Times Like These

Chapter 14

Felicity braced herself on the edge of the desk waiting for the inevitable, waiting for her world to implode, but the horrible rush of noise didn’t come.

She heard his breath catch and could almost see him, poised to open the window, but frozen still by her words.

With a stutter her heart restarted and she let out a great rush of air as she sank thankfully into the chair. Digg dropped his head in relief and gave a quick jerk of his chin side to side. “He’s gotta be out of lives by now.” he muttered and then he was grabbing his phone and calling in an anonymous tip to emergency services.

He stepped away and she could hear him give the address and details as she willed her hands to stop shaking.

“Oliver, get out of there. Digg’s calling in the bomb threat and I’ll let Lance know.” she said in a trembling voice.

She could almost feel the frustration and anger rolling off of him from halfway across the city.


“I know,” she said thickly, “Just…come home. We’ll get him. We will.”

He didn’t want to come back though. He wanted to tear Starling apart trying to find him.


There was a low growl and then she could hear him moving. Trying to concentrate she sent Lance a head’s up and then tuned the feed to the police scanners. They were already scrambling the bomb squad and calling for the building to be evacuated. Her stomach turned at the thought of all those people being sent from their homes late at night and possibly losing everything because of Nate.

Digg’s hand squeezed her shoulder, “Good catch,”

Anger filled her and she shrugged out of his grip, twisting in her seat even though it hurt. “No, it wasn’t a 'good catch’. You two didn’t know. He went out there without all the information because you two decided to play cowboy without me. I’m part of this team! And Oliver almost got killed because I was sleeping instead of doing my job!”

Digg’s eyes locked on hers, holding her gaze and she saw his jaw tighten as he thought about what to say.

It was Oliver that broke the tight silence. “It was my call, Felicity, not his.”

“I’ll deal with you when you get back.” she bit off and threw the comm link on the desk.

“How could you let him go out there? Hurt and not thinking straight, and without all the intel? I didn’t realize that’s how we did things now.” she was upset and pissed that they’d once again wrapped her in cotton wool and kept her pushed to the side. “I thought I was a part of this? The brains part! The part that keeps you from getting blown up!”

“You think I could have stopped him?” Digg threw back, eyes narrowing.

“No. Oliver does what Oliver wants to do. But you could have involved me so I could have at least tried.” she spat, lips drawn into a tight line.

They both stilled and listened as more units were called to her building. She turned the chair and propped her elbows on the edge of the desk, hands steepled in front of her face as she waited to hear if there would be an explosion or not.

For twenty minutes they sat in silence, listening to the police scanners as her building and every building in a two block radius was evacuated. Hundreds of people were displaced as the bomb squad made preparations to enter her apartment. She couldn’t help but think of her belongings, all the things that made up her life, and wonder if she’d ever see them again.

When she heard the order that the building had been secured and the bomb easy enough to diffuse by cutting through a wall to access the interior of her unit she let out a long breath and slumped forward, fingers pressing into her temples.

Digg sighed next to her and climbed to his feet. “Oliver should be back any minute. Call me if he isn’t.”

She knew he was leaving before Oliver got back because he didn’t want to bear witness to the dressing down.

“Chicken..” she muttered under her breath, knowing he’d heard her as his step stuttered for a brief second, but then the door was shutting behind him and she was left to wait.

It was less than ten minutes before she felt a cool draft from her left. She knew it was Oliver even if she didn’t hear him. She kept her eyes firmly fixed on the screen and didn’t turn to look at him until she could see him standing only a few inches away in her peripheral vision.

There was a long pause where neither of them gave ground. The tension was thick and she could feel her fingers moving and see the images on the screen change but she wasn’t sure what she was doing.

The longer the silence dragged on the angrier she became until finally she couldn’t take it any longer.

“Thank you,” she said heavily, “Those are the two words you’re looking for. Since I just saved your ass in a pretty spectacular fashion.”

She still stared straight ahead at her monitors but she felt him shift beside her and when he leaned towards her with a low rumble emanating from him she snapped. With a start she was pushing from the chair as she swiveled to face him. Her leg and side twinged with pain but she ignored it best she could.

“No!” she barked, standing to her full height and finally looking at him. “Why would you do that? Why would you go off on your own without all the intel? You’re smarter than that! Why didn’t you wake me or just wait? You’re not lone man on the island any longer, Oliver, so stop acting like you are!”

His face was drawn into a scowl and although he had backed up when she stood he was once again toe to toe with her, leaning down slightly, arms held stiff with tension at his sides. “I had an opportunity, I took it! This has gone on long enough!”

“And look where it got you…almost killed!” she retorted, eyes flashing, not even realizing she was lifting on her toes in order to eliminate some of their height difference. “You can’t-”

She was cut off as his hands clamped down on her upper arms, solid, but mindful of her bruises. And when he leaned over her further her heels dropped down to stand flat on the floor. “I can,” he said low and gravely, and with the barest hint of control. “I can because he has tried to kill me twice now to get to you and that is something I cannot allow to happen.”

There was a tremor in his voice she’d never heard before, and in an instant her anger dissipated.

He was scared.

She’d never seen him scared before, and the knowledge that is was about her, for her, made her chest tighten.

He still had that torn, haggard expression on his face and she needed it gone. Felicity slid herself forward until her chest was pressed into his front. His hands eased around her arms, and she felt a tingle shoot through her as his gloved thumb rubbed a small circle near her elbow.

When her hand came up to cup his jaw she waited for him to relax into her touch before she pushed up and kissed him.

She’d meant for it to be soft, and simple, and comforting.

But for Oliver it must have been the catalyst he’d needed.

His arms wrapped around her as he crushed her to him, mouth capturing hers almost desperately. This was unlike any other kiss they’d shared. He seemed primal as he all but devoured her. She clutched his shoulders, the cool leather slick beneath her fingers as he held her impossibly close. His mouth moved over hers hot and wet and all she could do was cede as he overwhelmed her in the best possible way.

There was a hand woven through her hair, the other splayed over the center of her back and she could feel the heat of his palm through his glove and the thin fabric of the shirt she’d borrowed from him.

She moaned low in her throat as his tongue tangled with hers, heart flipping in a near constant rhythm as long slow swoops of desire curled in her belly.

Her hands ran across his shoulders and inwards to his neck as she slid her fingers against his skin, stroking down until she came to the zipper that kept the jacket closed. She didn’t think as she pulled it down, until she hit the leather strap of his quiver. With a frustrated growl her fingers moved blindly to the buckle, fumbling until she had it loose. The quiver hit the hardwood with a satisfying thunk, the clatter of arrows spilling over the floor making her shiver. She had to push back into his hold to make enough room between them to slide the zipper of the jacket all the way to the bottom.

She wasted no time in slipping her hands under the now open jacket, warm flesh and muscle under her fingers making her groan in appreciation as he shuddered from the sensation.

The hand on her back slid lower grasping her hip to pull her into his pelvis where there was no doubt to how much he wanted her just then. She gasped into his mouth as his lips trailed across her jaw and down her neck, sucking at her pulse point while needy little noises escaped her.

When he nosed the collar of the shirt out of the way and nipped at the hollow of her throat she couldn’t help the way her nails dug into his sides. Oliver let out a growl and the next thing she knew his hands were slipping over his ass and under her thighs, lifting her in one smooth motion.

A short breathy 'Oh’ fell from her lips as she wrapped her legs around his waist. The stitches pulled but she barely noticed. He skimmed over her bandage and kissed his way back to her lips, “You okay?” he muttered into her and she could only nod sharply and let out a sound of vague agreement.

All the blood in her body seemed to be rushing straight to her core as she rocked into him making them both groan.

His hand was under her shirt now, firmly running up her spine. When she felt the leather of his glove stutter over her skin she realized she needed to feel his hands on her.

She leaned back in his sure grip and let her hand follow his arm to where his palm cupped her right hip, kneading the flesh. Knowing he’d never drop her she pulled his hand away and drew it between them, eyes locked on his as she undid the closure of the gauntlet, biting her lip to control a small smirk as yet more arrows fell to the ground even if those were the shorter darts.

When that obstacle was gone she found the velcro at his wrist and separated it before she pulled the tight fitting leather from each digit until she could let it fall away forgotten. His fingers flexed before they trailed lightly over her cheek.

The gasp that came from her filled the room. It felt like a thousand sparks of lightning had flowed from his touch. Heavy eyes fell shut as she turned into his palm and pressed a kiss there, then he was pulling her back into him and claiming her mouth again.

When she needed air she dragged her lips from his, the dark pools that used to be his normally bright blue eyes made her stomach flip. She tugged on his other arm and he knew what she wanted. Easily he switched arms and she had to grasp tight to his jacket as his now bare hand was pressed into her like a brand.

With the second glove she didn’t take her time, she undid it and ripped it from his hand as quick as she could, moaning a low 'yes’ when he went straight for her shoulder, pushing the shirt aside as far as it would go.

Her head fell forward weakly, as she gave him as much access as possible. His bare chest beckoned from the opened jacket and she pushed at both sides of the heavy material, loving the aggravated grunts he made as he shrugged out of one side and then the other, the leather catching at his elbows.

“Better,” she breathed out, not caring that it wasn’t completely off, hands roaming over his pecs and down to his abs, feeling how the muscles rippled under her touch.

The shirt she wore was now rucked up around her middle, the only thing separating them her thin cotton underwear and his leather pants.

Both his hands were on her now, one running across her abdomen, making her twitch and jerk into him, the other still moving over her back, leaving trails of fire in it’s wake.

She hadn’t even known he’d been undoing the buttons on her shirt until he peeled one side back and was cupping her breast.

A keening moan left her at the contact. She arched into him, grimacing at the pull in her side but it wasn’t enough to keep her wanting him to touch her more.

“Felicity…” it was a question, and he stilled as he asked. She knew if she said to he would stop right then.

Her hand snaked around the back of his neck and she used it as leverage to roll her hips into his, “Don’t stop,” she said breathlessly, groaning at how right the pressure was against her center.

The fingers on her hip dug in tight as his thumb swirled circles first over the edge of her underwear and then dipping underneath to find her hipbone. Unintelligible noises left her throat as her mouth fell open, waves of pleasure flowing through her.

She found his mouth and then his jaw, leaving a path of small nips and flicks of her tongue as she made her way down to the spot where shoulder and neck would meet. His head fell back with a growl as she sucked and laved the small dips and hollows, running her tongue along the tight, corded muscles like she’d always wanted to. Her name came from him so low and deep it no longer sounded like her name.

When his thumb cut over her nipple she moaned, mouth falling open as she now lay limp against his shoulder. Every touch, every pull, every roll of that small bit of flesh flooded her mind with desire and sent bolts of pure heat straight to her core.

His lips coasted over her ear making her shiver in anticipation as he once again worked his way down her neck, this time using his teeth to drag the shirt out of the way. When her entire shoulder was exposed he dropped slow hot kisses across the newly exposed flesh, leaving her to twitch and moan as electric surges seemed to shoot from each place he touched her.

Chest heaving, breathing labored, she let her hands roam, nails raking down his front loving how he reacted to her. When her fingers hit his waist she had a new mission. The leather belt that held the thigh quiver in place was in her way and she felt a flush of irritation as she had to struggle to eliminate yet one more obstacle.

He sucked air through his teeth when he felt her fingers working between them. She pulled back far enough to give him a triumphant grin when she undid the closure and began to work on his pants. The hand he slid over her ass, cupping and stroking so close to where she needed him was enough to still her actions for a moment.

She had just gotten the top of the pants open to slide her hand under the waist, discovering the hard line of muscles that cut in from his hips, and gave him a devious smirk when there was a loud knock on the door and the sound of the handle being moved, “Ollie!” Thea’s voice called out, slightly muffled through the wood.

Felicity’s head fell forward with a curse to press against his shoulder. “Thea! Don’t open that door!” Oliver yelled out, the combination of anger and frustration at the interruption making his words ring in the space.

“Sorry,” he said into her hair and she nodded once, reluctantly removing her hand from inside his pants, making sure to drag her nails over his skin as she did, feeling him shudder one more time.

He let out a sharp breath, hands tightening on her waist before she let her legs fall from around him, unable to keep a string of whimpers from escaping as her thigh throbbed and her breath caught. She had to lean against him for a moment as her head spun and she felt more than heard a low grumbling come from his chest. “Maybe I’m not so sorry now.” he said darkly, hand coming up to cup her face, “You’re still hurt.”

She sighed heavily, “You don’t know how much I regret that,”

Palms slid around her hips and then lower, to pull her into him, “I think I’ve got an idea.” he said in her ear and she gave a groan as she stepped back and began to rebutton the shirt.

“You…change, I’ll get rid of Thea.” she offered, taking one more second to see him standing in front of her in nothing but his leather pants half undone, thigh quiver hanging partially detached, jacket pushed off his shoulders, and felt her heart stutter. She made a garbled noise and ran a hand through her hair before she forced herself to turn.

Just as she reached the door she pivoted and waved her hands frantically at the ridiculously sexy sight of his quiver and arrows strewn all over the floor, “And clean that up!”

Felicity opened the door only wide enough to slip out, “Thea, hey, what’s up?”

The younger girl just raised an eyebrow in an incredulous look. “I came by to see if you two had seen the news. They think that psycho has set another bomb in an apartment building.”

Roy coughed behind her, “I don’t think they were watching the news.” he said with a sheepish grin that she knew he didn’t mean, “Sorry, Barbie, but…” his eyes cut down and she followed to see that in her haste she’d misbuttoned the shirt.

“Ew,” Thea said with a wrinkle of her nose, “But also, I told you so! You too were way too handsy to be 'just friends’. And when I walked by earlier I heard all the yelling which, you were obviously just making up for, and again, ew.”

Felicity didn’t know what to say and could only try and shift from foot to foot, only managing one exchange before her leg let her know why that wasn’t a good idea.

“Anyways, I really didn’t come here to interrupt things I don’t want to know about interrupting. But I thought you might want to know.” she said with a shrug,

“Thanks, and…yeah…it’s my apartment building. My apartment actually so…we know.” the reminder of what was currently happening across town had a sobering effect.

“Oh my god!” Thea exclaimed, “That’s horrible!” she grasped Felicity’s hand in hers and gave it a squeeze.

The door behind her was suddenly wrenched open and she swiveled her head to see Oliver, now in a t-shirt and sweats braced in doorway, “Thea…Roy…” he said

“Thanks for putting pants on, always appreciated.” Thea said with a smirk, earning her a glare from her brother,

“Everything okay?” he asked, ignoring her comment.

“I just didn’t know if you guys knew about the apartment, it’s on the news, but Felicity said…well, it’s her place so…sorry, didn’t know.”

His hand dropped to her lower back and she leaned back into his touch, seeking his warmth and support.

“Yeah, we know. Detective Lance called when they got the tip.” he lied easily and she would have to remember to tell him later it had sounded believable.

It was Roy who broke the silence, “Okay, well, we’ll just let you get back to all that news watching then.”

Thea gave her one more sympathetic smile, “Night,”

Oliver drew her back into the room, shutting it firmly behind them and she looked around, amazed to find no trace of anything Arrow related.

“Where did you…” she trailed off and waved a hand in the direction of where they’d been standing,

“Safely away,” he assured her, coming up from behind and wrapping his arms around her waist. She leaned back with a sigh and let herself melt into his chest.

They were quiet for a long moment before she let out an irritated grumble. “What?” he asked, lips low near her ear.

She sighed again and turned, hands resting easily on his arms as she looked up at him through her lashes, “Nothing, just…I’m a little disappointed I didn’t get to help you out of the pants.” her voice was purposely breathy and a shiver shot through her at how quickly his eyes darkened with desire.

His hands slid around her back and pulled her in close, her head coming to rest just under his chin, “Trust me, I’m disappointed too.” he said throatily,

She leaned back slightly, “Don’t worry, I’ll get my chance.”

He cupped her face in his hands as he stared at her intently, “Yes, you will. As soon as you’re better.”

“Stupid ribs,” she muttered just before his lips dropped to hers. The kiss was slow and languid and full of promises.

When he pulled back he pressed one more kiss to her temple and towed her to the couch, flicking on the t.v. as they sat. She curled into his side and they watched the coverage of the bomb removal.

“I don’t understand…why rig my apartment to blow? And to make it big enough to take out the entire building…” she shook and felt Oliver’s arm tighten over her shoulders. “What if I had gone back home?”

Oliver sighed, warm breath crossing her temple, “He must have known he’d be tracked back there. He’s trying to take out anyone who could get in his way now.”

They watched in silence for another two hours until Lt. Davis held a short press conference just after midnight and declared the area secure.

Felicity was only half awake when Oliver answered her trilling phone. A few short hums of agreement and the promise to be somewhere in the morning before she was being picked up and carried to the bed.

Too tired to protest she felt him wrap around her, pulling up the covers as he did.

“Who was on the phone?” she mumbled,

“Lance. The FBI is involved now. They want you to come down tomorrow.” his voice was tight and she felt like he sounded. All she would do is answer the same questions over and over again; questions she didn’t have answers to.

“I don’t know what they think I can tell them.” she said as she turned so she could lay against his shoulder.

“The initial reports are that it would have taken out the building but it wasn’t a professional job. He’s not as good as he would like to think he is.” Oliver’s chest rose and fell sharply as his fingers combed through her hair, “I’m going to get him.” he vowed.

She didn’t say anything, just lifted her head to press a kiss to his too tight jaw before she fell asleep.

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