the way his fingers barely made contact with her skin, that just made her eyes want to close. And they did, of their own accord.

"You'll like it when he's close. You'll like it when he holds you." He didn't move towards her however, and she knew it was because he had already proved his point. He retracted his hand and she opened her eyes. She expected him to look smug, or to be smiling knowingly, but he simply looked at her, an unreadable expression on his face.

"I've got news for you mister, I've had boyfriends and I've been able to keep to myself."

"Maybe, but when you find the right guy then you'll see that I'm right."

It sounded logical enough to her, and she was really tired, so she nodded and closed her eyes. When she woke, the mattress had gotten a heck of a lot lumpierand less bouncy. She cracked an eye open and found that half of her body was sprawled on top of Oliveron his side of the bed no less. He had kept to himself, apparently she hadn't kept to herself. But who could control what they did in their sleep?

She threw him a fake glare that she knew he couldn't see. He was still asleep, but she was sure as hell going to mentally blame him for her sudden cuddliness: 'You see? Now, because of your sleeping habits, I'm turning into a cuddly monster.' She squinted at him a little bit longer before gently pulling away from him and turning on her side. It wasn't long before he turned as well, warping an arm around her waist and pulling her against his chest.

She sighed, but didn't say anything. The room was cold anyway and he was warm, so she didn't mind too much.

Felicity smiled at him when he pulled away and, without a word, she pressed her lips against his. This kiss was more urgent than the last and she was acutely aware of the fact that they were pouring only a fraction of their need to make up for lost time, into it. They stopped only when his phone rang. A low moan of frustration escaped him, but he stepped away, taking his phone out of his pocket and immediately handing it to her. He turned away quickly, running a hand through his hair as he walked to the far end of the room.

She focused on her breathing, never taking her eyes off of him. He turned and walked back towards her with slow, calculated steps. When her breathing was adequate enough, and when there really wasn't any more time to fix it, unless she wanted to miss the call, she picked up.

"Hello?"

"Don't tell me you two are still at the office," Moira said on the other end of the line. "Do me a favor, clean up, and come back with Oliver. It's late. You can work when the sun is up again."

"I—Um… sure thing. I—I think I'll go to my place though…I—" Oliver shook his head at her, telling her that she was not going anywhere.

"Nonsense. Oliver's bed is perfectly big enough for the both of you." She almost dropped the phone. Felicity was busy ranting out a response, when she realized she really wasn't saying anything, so Moira cheerfully repeated her earlier request that they put their work aside and then hung up without another word.

"What did she say?" Oliver asked, standing a few feet away from her.

Felicity wasn't sure what to say. She wasn't even sure she had heard Moira right. She hoped she hadn't. "She…said something along the lines of 'Oliver's bed is big enough for the both of you.' No—that's exactly what she said."

To her surprise, he laughed.

She was too shocked to laugh along. "Wait. This doesn't seem strange to you? I mean…What did she mean?"

"I overheard them talking two days ago when you stayed over. Your mother mentioned that you weren't in the guest room when they went to bed, and my mother explained that you usually sleep in my room."

Felicity nodded, still unsure, and then she realized something. "But I did go to sleep in the guest room…I woke up in your room though."

"I brought you there," he said. Before he could say any more, his phone rang again.

Felicity glanced at the device in her hand and her heart dropped just a little: Laurel. Until now, she and Oliver had been nothing more than friends, so Laurel had been either someone whom she encouraged Oliver to talk to since he loved her and he'd blown it, or someone she'd occasionally resented slightly for not being exactly what her friend needed. But now…now she and Oliver had crossed a line and she was suddenly in the middle of Oliver and Laurel.

"Give me the phone," he said, stepping closer.

"What are you gonna do? God, what are we gonna do? Did you think about this before you kissed me, because I sure didn't think about anything before I kissed you."

He smiled at her reassuringly. "I thought about it."

The ringing stopped and started up again. He held his hand out, but she didn't give him the phone. "You're not going to break it off over the phone, are you?"

"Why not? I know what I want and it isn't her. She knows that."

Felicity moved her hand behind her back, further from Oliver's grasp. "You can't do it over the phone! That's so cruel. Would you break up with me over the phone? Because if you would, I have to tell you that I'd find you before you even finished that sentence and slap some sense into you. You can break up with me, but not over the phone. That's as bad as sending a text, or writing a really crappy note. I mean, you don't have to take me to dinner, but at least have the decency to talk to me in person. Honestly, I don't understand this fear of—"

He kissed her to shut her up, but he pulled back too soon and a small indignant sound escaped her. "I would never—" He stopped short, leaning his forehead against hers. She knew that he didn't finish because they hadn't talked yet. He didn't know if she really wanted this. But he didn't have to finish because she knew that he would never hurt her and even if that wasn't exactly what he was going to say, it was always going to come down to that simple fact.

They fought, as all friends do.

"Why do you keep doing this to yourself? Don't you see thatUghh!" She threw her hands up in the air and roughly pulled her hair into a ponytail.

He had come to her again, drunk as usual, during mid-term week. She'd gone through their usual routine and put him to bed because she knew that whatever she said to him then, would not have stuck in his memory, so she waited until after breakfast and her minor scolding of him had turned into a loud argument.

"You ask me that like I'm some sort of drug addict. It's a little alcohol, a little partying. So what? I do it all the time, it's part of college life. It's not a bad thing to have some fun."

"If you ever want to leave college then you'll need to pass your exams Oliver!"

"If I needed a lecture I'd talk to my parents Felicity."

"But you don't listen!"

"Here's the thing. I'm an adult. I don't have to listen!"

"I don't understand whywhat is it Oliver? You just realized one day that you were a billionaire and decided that you had to be like all of the other douchebag billionaires out there? Because I don't see any other reason for you to act this way."

"Just because you've always been the careful, responsible kid, doesn't mean that you have any right to judge me or act like you know better! Look around Felicity, you live in an apartment off of your campus purely because you need your space to study. You spend most of your time in the weekend, studying. And you never go to parties, instead, you just take care of me after I come from one because while I'm out actually living, you're studying. Everything is study, study, study. And sure, you get good grades, but that doesn't mean your better than me."

"I never said I was better than youYou know what Oliver, maybe you should go."

"Yeah I probably should." Without another glance in her direction, he had left.

And it was that that really hurt, the fact that he didn't even look at her once more, as if she was easily replaceable, as if she meant nothing to him. She'd spent the rest of the day replaying that fight in her head and worrying that she'd lost a good friend. She took care of him most weekends, but they also had coffee, and watched movies, and played video games. And in a short time, she had realized that he was a good listener. She trusted him, and told him almost everything.

He came back later that night, looking like he hadn't slept in weeks, with a bottle of red wine. He didn't say anything when she opened the door or while she was making tea, and neither did she. But while she waited for the water to boil, she snuck a glance or two at him and noticed that he was doing the same from his spot on the couch. The fight was already forgotten. She was just happy that he had come back. She set the tea down and they sat together on the couch amidst a long silence.

"I'm really sorry Felicity. I really am…You were just trying to help. I know that. I don't know why I got angry. I suppose, just like everyone, I don't really like hearing the truth. That's no excuse to hurt you though. I never wanted to hurt you."

"I'm sorry too Oliver. There are better ways to say what I said. I'm sorry."

They were sitting on the couch hours later. The tv was on, but the volume was low so that they were just watching the scenes flash by on the screen. Felicity's head was tucked under his chin, her knees tucked in, and Oliver's arm was draped around her waist. They had been enjoying a momentary silence in a long conversation when Oliver broke it.

"I thought you didn't like cuddling or people touching you unnecessarily."

She couldn't look at him, but she could practically hear the amusement in his voice. "I've decided that it's all right once in a while."

"Hmm…" He planted a kiss on the crown of her head.

Felicity knew now what she wanted, but she had to admit to herself that there were other things to consider. She didn't particularly want to say what she was planning to say, but she had to say it. "Oliver? Don't break up with her now, over the phone. We just kissed. Maybe it was just an impulse thing—" She placed a finger over his lips to keep him from protesting. "Maybe not. We obviously need to talk about it and think about it. Laurel's visiting her parents for the weekend and we have that gala. We'll figure it out by the time she gets back."

"I told you. I've thought about it," he reminded her in a low voice. She wondered if he had done that on purpose because his voice was nearly enough to break her resolve again.

"Humor me then. Humor me for one weekend."


Thea arrived at the house just as Oliver parked the car. She may have been eighteen and technically an adult, but Oliver couldn't help checking his watch as he stepped out: 12:03 am.

"And where have you been Speedy?" He asked, just as any big brother would.

"Went over to Amy's. We're in a group project so I was, you know, being part of the group and all."

Oliver seriously doubted that they had spent more than ten minutes actually working, but he let it go.

Thea walked up to the door ahead of them before stopping and turning around to face them. "I talked to mom and dad hours ago. Lunch turned into dinner, but dinner ended, so where exactly have you two been?"

Her question was straightforward. Her tone wasn't laced with any sort of suggestion or suspicion, but Oliver could sense that, no matter how they answered the question, she was going to pick up on "something." For once, there was actually something to pick up on. He made the mistake of staying quiet too long and Felicity began to answer.

"We—at work. Where else would we be?" Despite the initial stumble, that answer would have sufficed, except, Felicity didn't stop there. "We're always at work together. Not that we can't be apart, but you know, we have important things to do and it gets done faster when we do it together—the work. Because, that's what people do at work—Boy it's cold out. Let's go in."

Oliver was torn between cringing and laughing. It was an absolutely terrible rant and he could see that Thea thought so too because she looked like she'd been handed a physics exam made by NASA. He took advantage of his sister's momentary confusion by stepping around her and holding the door open.

"We're both tired," he tried, as a form of explanation.

Felicity hurriedly walked inside without another word and Oliver tried his hardest not to laugh. It took him a moment to realize that Thea hadn't walked in and that she was just staring at him with the same confused expression. And just when he thought it was safe, that expression cleared up.

"You and—OMG—Finally!" Thea started jumping up and down like a five-year-old. "It took you guys long enough! Seriously!"

"Nothing happened Thea. I don't even know what you're talking about. That may have been a rant, but it's Felicity, she always does that. I'm telling you, she's just tired and so am I. If you'll walk in now so I can close the door and go to bed…"

"Oh come on! I know Felicity, she rants when she's nervous, or overthinking and it was a simple question, so the only reason she would have been overthinking the answer is if something happened."

"Thea. I mean it," he said sternly.

The smile didn't leave her face. "Oh, suuure… I'll play along." With that, she walked in.

Oliver let out breath. He was far too tired to continue the discussion with her. It should have been quiet downstairs, safe to go up the stairs unnoticed, but it wasn't. Their parents were still awake, laughing and talking in the living room. Felicity had already been roped into the conversation.

"Oliver, honestly, there is a line between work and just plainly over-working yourself," Diana said as he walked in.

"I appreciate it Diana, I really do, but I hear it every day from the two of them," he said with a wink before gesturing at his parents.

"It's past midnight!" Moira exclaimed in her defense.

Thea strode past him, letting herself fall heavily on the couch beside Diana. "Half of the reason they're work-a-holics is the fact that they work with each other," Thea said matter-of-factly.

Diana pressed her lips together in an attempt to hide her smile. Richard raised an eyebrow but kept his expression neutral otherwise. Robert was suddenly struck with a 'ticklish throat' and began the process of clearing it. Moira made no attempt to hide her very large and very knowing smile. Thea, similarly, made no attempt to hide her smug smirk.

"Well, working with a friend is always fun—I mean not fun, fun like trampolines or parties or anything like that, but um…enjoyable—I mean not enjoyable exactly because why would it be? It's still work and it's just a friend, but—"

"It is past midnight and we are both tired," Oliver cut in, deciding that Felicity should not be the one to respond to these kinds of questions anymore.

"Yes, we shouldn't keep you. Go get some rest," Diana replied hastily before anyone could say anything else.

He smiled at her gratefully. Out of the corner of his eye he saw Felicity nod, mostly to herself he was sure. She then went around the room, saying 'good night' to everyone with a kiss on the cheek. Just as before, all he could do was watch. When she'd finished her 'good night' rounds, she turned towards him, looking slightly unsure. He couldn't come up with anything to say. All he could do was think about how perfect she was, how stupid he was, and how he really didn't need another second—let alone a weekend—to think about anything.

She spun around to face everyone. "Well, sleep well…" And with that, she walked hurriedly out of the room.

Oliver waited a moment before saying his own 'good nights' and walking out as well, fully aware of the fact that they were all watching him intently.

She was sitting on his bed when he walked in and as soon as he closed the door, she began laughing. He chuckled, unbuttoning his jacket and moving towards the closet to hang it. She followed him in, still laughing to herself as she wrapped her arms around him from behind. "Ughhh…you shouldn't let me talk!"

He laughed at that. "No, I really shouldn't."

"Do you think they all know now?"

"Felicity, they knew before we knew."

"Not possible."

He turned to face her, fully intending to dispute her words, but claiming her lips with his own instead. He kept the kiss short, so that he satisfied his need to kiss her, and also didn't lose his train of thought. "No, seriously, they knew bef—"

She cut him off with a kiss this time. He remembered that he had wanted to tell her something when he'd come up to his room, but he couldn't remember exactly what it was…Her lips were too soft. She tasted too good. She was too damn perfect. His hand found its way into her hair. She put her arms around his neck, closing every inch of space between their bodies.

A moan escaped her at some point and that's what snapped him out of the trance. He pulled away more roughly than he had intended, but not more roughly than he needed. He needed the abrupt distance because he needed to clear his head. He was about to say something—anything just to reassure her and explain, but she backed away as well, looking at him in understanding. She knew. Of course, she knew. She always did.

Oliver backed up against the wall of his closet, focusing on the sounds of their breathing. Once they had regained breath, he made his way to her, wrapping her in his arms as he had done hundreds of times. "I don't need a weekend to think about it. I don't need a second—but if you need time…"

"I don't need time, but I want to make sure that you're sure and that it's not just an impulse thing."

"It's not," he stated, brushing a stray lock away from her face.

"Just—give it a weekend. See how you feel when Laurel comes back...If we cross this line and it goes downhill…"

"We've already crossed the line Smoak."

She ducked her head under his chin. "I know, but—but it's still sort of reversible…If we want it to be reversed, you know?" She mumbled against his chest.

"I told you, I've thought about it. It's practically all I've been doing for weeks now." He planted a kiss on the crown of her head.

She sighed in exasperation. "I thought you agreed to humor me for the weekend." Felicity pulled away just enough to look at him with her lovely blue eyes. "See, this is the kind of thing—It's one thing to deal with this at work, but I don't know if I could do this on an endless basis," she joked, adding a wink.

He rolled his eyes. "I'm sorry to inform you that you already do this on an endless basis. In case you haven't noticed, we practically live together."

"Really? I hadn't noticed."

He chuckled. "Okay, time for bed I think." He stepped to the side to give her access to the back of the closet where there was a small section of a few of her comfortable clothes. "You know where your stuff is. Thea has some of your things in her closet too, I think."

She shook her head. "Yeah, I'm not going in there. She'll corner me and interrogate me. My sweatpants and one of your shirts will do just fine."


"Okay so I am wearing pants," she stated firmly.

Confused, Oliver turned his head towards Felicity, who stood right beside the bathroom door, looking annoyed and slightly embarrassed. She had one of his navy cotton shirts on, but it was too big and came to her mid-thigh. Her hair was loose, her disheveled curls, framing her face. Despite her statement, it did not look like she was wearing pants, but Oliver didn't think it was a good idea to point that out, judging by her facial expression. "O…kay?" he said amused.

She hung her head and then quickly dashed under the covers beside him. "Turns out my sweatpants aren't in your closet, my pajama shorts are, but your shirt is big, so you can't see them…My sweatpants are probably in Thea's closet, but again, I am not going in there."

Oliver held up his hands. "I didn't say anything."

"I just wanted you to know," she said.

"And now I know," he said, trying to hide his amusement at the whole situation and her tone.

"I know you're laughing at me on the inside," she said, narrowing her eyes at him in mock anger.

He chuckled, turning on his side to face her. He reached for her under the sheets, his hand landing on her hip. He trailed his hand down along her thigh until he found the hem of the shirt.

"Oliver," she said warningly. He didn't reply.

He simply lifted the shirt up slightly and ran his fingers over the cotton material of her pajama shorts. "And now I know that you really are wearing pants," he said with a wink before pulling the shirt back over her shorts and placing his hand on her waist.

"Ha ha, very funny Oliver," she said flatly, but she moved closer, so that he could clearly smell the strawberry-scent of her shampoo.

She closed her eyes and a peaceful silence filled the room. He watched her, trailing his eyes over every inch of her face and every strand of her hair. He wondered absently how many times he had done this.

Somewhere in the part of his mind that was half-awake, he was aware that she was wriggling into his embrace. He was also aware that she wasn't asleep, she was moving far too much for that. He let her fidget some more before banding an arm around her waist and pulling her flush against him.

"I thought you didn't like being cuddly," he mumbled.

She jumped slightly at the sound of his voice. She'd obviously thought he was sound asleep. "I don't particularly like really bad thunderstorms either," she whispered back.

The storm had been going on for hours. The wind blew fiercely outside, forcefully throwing rain droplets against any solid surface. The thunder roared frequently, breaking the few moments of semi-silence that the storm allowed.

Still, her statement confused him. They were in the early days of working at QC. There had been thunderstorms during their college days and she had never mentioned being afraid of them. Why was it different now that they were at his house? He cracked one eye open, and then the other, blinking in an attempt to get his eyes to adjust to the darkness. He pulled back slightly so that he could see her face. She protested by grabbing fistfuls of his shirt.

"You're scared of thunderstorms? You never mentioned that when we were in college."

"No. I'm not…this one just happens to be really bad…," she replied, keeping her eyes closed.

"Oh..."

Oliver wasn't really sure why, but he watched her for a while. Waiting until her breathing became rhythmic and calm, a sign that she had fallen asleep. It was only when this happened that he realized he'd stared at her without letting any thoughts into his mindwithout letting anything disturb him. It was an odd feeling. Usually he found it hard to clear his mind, thoughts were always whirling around when he had a moments peace.

It was one of those moments that reminded him of the fact that she really was the best thing that had ever happened to him. He moved closer, holding her tighter as if to shield her from the storm, and let sleep overtake him.

"You said that this is all you've been thinking about for weeks," Felicity said softly, breaking the silence. "Is that true?"

He met her eyes. "Yes."

"So your odd anger towards Stefan...?"

"Was all part of it. It wasn't intentional most of the time. It just sort of…happened."

She closed her eyes again, and they were engulfed in silence.

"Why?" she asked after a long pause. She didn't open her eyes immediately.

"Why what?"

"Why…this—us? Why now?"

He couldn't help but laugh a little, not because it was funny, but because he was almost sure they should have realized it years ago…Maybe they had… "Are you asking me, or are you asking yourself?"

Felicity shrugged, tracing his jaw absently. "Both."

It was a good question. "I guess…I don't know. I don't know what you're answer is, but I think we just ran out of room to make excuses—to pretend there was nothing there."

She nodded, her eyelids drifting closed of their own accord. "Sounds about right."

"You're tired. Sleep. We'll talk in the morning."

"It is the morning."

He smiled, rolling his eyes at her know-it-all comment.

"I know you're rolling your eyes."

"Go to sleep Felicity."

"You go to sleep Oliver."

"Really?"

"Really."

"I love you," she said quietly.

He pressed a kiss on her forehead. "I love you." And for once, he allowed the words to mean it in every way—at least he thought he was allowing it to be that way. It took him a moment to realize that it wasn't different from the million other times he'd said it to her. He'd always meant it in every way.


A/N: So that's chapter 12! I sincerely hope you liked it!

I know, I know, this means that there's more. It's not much more, but I do realize that I need another chapter or so to wrap this up in a nice little bow.

I'll be finishing my academic quarter in the first week of December, so perhaps the earliest you can expect a new chapter is in that week. Who knows, maybe I'll be able to write it out before then. Whatever happens, I promise you'll have a chapter before the year is over!

Thank you again for taking the time to read. As always let me know what you think!