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there's no end, there is no goodbye

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“I’ve been waiting for this moment for a long time. Ms. Lance, nine months ago…  I made your daddy a promise. I told him what I would do if he betrayed me.”

Felicity’s fingers flew against the keyboard as Darkh spoke, trying to find some way, any way to distract him. The cameras inside the prison were down but maybe if she could just - the familiar sound of one of Oliver’s arrows  whistling through the air interrupted her thought process and for just a moment she had hope that maybe he’d somehow managed to hit his target, but then - there was no grunt of pain - no angry, sharp comment.

Instead, she heard the sound of Darhk catching Oliver’s arrow like it was no more than a frisbee. The delight in the other man’s voice made her blood run cold. “Impressive. Now where was I? Oh, yeah. I want you to give your father a message from me.”

There was a single moment of silence and then, “ I want you to tell him-”

The sound of Laurel choking on her own blood took Felicity’s breath away. She could hear Darhk grunt as he shoved the arrow deeper into Laurel and the slight catch in her own breathing at the pain, the satisfaction in his voice when he spoke again, “I’m a man of my word.”

Felicity had always wondered how Laurel felt, holding her on the cold concrete while she bled out in her arms, and now she knew.

It was as if Damien Darhk had shoved the arrow into her own chest and twisted it until there was nothing left.

“Oliver-” Felicity’s voice cracked as she tried to get the words out, tried to do something from where she was.

She heard Oliver groan as he sucked air back into his lungs, and then she listened as he scrambled across the space between him and Laurel as the latter gasped for each tortured breath.

“Hey, hey, it’s all right. It’s okay,” Oliver’s breathless voice eased a little of the ache in Felicity’s chest. He had Laurel - he wouldn’t let anything happen to Laurel. There was a thin layer of panic in his voice, a reedy, worried sound as he went on, “Hey, hey, look at me. You’re gonna be alright.”

Felicity could barely hear anything over Laurel’s desperate attempts to breathe, the wheezing, choking sounds as she tried to suck in oxygen despite drowning in her own blood. Her hands were shaking as her fingers brought up the closest hospitals to where Oliver and the team were on the monitors in front of her.

“Felicity-”

She rattled off the closest hospital to him without hesitation, standing up and grabbing her purse as soon as she was certain Oliver was on his way there.

In the elevator, her fingers kept turning the engagement ring on her hand over and over.

“Oliver,” Felicity whispered his name as she rounded the corner, all but running until she could throw her arms around his neck. He returned the gesture, wrapping his large arms around her waist and pulling her close. She closed her eyes as he buried his face against her neck for a moment, squeezing her in his embrace.

“She’s in surgery,” he whispered the words against her skin, his warm breath creating goosebumps along her neck. She exhaled then, letting his presence and his words sweep away some of the fear that threatened to overwhelm her.  

Felicity pulled back after another gentle squeeze, resting her hands against his arms as she looked up at him, brow furrowed somewhat in confusion. “John and Thea?”

“Thea’s trying to get ahold of Captain Lance,” he offered after a moment, hesitating before he added, “and John is calling Lyla right now, about - you know.”

“Andy,” she said the man’s name with a touch of anger, her nails digging into Oliver’s arms, creating half moons beneath his long sleeves. Felicity didn’t see herself as a vengeful person - she wasn’t Oliver or John or even Sara - but if she ever laid eyes on Andy Diggle again she was going to kill him and while that scared her in a way, part of her rejoiced at the idea of causing pain to the man who could very well cost Laurel her life.

Could, she thought, swallowing hard as reality set back in.

She could lose Laurel.

---

“I couldn’t get ahold of Captain Lance,” Thea’s voice roused Felicity from where she’d been daydreaming with her head on Oliver’s shoulder. They both shifted in their chairs as the younger Queen leaned against the wall in front of them, crossing her arms over her chest. “I left him a message telling him where we were. I didn’t know what else to do.”

Oliver nodded his head. “You did good, Speedy.”

Thea just nodded, worrying her bottom lip between her teeth. “Have you heard anything about-”

Felicity shook her head, unconsciously rubbing her thumb back and forth over her engagement ring. “They haven’t said anything since The Green Arrow brought her in.”

“No news is good news, I guess,” Thea tried to smile, to lighten the tense mood that surrounded all of them, but her attempt fell flat on it’s face. Truth be told, this time she just wasn’t feeling it. There was too much at stake for all of them.

If Laurel died, they would all be losing something, someone , irreplaceable.

She’d lose her sister, Oliver would lose his best friend, John would lose a partner… but Felicity - she’d be losing the love of her life, her meant to be.

Not to mention that if Laurel died it would be the third time that Quentin Lance would lose one of his daughters and Thea wasn’t quite sure that he’d be able to survive this time. They may have had their differences, but Thea knew how much Laurel loved her father- and how much he loved her in return.

Then there was Sara, off on adventures through space and time, and completely unreachable.

Without Laurel their entire team would be wrecked.

---

“Any word?”

Felicity looked up as John approached them. He looked worn down around the edges, frayed in a way that she’d never seen before. She opened her mouth to answer him, to tell him that they still hadn’t heard anything, but the words caught in her throat the longer she looked at him and so she just shook her head. He closed his eyes then, exhaling slowly.

Oliver leaned forward in his chair, glancing between Thea and John as he cleared his throat. “What happened to Darhk?”

“He’s in the wind,” Thea whispered,  frown forming on her face as she stared at her boots. “Along with fifty or so inmates.”

“And Andy,” John added hoarsely, rubbing at his face with shaking hands to wipe away his tears. “You tried to warn me but I didn’t listen.”

“John-”

“No, Oliver, you were right and I should have trusted you more. I'll never forgive myself if…”

“Laurel's strong,” Thea stated, offering John the closest thing to a smile that she had to give. Oliver nodded his head in agreement.

Felicity swallowed hard, turning the image of Laurel smiling over and over in her mind. “The strongest,” she agreed.

---

“Laurel-” the quiet  excitement in Thea’s voice jarred Felicity as she looked up, seeing the hospital bed being rolled toward them.

“Oh my god,” Felicity exhaled slowly, unevenly as she got to her feet with John at her side. She stared breathlessly at Laurel, hands clasped tight in front of her body as she tried to take in every feature, every wayward hair on the other woman’s head. She couldn’t tear her eyes away from Laurel’s face the closer they got, feeling her breath catch in her throat as her fiancée  stirred as they wheeled her into the room, her head shifting and her eyes opening for a brief moment before exhaustion took her under again.

Oliver rested his hand against her lower back as the doctor stopped in front of their small group. “Just out of recovery. She’s going to be just fine.”

Felicity tilted her head back in an attempt to stop the tears  as she let out a shaky, uneven breath. She could hear Oliver do the same beside her, his hand pressing gently against her back before he dropped it entirely. Thea let out a watery chuckle to her right, bumping against her arm lightly. She could feel John vibrating with relief that he couldn’t quite articulate.

“She’s a strong woman, your friend.”

Felicity nodded her head, brushing  her thumb against her engagement ring as she smiled back at the woman. “The strongest.”

“She’s been asking for you,” the doctor replied, offering her a small smile before she headed into Laurel’s room. The others followed while Felicity took a moment for herself out in the hallway, taking several deep, slow breaths as she let the information process.

Laurel was going to be fine.

They were going to be fine.

She inhaled slowly one last time before going into the room, letting Thea usher her to the open space they’d left for her. Laurel was just waking up, still a bit sluggish and disoriented from the anesthesia they’d used to put her under. She inhaled sharply as she finally opened her eyes, looking around at each of them in turn as she regained her bearings. Felicity rested her hand on Laurel’s  wrist, feeling her heart swell with love as she turned her head and offered her a smile. “Hi.”

“Hey yourself,” Thea replied, her voice trembling somewhat as she offered up a  watery smile.

Laurel tilted her head somewhat, looking at the others for just a moment. “Did Darhk-”

“Don’t worry about him,” Oliver interjected, stepping forward. He rested his hands against Laurel’s feet and squeezed gently. “Just worry about getting better.”

Thea agreed with a nod, wiping at her face with the back of her hand. “I second that.”

“We can’t do this without you,” John added, stepping a little closer to the bed.

Felicity watched as Laurel smiled, looking  around the room at every single one of them.  The look on her face was full of emotion, tears threatening to spill down her cheeks.

“Thank you guys,” Laurel  whispered, voice uneven and breathless, pitched high with emotion. “Going out there and fighting alongside you all… that’s what makes me feel alive.” She inhaled slowly, looking from Felicity to Thea and then John and Oliver as she spoke, “And I love you guys so much.”

Thea smiled and rested her hand on Laurel’s knee. “And we love you.”

John nodded, arms crossed against his chest as he smiled. “We love you.”

Oliver smiled as well, squeezing the top of her feet again. “I think we should let you get some rest,” he offered, glancing around the room at John and The who nodded their agreement. When his eyes landed on Felicity she just smiled, mouthing a quiet ‘thank you’.

Thea patted Laurel’s knee before she took a step back. “We’ll be just outside your room, okay?”

Laurel nodded slowly, her lips forming a soft smile as John squeezed her ankle on his way out of the room.

Felicity let out a trembling breath the moment they were all gone, drawing Laurel’s attention back to her.

“You should probably get some rest too,” Laurel mumbled, her eyes slipping shut for a moment.  

Felicity shook her head, leaning down to press a kiss to the top of the other woman’s head. “I’m staying right here.”

Laurel smiled, swallowing to wet her throat as she glanced over to her suit sitting in one of the hard, plastic chairs. “Can you- can you get something for me? It’s my left pouch.”

“Of course,” Felicity nodded. She gave Laurel a smile before she turned, crossing the room and looking carefully until she found what Laurel was talking about.  Her fingers brushed appreciatively over the leather casing before she closed the left pouch again and headed back to Laurel, holding it up. “May I?”

The other woman nodded, swallowing hard once more as Felicity slowly opened the wallet, feeling her breath catch in her throat at the familiar item on top. Tears welled in her eyes for a moment as she carefully picked it up, exhaling sharply.

“You kept this?” she asked in surprise, staring at the photo in her hand. It was rumpled from being handled often, creased down the middle from being folded and unfolded time and time again. Her smiling face stared back in faded colors. Beside her Sara was grinning like the Chesire Cat himself, one arm tossed lazily tossed across Felicity’s shoulders.

Laurel’s lips curved into a smile. “Yeah,” she offered softly, watching Felicity with tired eyes. “Just a reminder of when things were… easier.”

“Definitely easier,” Felicity replied, squeezing the photo a little tighter than necessary. “Kind of like a procedural drama,” she added, clearing her throat and pitching her voice a bit, “and which street criminal with a vengeance will they take on next?”

A quiet huff of laughter escaped before Laurel grimaced, stifling the rest of her amusement with a soft grunt. Felicity was immediately at her side, hands hovering as she stared wide-eyed and apologetic, “I’m so so sorry-”

“It’s okay,” Laurel whispered, giving Felicity another smile.

Felicity exhaled sharply, frowning even as Laurel went on. “I’m really glad that I found you, Felicity, and I can’t wait to be married to you. I always thought,” she hesitated and Felicity felt her breath catch at the look on the other woman’s face as she went on, “… I always thought that Tommy was the love of my life, and then I met you and I - it’s you.”

“You’re the love of mine too you know,” Felicity teased, trying to diffuse the tightness in her chest at the look on Laurel’s face, but the moment refused to disappear without being acknowledged. She reached down, brushing her fingers along the back of Laurel’s hand. “Why are you telling me this now?”

“Because I love you,” she whispered, shifting her hand until their fingers were intertwined, “and tonight was just another reminder that anything can happen… I almost lost you once already. ”

Felicity squeezed her fingers tight, smiling despite the lump that settled in her throat. “If you thought getting stabbed was going to end our engagement then you have another thing coming,” she choked a little on the last word, tears that she refused to let fall welling up in her eyes. “It’s you and me, for better or for worse.”

Laurel let out a watery chuckle, running her thumb along the side of Felicity’s hand.

“Dinah Laurel Lance,” Felicity spoke softly, her eyes holding nothing but love for the other woman, “the prettiest girl in the whole damn world. What would I do without you?”

She brought Laurel's hand to her lips and smiled.

Laurel smiled back, squeezing Felicity's fingers,brushing her own against the engagement ring that rested there.

“Lucky for you, you'll never have to find out.”