Author's note ...This story is original 1-3 chapters were posted by hapshepsutalc and hapshepsutalc let me Wrighting'GIRL3000. So from chapter 4 is going to be all mine.

Authors note… For this story's purpose, it takes place a few months in advance of 2x15 . Slade is still out there, Oliver is still with Sara and he's slowly but surely acting more and more like the Ollie from before the note… For this story's purpose, it takes place a few months in advance of the most recent episode. Slade is still out there, Oliver is still with Sara and he's slowly but surely acting more and more like the Ollie from before the island. Basically he's like someone else, Felicity and Diggle have tried to get through to him numerous times, but he wants nothing to do with what they have to say… At first Oliver is an ass and out of character in the beginning, but this is and Olicity story so keep that in mind.


FELICITY

She grabbed the last of her things to leave, thankful it was Friday. It had been a long day. Actually a long week. No really it had been a long few months, and she was exhausted. If she wasn't at QC, she was at the lair trying to find some lead or anything that would help them take down Slade and it was getting harder and harder to handle. Oliver was constantly riding her about her lack of leads and she truly felt bad, but the thing was that he was so busy with Sara he wasn't even bothering to help. Sure he still did his patrols and hooded up like normal, but everything else he threw on Diggle, Roy, and her. When he was done with his patrols he'd run up the stairs and start drinking with Sara while they worked and then he would come into work at 11 in the morning hungover, leaving her to clean up his mess.

Oliver actually said that it was their job to find in the information and once they did he and Sara would figure out what to do with it. It seems Team Arrow was no longer a team, Dig, Roy and she were just minions and she was getting tired of it. Honestly she didn't know if she could keep doing this.

She glanced in the office and saw him on the phone and didn't even bother to acknowledge him. She was tired of his crap and couldn't care less at this point, so she hoped to get out of the office without having to talk to him. Walking to the elevators, she pressed the button and stepped on as soon as it arrived, but it seemed that karma was not on her side.

"Felicity" Oliver yelled as he jumped inside the elevator with her.

"Yes, Mr. Queen." She'd had to take a deep relaxing breath before answering. It was amazing how much more natural calling him Mr. Queen seemed than calling him Oliver these days.

"You're headed to the foundry. I need you to tell Diggle and Roy that I'll be late since Sara and I are going out to dinner. Diggle can start the patrol tonight without me. " He demanded.

"Actually Mr. Queen, I planned on going back to my apartment and getting a change of clothes and something to eat. I haven't been to my place in almost 3 days so I just wanted a few hours to unwind. Maybe take a nice bath, have a glass of wine. I'm sure you can call Roy and Diggle and give them the message." She explained in her most polite tone that was reserved for Isabel Rochev, but Oliver didn't even notice. He was obviously upset. Luckily the door to the elevator opened up to the bottom floor and he couldn't start yelling, but he still made his displeasure known.

"You don't have time to go home and pamper yourself Felicity." He growled at her as he grabbed her arm firmly. "Slade is out there waiting to make his move and you want to waste your time with a bath and a glass of wine. How much more irresponsible can you be?"

"Evidently as irresponsible as you since you feel it's a good time to go out on a date." She hissed and jerked her arm away from him and storming out of the building.

She kept up a quick pace not wanting to continue the encounter with Oliver so when she left the building she wasn't really paying attention to anything. She was just trying not to cry and was startled when she ran smack into a very large chest and fell flat on her ass.

"What a fabulous way to end a fabulous day" She grumbled to myself.

"I'm so sorry ma'am. Are you okay?" The large chest said and while holding out a hand to help her up.

She finally bothered to look above the chest and found a rather handsome head attached. With a rather wonderful smile.

"Okay Felicity don't be stupid this could possibly be some crazy psychopath Slade sent to kidnap you or kill you or some other devious plan…Do not be fooled by the hotness." She thought to herself.

His smile changed to a look of worry and she realized that she still hadn't answered him or bothered to take his hand. She finally reached for his hand and opened her mouth, much to her dismay.

"Oh yeah, I'm good. Just great. Never better. I mean I'm as good as a girl can get that just fell on her butt in front of a handsome stranger. I guess that means I'm a tad bit embarrassed but other than that, yep I'm good. Doing just fine. Thanks." She finally finished cringing as she realized that worrying about crazy psychopaths still did not help her control my brain to mouth filter.

"Well there's nothing to be embarrassed about, I ran into you so completely my fault." He said giving her an easy smile.

"I'm Edward Raymond by the way." He explained holding out his hand this time for her to shake it.

"Felicity Smoak" She replied with a slight smile.

"Well Felicity, I was actually going to approach you a different way, but since I can see you are having a bad day, I think I'm going to just be honest." He said causing her whole body to tense.

"Honesty is good, well unless you're going to tell me you're going to kill me or kidnap me or something then it would suck. Of course I guess then you'd be giving me a warning if you were honest about it and then I'd have a chance to getaway so yes, I'm all for honesty, so yes let's be honest." she rambled.

She noticed during her little ramble his eyes got exceedingly large as though she had truly shocked him so maybe he wasn't here to kidnap or kill her.

"One could hope." She thought

"Umm no I'm not here to kidnap and definitely not to kill you. Sorry if I frightened you enough to even think something like that. Do you live the sort of life where something like that could happen?" He asked curiously.

"Who? Me? Boring ole' Felicity? Of course not. But weird things happen to people every day you never know and as you can tell my brain runs away with itself sometimes so…." She made herself stop there before she could dig a deeper whole.

He laughed and smiled that killer smile again and wow did he have some beautiful eyes, but she needed to stay focused. He wants something from her.

"Of course he does. Who doesn't want something from me anymore? I can't remember the last time I had someone ask me if I was okay. Oh yes, when Diggle asked if I was okay about Sara and Oliver. If I had known how much things would change I would have said no, but not because I was jealous but for such different reasons." She sighed as she thought to herself.

"You still with me Felicity?" Edward asked still giving her a curious look and bringing her out of her internal ramblings

"Yes, I'm sorry. I'm just very tired. You said something about being honest with me. Why don't you tell me what you wanted to tell me so I can be on my way? I'd really like to get home." She told him as kindly as possible.

"I'm an investigative reporter. I'm doing a story on the Queen family since Mrs. Queen is running for office. I know that you are Oliver's Executive Assistant. I've done my research on the family members and you. I know about your background and where you've come from. I know you're actually a truly amazing women. Which makes me question why if the Queens are as horrible as everyone says they are why are you working so closely with them." He told her.

"An investigative reporter? Crap, does he know about Oliver or the Arrow? Or my connection to the Arrow? I don't know any other reason for him to want to talk to me? This day just keeps getting worse?" She whined to herself.

"I'm here to make you an offer." He explained as he handed her a flash drive.

While he was speaking the world had slowly shrank to just the two of them. She could hear the blood pounding in her ears and was feeling a tad light headed. She forced herself to breath slowly and focus exactly on what he was saying.

"That is the story as it is set to print now. It doesn't paint the Queens, any of them, in a good light. I'm being honest with you. I tried to find the good and while there are a few good stories they just don't outweigh the bad. So if you will give me and exclusive interview, and explain why you come to QC and stick it out, why you gave up what you've given up to stick with Oliver Queen. I will print that story instead." He continued to explain.

"Why would you do that? It sounds like you have a juicy story already written and ready for print. Why bother with the story of an EA from nowhere." She asked trying to keep her voice from trembling.

"I hate writing stories that bash people, let alone entire families, but my boss put me on the story of the Queens and come hell or high water I have to write about the Queens. The problem is there are not many good stories out there. In researching them, I came across a blip, and you Miss Smoak are that blip. You telling your story and why you feel so strongly about the Queens that you have stuck with them through thick and thin, that I think could be a good story. I don't want to damage the Queens any more than they already have been damaged."

She didn't stay anything for a while, just stood there and thought about what to do. Could she help with the Queen image? She really didn't understand how. She was nobody. A lowly IT girl everyone thought was sleeping with the boss.

"Read the story I gave you. Think about it. If you decide to give the interview, I'll let you read what I wrote before I turn it in. If you hate it, then I'll go with the original story. Deal?" He asked before holding out his hand for her to shake.

She thought about it for a moment and nodded then shook his hand.

He reached in his pocket and took out his card and handed it to her.

"Call me tomorrow and let me know either way." He said before walking away.

She stood there for a moment and stared at the card and the flash drive. She wasn't sure what she was going to do, but the first thing was to go home and find out who this Edward Raymond was.

After she researched Edward Raymond, she sat down and read the article he had written and it was scathing. It made the entire family look like selfish, egotistical, spoiled, entitled, and well the only real word was assholes. She had also researched Edward Raymond. He was good at his job, famous even, and in the journalism world he was considered fair and honorable. She looked everywhere she could to see if there ties between him and Slade and as far as she could see there were none. She continued to weigh the pros and cons and decided that she couldn't let that article be printed. She really didn't care about what they said about Moira, but Oliver, Thea, and even Walter didn't deserve to be ripped to shreds like that so even knowing that Oliver would be pissed she decided to do it. She figured what's one more thing. Even while making the decision she starting thinking it might be something like the last thing she did for him since he's decided to be a one man army. She thought that she couldn't keep living like this. She didn't want to keep living like this. She can't watch Oliver turn into "Ollie". And that is what it feels like she's doing. She didn't want to be here for that. As long as he's living his life like "Ollie", he'll never be able to be the man he is meant to be. She can't watch Oliver and Sara together. She loved them both separately, but she just felt they bring out the worst in each other and everything that happened during last night's mission made that perfectly clear.


FLASHBACK

"Oliver I know your busy tonight, but Dig ran into some trouble over by the docks. I need you and Sara to go help him out. I'm sending you his location to your phones now." She explained as soon as he picked up the phone.

"Damnit. One night! Can't you guys go one night without having your hands held?" He snapped and hung up the phone.

She counted to five and took some deep breaths and continued to count to over a hundred before she had finally calmed down enough to hear what was going on. Oliver and Sarah had arrived at the docks and were in the middle of whatever was going down.

She heard Diggle yell at Oliver to stop and then say the same to Sara and then just a lot of shouting between them that she couldn't really make out. She heard the word killing and another way and she started to get worried.

About five minutes later the three came storming into the lair still yelling up a storm.

"You know you didn't need to kill them, Oliver." Digg yelled. She couldn't help but feel disappointed when she heard that they had resorted to killing.

"It was easier this way. I don't understand why you guys came up with this rule to begin with." Sara asked clearly confused.

"You both killed two men tonight. We had them, we didn't need to kill them. What happened to honoring Tommy, Oliver?" Dig asked frustrated and turned and walked away.

She looked at Oliver and saw that the Tommy remark did strike a nerve, but then she watched as Sara told him that it was the right thing to do and explained to him all the reasons why. That's when it hit her. These two bring out the darkness in each other and while that may have helped them survive on the island, they lived in the real world now, but for some reason they seemed to want to stay in purgatory. In the present, the way they lived made for a couple spiraling down into an abyss of darkness that would encompass everyone around them. And neither cared enough to realize that they would take everyone down with them because they were so lost in the past they couldn't even see that they lived in the present and could have a bright and happy future.

END FLASHBACK


That was the moment Felicity Smoak finally gave up on the Arrow and Oliver, but she decided to give him one last parting gift. Call it stupidity, call it sentiment, but she just thought she might be able to help with the article and she really didn't think she could do much worse than the one she had read the night before.

When she got home last night she packed a few bags and made a phone call to an old friend and asked if she could come for a visit. She bought her plane tickets under the identity she had forged back when she first started working with Oliver and then quickly typed up her resignation letters. The one for QC was in email form so she set it to send on a time delay. One went to HR and one to Oliver. They were both professional and formal and gave no one a reason to believe that they were anything other than CEO and EA. The third letter she wrote was to Oliver. This one she intended to leave at the lair, it was much less formal. She was going to say goodbye to Diggle in person though. He deserved that.

The next morning she got up and got ready for work as if it was any other day. She put her bags in the back of her car and headed to work. On her way there she gave Mr. Raymond a call and agreed to the interview just as she was pulling up to QC. She gave herself one look in the mirror making sure she had her game face on and then got out of her car and headed inside.

Oliver was in one of his moods, but to make matters worse so was Diggle. Saying the tension was thick was an understatement. She had agreed to meet with Edward at lunchtime. She planned to talk to Diggle after work. After that, she would be catching a flight at 1AM so hopefully everyone would be out of the lair by that time.

The interview with Edward was relatively quick and painless. He had given her the notes he had on her so she didn't have to give him a lot of her back story. She looked them over and saw that they were basically what she expected and quickly approved them. She told him about the Queens and what they were really like. The only lie she told was when it came to Moira, but she didn't feel all that bad. She figured that no reporter got it all right.

After coming back from lunch she found that the only person in the office was Diggle.

"He and Sara went to lunch" He said answering her raised eyebrow.

She nodded her head and decided now was as good a time as any.

"Good, I need to talk to you." She explained.

"You're leaving?" He asked expectantly.

She froze. Surprised that he had read her so easily.

"Yes, tonight will be my last night in the lair, today my last day here." She said softly feeling like she was letting him down.

"I don't blame you, I'm about to leave too. He's just not the same person he was and the problem is that he doesn't want to be. He likes being this… this…" he struggled for the right word.

"Ollie" she supplied

He looked at her startled and then laughed without humor.

"Yes a much darker Ollie is a very good way to describe him. Separately, Oliver and Sara are great, but together they bring out the worst in each other and that will be their downfall. I'm glad you're leaving Felicity, I can't stand the way he treats you anymore. I actually don't even know that I can call him my friend any more. Last night… Last night… We had those guys cornered, there was no reason to kill them. None. I can't stay and watch him become what he hates. We've both tried to talk to him and he just won't listen." He said sounding as frustrated as she felt.

"I know I feel like I'm abandoning him and you guys, but I can't keep this up. For once in my life I'm putting myself first. I'm not going down with this ship. I don't think you should either. We were once a team Diggle, we cared about each other, we had each other's backs, but that isn't the case anymore. I'll be honest, I'm surprised Oliver showed up to help you last night. I was afraid he wouldn't. Unless it's about Slade, he doesn't want to hear about it. Oliver and Sara have made their choices. I just don't want you and Roy to pay the price." she told him honestly.

He nodded his head and stood up because they both heard the executive elevator running so they knew their conversation was almost over.

"I'll talk to Roy before I go. I promise." He told me before giving her a hug.

She swallowed back her tears and went to finish out her day at her desk. Once Oliver returned he didn't say one word to either Diggle or Felicity.


That night at the lair, Sara and Oliver went out on patrol for a few hours before going up to the bar leaving just Diggle, Felicity, Roy. Felicity finished up a tutorial like program she had been working on for a while that would help anyone who wanted to run the programs she had on her computer. She figured it was the least she could do. She also installed one last program that she made sure was practically invisible.

True to his word Edward Raymond had emailed her the story he planned to publish in tomorrow's paper and it was surprisingly well written and definitely made the Queens look better than the previous piece so she gave the okay for him to publish it and decided that with that last act she was done.

She noticed that Diggle and Roy were having a very serious discussion and that they kept looking up at her every few minutes which probably meant that Diggle was talking to him about the fact that she was leaving. Around midnight she shut her babies down for one last time and looked around feeling a deep, heavy sadness settle over her. This was it. This was the last time she would be here.

She heard a throat clear and turned around to see Roy and Diggle looking at her expectantly.

Roy walked over to her first.

"I'm sorry this has gotten so hard for you. I don't blame you for leaving. Things have been broken here for a while." He said sadly.

"Yes they have, please don't let them break you to Roy. You're good, you're strong and you have someone who loves you more than life itself. She matters more than all of this. Do you understand that?" She told him seriously.

He smiled, nodded, and kissed her forehead before making his way upstairs to find Thea.

She turned around to find Diggle smiling sadly at her.

"You will keep in touch with me, won't you?" He asked.

"Of course I will." She responded instantly, but then hesitated.

"I don't want him to know where I'm at, Diggle. I don't want him showing up and bullying me to come back." She told him feeling her heart break as she realized that she was truly walking away from the man she was in love with. Even though she acknowledged she no longer recognized that man. Tears started running down her face and she wrapped her arms around Diggle as he embraced her in a comforting hug.

"I'm only a phone call away, anytime you need me." He said.

"Same here. And I mean that. If Oliver gets you in over your head. I'll help. I'm not walking away from you. I'm walking towards myself. If that makes any sense." She tried to explain.

"It makes perfect sense. Now go catch your plane." He told her

She dropped her letter to Oliver on her computer table and grabbed her things. Reaching into her jeans pocket she pulled out the flash drive that Edward Raymond had given her and handed it to Diggle.

"Tomorrow morning there is going to be an article in the paper. It's not going to go over well, especially with me disappearing, but I had a choice. It was either the one in the paper or the one on that flash drive. I decided to give the interview and hope for the best. If you read the one on the flash drive you'll see I think it worked out for the best, but I'm sure the rest of the Queen family won't feel that way. I hacked the reporter's computer and wiped all his research about the Queens so unless he has it backed up somewhere else he doesn't have any other record of it, but I think you should show this to Oliver so he is aware that the information can be found. I tried to tell him it was out there. I've tried to protect them from the time I started working here and I'm tired. Anyway, you can choose to do what you want with that. I'll call you as soon as I'm settled. Please be safe Diggle." She told him before kissing him goodbye on the cheek.

She walked up the steps and turned to give the foundry one last work before walking out the door for what she thought would be the last time.


DIGGLE

The first thing he did when he got home that night was read the article that Felicity had said was on the flash drive. It was bad. The dirt the reporter had dug up would have ruined Moira's campaign, it would have done irreparable damage to Queen Consolidated, but he thought Thea would have been hurt the worst. If it came out as a front page headline, that her father was Malcolm Merlyn, then she would be crushed. He wasn't as shocked by this bit of information as he should have been because he had overheard one of the many fights Oliver and Felicity had revolving around this bit of information and how Oliver needed to tell her before someone else did. So it looks like Felicity just done something to save the Queen family once again.

The next morning he got up even earlier than normal and ran out to get a paper. He needed to know what kind of shit storm he was headed for. Grabbing a cup of coffee he sat down and read the story that he knew would probably change a lot of lives, but he wasn't sure if it would be for the better or for the worst.


THE QUEEN'S CHAMPION it read across the top in bold letters

The Darling of Gotham believes in them

Maybe we should as well?

Ten years ago, in a very dark ugly part of Gotham City, a 14 year old girl was found tied up in a basement barely alive, beaten and nearly starved to death by her own drug addicted mother. After her father had disappeared almost nine years before, the mother turned to drugs and everyone forgot about the child's existence. Neighbors claimed they never knew there was a child living in the home.

The only reason she was even found was because of a water leak in the basement. The mother had gotten so high that she had called for assistance yet forgotten that she had her own daughter tied up down there. As soon as the city worker saw her, he immediately called authorities and help was quickly dispatched. What they found was said to make even the most hardened investigators ill. The child was immediately taken into custody and the story was on all the national news. She was labeled the "Darling of Gotham". The things the mother did to her and allowed to be done to her by others are things that even the most twisted of minds can't imagine.

The child, who went by the name Megan, was put into an orphanage run by the Wayne Foundation, but what was surprising was that even though she had very little education she seemed to be absolutely brilliant. Although very shy, in less than a year she caught up with almost all of her schooling and then started to surpass all of her peers. That was when a man well known around Wayne Industries took an interest in Megan, a man named Lucius Fox. He became somewhat of a mentor to this shy child who had such a horrible childhood. Megan was never adopted, most say it was because she was so shy and it took her quite a few years to get used to being close to people, but with the help of the people at the Wayne Foundation, Megan, who started going by her first name, Felicity, started to come out of her shell. It was no surprise when she got a full ride to MIT, getting her PhD in the Computer Science field, the next logical step after graduation would be for her to come take her place at Wayne Enterprises with Mr. Fox, but that is where the story veers from the predictable.

Megan, now Felicity Smoak, choose to go work for Queen Consolidated and it was with Mr. Fox's blessing, if the rumors were to be believed. So this reporter felt the need to find out why a woman who had the opportunity to work for one of the largest and most advanced companies in the world chose to work for Queen Consolidated and why she is still there today even after all the Queen family has been accused of and the company has been through.

Felicity Smoak first decided to work for Queen Consolidated after meeting Walter Steel, the previous CEO of the company, she explained. Once she graduated from MIT she thought she should see what the world has to offer outside of Gotham, but she only planned on leaving for a year or so and then she was going to return to her home and back to Wayne Industries. That had been her plan all along, but something made her stay. She said once she started working for Walter she felt like he had a lot to teach her and she learned a great deal from him in the first year and a half that she worked with him. She said that he was kind, understanding, taught her about business and made QC seem like a family more than a job.

Then Oliver Queen was found alive. After the return of the once believed deceased heir, she said that she thought things would change, but they didn't. QC was still the family she always wanted and the family she still loved. One day while working in her office she was surprised to find someone knocking on her door. It was a day she realizes now that would change her life dramatically and she claims she wouldn't have it any other way. It was the day she meet Oliver Queen. He came to her with questions regarding a laptop. Evidently being stranded on a deserted island leaves you a little behind when it comes to technology, so Mr. Steel had recommended her for the job. Felicity and Oliver began a strange friendship from that point on, contrary to what many people and rumors claim, it has never progressed past friendship. She claims that through all the ups and downs the Queens and QC has gone through she sees Oliver and the Queens as human and clearly flawed but she believes they are truly good people trying to do the right thing day in and day out.

"They try to help people to the best of their abilities." She says. "Do they get it right all the time? No, but no one does." She points out. "Oliver, Moira, & Thea work hard every day to help Sterling City. What you read in the tabloids, is just that, tabloid fodder. I've watched Oliver put in 16 hours at the office trying to keep the doors of QC open day after day after day and he's done an amazing job. If it weren't for him the company would have gone under months ago, but he brought it back from the brink. Thea is an amazing woman. She most definitely isn't the spoiled little girl you see in the papers. She is a woman who single handedly runs her own business and does it better than most men. She runs one of the most successful clubs in Sterling City and gets no credit for it. And Moira, no I can't say that she hasn't made mistakes, but she had her reasons, and she is doing everything she can to make Sterling City a better place for her children. The Queens are an amazing family and Queen Consolidated and Sterling City are both lucky to have them. I know that I am." She tells me as we finish our interview.

As I finish up my interview with the fascinating Miss Smoak, I am curious as to where the darkness is in her. After where she came from, one would think she would be consumed by it, but I see nothing except happiness and light. If a woman like Miss Smoak, who actually knows the Queens, not just what the tabloids say about them can find nothing but good to say about them, then I have to believe that maybe we have all become the victims of always believing the worst. This is a family that has constantly been devastated by tragedy and hard times and we accept the worst about them just because that is what we want to believe. This woman, Felicity Smoak, knows the worst of humanity and yet she still believes the Queens are the good guys, I think that says a lot. Although I'm not saying we have to take the word of just one woman, that choice is up to you. I do believe that this one woman has a view of the inside that no one else has and that she also isn't naive as many might believe she is so I for one will be looking at the Queens in a different light.


Diggle put the paper aside and took a long swig of coffee. He was in a little bit of shock. He never in a million years would have thought that Felicity would have had a background like that. They had all believed she was so sheltered and naïve. That she didn't know anything about what was really out there, but it turned out she knew better than all of them. She came from darkness and lived in it longer than even Oliver and yet you would never know it to look at her. He couldn't believe he had been so blind. Damnit, things were about to get very interesting.


MOIRA

She'd just put the paper down and was nursing her second cup of coffee when Walter walked into the kitchen. She was trying to figure out if she was angry about the article or grateful. She knew the article would help her campaign, but she didn't appreciate being blindsided.

"Did you know?" She asked curiously.

"About her past or about the article?" He wondered out loud.

"Either, both?" She replied still trying to get her bearings.

"No to both. I had no idea what that young woman had been through. You'd never know it to look at her. She always seems so bright and bubbly and as for the article I don't know Miss Smoak well. I do know she is loyal to a fault. I have a feeling that she sold herself out to protect the Queens because that was an incredibly flattering story even if you weren't prepared for it. I'm going to do a little digging. My guess is that the reporter found something about the Queens and offered to keep it quiet if she threw herself under the bus." He explained more to himself than anything.

"Why would she do that because she loves Oliver that much? He's with another woman. Is she that pathetic?" Moira sneered.

Walter stood and glared down at her shaking his head. "No Moira she is that caring and that kind. Something you will never understand." He told her before leaving the room.


OLIVER

He woke with a pounding head, just like the past…. He couldn't even remember how many mornings, the nights were starting to blur, and the mornings he would wake up feeling the pain he knew he deserved. He had no idea what the hell he was doing any longer. Ever since Slade came back it was like he was living back on the island struggling for every breath and barely surviving. He never knew if he was going to make it to the next day so Sara talked him into enjoying each day he had. He could see the growing discontent in the team. The disappointment in Dig and Felicity's eyes. The lack of interest in Roy's sparring sessions. He knew things were at a breaking point, but he didn't know where to give. Sara needed him more than the team right now. She had been on purgatory with him and she had lost it when she saw Slade again. He had promised her that Slade was dead and he understood that she just wanted to drown all of those memories in a good time, but in the process he was losing the few good friends he had made since he came back from the island. He had killed again. He had broken his promise to Tommy for no reason other than it was the easy way. If Slade walked in the door right now, he'd just beg for him to end him because right now he couldn't keep up. He couldn't be who Sara needed and who Dig expected and most importantly who Felicity wanted him to be. Felicity…. He was more than ashamed of the way he'd been treating her. She didn't deserve any of it, but every time he looked at her he saw his failures and then he took it out on her. Something was going to have to give, he was going to have to make a decision. He had been putting it off to long because any decision he made he knew he would be losing someone he loved.

He slowly stood up and walked to the shower, thankful that Sara had decided not to stay the night. He needed a break, some time to clear his head and think without her there telling him that the darkness was the best way to go. He had clawed his way out of the darkness, but now he felt himself falling back in and he was afraid he would never find a way out again. The only light he had was Felicity and he knew he was pushing her away. Sooner or later it would be too late and he'd lose her forever. He wasn't sure he would survive that.

After a quick shower to clear out the cobwebs, Oliver quickly got dressed and headed down the elevator to the waiting car. He hadn't been living with his mother since he learned of Thea's paternity and actually enjoyed living in his new penthouse. He climbed in the backset and was surprised to see a copy of the newspaper sitting on the seat.

"What's this Dig?" He asked sounding a little confused.

"Something you need to read." Was all the reply he got. He wasn't really all that surprised, Dig really hadn't been saying much to him over the past few weeks.

He picked up the paper and saw the headline "The Queen's Champion" which caused him to furrowed his brow in confusion. He slowly began to read the article. Halfway through he realized that his breathing was erratic, his fists were clenched and his heart was beating so loud he was sure Diggle could hear it. Why didn't he know this about her? How could she have lived through this and stayed so light and happy? Why would she give this interview? He had so many questions, but he didn't bother asking Diggle. He knew the two of them had become quite close since he and Sara had gotten together so he knew Diggle wouldn't answer. He would get his answers when he got to work.

As soon as Diggle pulled into the office, Oliver shot out of the car. Felicity would be in the office. She always got there hours before he did, that's why he almost tripped when he walked into the office and saw a stranger sitting at her desk.

"Who the hell are you?" He asked rudely sounding a bit like is alter ego.

Her eyes opened widely and she stuttered a few times before she finally managed to say. "Stephanie, my name is Stephanie… I'll be your new EA."

"Why would I need a new EA? I already have one." He demanded.

"I'm not sure Mr. Queen. HR just told me to come up here. They also mentioned that you should check your emails immediately." She explained looking very much like a scared rabbit.

He stomped over to his desk opening his emails quickly finding one from Felicity

To: Oliver. Queen queen queenconsolidated. com

CC: hr queenconsolidated. com

From:felicity. Smoak queenconsolidated. com

Subject: Letter of Resignation

To whom it may concern,

This letter is to inform you that I am tendering my resignation effective immediately. I have had some family matters that have come up and I need to attend to them.

I apologize for any inconvenience that this may cause. I do appreciate the opportunity you have given me by allowing me to work for your company. This is a wonderful company and

I wish it continued success.

Thank you,

Felicity Smoak

Within seconds of finishing the email, he had destroyed everything on his desk. He had terrified his new EA to the point of tears. She ran out of the office saying that she couldn't work for a mad man. Oliver took a moment to compose himself and finally looked up at Diggle.

"Did you know?" He asked still trying to reign himself in.

"About the article or that she was leaving?" Diggle asked calmly.

"Both? I had a right to know about both." He yelled.

Diggle cocked his head to the side and gave him a sad smile. "You've lost all your rights when it comes to us Oliver. I found out she was leaving yesterday. I learned there would be an article last night right before she left to board a plan. She handed me this flash drive and said she had a choice it was either she gave the interview or he printed what was on the flash drive. She told me that she wiped everything that was on the reporter's hard drive, but she did want me to point out that what is on there is out there. That reporter found it so someone else will too." Diggle explained.

Oliver looked at him confused. Diggle walked over and handed him the hard drive. "Read it and you'll understand." He turned to walk away and then stopped. "You know, I planned on telling you that I was done with you today as well."

He felt his shoulders slump. He didn't know how much more he could take, but Diggle continued. "I realized that you aren't the only one that's been blind, but I'm not staying here if things are going to remain the same. I won't continue if this is the path you plan to stay on. I signed up to do good things for this city, but you and Sara are not good together. Before you get your leathers in a bunch, I'm not saying I don't like the girl, I do, but you two, you have too much darkness and you let it eat at you. Honestly she thrives off the darkness. The two of you together it's not a good combination and if that's the route you want to go then I just can't be a part of it. I'm giving you a chance to think about it. This isn't an ultimatum, Oliver. You're a grown man that can make his own decisions. When you came back from the island the second time you started to become a man that you could be proud and we were doing something that I was proud to be a part of I can't say that any more Oliver. Honestly, there are times I'm actually ashamed of what we've become. I know for a fact I'm ashamed of the way you've treated Felicity and I truly don't blame her for leaving. I'm ashamed of myself for not knowing about her past. That is the only reason that I'm not walking out that door right now. It seems like you're not the only one that failed her. We both saw what we wanted to see when it came to her. She's had as much darkness, if not more in her life, than you and she is still happy and bright as anyone I have ever met. You can't use the island as an excuse anymore Oliver. Not when she has been there right under our nose, a shining example of what you are capable of overcoming if you actually want to. The problem is, I'm not sure if you want to. I'm going to give you a few days to decide if you are happy with the way things are going. If you are, then that will be your choice. I won't agree with it and I won't stick around. The path you are on right now is going to ruin you Oliver and you will take down everyone you care about in the process. It's what's happening now. It's why she left." Diggle seemed to be running out of steam and Oliver was so numb at this point he really didn't know what to say so instead he watched his friend turned to leave feeling like the world was falling down on him.

Diggle stopped before he left the room. "I do know she left you a final goodbye at the foundry. It might help you understand why she had to go."

He nodded his head slightly and watched Diggle leave. He finally just sat down in his chair and stared out over the city. He knew things had gotten bad. He knew he had screwed up, but he never thought that she'd leave. He always thought he'd have her in his corner. He knew he had to get his head on right and figure out what he was doing. His life was a mess and the only person that he trusted to help clean it up he had finally pushed too far. He looked out at her empty desk and realized that the pain he felt every time he breathed was a settling deep in his chest. He knew he needed to go to the foundry and read what she had written him, but he wasn't sure if he was ready to have his heart broken. Even if he did deserve it.

He slowly stood up and made his way out his office ready to face the music. It was what he deserved.