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As soon as Felicity stormed out of the Foundry, announcing furiously that she would be taking a break to go to a MIT convention for a week and wouldn’t be seeing him, Oliver deflated. He and Felicity didn’t fight often, but when they did, it was often explosively. She wasn’t afraid to call him out on his hyprocrisy towards his family and friends and she certainly wasn’t scared of him when he tried to get her to shut up by baring his fangs threateningly. That, however, was a result only due to the fact that half of the time he had his fangs out, he was biting into her right carotid artery in her neck and feeding from her.

Diggle and Felicity had both been surprisingly cool with the fact that Oliver was a vampire. While he had been expecting screaming or accusations, or perhaps in Diggle’s case bullets to the chest, the two humans had instead just been curious and intrigued, asking about how he had been turned and about his feeding habits.

“So do you feed on animal blood?” Felicity had questioned, “Like those vampires in Twilight?”

“Firstly,” he had replied. “Please don’t ever mention Twilight to me ever again. Those books and films were abominations. I don’t see the appeal, especially since they’re horrifically inaccurate. Vampires do NOT sparkle. And secondly, no. Animal blood doesn’t sustain our bodies, only human blood does.”

She had looked horrified at that, her ocean blue eyes widening. “So what, whenever you fancy a meal you pick somebody off the street and bring out the old sharp and pointies?”

“... the what?”

“Don’t avoid the question!”

He had huffed. “No, Felicity. I don’t feed from a live donor. Somebody has to volunteer for me to be able to do that. I feed from blood bags. It’s not exactly pleasant drinking cold blood heavy with anti-coagulants, but it dulls the thirst slightly, enough so that I can interact with people.” He had looked down at his hands with a heavy sigh, grimacing. “It’s annoying, actually. Feeding is meant to be… I guess, enjoyable? When drinking from blood bags, it feels like a disgusting chore. And since it only dulls the thirst slightly, I have to feed more often and that’s -”

“And blood from a donor would stop that thirst?” she had asked hesitantly after a moment.

“I guess. I’ve only ever fed from a human once, a mercenary I ran into on Lian Yu when I first got turned and it was -” He had swallowed. “It was like nothing I’d ever experienced before. Nothing compares to that. I don’t know how to describe it. It was… incredible.”

And just like that, within days of that conversation, Felicity had offered to become his donor. There were rules of course, safety measures to be followed. Their first feed was an event - after some debate, they had decided that Oliver would draw blood from her carotid artery since it would hurt less and be more comfortable for Felicity. Diggle had acted furious when first finding out, demanding that he be present at any and all feedings in order to ensure that Oliver didn’t drain her dry, but Oliver wasn’t a monster; he was always cautious not to take too much at one time, and he always soothed and sealed the wound with his healing saliva after a feed, making sure she was curled up on a cot under some blankets, pressing into her side protectively while she slept, until she felt normal again.

After a few weeks, it became a routine. Oliver would feed off of Felicity in the evenings after his patrols or after going after somebody on the List, they would stay together until the morning, she would leave to go to work and the day would repeat. Diggle hadn’t been exactly thrilled with the arrangement and seemed certain that Oliver was going to mess it up somehow, push past a boundary set and break the rules one day, but after a while, Dig seemed to relax into the idea. He even offered some days when Felicity was too tired to be fed off to feed Oliver himself. Not from the carotid, mind you, from his radial or ulna arteries in his arms, although it hurt the donor a lot more for a vampire to feed from there.

Except whenever Diggle offered, Oliver turned him down. Not that he didn’t want the blood because hello, he was a vampire, but he didn’t want Dig’s blood. He wanted Felicity’s. He had developed some sort of minor addiction to her blood. He had at first wondered whether it was blood type that was affecting it, but both Felicity and Diggle turned out to have the same blood type, so it couldn’t have been that. He just generally favoured her blood. After becoming used to feeding from her, he refused to feed from blood bags anymore; the distasteful, cold, refridgerated blood was nothing compared to her beautiful, haemoglobin-rich blood. He found that since he had been starting feeding from Felicity, the blood bags no longer quenched his thirst and in fact, drinking from them when Felicity was around actually caused him to become even more thirsty. He just wanted Felicity’s blood. All the damn time.

And not just her blood. It wasn’t ever just about the blood. Hell no. It was about her. She was smart, she was beautiful, she could put him in his place if need be. She had a fiery spark in her that made Oliver helplessly attracted to her. He found himself at times just watching her as she worked at her monitors in the Foundry, watching the way she flicked her blonde hair over her shoulders when it was down and the way her ponytail swung, brushing her shoulder blades when it was up; the way she bit her lip in frustration, the way her eyebrows creased slightly and she pouted when she wasn’t pleased with something. And always, he watched her when she smiled. He watched her when she lit up like heaven on earth.

He couldn’t remember the moment he had fallen in love with her, because there were so many moments.

So while at first it had been about the blood, it wasn’t just that anymore. Maybe that played a main part it it, but it was a hell of a lot more as well.

Which led him to this point - where they had a fight about something or another, he couldn’t actually remember what exactly about. Maybe he had touched her computers without asking first, maybe she was angry about him using her Cobalt-encrypted workstation to check Thea’s Facebook status about a party she went to the night before, where he was concerned she had managed to get her hands on another drug stash. But whatever they had argued about, the consequence of it was that Felicity was leaving for a week.

Oliver was left with a sick feeling in his stomach. A week. He would have to cope a week without Felicity’s blood. A week without feeding, a week suffering from unquenchable, terrible thirst, that couldn’t be drowned out by feeding from blood bags or other people. A week without her by his side, supporting him, guiding him, being there for him when he needed her the most when he wanted to breakdown in her arms.

“I’ll make a trip to Starling General,” Diggle said quietly once Felicity had vanished, stretching his arms out from where he was seated on a stool near the weapons shelves, sorting out his hand guns. “Pick up some blood bags, fill up the fridge. You want any particular type?”

He shook his head, swallowing. He wanted to say, Yes, I have a particular type, I want Felicity’s blood, thank you very much, and only hers, but he figured that would be rude and ungrateful. It wasn’t everyday a bodyguard offered to steal blood bags from a public hospital to feed his vampiric charge who also moonlighted as a bow-wielding vigilante. “No preference. Thanks.”

“Right. Uh… how many do you think you’re gonna need over the next week?” Diggle questioned, watching him carefully. “You know you can feed from me if you’re desperate, but I think that we should make sure -”

“I’m - I’m not sure,” Oliver responded, swallowing, his eyes still locked on the door where Felicity had exited, hoping that she would come back. But he knew she wouldn’t. This was one of their worst fights to date. And he wasn’t going to get a feed from her until he apologised, he knew, and he wasn’t going to be able to do that until she came back, which would be in a week’s time. “I’ve never had a donor before so I don’t know what it’s going to be like - you know, feeding from bags for a week instead of feeding from them, after getting used to live blood.”

Diggle observed his expression for a moment, remaining silent, until he approached the vampire slowly, placing a hand gently on Oliver’s shoulder. “Are you going to be okay this week?”

No! Felicity’s not here! he wanted to scream, but what came out of his mouth was, “I’ll be fine.”

He knew he wouldn’t be, but admitting that would mean admitting defeat before the week even started.

For the first two days, thirst gnawed at his insides. By the end of the first day, he had already consumed eight blood bags. They didn’t help. He didn’t sleep that first night and instead swung on the salmon ladder for hours on end until his arms physically couldn’t hold up his weight anymore. Exhausted, a burn at the back of his throat, he slept fitfully, and when he woke up on the second day, he didn’t feel any better. With black bags under his eyes and a heaviness sitting in his chest like a boulder, he drained six blood bags just that morning.

“Maybe you should take a break tonight,” Diggle suggested, as he scrutinised the archer as he tried to aim at a target on the other side of the Foundry and shoot without his hands trembling.

Pausing, he slowly placed his arrow back in his quiver and set his bow down on the counter, closing his eyes. He could feel his fangs pressing against his top lip as Diggle’s heartbeat thudded loudly in his ears, drawing him in like a damn lure. But he didn’t want Diggle’s blood. He wanted Felicity’s. Inhaling a shuddering breath, taking note of how weak he felt, he answered in a clipped tone, “Yeah, I think I might.”

Brief silence. Then Diggle said worriedly, “I didn’t think you’d actually agree, Oliver.” He tried to come forwards, as if to check on him, but Oliver backed away from him, putting Felicity’s monitors between them. “Oliver,” Diggle stressed warily, “What’s wrong? You look really shaken, man.”

The pulse of Diggle’s blood in his arteries was like a siren call to him, making his mouth water around his fangs, and he finally looked his bodyguard directly in the eye, showing how far his pupils were dilated, how thirsty he actually was at that moment. Diggle’s breath caught in his throat at the sight and he shifted nervously.

“Oh,” was all Dig replied shortly, in realisation. “Do you want a blood bag?”

“No point,” Oliver mumbled around his fangs, turning away to brace his hands and lean against the counter. “S’not gonna help. Need live blood.” Diggle immediately began rolling his long-sleeved maroon t-shirt up, but Oliver shook his head and rasped, “No, Dig, it… Not just live blood, I need… I need Felicity. I need her blood.”

After a minute, Diggle’s jaw tightened. “You’re addicted to Felicity’s blood. It’s been days and - god, Oliver, you’re going into withdrawal.” A beat passed and then he pulled out his cell phone. “I’m calling her. You can’t go on like this, man.”

“Please don’t,” he protested, somewhat pleadingly, despite the fact that inside he was thinking, please, YES! “Don’t interrupt her holiday just because I can’t cope with a little thirst.”

“A little?” Diggle repeated sarcastically. “Oliver, you’re practically salivating. You’re using physical obstacles to make sure there’s space between us - hell, I reckon that if I wasn’t on the other side of this counter, you’d be sinking your fangs into my throat and draining me dry.”

“I can cope with blood bags for a few more days, Dig.”

“You just said they’re not helping you with your thirst,” Diggle replied exasperatedly. “Oliver, really, I can call Felicity, I’m sure she’ll understand -”

A snarl erupted from Oliver’s throat that tapered off with a rumbling growl, making Diggle eye him cautiously. The man backed down, putting his hands up in surrender and slowly placing his cell down down on the counter next to Oliver’s bow, showing the vampire that he wasn’t going to make a call to their blonde IT expert, before he strode over to the fridge, fishing out two blood bags and slipping them over towards the archer.

“I’m going to go now,” Diggle told him. “And I’m not going to be here until nine tomorrow because I have a meeting with the security company that runs my contract with your mother and then I'm standing security for a QC event.”

Oliver shot him a scowl, swiping up the two blood bags in one hand. “I’m not going to give in to thirst and attack one of the club construction workers if you’re gone for a day, Dig.”

“Okay,” Diggle nodded. “Just send me a text if it’s an emergency.” Another short pause, before he prompted, “You know the option to feed off me is always open.”

“Won’t need it,” the vampire dismissed, glaring.

Except as Diggle left that night, Oliver couldn’t help but feel his thirst increase tenfold the moment that he could no longer hear the thrumming, incessant pulse of a human heart pumping blood. And as Oliver curled up in the darkness of the furthest corner of the Foundry, dragging a thin blanket over him, he knew that he was weakening; his limbs trembled, there was an empty pool at the pit of his stomach, his eyesight was beginning to get fuzzy and his head was starting to spin.

Everything’s going to be fine, he told himself. Everything’s going to be fine.

I'm dying.

He didn’t think he’d ever experienced such pain in his entire life. The agony was twenty times the pain of torture; when he had been tortured, he had known that it would end, that the pain would eventually halt, either due to escape or death, but the pain he was experiencing then, at that moment, due to his thirst, was unbelieveable and he thought that it never stop. That he was going to die starving, shivering underneath blankets, cramped in the cold corner of the Foundry, alone and unwanted.

He contemplated calling Diggle for help, desperate for blood, needing the warmth and rich nutrients it would provide him, but he didn’t want Diggle’s blood, and anyway, his cell phone was on the other side of the Foundry on a counter somewhere and he didn’t even think he had the energy to stand.

A sob tore from his chest. I want Felicity. I need Felicity. Where is she? She’s gone. She’s not coming back. She’s left you. You don’t deserve her, she’s realised that, she’s abandoned you, his addled, thirst-driven mind screamed at him, making him whimper even louder, tears springing into his eyes. I love her. I love her. I love her and she’s gone. She’s gone.

He didn’t know for how long he laid there, curled up, drenched in cold sweat and his own tears, trembling and barely having the energy to even breath, his chest constricted and tight, his blood thirst tearing at his insides like a knife being dragged slowly through his intestines, until he heard the harsh sound of footsteps pounding on the metal staircase leading from the club’s entrance into the Foundry, at which point another sob escaped his throat.

“Oliver?” came Diggle’s voice, muted and muffled, due to his swimming, spinning mind.

The vampire could do nothing but whimper in response.

Oliver!” Diggle shouted, rushing over after having caught sight of him, curled up in the shadows.

The man dragged his blanket off of him, exposing him to the frigid air, which ripped a groan from his lips, eyes squeezed shut and muscles rigid with wracking pain and tension. Running his eyes over the vampire’s pale, weak form, Diggle muttered an angry swear word, eyes instantly hardening as he gently turned Oliver over from his side onto his back and taking in his shallow, stuttered breathing. As his bodyguard cascaded his hand through his sweat-soaked short hair gently, trying to gauge his temperature, Oliver pressed his fangs up against his wrist, desperately needing the blood, Dig’s pulse causing the ache of thirst to intensify, but he was too weak to bite.

“Okay, right, blood, okay,” Diggle seemed to realise, jumping up to swipe a switchblade from the table, sterilising it quickly before running it carefully across the underside of his lower arm so blood welled up from the cut, kneeling back down beside Oliver and exposing it to him, pressing it up against his face to encourage him to feed.

He instantly latched on and swallowed mouthful after mouthful of hot, iron-rich blood; it tasted awful, like petrol, but he was too thirsty to even care. But after ten minutes of weakly lapping up his partner’s blood, his thirst wasn’t at all quenched, and he didn’t feel any stronger. Breaking away with a moan, the vampire buried his head into his chest, tremors shaking his body, hands clenching into fists. The pain hadn’t faded even with the feeding. Diggle’s blood wasn’t helping.

“Felicity,” he slurred. “Need - need Felicity.”

Diggle pulled his phone out of his pocket, frantically scrolling through his contacts as he checked Oliver’s pulse, and the last thing Oliver saw and heard was Diggle pressing his cell phone to his ear and exclaiming Felicity’s name desperately, before the darkness descended an engulfed him.

He awoke slowly, struggling to raise himself above the darkness, but when he finally managed it, swallowing, he realised that his thirst wasn’t so prominant anymore. The pain had ebbed slightly, leaving only a tight ache in his chest that he could ignore if he didn’t concentrate too hard on it, and he didn’t feel like he was dying like he had before. Carefully, he shifted his leg, and when that didn’t cause any pain to flare up, he heaved himself up into a sitting position against the wall, taking shallow, regulated breaths but to his relief, getting enough oxygen.

Blinking against the harsh lights, he turned his head sideways away from them and drew the blankets he was covered in around him tighter to retain some warmth. Licking his dry lips, he realised his fangs had retracted, a sure sign that he had gained some control over his physical functions.

“Hey,” came a gentle voice. “You’re awake. How are you feeling?”

Lifting his head, he squinted at the light but was blearily able to make out Felicity approaching him cautiously and slowly from the middle of the Foundry, an anxious expression on her face; she looked pale and had red rims around her eyes, signifying that she’d been crying, while also having bags to show her lack of rest. The scent of recently spilt blood wafted towards him and he noticed just then the bandaged wrapped around her right wrist, spotted with blood, but since she was trying to tuck it behind her back as to not draw attention to herself, he let it slide for now.

He was relieved she was there, a weight lifting from him, but he was still disorientated and wanted to know what happened after he passed out. “What day is it?” he croaked. “What time?”

“It’s Thursday. Nearly ten in the morning.” The last thing he could remember was it being late Tuesday evening, so about thirty six hours had passed that he couldn’t recall anything from. She pressed a plastic up of water into his hand, steadying it so he could take a few sips to calm his throat before stepping back, maintaining a distance between them. Her eyes were frozen; he couldn’t determine any of her current emotions from them, and that scared him, because usually Felicity was open and bouncy and this stillness - it was all wrong. “And you didn’t answer my first question. How do you feel?”

“I’m alive. So I don’t think I should complain.”

Felicity’s eyes hardened. “I think you have every right to complain, seeing how I almost killed you over the last week.” She averted her gaze so she was blinking down at her shoes, and as the faint hint of salt hit the air, Oliver realised that tears were brimming in her eyes and that she was trying to hide them from him. “I’m so sorry, Oliver,” she whispered. “I was selfish and I left without thinking about the impact that it would have on you - I have responsibilites as your donor and I shunned them and you payed the price for it.”

“Hey, I’m still alive, aren’t I?” he replied softly, hating her self-guilt, hating the fact that she felt like she was to blame, even though it was his weakness, his addiction to her blood that had landed him in that position. “And you weren’t being selfish - you could never be selfish. You needed a break from this, and you were entitled to take one, so you did.”

“You don’t understand,” Felicity said, her voice breaking as she knelt down in front of him before shifting so she was seated cross-legged, hugging herself tightly. “Dig was texting me all throughout the week, updating me about you, about how sick you were getting, about how depressed you were… and I didn’t care. And then when he called me last night -” The tears spilled over. “I got here, Oliver, and you weren’t breathing. You weren’t breathing. I thought that you were dead and that - that it was my fault, because I left you here with nothing to sustain you except those - those stupid, horrible blood bags…”

He reached out, grabbed her left uninjured wrist and yanked her down beside him so he could crush her to his chest in a hug, enveloping her in warmth. He couldn’t hold back that need to hold her in his arms any longer. She shook with silent sobs that sent pangs shooting through his heart, but after a few minutes, she seemed to calm down, slipping off of his lap to settle curled up beside him.

After tucking the blanket over her as well as he could and turning so he could rest his head on top of her chin, he replied calmly, “Felicity, it’s not your fault. You may be my live donor, but I should be able to cope a week without your blood. I’ve grown too dependent on you to feed me, and that’s my fault, not yours. Everything that happened over the past week was self-inflicted. You don’t get to blame yourself, alright?” He paused. “But I do agree with you on one thing.”


He grimaced. “Those blood bags are awful.” It drew a weak chuckle out of her, causing him to smile as he continued, “No really. You try to imagine having to drink cold, refridgerated blood from a plastic bag, Felicity. And with fangs - blood goes everywhere. It looks like a murder scene down here whenever I drink from one.”

“Prefer my blood then?” she teased.

He glanced down at her, responding seriously and honestly, “Your blood is the best thing I have ever tasted.” She blushed beautifully at that, making him pleased with himself for causing that, but he realised she was embarrassed so changed the subject quickly, brushing his fingertips over her bandaged right wrist. “What happened here?”

“Oh.” Felicity gazed down at her wrist, twisting it within her other hand’s grip. “You weren’t exactly in the best condition to aim and bite into my carotid so Dig had to make a cut so you could get to my blood easier. He said he had to do the same earlier on.” She scrunched her nose up in rememberance, complaining, “I think I prefer you feeding from my neck. Having you licking and sucking at my wrist felt so weird. And it hurt when you pulled. I don’t know how Dig does it.”

“Speaking of, where is he?” He raised his head, expecting to see his bodyguard pop up from behind a counter with a dry, ‘Surprise!’ or appear from nowhere like he had recently adopted the habit of doing.

“He’s gone to steal a proper blood donor kit,” she explained. “Figured it would be a good idea to store up some of my blood in some bags. You know… for a rainy day. In case I have to leave for a week again. I mean, my blood cold and full of anti-coagulants is better than none of my blood at all, right?”

“Yeah,” he agreed. “I just don’t want to ever reach that point again where I have to feed from Diggle. His blood is absolutely disgusting.”

Felicity laughed, hand coming up to cover her mouth. “Really?”

“God yeah. It’s like drinking diesel. I think I would rather die than have to drink his blood again.”

“And to think, I was prepared to bleed out for you!”

“You weren’t meant to be here to hear that!”