A/N: So...this isn't the final chapter. I hope no one minds. There is one more after this, of that I am certain. So, enjoy, let me know what you think. And...I am really sorry for a couple of things in this one.
Thanks to hopedreamlovepray for all her help and to latbfan for looking this over.
Philips had been standing along the wall between the mens room and the ladies and she knew nothing could have made him leave his post. She retraced her steps, heart racing as she looked everywhere, but there was no one around and no signs of a disturbance.
Her instincts told her to run, to get back to Oliver and the other agents as fast as she could, but before she could her eyes landed on a non-descript door that lead to an auxiliary stairwell.
Something in her said she needed to open the door, and with a lump in her throat and her heart thrumming so fast she couldn't hear anything other than her pulse, she pushed down on the handle.
The first thing she saw was a shoe. A man's black dress shoe, to be specific, and her hand came up to cover her mouth in an attempt to stifle the scream she could feel crawling out of her chest.
Philips lay slumped in the corner, dead eyes staring at nothing. His throat had been savagely slit, blood still spilling out over the white tiles. The door shutting behind her echoed in the stairwell but she didn't hear it.
Her mouth opened and closed in shock as she took in the grisly tableau before her. When her stomach rebelled she turned and heaved up the little bit of food she'd eaten earlier. Philips had brought her that sandwich she recalled as she got sick again.
Shaking violently, she found she couldn't not look at him. Her hands patted her pockets and she remembered with a sinking thought she'd left her bag and phone in the waiting room.
Oliver's fears had been correct. This was a direct attack, and they were pros. To get the drop on Philips and slit his throat instead of shooting him meant they knew what they were doing. Quick and silent and not leaving any trace. A chill ran through her. It had to be the Triad.
How long had they been waiting to do this? All day?
Her need to take a walk had led Philips to his death. A jagged sob tore from her throat and she clamped both hands over her mouth to keep herself quiet.
She needed to get out of there. Some calm, rational part of her brain was trying to work and it sounded suspiciously like Digg's voice in her head. She shut her eyes tight and took a long centering inhale. When she opened her eyes she tried to observe the scene as detached as possible.
The stairwell she was in didn't seem as if it was used that often, which could work to her advantage. She didn't dare go back to the waiting room the same way she'd came, but she could go down a few floors and come back up in a different spot. Hopefully the floor layouts were similar on each level and she'd be able to get back to Oliver without being caught.
She had to step over Philips prone form to go down the stairs and she did so gingerly, avoiding the rapidly growing pool of blood that spread out beneath him.
Three steps down she turned one last time to look at him and noticed his service weapon still in its holster. Digg's voice in her head told her to take it with her. She didn't think, she just acted. Felicity pushed back the side of his suit jacket and undid the snap keeping the gun in the holster. It was heavy in her hands, larger than anything Digg had ever had her practice with, but she knew the basics and could use it if she had to.
Just before she turned she pulled up his pant leg and saw an ankle holster holding a smaller piece. Digg had trained these men, so she wasn't surprised he had a backup weapon. The smaller gun fit comfortably in the small of her back, tucked into her waistband and she tried to ignore it as she hurried down the stairs on rubbery legs.
Felicity went down two flights and paused before the door. The small window showed a dim hallway that looked exactly like the one she had just come out of. When her hand landed on the door she noticed there was blood on her fingers and she was almost sick again.
She tucked the gun beneath her sweatshirt, the cold metal pressing into her stomach and making her shiver. The floor was quiet as she stepped out and just around the corner was another set of bathrooms. She looked up and down and didn't see anyone. Sliding in quickly she locked it behind her and darted for the sinks. The gun clanked heavily onto the counter as she washed her hands furiously. Once again she didn't dare look in the mirror.
Her hands shook as she picked the gun back up and placed it under her top again. Part of her wanted to stay there. Lock herself in a stall and wait to be found. But she couldn't do that. Oliver needed to know they were in danger and Digg was vulnerable. She knew Oliver would be suspicious when she didn't come back soon, but precious minutes were already slipping away.
The hallway was still empty and she tried to look as unaffected as possible. This floor housed the cardiac care unit, the sign on the door clearly showing that visiting hours had ended over an hour ago. She was going to stand out walking through that ward, but she didn't have a choice.
An abandoned laundry cart sat off to the side and Felicity spied scrubs laying on top. Without taking time to think she grabbed a set and ducked into a dark room. Moving as fast as she could she swapped out clothes. She pulled her hair from her ponytail and dropped her glasses into the breast pocket. There was nothing more she could do to alter her appearance but she may have given herself a bit of anonymity.
Replacing the gun in her waistband she looked at the larger weapon in her hand and wondered how she could conceal it. There was no way she could hide it under her shirt like she had earlier. Panic filled her as she looked for anything she could use that wouldn't look out of place.
A stack of folded hospital blankets lay on a shelf and she grabbed one, laying it over her hands, the gun hidden underneath. It wasn't ideal, but it would have to do.
Her heart was still pounding as she opened the door and entered the hallway. She tried to avoid making eye contact with anyone, and luckily she was mostly ignored. When a straggling visitor stopped her and asked how to get back to the elevators, Felicity thought her heart was going to leap out of her throat. She pointed vaguely behind her and hurried away before the person could ask any more questions.
She could see the other stairwell now. If she was correct, then the waiting room she'd left Oliver in was two floors above her head. It was difficult to keep herself from sprinting towards the door. She felt like someone was going to jump out at her at any moment. Even though she knew she had to keep her composure, she still half jogged the final steps.
Felicity leaned against the heavy metal door and let out a long exhale, letting her eyes fall shut for a quick second as she stood in the relative safety of the stairwell. On increasingly shaky legs she hurried up the two flights of stairs and paused at the door. She was on the same floor now, and she had no idea what awaited her.
This door should have put her further down from Digg's room, with the waiting room and Oliver past him. Biting her lip, she debated her options.
In the end she decided it wasn't just Digg at risk, but the entire ward of patients and staff. That's what she kept telling herself as she stole into an unused office and quickly hacked her way into their internal security system. When the phones began ringing all over the floor and alarms blared for an evacuation she only hoped she hadn't put anyone in more danger than they were already in.
All she could hear outside the darkened room were quick footfalls and shouted orders. She pulled the phone off the desk and dragged it across the floor where she crouched against an interior wall, unable to be seen from the window.
Lance answered on the second ring.
"Detective! You need to get your men to the hospital. The people who attacked Digg are back and they've already killed one of Oliver's agents and I got into the system here and ordered an evacuation but I don't know if that's enough of a distraction." she said it all in a rush, the fear catching up with her.
"Whoa, slow down Ms. Smoak. Are you telling me there are armed men at the hospital right now? You've seen them?" he asked, slightly incredulous.
"I haven't seen them, and I'm grateful because I presume I'd be dead if I had, but I did see Mr. Philips with his neck slit so yes, I'd say they're armed. They're professionals. They know what they're doing." Her attempt to keep her voice at a whisper had left her as hysteria rose.
"Okay, I believe you. We're on our way. Just stay put." he said sharply and she could hear him barking commnds to people around him.
"I can't. I have to go see if Digg and Oliver are okay."
"Ms. Smoak! If you are safe, you stay where you are!" he ordered her.
"I'm sorry Detective, I can't do that. Just hurry." she hung up and rose up slightly until she could see out the door.
People were still rushing by, and she hoped she could join the throng without looking out of place. Digg's room was around the corner. She just needed to get that far.
Moving quickly she threw herself into the hallway, dodging gurneys and nurses as they tried to move people out of the hospital quickly but carefully. She was going against the flow and clung to the wall as she made her way to Digg's room.
There was only one agent outside the room. The officer who had been there was nowhere to be seen.
He didn't recognize her at first in the unfamiliar clothes and she didn't give him much of a chance as she grabbed him by the arm. "They're here. You need to come inside with me, now." she said forcefully.
Luckily for her he realized who she was before he took her down, but she felt the way he'd tensed under her hand. Quickly he pushed open the door and followed her in.
Felicity turned and shut off the lights, the agent inside looked at her with surprise as she locked the door and drew the blinds.
"The men who shot Digg are here." she explained as she tossed the blanket she'd been carrying onto a chair and let the gun hang by her side. Her eyes cut over Digg but he seemed to be sleeping. "Mr. Philips is dead. They slit his throat. I haven't been able to get to Oliver and I don't know how many of them there are."
"Ms. Smoak, we need to get to Mr. Queen if there's a threat." the one who had been standing outside said.
She nodded in agreement even though she knew Oliver could handle himself, but if he was taken by surprise she didn't want him hurt. "Yes, you do, but he can't be left alone, or be evacuated with the others, it's too much of a risk." she gestured behind her to Digg's bed.
The agent who had been in the room was already trying to contact his partner, but after several tries he shook his head. "Sorry ma'am, no one's answering."
Icy dread filled her stomach at what that could mean. "Okay, one of you needs to go down there, and one of you needs to stay." she said, as she went to push lose hair from her face and forgot she was holding the gun. With a small gasp she lowered it and held on to the edge of the bed as she tried to pull herself together.
She heard the agents behind her talking as she moved up to grasp Digg's hand, she wasn't expecting him to squeeze it back.
"Oh, hey!" she said, trying to school her face so he wouldn't think anything was wrong. But when her eyes met his she knew she'd failed.
"What's wrong?" his voice was stronger than earlier but still didn't sound like him. The pauses between his blinks were long and she saw his eyes try and shift about the room but not make it past her.
"Nothing, nothing's wrong." she said quickly, high and fake and so obvious.
"Felicity," he began warningly, seeing right through her.
"Really, everything is fine. The hospital is, um...running a drill. A disaster drill. You know how it is, they have to do those every now and then and it's now apparently." she gave a weak shrug and tried to glance surreptitiously at the two agents at the back of the room.
"Then why are the lights out? Why are you wearing scrubs? And why are you holding Philips gun?" he was out of breath when he finished, but had locked her with one of his stares.
Her eyes slid from the gun she held back to Digg's face, unable to keep the tears from spilling over. The room was silent and even the sound of the blaring alarms seemed to fall away. "I'm so sorry. Whoever shot you...they're here. They got Philips while I was in the bathroom and I managed to get back to you, but I don't know where Oliver is, and the other agents aren't responding, and I didn't want innocent people to get hurt so I caused the evacuation. I also called Lance, but I don't know if he'll be here in time-"
She cut herself off when she saw him try and raise up on one arm, the other going to push the blankets away. "Stop! What are you doing? You can't get up!" she pressed a hand into his shoulder and with hardly any effort was able to put him on his back.
The monitors at his side had already started to go off, his oxygen levels plummeting with just that slight effort he'd made.
Eyes tight with pain he was panting as he laid back and clenched his hands into fists. "You have to let us handle this. It'll be okay." she was trying to assure herself as much as she was trying to assure him.
He did his best to glare at her. "Turn off that drip."
"The morphine drip going into my I.V every half an hour. Turn it off." she looked to see the machine to his right providing him steady pain relief.
"Digg…" she started but his hand clamped over hers.
"Yes." he said with as much force as he could muster. She could see it all. His worry, and fear, and helplessness, which was something he didn't feel often.
"Okay," she relented and ended up just pulling the cord from the back, watching as it powered down. "Don't do anything stupid though, please."
He nodded once, but she knew he wouldn't keep his word if pressed.
There was one agent left, weapon drawn standing between the door and the bed. She wanted Oliver. She wanted to know he was safe, and she wanted him here with them. When the scariest moments of her life had happened, she'd always felt better when he was close.
The sounds outside the hallway had gotten quieter, and although she could still hear the alarms, she hoped most of the patients had gotten out.
She had turned back to Digg to straightened out his blanket and make sure his stats were going back up when the door crashed in.
Felicity let out a shriek and shrunk down over Digg, hearing his moan of pain as she jostled his side. There was gunfire and muffled grunts as she was frozen in place until she shook herself out of it and peered over her arm.
The lone agent was attempting to take on three assailants on his own. Two rushed him while the third threw a dagger, leaving it embedded in his throat.
Felicity let out a strangled "No!" the gun coming up in front of her as she spun.
"Do it!" Digg commanded and she didn't think, she aimed at the nearest one and fired. She hit him high on the right shoulder, not quite center mass like she'd been taught, but he went down.
Hands shaking and heart pounding so hard she couldn't hear anything but white noise she barely registered as Digg slipped Philips's back up weapon from her waistband. The two remaining attackers swirled deadly looking blades in their hands. The only thing visible on them was their eyes, which were cold and hard. Triad. They had to be Triad.
"Down!" Digg shouted and she dropped. The retort of the gun from behind her rang out in the small space and she watched in horror as another one fell, but she also heard the alarms going off from Digg's machines.
The last one was almost upon her when she got to her feet. Felicity ducked as they swung a blade towards her, coming at her so quickly she almost didn't see it. When a line of fire cut across her ribs she knew they'd gotten too close. She yelled out in pain and spun away from them.
"Felicity!" Digg yelled, but she couldn't look at him, the blade was coming at her again and then it wasn't. A gun firing and the knife clattering to the floor seemed to happen at the same time. She looked on in shock as the attacker clutched a bloody hand to their chest; Digg had been able to shoot the knife from his grip.
She hadn't expected the man to lunge at her. Felicity kept the gun pointed away from her as she was tackled to the ground, her left shoulder coming into sharp contact with the unforgiving floor. It was also the side she'd been hurt on. As air left her lungs she almost lost her grip on the gun.
Hands were covering hers, blood from the attackers wounds making her hold slick. She wasn't expecting him to punch her with his uninjured hand. Stars sparked in her vision as everything went dark except what was right in front of her. Digg was yelling her name from far away but she couldn't seem to focus on him.
The gun was pulled violently from her and she only just managed to keep one hand wrapped around it. Remembering a move Digg had showed her in training, she used her hips to press up as she threw her legs around the man she fought with. In one great effort, she flipped him off of her, struggling to rise to her knees.
There was a second where she thought she'd gotten him far enough away from her for Digg to get a clear shot and then he pushed back into her, her head slamming into the side of the bed.
Everything seemed to happen at once. Oliver, Lance, and a host of officers burst through the door just as the gun pinned between her and the assailant went off.