Title: Despite What They Say, We Survive Anyway

Disclaimer: I own nothing.

Author's Note: I really don't like this piece but I am tired of staring at it so I thought I'd go ahead and post it so I can be done with it. This is set in my favorite future universe where Olicity is together. Comments would be most welcome, please and thank you. :)

Isabel visits QC and ruins Felicity's day. Oliver makes it up to her.

He looks up once his last conversation with the investors ends to find them both gone. He sends a quick text and waits for a reply as he organizes his desk for the rest of the afternoon, grabbing his jacket from the closet to head out for lunch.

"Rosa? Did you see where Felicity and Diggle went?" Oliver asks his assistant on his way to the corporate elevator.

The secretary smiles at the mention of the people she always sees accompanying Mr. Queen, and looks away from the computer screen to answer with a nod. "Oh, yes, Mr. Diggle said they'd be in Felicity- I mean, Miss Smoak's office waiting for you."

"Perfect," he says with a smile. "I'm heading out for lunch then. Would you like anything?"

"Oh, no," she answers with a flush at being asked so courteously by the CEO himself. "I already ate."

"Sure? It's on me," Oliver adds, teasing the older woman respectfully, but she just shakes her head and turns back to her work with a wave goodbye.

He takes the corporate elevator down to the IT floor, wondering what tech emergency was severe enough that Felicity left right after the board meeting with her IT staff. He'd seen her across the room answering questions just twenty minutes ago; then he looked up and she was gone. It must have been something urgent and he's sure he'll hear a hilarious and rambling re-enactment of the incident at lunch.

He nods to the IT personnel he sees as he makes a right down the hall toward Felicity's office. They've stopped jumping whenever they see him on their floor, skittish as if he's coming to conduct a performance evaluation instead of simply dropping Felicity off in the morning or taking her out to lunch. Brenda, the shy redhead who sits at the front desk, has even managed to maintain eye contact with him now when he says hello. Oliver thinks she must be terribly nervous around authority figures; Felicity teases him that it's because of his awful face.

He hears voices as he nears Felicity's office and pauses, but when he recognizes the low tone of Digg's voice, he opens the door to enter. He's surprised to see Felicity curled up on the corner of the couch, her head on a throw pillow with Diggle's hand resting on her shoulder as if offering support.

"Hey. Why'd you guys disappear so fast? I thought we were getting lunch," he reminds them as he enters the room.

She jumps from her spot on the couch and casts a nervous look at Diggle. Oliver opens his mouth to ask about the secretive look, but she interrupts him and makes her way to her desk to gather some paperwork.

"Augh, my contacts are bothering me today," she says waving vaguely at her eyes even though she has her glasses on. "I'm getting a headache. And I have to go upstairs and help someone with their accounting software so I can't do lunch today. Sorry."

Oliver reaches for her as she makes her way out the door but she brushes by him in a hurry. She turns back a second later to brush a quick kiss on his cheek. "Sorry," she mutters while avoiding any other contact.

Oliver catches her red rimmed eyes and frowns after her before turning to Diggle immediately. "What's up with her?"

Diggle remains silent even as he gives him a knowing look. "I know it's hard being Oliver Queen," he begins, "but sometimes it's hard being Oliver Queen's girlfriend too. I have to meet Carly for a conference with AJ's teacher so I'll be back around two."
Oliver's left alone with a reservation for three and no one to eat with.

He notices she's quiet the rest of the night. He was out patrolling, but even then, there was no unnecessary chatter in his comms or distracting rambling as he kicked ass in the Glades. After successfully rounding up three drug dealing perps and leaving them at the police station for Lance, Oliver makes his way back to the foundry to find her already packing up her things and ready to go home instead of wanting a play-by-play of the night's events like usual.

"Ready to go?" Oliver questions as he strips off his suit and dons a t-shirt and jeans.

"Yes, please," she answers with a sigh, averting her eyes and blushing at the sight of his bare chest as if she hasn't already seen it before, as if she doesn't have the lines of his muscles and the ridges of his scars memorized.

The car ride is silent with Felicity busy on her tablet planning a training class for the accounting department. Oliver follows her upstairs like he normally does; it's become common for him to spend most nights at her place unless he has an early morning meeting or an event with his family. His clothes have invaded her closet but she doesn't seem to mind. She's never made him feel unwelcome.

Tonight though, she's lost in her thoughts as she moves around the apartment, putting away her things and changing into her pajamas, taking long sips of the newest red wine he bought her from a silent auction gala they attended last week. She looks lost in thought and whenever she catches him looking her way, she shakes her head and smiles and starts muttering something about servers and wires and not enough database space.

When they finally climb into bed, him on the right side closest to the door for safety reasons, and her on the left, he hears her sigh as she flips her pillow over and over to make it more comfortable. He waits until she lies back down, the strands of her soft hair touching the skin of his arm and making him shiver. She's too far away tonight, all the way on the other side of the mattress instead of curled up against him and he can't take it anymore.

"Felicity?" He feels her jump as if she's been caught, but doing what, thinking about what, he has no idea. "Everything okay?"

"Yeah, sure, fine, good," she says in one breath a little too loudly in the quiet of the dark bedroom. "Everything's great."

Oliver has to wait barely a minute before she sighs and rolls over to him, her head resting on his shoulder, her arms wrapped around his waist, their legs entangled as she looks into his eyes. "Sorry. I shouldn't be taking it out on you. It's not your fault."

"What is it?" He settles his hands at her lower back, fingers rubbing at the smooth skin left exposed by the hem of her tank top. He can't get enough of the feel of her and turns on his side to properly cradle her into his side.

Felicity takes a deep breath. "Isabel Rochev introduced me to her team as your whore."
Oliver's eyes widen and he lifts himself off the bed with one hand to stare at her in shock.


Felicity pushes him back down gently and begins to explain. "Not exactly that word, per say. But it was implied."


"I don't really wanna get into it but it... it kinda sucked," she finishes with a hollow chuckle. "I was talking to her tech team and she just swooped in and introduced me to them as your old assistant-slash-girlfriend who you promoted to head of the IT department-"

"That's completely wrong," Oliver says. "You were IT before-"

"You don't have to explain it to me, Oliver," she interrupts harshly. "Anyway, the guys were just looking at me like... well, they paid more attention to my ass on the way out than they would have before."

His hands tighten on her waist at her bitter confession as he meets her eyes. "Felicity, I..."

"It's fine. I need to develop tougher skin, I know that. Digg says he's gonna add that to my training." She smiles faintly as if recalling something funny the other man said, and Oliver can't help but feel a pang of jealousy that she's already confided in him. He knows they understand each other on a different level, both coming from "normal" lives instead of him having had to deal with the paparazzi any time he leaves his mansion.

"I hated being your assistant. I mean, I loved it for the team, but otherwise most of the time, career-wise and everyday-wise and telling people what I did-wise, I hated it," she confesses to him with an apologetic smile though she has nothing to apologize for. Oliver winces at the confession; not at her honesty because he knows that already, but he has to chastise himself all over again for the abrupt decision he made to "promote" her when he returned from the island that year.

"I know. Again, I'm sorry." He pulls himself slightly away from her as he aches for her to understand, to forgive. "I didn't understand the ramifications."

She settles herself more comfortably in his arms and drops a light kiss on his collarbone. "I know. I'm sorry to bring it up again. I know we're past it. I just... I'm having a bad day, that's all."

"I'm sorry."

"Two apologies in one night? I must really have you worried," she teases.

"I know you hated it. I shouldn't have forced it on you. I just... I wanted you close. Safe," he adds with meaning as his arms tighten around her when he thinks of all the circumstances they've faced in the years and how Felicity has put herself too close to danger. She'll still volunteer for any field mission when they need bait despite his protests, but he's enforced the idea of double protection, of back-up wires and cameras and GPS locators when it comes to Felicity being in the field. "I didn't think about your reputation at work."

She smiles at his words because she knows how important her safety is to him. How can she argue with that sentiment? Instead she runs her fingers through his hair reassuringly, enjoying the way he sighs and nuzzles into her neck. "It's okay. I admit, I liked being close. If I really wanted to, I could have walked out on you. Now, sleeping with Isabel, that was your fault." She shudders at the memory of Russia from years ago, but if she's being honest, she can still feel the ache in her heart from when she saw Isabel leave Oliver's hotel room. But that ache eases a little bit every time he kisses her.

Oliver chuckles against the skin of her shoulder. "Sorry," he mumbles as he drops a kiss there before meeting her eyes.

"Wow, all these apologies in one night. Are you drunk?" Her hands run up and down his back to wrap around his neck before she drops a light teasing kiss on his lips. "Does this mean I can take advantage of you now?"

"Like you ever need a reason to take advantage of me," Oliver quips as his fingers slide up her top. She shivers in response, wrapping herself tighter around him as her heart races and her pulse roars.

He kisses her and there's no more talk of work or the past or the awful day she had.

She steps out of the elevator, and the doors nearly close behind her before he can follow, so she quickly puts a hand in between. "That was close! I saved you," she says with a smile.

But instead of following after her like he normally does, Oliver looks down at his watch, brow furrowed as if he just remembered something. "That's okay. I have to go straight upstairs today. I forgot I have to do this... thing for... work."

Felicity stares at him in puzzlement, and her usual mix of amusement when she hears an Oliver Queen lie. It's been a while since she's heard one of those, and she looks over his shoulder to meet Diggle's eye. The older man gives nothing away and continues staring straight ahead.

"Okay. Weirdo," she adds under her breath. "Bye, I'll tell Brenda you said hi."

She sees the corner of Oliver's mouth twitch to form the beginning of a smile before the elevator doors close; she considers that her daily victory and turns down the hall for her office with a grin.

"It's 12:30. You're late, Mr. Queen."

Oliver looks from his computer to find Felicity heading his way, her coat already on and waggling a gloved finger at him. He growls as he tries to type faster, and Diggle only laughs from his seat in the room. "One minute."

"Lunch, you promised me lunch."

"I'll be just a minute," Oliver tells her, looking up to find her settling herself into the chair next to Diggle along the back wall. "How about you guys wait in the car? I'll be right down."

Felicity stares at him in confusion, because it almost sounds like a polite dismissal, as if he's ushering her out of his office. But that makes no sense at all... right? She raises an eyebrow in question, but he looks away from her and focuses on his computer screen. So she simply nods to Diggle and heads for the door. "Fine. But five more minutes and you're buying me two desserts."

"Hey, Rosa, is Oliver busy?" Felicity reaches the desk and cranes her neck to find Oliver's figure behind the sheets of glass in his office. He's staring at paperwork on his desk with such stern attention but Felicity knows he's wishing he could throw an arrow through the contract deals instead.

"Go on in, Miss Smoak," Rosa tells her with a smile. "He's been stuck in there all morning with those proposals. I'm sure he's cross-eyed by now!"

"Thanks, Rosa," she calls out as she makes her way to the office. Oliver looks up at the sound of her heels and sits a little straighter, eyeing Rosa with worry though she has no idea why. The older woman is back to her knitting as she waits for the phone to ring, her classical music playing in the background as she hums to herself under her breath. "Hey. Where have you been?"

"At work. What do you mean?" Oliver eyes her with confusion at the question.

"I mean you haven't visited me downstairs all week. What's up with that?" Felicity demands. "Brenda's been asking about you."

Oliver shakes his head at the teasing but proceeds to answer her question. "I thought it'd be better for you if I don't hang around as much at work."

Felicity eyes him in surprise. "Really? Did you now?"

"Well... remember what we talked about last week?" Oliver recalls, a dark look crossingover his face as he remembers her tears from that day. "I'll make more of an effort to keep your reputation in mind at the workplace. You can always call me if you want."

"Can I now?" Felicity asks, still using that same surprised tone as she stares at him thoughtfully.

"Or text. Or e-mail."

"Can I now?"

"Stop saying that!" he snaps in frustration. "I'm just... I'm trying here, Felicity. I know I didn't before, but I'm trying now."

She pauses for one moment then snaps her fingers and waves at him to stand. "Get up. Come on."

"What? What are you-" He has no choice but to vacate his chair as she comes around his desk and grabs his arm.

"When's your next appointment?" she asks over her shoulder as she leads him across the office. "Never mind, of course you wouldn't know. Rosa, when's his next appointment?"

"Not until after lunch, Miss Smoak," Rosa answers as she tries to bite back a smile at the petite blonde dragging Mr. Queen across the floor by the hand. She does the same thing when he gets too busy and forgets to eat lunch.

"Good. Plenty of time, thanks. We'll be back!" Felicity waves just before they step into the corporate elevator. She's not his EA anymore but she kept the access rights on her ID card. Just one of the perks of dating the boss. Oliver eyes her warily but says nothing as the elevator stops at the IT floor.

"Felicity, what are we-"

"Shh, be quiet. Follow me," Felicity orders. She moves down the hall to her office, stopping to smile and nod to a few of her co-workers who pass along the way. Oliver does the same and tries to look like has control of this situation and wasn't bodily dragged here by his girlfriend. She shoves him inside her office while she locks the door behind her.

"Sure, Felicity, I wasn't in the middle of anything important," Oliver drawls sarcastically as he unbuttons his suit jacket and takes a seat on the couch. Might as well get comfortable.

"Your co-workers know I'm in here now."

"Do they? Too bad you're not in disguise," she says with a grin. "Like the Arrow came in during the workday because he needs technical support. He drops by my office and maybe brings me lunch. Although I'm sure Travis from down the hall would call SCPD in a flash, he's such a goody-goody."

Oliver can't help the chuckle that escapes him. "Felicity, you're such a goody-goody."

"No, I'm not," she argues. She shakes her head vehemently, her blonde ponytail flying over her shoulder. "I go undercover and help the Arrow and hack into government servers-" She stops talking and shakes her head at herself, taking a deep breath before switching subjects. "Forget it, now's not the time to talk about what a badass I am." She observes him with a mischievous glint in her eye while her hands reach for the buttons trailing down her shirt. Slowly, one button is unbuttoned, and then the next. "So, this is all work-no play Mr. Queen, huh?"

"Um... No. Yes. No. What are you doing?" His voice comes out panicked and at a decibel so high that his alter ego would be ashamed. The sight of Felicity undressing shouldn't cause him distress but right now, he frantically eyes the closed door behind her. "We should not be doing this here."

"Where then? In your file closet like usual? And does this mean no more visiting your office at lunch or makeouts in the elevator? Cause I even created this program that'll make scrubbing the elevator footage so much easier," she says with a pout. Her hands lower to another button as she takes a step closer to him. Oliver leans back to protest her movement and shuffles further down the couch. "Wow, you really are serious about this, aren't you?"

"I don't think-" He doesn't manage to finish saying what he's thinking before she straddles his lap and wraps her arms around him, melding her lips to his. She breaks the kiss and his hands automatically land at her waist, her bare waist and his fingers relish the feel of soft skin. He groans at the sight of her bra, a dark green that matches the color of his nighttime suit. It seems to be a theme for her underwear lately and it drives him crazy every single time. "Felicity, I'm really trying here. I'm thinking about you."

"I know you are," she replies. "And I'm glad you are. But you don't have to right now. We're good." Her hands drop to the buckle of his belt and he tries to push them away. She laughs and kisses him again, smiling with amusement even as he glares at her for her seduction plan. "I'm back in IT where I want to be and people already know we're dating thanks to the paparazzi. I just have to deal with Isabel when she flies in for a board meeting a couple times a year," she adds, "but other than that, I think you and I are doing fine. And the company gossip has died down because they think we're a boring old couple instead of one hitting the party scene at night. Of course, they don't know what we actually do at night, you know, our exciting nightlife."

"Felicity..." Oliver tries again to sound rational but Felicity bites lightly at the curve of his neck and slips her hands out of his hold to trail to the waistband of his pants. This time she manages to find the zipper and he groans as her fingers tease their way inside.

"Shhh, just sit back and enjoy, Mr. Queen."

That's the line that does it because Oliver turns his head the slightest to kiss her, his lips pressing against hers desperately as his tongue probes gently in her mouth. She moans in pleasure and tilts further into him, groaning with delight when their bodies align.

"Felicity, you better be sure about this," he mutters as his hands slide up her legs. He toys with her bra strap, kissing down her collarbone, nibbling and licking at the trail he finds as he finds her familiar curves.

"Who's the goody-goody now?" Felicity asks, the pride clear in her voice even as her breath begins to hitch at his touch.

Oliver chuckles in amusement and makes a move to lift her and lay her horizontal on the couch. But before he can, Felicity hits his shoulder to get his attention, and he meets her eye to see her glaring at him.

"Hey, we're doing this my way! I'm the boss on this floor, remember?"

He nods his head in apology, his mouth returning to hers as she settles herself more comfortably in his lap. "Yes, ma'am."

the end ~