ByFelicity Queen, writer at
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After Oliver left, Felicity crumpled onto the steps. Tears streamed down her cheeks. Her body shook with sobs. "I'm sorry, Oliver. I shouldn't have done it." She cried out to the dark empty room. The awful pain in her chest had subsided. Her throat and lungs escaped from death's steely grip. It did little to lessen the intense pain washing over her soul.
Felicity tightly gripped the rungs of the staircase. "3-2-1."
She pressed her clammy forehead to the cool metal. "This can't be happening." She cried between sobs. "Not again."
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"Sir, we did what you asked." "And?" Came the deep rasping voice. It was heavy with an Australian accent.
"We found out about the girl. Her weakness." "Yes?" "What do you want us to do?"
Slade shifted in his ill-fitting grey suit. His right fist tightened. "Idiots! If the moth loves the flame and you have a match in your hand...." He paused to let the idea take root. "Why not use it?"
The henchman grinned wickedly. "Yes, sir." He started to leave. "Remember," Slade added firmly. "Only her. Not him. Not yet."
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"Now Felicity." Coach Matthews instructed. "Remember what I taught you. Stand on the left if you're right handed." "And on the right if I'm left handed."
The skinny blonde teenager said from under her helmet. She glanced at the bat in her right hand, the white lines on the dusty earth, and back. "Ooops." She switched sides. A hoard of snickers arose from the baseball field. "Okay." The Coach sighed and pointed to the pitcher.
The brawny redhead might not have been the best choice. With three years of softball under her belt, she was the least experienced of them all. Coach Matthews crossed his fingers, hoping it was her 'off day'. The redhead twirled her arm furiously before letting the ball fly. As expected, it wizzed past Felicity before she could even think about swinging.
The Coach felt bad for her. She really wanted to make the team. As it was, though, she just didn't have the skills. Coach Matthews sucked in his courage along with his big gut. He approached her, armed with pointers, but he knew it would take a miracle for Felicity Smoak to hit the ball.
The girls on the team were having too much fun. They slapped each other's backs in uncontrollable laughter.
"Wow, she's really 'Smoakin'!"
Felicity swung again. Missed.
"Better slow it down, 'Smoaky'!" "Yeah, the ball is 'Smoakin' as it is, loser!"
"Hold it, guys. Uh---girls. I want to say some-" Mid-sentence the pitcher let one fly. He saw the awkward blonde's face line with determination. ~ ~ ~ C-R-AA-C-KKK!!!! ~ ~ ~
God must've been giving out miracles that day. The ball connected with the bat and went sailing into the stratosphere. (Not really, someone caught it, but it did go high.)
Coach Matthews hurrahed. "Good job, Smoak! I knew you had it in you. Hey---" He touched her hunched form. Felicity clutched her chest. "Something's wrong. I can't breath." "What? No, hun, you're fine. Excitement. That's what it is." He tried to soothe what he assumed was nerves.
The girls on the team didn't miss a beat. "What's wrong Smoooaa-kkkky?" One girl whined, her voice dripping with scarcasm. "Smoak baby! You hit the ball. Run!" "Come on!" "Ooooo! Swung so hard you hurt yourself?"
The pain that seized Felicity Smoak's chest was like nothing she'd ever experienced before. It was a knife from inside, stabbing at her heart... From her heart.
"I need help." She sobbed, her legs giving out. She knew what it was but she had no idea how to stop it.
The baseball team didn't care or realize. They continued to jeer. "Shut up!" Matthews bellowed, seeing her face pale with pain. "Come here, sweetheart." He scooped her into his plump arms and carried her to the Nurse's Office.
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"So. What am I dying from?" Felicity asked, sitting on the long brown examination bed. "Nothing." The nurse said simply. She stared at the papers on the clipboard unrelentingly.
After a time she came to sit beside her. "Your parents are on their way. Meanwhile, I'd like to ask you some things, ok?" Felicity nodded.
She was happy enough to still be alive. At least that awful pain had subsided. But what if it came back?
"Felicity? Pay attention." The nurse knocked her from her thoughts. "Tell me. Your teachers say you have quite the imagination." "If that means I'm smart than, yes." "Candid, too, I see." "I was taught to be honest."
Felicity touched the older woman's arm. "What happened was real." "You might think it is." "It was and nothing you can ever say or do will convince me otherwise. I felt that pain. Every second." Felicity said firmly. "And I never want to feel that way again." She matched the nurse's stare through her glasses.
The older woman shrugged lightly. "Maybe it wasn't your heart." "But---" "Hear me out, young lady. We took blood samples and ran tests. The same with your urine. We did everything possible. The same things they'll do at a hospital. The samples all came back normal. If you had a heart attack certain chemicals would be released into the blood that we could detect---" "I know that. I've read about it. It's really coo---" "There weren't any, Felicity. What ever hurt you was not your heart."
Felicity bit her lower lip. Tears pooled in her eyes. "Are they really brushing this off?"
"What if I die?" She asked the nurse. The woman patted her lean leg. "Nonsense. You're heathly. You're young. Forget about it. This was not your heart, Felicity. Probably just a bad cramp from swinging the bat so---" "No." She stated adamantly.
The nurse cleared her throat. She slid off the edge of the bed. Facing Felicity, she held up two fingers. "You have two choices. Either you worry your parents sick with this nonsense and they waste their funds searching for a condition that doesn't exist. OR you forget this little incident and go on with your life. It's up to you, Miss Smoak."
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"You're quiet tonight." Laurel said, scanning Oliver with her big green eyes. He made a face. "Me---talk a lot?" She snickered. "Ok, ok. But you have to admit there is something wrong. First you ask me out," She leaned across the table at him. "Then you show up acting all distracted and hardly say 10 words to me. Did I do something wrong?"
Oliver reached for her hand. It was warm and feminine. It didn't feel right under his, though. Like two puzzle pieces that didn't belong. "No, everything's fine. I just had a long work." "Uh-huh." She raised an eyebrow, straightening and removing her hand from his. That was better.
A waiter swooped in with plates and saving Olli's bacon. "Why can't I get her out of my head?!" He thought in exasperation.
"What did you do?" "Huh?" "At work?" Oliver stumbled into a satisfactory reply before stuffing his face. He couldn't be questioned and eat at the same time. He paused from forking down his meal. Laurel's sad expression as she sipped her soup kicked his conscience in the rear end.
"How was your day?" Laurel's face brightened at his attempt at conversation. Not like Felicity's, of course. When his blonde IT assistant smiled, it was light a ray of sunshine breaking free from the clouds. Laurel smiled and a little bird tweeted in the distance.
"Well, first of all I met this new---" She started into an indepth discussion of her current case. Two words into the sentence and Oliver's mind was back in the Arrow Cave with Felicity.
He saw her pale face and those big blue eyes avoiding his questions. "Why?" It was so unlike her. She was dorky sometimes, but never deceitful.
Then Oliver remembered the photograph from her purse. Who was that man? He studied the face with his mind's eye. The wavy brown hair was foreign, but something... maybe the off-sided smile. No, not that. Maybe it was the pointed chin or the cheekbone position. "Wait! The eyes, they were blue, right? Yeah, a soft baby-blanket blue. Could it be---"
Laurel brought Oliver crashing back to reality. "You know what I mean?" "Huh?" She looked deeply disappointed. "You weren't listening." She stood abruptly, tossing her napkin onto her half-full plate. "Enjoy the rest of your meal."
"But Laurel---" He attempted, rising. She wouldn't permit him to speak. "I won't sit here and be insulted. You haven't really changed, Oliver Queen." She fumed. "Underneath that shiny exterior you're as selfish as ever." "No, give me a chance to exp---"
"Tell it to the waitor. Maybe he'll have better luck. When you called me---" Her eyes started to water. "I dared to hope... Nevermind.... You haven't changed at all. Tommy might have been rude, but he always..." Her voice broke. A single tear slid down Laurel's off-white cheek.
"Tommy always listened to me... Good bye, Oliver. Have a nice life."
Laurel stomped away in her heels and gorgeous sparkly dress. Oliver plopped into his seat. "There goes the love of my life." He told himself.
"I've begged, pleaded, and cajoled that woman for months until I could get this date. It was supposed to be our night."
For some reason. Oliver didn't feel that upset. It was crazy, but... he felt... liberated.
He hurriedly paid the bill and rushed outside to his motorcycle. His only thought for a certain quirky blonde IT girl.
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Then he slinking to the bathroom, he flushed its contents down the toilet. Moving just as silently, the dark intruder returned to the dresser. A clear plastic baggie emerged from a hidden pocket. It was half full of small pills identical to the previous ones. They spilled into the tan bottle with a high-pitched rattle. The stranger tightened the cap.
A scraping, clicking noise filled the apartment. Someone was at the door!
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A woman shoved the door open, mumbling to herself in low slurred words. When the keys refused to leave the knob, she yelled angrily. That didn't work, so she continued yanking until they flew free. The keychain cluster smacked the ground with a jangle. The woman didn't even bother to look. Mumbling, she slammed the the door as if it were her worst enemy. At the moment, it was.
She stumbled towards the kitchen. It took a few mintues, but she finally got there, although she lost both shoes along the way. "Hey." She growled at the wall as it collided with her wavering body for the umpteenth time. Breathing heavily, the woman pushed off it and threw her wait forward. "Ow." She managed to grab hold of the sink, but knocked over a chair. A wounded pinky toe was added to the list of painful body parts.
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Her anger finally exhausted itself on the drawers and Laurel paused to think. "The dresser." She whispered as if it were something sacred. Something holy. Her intoxicated body weaved and wobbled, but got there eventually. A quivering hand swiped up the bottle. "Finally." She gasped. "Relief."
The intruder slipped inside. He stalked across the carpet like a panther. The room was dark. No one was home. A wisp of moonlight fell through the window, outlining the furniture in the room. The hooded stranger moved to the dresser on his right. He quickly scanned the bottles atop it before singling one out. A short tan pill bottle with a white screw cap. A black-gloved hand grasped it.

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