quirkysmuse: (text-love)
[personal profile] quirkysmuse
Fandom: Arrow
Title: Dark Stranger
Chapter Title: Twelve
Author: Paynesgrey
Characters/Pairings: Felicity Smoak, Slade Wilson, Oliver Queen; Felicity/Slade, Oliver/Felicity, and Oliver/Sara
Rating: M
Warnings/Spoilers: adult content, spoilers for "Heir to the Demon"

Summary: Felicity must make peace with Oliver's choice, even if it means turning her attention to a charming and mysterious stranger. Her attentions to someone else, however, do not go unnoticed.

Other Links: AO3 | FFnet | Dreamwidth



Felicity Smoak was determined to survive, even on this scary island without a wireless connection and the possibility of Chinese mercenaries lurking in the thick, foreboding forest. She watched as Slade’s plane disappeared into the storm clouds and felt fear instantly surge within her.



Storm clouds didn’t look good, and if it rained, she’d have to find cover in the forest somewhere. The idea of going in that forest at all filled her with dread.



Not that she wanted to hang out on this beach either, in the open, exposed to others on the island that could easily spot out a strange blonde woman not entirely dressed for beach wear. Or military work.



She had one last hope at least. She scrambled and opened her purse, digging through the inner pocket where her makeup and tampons were stored. In the bottom, she dug around for one specific shape. The tracker had to be in there, and if Slade had found and removed it, she was screwed.



The first shape was lipstick, the next a compact; there was the tampon, and then another. Her fingers grazed over another shape.



Relief filled her tight chest, and she exhaled a heavy breath.



She pulled it out, inspected it and felt further relieved it wasn’t damaged or disabled. She smirked to herself, filled with pride.



“Not so smart are you, Slade Wilson?” she said, and she twisted the casing on the tracker, activating it.



Now, she only had to wait. She hoped that Oliver found her in time before the rains came. Or before she encountered her Chinese military welcoming party.



--



Barbara Gordon, otherwise known as Oracle from her League of Assassins days, was whistling in admiration at Felicity Smoak’s tech in the lair underneath Verdant.



“Not bad,” she said, and her fingers were already dancing over the keyboards, clicking through various programs and screens.



“Enough admiration,” Sara chided her. “Any luck on picking up Felicity’s cell phone signal?”



“It went dark about an hour ago,” Barbara said, looking up at Sara. “Right around Hawaii, which means Slade guessed we would track her and he’s toying with us. Where he took her is the real mystery.”



“Would he take her to Lian Yu though? Seems predictable, even for Slade,” Sara said, crossing her arms and furrowing her brow.



“It is, and I’m surprised if he’d leave her anywhere out there. The Slade I know would even bring her back, hide her and make her work for him under duress,” Barbara said sadly. “Like he did to me.”



Sara shook her head. “He wouldn’t bring her back, and you don’t know Felicity. She would never agree to that.”



Barbara raised an eyebrow. “Hrmm. Felicity cares that much about Oliver.”



Sara pursed her lips. “Yes, completely. There’s no question. There’s true loyalty in her. She would never betray Oliver.” And she met Barbara’s intense gaze. “Or any of us.”



“Then she’s stuck out there, somewhere. On one of those islands in that area where Oliver was, she’s trapped there.”



“We have to figure out where,” Sara said, slamming her hands on the counter, making some of the screens rattle.



“Hey! Calm down. We’ll get her,” Barbara reassured. Before Sara could speak, they both heard a loud beep echo throughout the room. A red pop-up appeared on one of the screens. Barbara and Sara both turned in attention to the alert.



“What is that?” Sara asked, and Barbara slid her fingers through a few commands on the keys and gasped.



“A beacon,” Barbara said. “It’s coming from a tracking device.”



“Ollie has tracking arrows that do that. Well, there is a capsule on the end that does that when hitting a hard surface. It twists and locks on impact and sets off the alarm,” Sara said.



“It seems to be the same kind of device,” Barbara said, and her face brightened with a grin. “Well, hello there, Felicity Smoak. Good work, kid.”



“It’s her?” Sara said. “Where is she?”



“Somewhere near that Lian Yu, not far off. Let me get the longitude and latitude coordinates,” she said, working away. Sara was already on her phone.



“Yeah, Ollie,” she said, her voice filled with joy. “We found her.”



When she heard his response, she’d never heard Oliver express such relief before, and he hung up the phone quickly to continue the rescue.



It was inopportune for her to analyze Oliver’s feelings, but Sara knew that Oliver was focused solely on Felicity and her safety right now. She admitted she wanted her favorite cute and awkward IT girl to be safe too. But rescuing Felicity meant a variety of things. They weren’t just going to save Felicity’s life. When Ollie reached her, something would change.



Something was already changing...between her and Oliver. She’d noticed it in the beginning. It confused her, but she knew that deep down Ollie wasn’t trying to be untrue to her. He loved her - or maybe he had loved her at one time. Reuniting with him had been easy; it’d been obligation, that much was true, with the ghosts of their pasts coming to a head.



But Felicity had no past with Oliver, and she cared about him despite his past and what he’d done on the island. She was new and fresh, and she had an open heart that even Sara appreciated. As for Oliver, it was likely he felt he didn’t deserve her, and he feared that with his lifestyle, Felicity was safer without him.



Whatever it was, Sara sensed Oliver regarded Felicity a lot differently than he’d ever regarded her, or even her sister Laurel. Truthfully, he was a lot happier when Felicity was around, and the improved mood never seemed to stir up when he was with Sara. With her, Ollie seemed to live in the drudgery of their pasts, the darkness and the regrets, and though Sara was trying to make a new life for her, and maybe for them, the doomed fate that brought them together would always be there. With Felicity, Oliver had no past. He had only who he was becoming now, and she accepted him.



Even if it wasn’t obvious to Oliver on how he felt about Felicity, it was obvious to Sara, and to everyone else it seemed.



Whatever was between Oliver and Felicity, Sara knew she had no place there. As disheartening as it was to continue this thing she had with Oliver, she didn’t know if she could now. He wouldn’t end it with her directly; God knew he tried already, but he’d come back, feeling obligated and protective - loyal even, but none of those things added up to real love.



She’d felt real love once, Sara admitted to herself, and the shadow of that love was still looming in the back of her mind, with Nyssa.



Like Oliver’s ghost of Shado, Sara had her own in Nyssa. The only difference was that Nyssa was still alive. Reconciling with the woman was probably impossible, but Sara wondered if there may be some hope.



It all depended on how much Nyssa really loved Sara. She loved her enough to set her free, but did Sara love Nyssa enough to return to her? To try to change her former lover’s mind?



Sara didn’t know what to do, but she knew whenever she thought of Nyssa, her heart swelled with regret and with longing. It was a feeling she couldn’t shake, not even with this distance between them, and not even after Nyssa had set her free.



That kiss they shared when she’d come for her still lingered in her mouth, and Sara missed it. Even after Nyssa threatened her family, Sara missed her. They had history, sure, and maybe she was insane for still desiring the woman after all the chaos she had brought, but Sara couldn’t shake how she felt, no matter how irrational it was.



She did know this. She remembered the fire she used to feel when she was in Nyssa’s arms. It was missing with Oliver; that much Sara knew was true.



---



Felicity stared into the fire she had started with some driftwood on the beach. She enjoyed the warmth as darkness fell, and thankfully, the looming storm clouds she’d spotted this afternoon had dispersed leaving her with a starry night sky.



The threat of the other island residents still prevailed, and she looked over her shoulder quite often to see if they would come charging out at her. Mostly, she felt anxious and paranoid, and when she wasn’t looking to the forest, Felicity was looking to the skies hoping to see any sign of a plane.



Her nerves were stretched like rubber bands, and she wondered how long she’d been this stressed and anxious. She’d been so exhausted in her worrying that she started to doze off, even after being drugged so often by Slade. She wondered if the drugs were truly out of her system.



She thought she might be dreaming when she heard the buzz of a plane in the sky. Looking up through blurry eyes ripe with tears, she sniffled and shook sleep from her brain as the plane drew closer. Its lights were a bright red welcome compared to the plain white stars in the inky skies.



“Oliver,” she whispered, and the plane began to descend. She felt the air stir up around her, and she almost collapsed the moment she heard his voice.



“Felicity!” he screamed, and it was music to her ears. She blinked and he was running toward her, arms outstretched to catch her as she started to fall.



If it was a dream, it had come true, because in her dreams, Oliver had always saved her.



---



When Diggle and Oliver touched down to the island, Felicity was clutching her small dress jacket around her shivering shoulders. Walking on wobbly knees, Felicity came up to them with a relieved smile and tears in her eyes.



Oliver and Diggle ran to her, catching her as she fell into Oliver’s arms. Diggle patted and rubbed her back, and Oliver pulled her against him as she rested her head against his chest.



She was sobbing softly, and Oliver could hear her murmuring, “Thank you,” against his clothes. Pulling her against him, he lifted her into his arms securely as they entered the small plane. She cuddled against Oliver as Diggle took the controls. Oliver stroked her hair and kissed her forehead, feeling relief surge within his bones.



She fell asleep soundly against him just before the plane lifted off, and Oliver noticed that his nerves felt raw and his heart ached.



Slade had targeted Felicity and put her life on the line. It was because of him Felicity was in danger at all.



It was too late to push her away now, he thought, and he cursed himself for even thinking of it. He was stupid. Felicity was already important to him, wedged so deeply in his heart he couldn’t bear a second without her, so if she was dead because of him, because everyone knew how much he cared about her, he might as well be killing her himself the more he pushed her away, unguarded and vulnerable.



Well, it would never happen again. No matter how many of his enemies sought her to use against him, they would always fail. Because Oliver wouldn’t fail Felicity.



He wouldn’t just protect her anymore, he would keep her as close to him as he possibly could. It didn’t matter if he had reservations about their feelings for each other at this point.



Only one thing was clear: Felicity was his girl, his, and no one would ever threaten her again.



 



Thirteen






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