A/N: Alright, so this is my first ever fanfiction actually posted that isn't from the Harry Potter section, so sorry to those of you who got alerts for this story but don't want to read something from Arrow. Anyway, I literally woke up Thursday morning with this story fully outlined. My mind apparently never stopped obsessing over what had happened on Wednesday night's episode. This is basically an episode tag to 3x01, so if you haven't seen it and don't already know what happens, be warned, spoilers may abound in the story.

Hope you all enjoy!

Disclaimer: I do not own Arrow, if I did something like this would have definitely happened at the end of the episode!

Felicity is a kind of Happiness

Oliver let out a heavy sigh as he reached the alley way door that concealed his home for the past few months, why was life so messed up? His head fell forward to rest on the cool metal of the door as he went over the last few days once more. It was hard to think that just yesterday he'd been so happy.

When he'd come home from the island, he'd been so sure that he would never get to be truly happy again. He didn't even think he knew how to be happy anymore; comfortable, content, maybe even satisfied on occasion, but never happy, never relieved, or peaceful. Yet the day he walked into Felicity's office nearly three years ago things had started to change for him. It wasn't anything instantaneous, he wasn't feeling contentment over night or anything, but the moment he stepped into her office and introduced herself, he'd been touched by her light. Like he told her on their date, she was the first person he could see as just a person in so long, and he'd been nearly blinded by that.

Over the time they'd known each other they'd grown closer and closer, and he'd allowed more and more of her light to just seep into his darkness, banishing the bad memories and replacing them with smiles and hilarious ramblings that could make him smile even on his darkest days. And he'd loved it. He loved her. He loved her enough that he'd tricked himself into believing that he could act on those feelings, that the happiness he felt whenever she was near was something he could have all the time. Always.

Reality was a cruel mistress however. It had slapped him in the face in the shape of a small rocket blowing up their date, destroying the building and knocking them both unconscious. He'd gotten lazy, he'd been so wrapped in his warm contentment with life and his excitement and nerves about their date—the one he'd been dreaming about for months—that he'd completely missed the tracker that had been placed on him. It had nearly cost him his life, and worse, it had nearly cost him Felicity.

In response he'd shut down, hurriedly rebuilt his walls and attempted respond as he has in the past to any attack: push people away. He shut Diggle out, ordering him to stay behind, and he'd forced Felicity to give up on them, on him. Really the only person he hadn't screwed over this week was Roy, but even then he knew there was something off about the younger man. When he'd gone to the hospital this evening, he'd felt like an intruder. He hadn't known how he would be received; he was fully prepared to apologize to both Diggle and Felicity, and to concede that maybe he was wrong—he'd have done anything to keep them around—but then Diggle had come to him and told him that he'd been right.

Most people would be glad to hear these very words, but Oliver had just felt like he'd just been sucker punched. He hadn't wanted to be right, not about this. He needed Diggle, he needed Felicity, and he needed things to stay as they were, but he knew even as Diggle spoke that things were changing. The problem was, he didn't know what to do with the change; he didn't know if things were going to be better or worse in the end because of it. He'd never handled change well, and as a result he'd fallen back on his oldest self-defense mechanism; he refortified his wall, stacked it high and deep and did everything he could to place some much needed space between him and those he cared about.

What he hadn't counted on was Felicity. His lips tugged upwards at this thought even as he turned and leant against the door to stare up at the cloudy, light polluted sky. He'd never been able to anticipate Felicity and what she would do or say, not from the very first words she'd spoken, so why he thought this would be any different was beyond him. He'd made his choice and built his walls to defend it, but with typical Felicity finesse, she'd simply walked right through them and called him out.

So he'd kissed her. The kiss had somehow been both shorter than a blink and longer than an eternity; it was everything he'd hoped for and more.

When he'd finally pulled away he realized that it had been perfect enough to make him reconsider everything, but when he'd broken the still and charged silence between them with an order for her not to ask him to say that he doesn't love her, it had been her who walked away. In stunned and hurt silence he'd watched her go, feeling his heart on his sleeve and his emotions on his face for the first time since the island as he longed to call out to her; to say something, anything that would bring her back. Before he could do anything however, Barry had called—with his typical inconvenient timing—and something in the kid's voice had told him he couldn't wait, Barry needed him now.

He could only shake his head again as he mulled over Barry's story once more. If that whole situation wasn't a can of worms waiting to be tossed into Pandora's Box, he didn't know what was.

So now here he was, coming home to a building that was never intended to be considered home to any sane human being, and there was no one he could talk to, no one waiting to welcome him back. He hadn't felt so alone since the island. Pushing off the door he sighed again, pressed in the code to unlock the door and with one last glance at the street lit sky entered the Foundry.

Plodding lightly down the stairs he returned his bow to its standard location and unzipped his hood. It was as he was taking it off that he first sensed another presence; it was as he was lightly setting it down on the table next to him in preparation for a fight that he recognized the other person as Felicity. He hadn't even looked at her, but he could feel her familiar gaze locked onto his back as he moved. When she said nothing he hesitated for a second before heading into the bathroom they'd installed to change clothes, needing a moment to gather his thoughts. He had no idea what she was doing here, but he was worried he didn't want to find out.

He caught sight of his reflection in the mirror and blinked, the man looking back at him now was more reminiscent of the man who'd just returned from the island than the man he'd felt himself turning into these last few months. There was a blankness in his expression that told the story of a man throwing up walls and employing every defense mechanism in his arsenal to protect himself, and others from himself.

He shook his head to clear his thoughts and quickly divested himself of his leathers and climbed into the shower. He moved through his routine more quickly than he would have if he had been alone in the ArrowCave, and stepped out of the shower a few minutes later. He dried himself off and slid into a pair of black and dark green striped pajama bottoms Felicity had bought him as a birthday gift and pulled the door to the bathroom open even as he tugged a plain charcoal grey t-shirt over his head.

Silently he padded across the cold cement floor to where he'd sensed Felicity earlier and found her sitting in the corner of the surprisingly comfortable couch she'd insisted they'd get. She was picking at the end of the red ties that held her of blue and red checkered pajama bottoms up and she looked swamped in a large black t-shirt he was pretty sure had once belonged to him. Her hair was in a loose side ponytail and her makeup was gone, but as she glanced up at him he was pretty sure he'd never seen anyone so beautiful. She shifted in her seat as their eyes met and he caught sight of her black Ugg boots just before her feet were buried beneath her legs once more.

"Felicity," he started, his voice soft and sad, but she cut him off with a raise of her hand. She gave him a sharp look and then the seat open on the opposite side of the couch, silently ordering him to take a seat. He hesitated a moment before deciding to hear her out and slowly lowering himself into the indicated spot, one leg folded beneath him so he could face her.

"So I decided something," Felicity spoke up a while later, looking up from her magenta colored nails to meet his eye. When he glanced at her with a slow blink of his eyes and a tilt of his head to go on she spoke again, "I'm not letting us go that easily," she stated, her voice firm and her eyes communicating the seriousness of her words.

"Fel—" he sighed but again she stopped him.

"No," she interrupted, "You had your say," her voice shook a little and she cleared her throat to steady it, "You got a chance to share your opinion and thought, now let me share mine," she waited but when no words were forthcoming to stop her she cleared her throat again and dropped her gaze to her fingers, "I know you don't exactly know a lot about my past," she started, "And really it's just a long complicated story that through many sometimes difficult twists and turns led me here," she brushed it away, considering that to be a conversation for another time, "But one thing you need to know," she lifted her eyes to meet his once more, and the pain he found in them tore at his heart, "is that I have never in all my life been as happy as I was last night on that date with you."

Oliver swallowed tightly as his eyes shut at her words. While he was glad to hear that she'd been happy, he ached to know that he'd also been the cause of so much sadness in her life. He opened his eyes just as his lips parted to speak, but when he was unable to find the words he just waited silently for her to go on. She was right, he'd had his chance to tell her what he felt, it was her turn now.

"When you gave me your speech about how you were wrong about being able to be with me and blah blah blah" his lips twitched at that, "You were so caught up in trying to convince me to believe the way you did that you forgot to ask me what I thought, how I felt," Felicity's voice grew firmer the more she spoke and she shifted as her hands flew around with her words, "You don't get to make decisions like this on your own Oliver," she shook her head seriously at him, "This isn't a dictatorship, it hasn't been since I joined the team and you know it. You say we're partners, but you didn't consult me about your decisions, you just made them and expected me to fall in line. You did the same with Digg, and it isn't fair."

Oliver frowned as her words hit home, he knew all of this already, but for some reason it hadn't held the same impact until she said it all out loud, "I just want to protect you Felicity. I don't want to hurt you, if anything happened to you…" his voice broke and he had to swallow hard to get control of his emotions.

"Protect me?" at the strain and disbelief in her voice and in her eyes Oliver had to tear his eyes from hers to stare at the far wall over her left shoulder for a moment. He opened his mouth to defend his words but Felicity lunged to her feet in a movement meant to cut him off. Pressing his lips tightly together in frustration he swallowed his explanation and turned in his seat until both of his feet were on the ground and he was staring at the tips of her Ugg boots as she stood in front of him, "You're not protecting me Oliver," she stated, "You're the one hurting me," her voice took on the higher pitch he recognized as the tone she used when tears were in her eyes and she was still struggling to speak, "You may think you're protecting me, Oliver, but your only really protecting yourself."

"You're right," he murmured, "I am protecting myself, but it's only because the thought of losing you…" he shook his head and raised his knuckles to his lips for a moment, "Felicity, if I ever lost you…" even voicing the very idea made him cringe and wince; losing her was unthinkable, it was never going to be an option for him.

Felicity threw her hands up, "But you are losing me, Oliver!" she exclaimed in a desperate voice, trying to make him see, "And the ironic thing is that you never even let yourself have me in the first place!" she stepped closer to him, but didn't say anything more.

He glanced up at her then, taking in the defensive posturing and defiant stare she gave him before lowering his gaze to his clasped hands in front of him, "I—Felicity," he started but stopped for a second to gather his words in a way that would explain his reasoning most effectively, "I can't be Oliver Queen and the Arrow," he tried, "I can't…I can't be the man you deserve or the hero you want," his face softened as he dropped his walls and stared up at her, allowing her to see everything. He couldn't keep secrets from her, not before, and especially not now, "And if I let myself have you, if I let you any further into my heart than you already are or I allowed myself to take a part of your life that I have no business taking…" he shook his head, "I can't do that to you, not now, not while I'm this person who doesn't even remotely deserve you."

One hand unfolded from where her arms were crossed over her stomach to adjust her glasses as she studied him for a second, "I'm not into romance novel heroes with their perfect flawlessness, Oliver," she responded softly, "I don't need you to change to be the man I need or deserve," she shrugged and uncrossed her arms to lift them in a what-can-you-do way as she spoke, "You keep talking about the Arrow and Oliver Queen and you as if you're all different people. But Oliver," she licked her lips and shook her head, "You're not. Oliver Queen, the Arrow, they're both you. They are both a part of you, not separate," she sighed and moved to sit on the center cushion of the couch, her leg folding beneath her as she mirrored his position from earlier. She was now mere inches away from him and he felt her closeness from every nerve in his body.

"No," Oliver shook his head in slow swaying motions, his lips pressing together as he frowned, "They are different; they're separate because they have to be. The two can't ever be connected, because if they are, it's game over Felicity," he moved to rise to his feet, the need to do something nearly overwhelming. Felicity's hand on his shoulder stopped him from going anywhere and caused him to turn his head to look at her. Her eyes were bright with unshed tears revealing a raging storm of emotions he wasn't sure he understood. His voice softened and he shook his head in a small movement as he added, "I can't ask you to deal with that."

Felicity inched closer to his side, her hand trailing down his arm to wrap around until it rested on his forearm, "You didn't ask Oliver," she murmured as she squeezed his arm, "If you had you would know that this isn't something I'm willing to give up," her other hand lifted to cradle his jaw in her palm as she turned his head towards her, "I want to be happy Oliver," she told him softly, her eyes tracing over his face as her thumb moved back and forth near his cheekbone, "You could make me so happy," her words dropped to a soft whisper and his eyes fluttered shut with a soft sigh, "We could be happy together."

"I don't know if it is a good idea Felicity," he answered in a voice just as soft, "I wish I could just let myself love you like you deserve but—"

"There are no buts, Oliver," Felicity interrupted, but this time he didn't just let her go on. Shaking his head and opening his eyes he lifted one of his hands to pull her hand down a little to press a kiss against her palm. He slowly circled his thumb over the pulse in her wrist as she lightly brushed her fingers over his cheek to cradle his jaw. He sighed as he finally met her eyes, hoping that she could read the emotions he was trying to communicate to her.

"I love you Felicity," he told her calmly, serenity in every feature of his expression and voice, "But loving you makes me distracted, it makes me lose my focus, which puts you in danger. I can't have that," he breathed, the left over panic from last night's bomb racing through his veins once more.

Felicity was silent as she took in that unhidden panic in his eyes and wondered absently why she hadn't seen it before, "So what, you're just going to end this, end us, and just…turn off your feelings? Oliver it doesn't work like that, not even for you," she slowly slid the hand on his arm down to grab his and tugged it into her lap. Lowering her other hand she cradled his hand in her lap and began tracing small lines on his palm crisscrossing his multiple scars and calluses without recognition, "and even if it does," she murmured, her eyes focused on his hand in hers, "You're still ignoring one very crucial fact."

Oliver sighed, both in contentment with her hands holding his, and in slight exasperation; why couldn't she see? "What?" he asked, his eyes lifting from watching her hands on his to watch her face.

Her own eyes raising to meet his Felicity paused a second longer before softly sharing the crucial fact, "I love you Oliver Queen," she stated as if it were a well-known fact, her tone telling him she expected him to already know this. Maybe some part of him had known it, and a larger part had hoped for it, but none of that stopped his heart from skipping a beat or his breath from catching at her words, "And not being with you isn't going to make me love you any less," her hands squeezed his, "In fact, it might even make it worse," she gave him a soft smile.

Her fingers traced a few more patterns before lacing one hand with his and sliding her other to circle light circles on his knee as she tried to piece together her next words, "I love you as the Arrow, who puts the fear of God into the bad guys to get them to behave," she shared a small smile with Oliver as they both recalled him telling her what his typical method for dealing with bad guys was, "I love you as Ollie Queen, who pastes on a fake smile and pretends like he cares about the trivial drama going on in the upper ends of society just because that is what his family and friends expect him to do. I love Oliver Queen, CEO—"

"Former," Oliver amended with a small smile.

"Former," she acknowledged with a slight nod of her head, "and maybe someday again, CEO, who acts like he knows what is going on in all the various corporate meetings even when he has no idea whatsoever and has to ask his particularly gorgeous Executive Secretary for translations and help," she winked at him even as he squeezed her hand to acknowledge the truth of her words, "I love Oliver, the man who did what he had to do to survive, to come home, to right the wrongs that his parents and others had committed towards this city. I love Oliver, the man who, despite knowing that his initial crusade is over and the list taken care of, still cares enough about this city that he is willing to sacrifice everything to keep it safe; even his own happiness."

Without putting much thought into it Oliver raised their clasped hands to his lips and pressed a lingering kiss to the back of her hand, but to his surprise she wasn't done talking yet. He watched her bite her lip at his actions and smothered a small smile, glad to know he affected her in a similar way she did him. He already had a pretty good idea of how this conversation was going to end, and he was pretty sure he was going to like it, but he still needed to hear what she had to say.

Her expression softened and her head tilted slightly just as she began to speak, "It's not a crime to be happy Oliver," she commented softly, her other hand lifting to cautiously curve around his forehead and through the short strands of his hair to the back of his head, where her fingers began idly making small circles that almost instantly doused him in a feeling of peace and safety and made him drowsy. "You and I have had our fair share of arguments," she decided to come at this from a slightly different angle, "And I have never backed down when I know I'm right," her fingers spread out on the back of his head before curling together again, "And I'm right this time Oliver," she murmured.

He opened his eyes, absently wondering when they'd even shut and turned his head to study her, "I don't want to keep arguing about this Felicity," he sighed, wanting to surrender but still having more than a few reservations.

"Then don't," Felicity jumped on the obvious reluctance in his voice and shifted closer, one of her knees moving to rest on his thigh as the other was pressed firmly against his side, "Give in," she could feel the fight start to leave him, and it caused the small spark of hope in her chest to begin to glow brighter. Her hand slid from his hair and down his neck to rest over his heart as she waited patiently for him to pull his thoughts together.

Oliver turned her hand over in both of his as he ran through all of the things that could go wrong and weighed them against what could go right, so incredibly right. "Digg agreed with me tonight," he finally admitted, "I was ready to apologize and take back what I'd said to him, and to you" he added, "but then Digg told me that he thought I was right," he had been startled at how much Digg telling him he was right about this actually hurt, and he knew it showed in his voice.

He was surprised to see a small knowing smile on Felicity's face as she heard his words, "Yeah well, it was probably a momentary lapse of judgment on his part due to the overwhelming amount of cuteness radiating from his newborn daughter, so I don't think his opinion really counts," her smile broadened when he grinned back, relief and hope returning to take the place of the doubt that had fallen over him a moment before, "And even if he really does consider you to be right, Digg doesn't speak for me. He can only speak for himself; he can only decide what to do about what happens in his own life, not yours or mine."

Oliver resists the urge to sigh as she lifts their hands to her lips and mimics his earlier action and presses a kiss against the back of his hand, "And what if we don't work?" his voice was soft but his posture was tense, his eyes watching her intently as if to make sure he could believe whatever answer she would come up with, "What happens then, to us, to the team?"

"One," Felicity tapped his chest once, "That's quitter talk, and heroes aren't allowed to speak like that," she winked at him with a small smile and a tilt of her head, "And two, how do you know we won't work?" she questioned, "I don't know about you, but I…" she hesitated, her eyes dropping to his chest where her his hand had risen to cradle hers against his heart before lifting to meet his eyes again, "I can't see myself ever loving anyone else as much…" her voice broke, "as much as I love you, Oliver," she swallowed and licked lightly at her lower lip in anxiousness, "I think we'll work, and I think we will work for a very long time."

Oliver squeezed her hands in a subconscious attempt to mimic the squeezing of his heart at her words, "But if we don't?" he had to know.

Felicity huffed and rolled her eyes good naturedly, knowing he was just trying to sort out all of the scenarios in his mind, "Then we decide right now that nothing we do or say will affect the way we work as a team. You and I, if you ever give in and let there be a you and I," she gave him a look from the corner of her eye, "are a forever thing," she sounded certain, "But on the microscopic so-small-it-really-doesn't-even-exist chance that we don't make it, we just need to decide now that no matter what you and I," her hand lifted with his to gesture between them, "Will always be friends."

She watched him comb over this in his mind and decided to add one last comment to her argument, "But Oliver," she caught his attention, " I don't think you're right, not about this," her eyes bore into his pleading with him to see things her way, "You and I," she sighed, "If we do this, it will be for forever," she tilted her head as a thought occurred to her, "And maybe it will be a little distracting at first," she admitted, "But we are both very good at what we do, and neither one of us particularly likes to repeat our mistakes. You just need to be a more vigilant vigilante," she smirked as his lips curled up into a small smile at her words, "and I'll do my part to keep my head in the game," she offered, "And we'll be fine," she paused and searched his eyes to see what he was thinking, "As long as we're together we can get through anything."

He smiled at her words, knowing she was probably right, but still clinging to his fear for her safety. He circled his fingers over the top of her hand as he thought, "I used to think that I'd never be happy again," he murmured after a few minutes of silence, "I didn't think I deserved it after what I'd done, I didn't think I even knew how to feel happy anymore," he eyebrows furrowed and his head tilted a little as he spoke, "But then you walked into my life all rambling innuendos and sunshine and…for the first time since getting on the Gambit years ago, I feel like I have a chance to be happy again," he lifted his head to look at her again, "But Felicity," he hesitated to find the right words, "I'm terrified," he admitted, "I'm scared out of my mind that something could happen to you or to me, and then…" he pressed his lips together and shook his head, "You are the light in my darkness Felicity," he whispered, "If I ever lost you…I'd be lost too."

"And you don't think I'd feel the same way?" she replied, "Oliver…" she licked her lips as she tried to push down the emotions threatening to overwhelm her, "I would lose myself if I ever lost you," she told him earnestly. "I'd rather be with you now, and get to have you for however long we can make it last, than to have to live with the regret that I will never get to know what it was like to give myself to you wholly and completely," she lifted her hand from over his heart and his hand slid down her arm as she reached up to comb her fingers through the hair above his ear and down to the nape of his neck again as she made sure his face was looking at hers, "You can't live life in a world of what ifs, you have to live for right here, right now."

Offering up his final argument, Oliver shifted a little until he was turned more towards her, meeting her head on. Her hand slid down from around his neck back to resting over his heart, "And what if I still don't think I deserve you?" he asked, knowing it was a worry that she would shoot down in a second, but feeling the need to voice it anyway.

Felicity gave him a small smile, knowing what he was thinking without him saying anything, "I think that's for me to decide," she answered with faux stern look, "But Oliver," she shifted her hand upwards a little to rest over his Bratva tattoo as if to make it disappear, "You do deserve at least one thing good in your life. You aren't on the island anymore; you aren't surrounded by death or enemies or tragedy. It's okay to be happy now," she tilted her head a little, "I think you deserve to be happy," she reiterated, "So please, please, let me make you happy," she knew she was practically begging but she couldn't help it.

They were on a precipice right now. He could either say no and they would both walk away with their hearts broken, or, like she could tell he was longing to do, he could say yes, and change their lives forever. She waited patiently, her heart trying to canter out of her chest and her stomach twisting in knots as she waited for him to decide. Of course, even if he said no, she wouldn't give up. She'd probably become incorrigible after today if he said no, flirting constantly and making even more outrageous, but this time intentional, innuendos; but he didn't need to know that.

Slowly she felt his hand squeeze around hers and her palm recognized the rapid beating beneath it as coming from his own heart. She met his eyes and read in them all the emotions he was trying to let her see, from fear and nervousness to desperation, hope and love. He took a deep shuddering breath and let it out slowly, "Okay," his low voice whispered, his eyes disconnecting from hers to glance over her shoulder before reconnecting with hers as he nodded, "Okay," his voice was stronger the second time, full of more conviction.

Realization slowly dawned and Felicity felt her face begin to light with joy, "Okay?" she repeated, "We're going to do this? No more running away? Or trying unsuccessfully to protect the each other from ourselves?" they both knew she was referring to him, but he let it slide, "Really?" her voice softened as tears rose to her eyes once more.

He nodded, "Really," he agreed before his head drew nearer to hers. His lips paused millimeters away from her own and hesitated for only a mere second before pressing fully against hers. This kiss was even better than their first, she thought. This kiss was meant to be the beginning of something, something amazing, while their first kiss was meant to be their last, a farewell neither one of them wanted to give. This kiss started out slow and sweet but soon turned deep and passionate as they both tried to communicate their every emotion in their kiss.

When lack of oxygen finally became a concern Oliver pulled slowly away, brushing smaller chaste kisses against her lips, her cheek, her temple and her forehead before lowering his forehead to hers as they both breathed each other in, "I love you Felicity," Oliver murmured a few minutes of contented silence later, "I love you so much," his voice was thick with emotions he wasn't sure how to convey in words.

Felicity smiled and opened her eyes as she pulled back to cradle his face in her hands, "I love you too Oliver," she replied softly, "Don't ever doubt it," she swayed forward to lock their lips together again, and almost immediately found herself giving control of the kiss over to Oliver when one of his hands rose to cradle her face, tilting it to deepen the kiss as his other hand fell to her waist and pulled her closer until she had to unfold her legs over his lap to get closer. His lips pulled into a small smile at her small squeak as he tugged more fully into his lap, his hand sliding over her knees to run up her thigh to rest on her hip.

The kiss quickly delved into an intensity she had never felt before with any man she'd ever been with in the past. It involved mouths and lips and tongues, hands constantly moving from her hip to her waist before splaying out over her back and tangling in her hair while hers gripped his shoulder and carded through the short strands of his hair. It became a full body experience; the likes of which she hadn't even known could exist.

When he finally pulled back she gasped for air and the words escaped before she could control them, "Wow, you are really good at that. Like really really good," her eyes widened and she hurried to elaborate, "Not that I thought you would be bad at kissing, because I mean, come on, your Oliver Queen, reformed playboy and ex-billionaire. But seriously, I have never been kissed like that before in my—ugh," she ducked forward to bury her face in his neck to keep herself from rambling any more, only slightly aware of the halfheartedly suppressed chuckles coming from the man beneath her.

"You're not too bad yourself, Felicity," he replied, his voice low and husky as his lips moved lightly against her ear, sending shivers scattering across her body.

They sat in silence for a long time, him lightly tracing his hands up and down her back and through her recently freed hair, while she pressed her forehead into his neck and curled her arms around his shoulders. She nuzzled her nose into the juncture between his neck and shoulder just to breathe him in. Nothing was as comforting as the smell of spice and leather that Oliver seemed to permeate everywhere he went.

"Is this my shirt?" Oliver broke the silence some time later, his hand tugging at the shirt she had on.

Felicity froze before slowly nodding, "Nope," she spoke, her words contrary to her actions, "It's mine now," she told him even as she pulled back to look at his expression. She was surprised to find him looking pleased with the idea of her keeping his shirt, "It was just lying there and it smelled like you so I took it, and I'm not-so-sorry to say that you're never getting it back."

He smiled and brushed some hair from her face with a soft expression, "As long as you keep wearing it, you are more than welcome to keep it," he stated, "In fact, you're more than welcome to any of my shirts should you feel the need."

"Hmm," Felicity pretended to look thoughtful, "I do have an attachment to a particular blue plaid shirt you were wearing the other day," she admitted with a small shy smile, "So I may have to take you up on your offer."

Oliver licked his lips as his eyes darkened and dropped to her own, watching as she mirrored his gesture, "I think I should be offered some sort of compensation for the loss of my shirts, don't you?"

Lightly tapping her fingers on his shoulders Felicity mulled this over before pressing a quick kiss to his neck and pulling back to rise to her feet. Oliver frowned up at her, his eyes dark though slightly worried for a moment that he'd gone too far only to tilt his head in confusion as she held out her hands to him. Taking her hands and rising to his feet he followed her as she gathered his shoes and tossed them at him before she scooped up the bag he'd been living out of for the last several months and held it out for him to carry.

"Fel-ic-ity," he dragged out, confused by her actions even as he accepted the bag, "What are you doing?"

She turned to him and walked backwards towards the exit, their hands stretching between them, "Giving you your payment," she replied innocently.

Oliver narrowed his eyes as he followed her up the stairs and out the door, straight to her car, "And what payment would that be?" he inquired.

"A warm bed to sleep in at night," she stated, "My bed, actually," she tact on, her nerves finally getting the best of her, "not that I'll be in my bed, unless you want me to be, in the bed, that is…I mean…3-2-1 Rewind," she tapped her foot for a few beats, "Aaannnd play; okay," she took a deep breath, "I'm taking you home so you can sleep in an actual bed. Whether I am in that bed is up to you, though personal preference would have me in bed with you. Innocently of course. Where we would be sleeping, just sleeping."

Oliver smiled down at her, glad to see her rambling hadn't been affected in the last few years of having his darkness in her life, "That sounds great Felicity," he interrupted her, with a quick kiss and a squeeze of their hands.

"Really?" she squeaked, relaxing when he nodded, "Oh good," she let out a deep breath and relaxed against the car, seemingly oblivious to the way Oliver was now boxing her in with one hand resting on the car on either side of her duffle back forgotten on the ground, "I was worried that I would be headed home tonight in tears, fully prepared to eat my way through several pints of mint chocolate chip and a bottle of cheap wine," she sighed, "So glad that won't be happening tonight."

Bending down to kiss her in a quick kiss Oliver smiled, even as his heart squeezed a little at the doubt she'd had, "Me too," he agreed lightly before kissing her again, longer and deeper this time. He'd once had the errant thought, back when his feelings towards Felicity had begun to arise, that maybe he should just kiss her and get it out of his system. Now however, having kissed her more than once already, he knew once was never going to be enough. He had to have this—he needed to have this—all day, every day for as long as they both lived.

A new determination washed over him as he set about kissing her thoroughly senseless, maybe she didn't believe that the Arrow and Oliver Queen were different people, but he knew that they could be. But from that moment on, he was going to do his hardest to blend them together, to be them both. He would do what he had to do to remain safe and able to return to this every night, and he would do and say and be whatever and whoever he needed to, to be the man she deserved both in public and in private.

She was his chance at a happily ever after, and he wasn't ever going to give her up or let her go.


A/N: Well, that was it! What did you think? Was everyone in character or was anything off? I am in the process of working on a few other Arrow stories, hopefully those will be up soon. Any thoughts or ideas on how to keep the characters in character would be greatly appreciated!

Anyway, like it? Or didn't? Leave a review and let me know what you thought!