A/N: This one has been in the works for months and is a bit of a departure for me. There will be one chapter per episode beginning with 3x02, with a few exceptions.
The basic premise is, what if Oliver and Felicity began a physical relationship brought on by the catalyst of Sara's death, but acted like nothing had changed between them.
The episodes occur as we've seen in canon. Nothing changes there. These chapters explore what happens after they're over.
NSFW (not that this stops you people, but I'll still give the warning)
Special thanks to hopedreamlovepray for ensuring that I stuck by my drunken request to have her make sure I didn't post the first part until I had three finished.
Enjoy! And please let me know what you think!
Chapter 1: 3x02-Sara
It was the mud on her heels that tipped Felicity over the edge.
Mud from her friend's grave. A grave Oliver had to dig on his own. And it wasn't even a new one. It was the same plot the Lance's had used all those years ago after the Gambit had gone down. The one that had been empty because there hadn't been a body.
Except the girl who had defied death so many times couldn't beat it again. The coffin was empty no more.
The headstone that had only served as a symbol now stood as a marker, and even though the dates were wrong, the result was the same. Sara Lance was dead.
Felicity had tried to get through to Oliver, tried to get him to talk, to let go, to feel his loss but he'd been stubborn and stoic and with her heart still bruised from their exchange at the hospital she'd let him be and told him she couldn't wait with him to die. She wanted more. She needed more. And she wanted it with him but he couldn't give that to her.
Silent tears tracked down her face the entire drive home. She'd just buried her friend, a woman she'd taken a bullet for, a member of not only their team but their family.
But her sadness quickly turned into anger when she'd gone to take off her shoes and saw the marks, the thick, dark mud caked on the spike of the heel and ground into the tread. They'd never be clean, they'd always carry the stain of that night.
A fury she'd never experienced before welled inside her quick and thick and in an instant she was stalking for the kitchen, throwing the shoes into the trash with such force the second one missed and she had to try again, a scream of frustration and pain tearing past her lips.
She was mad. At Sara for dying. At Oliver for thinking he couldn't be with her. At Digg for leaving them even though she knew in her heart he was right and even though it was temporary. At whoever had put three arrows into Sara and sent her falling off a rooftop.
And she was mad at herself for caring so much. For once she wished she could wall it all off, pretend it didn't affect her, channel her emotions into something other than the bottom of an ice cream container.
Always good, always optimistic, always the cheerleader.
She couldn't do it just then.
There was a battle raging inside her. Something foreign and weighty that she didn't like but didn't know how to vanquish. She didn't feel comfortable in her own skin, as if someone else inhabited her just then but instead of fighting it, instead of knocking it back she let it fill her and for once she submitted.
She felt light and reckless, letting the anger fuel her as she poured a glass of wine and drank it down in three long gulps. The second glass she carried with her, reaching behind her neck to undo her dress, knowing it too would be discarded, never to be worn again.
When a leather gloved hand settled over hers she froze, every cell switching from fury to fear and then back to fury again when she realized who it was.
He hadn't touched her. Not since he'd kissed her. The last thing point of contact they'd had was her ponytail as she'd turned away, she'd felt her hair get caught in his fingers.
She become so accustomed to it. Touching him so casually, so easily over the past few months, to not be able to do that when she knew he'd needed it the most, when she'd been forced to turn to Roy for comfort instead of him had been heartbreaking, but she knew it wouldn't have been welcome.
With a gasp she whirled, wine glass tipping from her hand and caught by his lightening fast reflexes before she could blink.
It wasn't Oliver who stood before her though, it was the Arrow. Head to toe leather and a mask to hide behind. The quiver and bow were missing but he wore the rest like armor, protecting himself, keeping her at a distance. Everything cloaked.
Except his eyes.
That's where she saw it all. Rage, hurt, confusion, pain, sadness, desire. It was there. Everything that was swirling inside her she saw mirrored within him. She was so full, so overwhelmed, her brain buzzing with everything that had happened it made it impossible to tramp it down and she knew it was the same for him.
Her mind was assaulted with so many images it left her dizzy; Sara's frozen body wrapped in white, the way his lashes had fluttered shut before he'd kissed her, the spray of the dirt on the coffin, his nervous smile when he'd met her at the restaurant. One after another they tumbled around, so different, so important, each one a different path, some now blocked indefinitely.
He didn't move, didn't speak, didn't even blink. But his chest rose and fell erratically and she saw the struggle in those blue eyes that were darker than she'd ever seen before.
She shifted forward, half a step, but close enough she could feel the heat radiating from him. In her bare feet, her eye line came to mid chest now, and she felt the first tremble roll down her spine. She'd never felt small next to him before, but right then, in that moment, she was overly aware of just how large a man he was.
The air between them sparked with energy, the atmosphere growing weighty as if it knew everything and nothing was about to change.
Slowly, she raised her eyes until she could meet his and when she did it was all over. The anger was there, but also the need. He was so angry he couldn't allow himself to be what she needed, angry he couldn't catch Sara's killer, angry he'd had to wall off his heart. And she was angry too.
It was a bad idea. It was irresponsible, and reckless, and quite possibly the poorest decision of her life but something she couldn't define erupted low in her belly, and spread through her veins like wildfire. She felt light headed, and dangerous, and as she stared up at him with her pulse pounding wildly she saw the moment he snapped.
His jaw tightened, air being drawn swiftly through his nose as his chest expanded and she knew if she dared break his gaze and look down his hands would be clenched in fists.
Despite everything they'd gone through, everything they'd said, he still wanted her. And she wanted him. That was something neither of them could deny.
All it took was one soft, tentative touch. Her hand rose, hovering just millimeters from his leather clad chest, knowing that as soon as she made contact it would be like stepping off a cliff.
His next breath was deeper, lungs expanding further and that was it. The hairsbreadth that had separated them had vanished.
The strangled gasp that emerged from her lips was muffled as he wrapped both arms around her and crushed her to him, her face tucking inside the hood to find the soft skin of his throat.
His mouth was everywhere; across her jaw, the shell of her ear, the hollows of her neck. It was desperate and frantic and rough. She dug her fingers into green leather, clutching his biceps as he hitched her higher to suck a spot on her neck that made her see stars.
The rasp of his stubble made her toes curl and every time she tried to fill her lungs he'd find another spot that made her breath catch.
Each touch, each grasp of fingers that were too tight was how they laid claim. Mine, they said.
Branding the other's souls for all eternity they crossed the line, the one that they'd tip-toed for so long. The one they'd always known would be the point of no return. And as his gloved hands pressed into her ribs she knew she'd never be able to go back even though she'd have to somehow move forward.
Because this changed nothing and everything and they both knew it.
With a gasp she was spun and the zipper along her back dragged down in one swift sweep. There was only an instant where she felt the coolness of the air and then it was replaced by his heat.
She could feel it all, the smoothness of the leather, the hardness of the buckles as they pressed into her. His hand splayed over her middle as he tugged the dress off her shoulder, mouth dropping to scrape the nape of her neck.
Her hands reached back, landing on his thigh quiver, scrabbling around the flechettes until she could feel nothing but solid muscle, taut and strained as the rest of her dress was tugged down until it pooled around her waist. One small step forward and it fell to the floor, her neck craning back to expose her throat as he continued his assault, teeth nipping and sucking, the hood somehow never falling away.
He wasted no time as he cupped her breasts over her bra, kneading almost painfully as she writhed against him, brain protesting the unfairness of having her back to him, but the constant flip of her stomach and the relentless swirl of desire that flowed straight to her center commanded her to shut up.
When he shoved down roughly, ripping the side seam of her underwear a protest escaped her lips and was soon forgotten when his hand moved inwards, tripping over her thigh to find her clit with no pretense or forewarning.
She keened. Head thrown back in a mixture of pleasure and agony that was so sharp it took her breath away. Somehow her questing found the closure to his pants and as his teeth sunk into her collarbone causing wetness to flood his nimble fingers she freed him.
There was only time for two quick, stilted strokes before he was forcing her to walk forward. Her hands slapped onto her kitchen counter as he bent her forward and for the first time he slowed, one hand running almost reverently from her neck to the base of her spine in a low, sensual track.
But it was short lived when her hips jerked back into his and he hauled her into him growling something that could have been her name but she wasn't sure.
Then she could feel him, one foot moving between hers to widen her stance and she did so willingly. She wanted it just as badly as he did.
The ability to feel. Anything. Everything.
When she felt him at her entrance she cried out and he wrapped one leather clad arm around her waist to secure her to him, but there was a pause, a hesitation and rage filled her, because hell if he was going to come this far and leave her again.
She jerked her pelvis back in one swift motion, making the decision for him and there was nothing to be heard except their groans as he filled her for the first time.
It was like a dam had burst. He set a punishing pace that left her clutching pale cold granite and when he reached one hand down to press exactly where she needed him to she could only duck her head and ride it out as the wave of pleasure washed over her quick and hard. She felt his pace become erratic and then he grunted, head dropping to rest between her shoulder blades.
They were frozen, with her slumped across the counter, bra shoved up her chest as he bent over her, both trying to regain their breath.
She wasn't sure who started crying first, and in the end it didn't matter. Hot tears splashed over her back, rolling down the sides as he shook violently, still inside her. She didn't even realize she was sobbing until she had to take a breath and it almost took her to her knees. He tightened his grip around her middle, pulling her closer as they grieved.
And for themselves.
When he pulled out of her she felt cold and she didn't turn as she felt him do up his pants and pause.
She couldn't bring herself to look at him. It was wrong. It had been a mistake.
But it had also been so right.
She didn't have to be looking at him to know he had no idea what to do or say.
In the end she gathered herself up, pulled her bra down and pivoted, eyes taking far too long to track up to his face and still avoiding his eyes when they got there.
"Just go," she said low, and heavy, but there was no bitterness. They were both in the right that night and both in the wrong.
He let out an exhale and she could hear the apology about to emerge, her hand shot out to press against his chest. "Go, Oliver."
Her eyes slid shut and when the coldness enveloped her she looked up to see that she was alone.
And with bruises on her hips from where Oliver had held her too tight she walked into Queen Consolidated the next morning and told Ray Palmer she'd accept his offer.