Title: Stupid Cupid ~Charlynn~
Summary: Felicity Smoak had the Valentine's Day blues. (So, would that make them the purples?) Maybe she's still single, and maybe Oliver sees her as the only woman in Starling City that he can't sleep with, but that didn't mean that she was going to lie down and take what the holiday had to give her. Instead, she was going to snark her way into March if it was the last thing she did.
Characters: Felicity Smoak, Oliver Queen, Roy Harper (with mentions of John Diggle, Thea Queen, Moira Queen, Laurel Lance, Sara Lance, and Quentin Lance)
Status: Complete (1/1)
A/N: So, this is a day late and smut short. I had meant to post this last night, but, what was supposed to be five pages, turned into this monster of fluff. (This is what happens when I drive two and half hours, roundtrip, to work every day and when I am currently responsible for weeding 50% of our bound journal collection. I have way too much time on my brain to stage conversations between Felicity and Roy. Because, yeah, I think a friendship between these two could be the cat's pajamas. I wrote another one shot earlier this week that I'll put up soon(ishly) that prominently features them, and I haven't even watched the last three episodes yet. (That'll happen sometime this weekend. I think/hope.) While I haven't watched, I've come to grasp the high (and low) lights, one of the latter featured heavily in this story.) Anyway, like I said, this is fluff. After the heaviness that was the last story and keeping in mind what's coming down the pike, I wanted to try my hand again at some humor. It's been fun. There are references galore in this story. I'm not going to list them all, but feel free to ask if you're curious. Also, thank you for the warm welcome. I plan on responding to your remarks to "The First Time" as soon as possible. In the meantime, enjoy this not-so-little bit of nonsense.
An Olicity One Shot
February just would. Not. End.
Felicity hated February. It was, by far, the worst month of the year. Even February hated itself. That's why there were only 28 days during the cursed month. When the dreaded Leap Year came about, that 29th day was a lock your doors, turn off your alarm, and stay in bed hidden beneath your covers event. Nothing ever good happened on the 29th of February.
As she swiveled slightly in her desk chair, chin propped on her hand which wasn't operating a mouse, Felicity sighed in relief that at least this year wasn't a Leap Year. She just wasn't sure if she'd be able to handle the torture, not after the thirteen days of the month she'd had so far. That particular February wasn't even half over yet, and it had already been one for the record books... and so not in a good way.
But she wasn't going to focus on that. So, she sat up straighter.
And she wasn't going to dwell on it. So, she picked her head up, rolling her shoulders back.
And she definitely wasn't going to think about them. So, she smoothed out her features after giving a little shudder of horror (revulsion mixed with jealousy... and perhaps there was a little bit of anger tossed in there, too, for good measure) and went back to focusing on the task at hand: Valentine's Day cards. Valentine's Day might be 40% to blame for February's terrible reputation... one that it most certainly lived up to, but that didn't mean that Felicity Smoak allowed Stupid Cupid to bully her. No sirree, bobs-your-uncle. She was going to take whatever that flying baby had to dish out, and she was going to make him her bitch.
Yeah, that's right. Her bitch. And Felicity Smoak rarely swore, but that's how strongly she felt about Valentine's Day, that's how much she hated February.
But, seriously, who could blame her? When a pseudo-holiday wasn't even your most egregious offense (Hello, Groundhog's Day: a day that celebrated a rodent. Literally. Because the groundhog belonged to the order Rodentia, so, basically, it was the rat's cousin.), you deserved everything one Felicity Smoak could dish out. Plus more.
So, yeah. Valentine's Day cards.
She was supposed to be researching Oliver's next big, scary bad, but, really, she was fishing online for the perfect picture of Rose Nylund – aka Roy's soul sister. Or, at least, one of them. She snickered at the thought. Well, actually she snickered at both of her thoughts – at pulling a fast one over on the Arrow and at the comparison between a superhero-in-training from the Glades and a super-ditz grandma from St. Olaf.
See, they had this thing. Well, actually, she and Roy had several things. Because they were peas and carrots. One of those things was taking Team Arrow and casting them into popular, classic groups. Like Winnie the Pooh, Buffy, The Breakfast Club, and, their latest masterpiece, The Golden Girls. So, Roy was Rose, and his Valentine's Day card was just going to hammer that point home.
Chuckling to herself, Felicity pasted the photo she had been looking for underneath the caption on the cover of the card: 'Condoms, Rose! Condoms! Condoms! Condoms!' Inside, she planned on writing 'I don't care if you are the shortest of the team (Well, you know, when I'm wearing heels... which is pretty much always now.), I'm Sophia. So, suck it, Nylund. Okay... that was harsh. 'Forgive me, Rose, but I haven't had sex in fifteen years (months), and it's starting to get on my nerves.' Love, Felicity.' For good measure, she was going to toss in a couple of condoms, too, because condoms weren't cheap (though, they were cheaper than a kid), and Roy was hot, and Oliver definitely wasn't paying him for his time on Team Arrow.
She was just adding some effects to her masterpiece when its eventual recipient appeared before her. He greeted her like he usually did. "Hey, Smoak."
As Felicity slid her hand over his in a flat, fleeting grip, she grinned. Pulling her fingers back, she spread them wide, waved, and, in her best 80's hairband voice, returned with, "Fire!" Because Roy wore red, and, where there was Smoak, there was Fire. Oh, and also, she had a weak spot for really cheesy commercials.
That was their other thing: a secret handshake.
At that point, she thought he'd go off and train. Or bug Digg. Or annoy Oliver. But, instead, Roy slithered around her computer station all super speedy and super slick like a superhero junior, hooking his foot into the spare chair and dragging it over while also collapsing onto it, seemingly in one fluid movement. She could only glare at his gracefulness, questioning why, for what was probably the hundredth time, she surrounded herself with men who were so smooth and agile. But then her eyes strayed over towards the salmon ladder...
Yep, that's why.
"So, what're you working on? How's the research coming?"
"Don't look," Felicity yelped, fairly jumping out of her seat to minimize Roy's card while, at the same time, making sure that the very man she had just been admiring again did not notice her reaction to a seemingly innocent query. After all, she was supposed to be researching. And, no, looking up classic TV nostalgia sites did not constitute proper Arrow research. Unfortunately.
"We have to work on your stealth techniques," Roy told her emphatically, shaking his head in mock-disappointment. Wheeling his chair in closer, he lowered his voice. "So, what was it I couldn't see?"
"Your Valentine's Day card." She had no reason to deny she was making him one; she just didn't want him to see it until he signed for it from the messenger the next day. And, yes, she said messenger... as in one that Oliver was going to pay for as CEO, because, as his executive assistant, there had to be something in it for her.
In response to her admission, Felicity thought Roy might tease her. She had even wondered if he'd feel the totally unnecessary need to, in return, get her something as well. What she never expected was for her new friend to fall forward and smack his forehead against her computer desk. Repeatedly. As he singlehandedly tried to self-inflict brain damage, Roy bemoaned – a word for every slam, "do. Not. Remind. Me."
"You, too, huh?"
Once Roy was sitting up once more... or, well, as close to sitting up as any teenager ever quite managed, he explained his reaction. "I hate Valentine's Day."
Okay, so maybe he didn't explain as so much as state the obvious.
"You, too, huh?"
He smirked at her wry, repeated words. "There's just... so much pressure on the guy to do something great for the girl, and Christmas was less than two months ago. I barely can afford to take care of myself, let alone keep Thea in presents. And forget about being able to get her something really nice, something that she would actually buy for herself."
"Rich people ruin everything," Felicity commiserated, teasing. "Taking a wholesome, important holiday and turning it into something commercialized and corporate. Shame on them!"
Roy rolled his eyes. "Is this where you give me your practiced 'Valentine's Day is nothing but a fake holiday created by Hallmark' speech?"
"No," she denied, though she couldn't argue that he put true words into her mouth. "This is where I tell you Valentine's Day sucks for you, because you're a guy; it sucks for me, because I don't have a guy. My inner Mary Wollstonecraft is cringing at that last statement, but it's nevertheless true. Also, I hate carnations. And roses."
"See, I'm feeling a story here."
"Oh, it's a tale of awkwardness and misery, of embarrassment and loneliness, of middle school." Roy chuckled... as she had intended, so Felicity smiled and continued. "Every year, one of the many clubs – I don't know, Spanish club maybe? – held this fundraiser where a person could send someone a flower for Valentine's Day to tell them how they felt. You know, different flowers, different meanings; different colors, different levels of Candy Crush. The roses were always half dead by the time they were passed out. And, no, the fact that I never got one does, by no means, influence my opinion of them. The carnations, of which I always received a few – enough so that I wasn't a social pariah yet never enough to be one of those girls, were even sadder and more wilted." When Roy looked at her askance, Felicity offered him her best deadpan stare in retaliation. "And, no, I never sent those pathetic carnations to myself. I wasn't that desperate."
"Speaking of desperate, why don't you show me these cards you made... you know, other than mine because, obviously, you don't want me to see it yet. Maybe you'll somehow provide me with a little inspiration for Thea."
So, she did. He laughed at Digg's card which featured Anne Shirley and Diana Berry from Anne of Green Gables. Felicity had asked him to be her 'bosom friend – her intimate friend, you know her really kindred spirit to whom she could confide all her inmost soul.' If he agreed, on the inside of the card, she promised she'd even be the ginger. Of course, Roy had no idea who Anne Shirley or Diana Berry were... not that Digg was probably up on his classic Canadian children's literature either, but who didn't appreciate a good ginger diss?
When she showed him Oliver's card – 'Hey Lisa (crossed out and with Oliver's name written over top), Thanks for decorating the world,' he downright snickered, asking, "who's that douchebag?"
Felicity shuddered. "Roy, please. Say vaginal irrigator instead, alright?" She was only sort of serious, so she relished his returned shudder. "And that's waiter, Robbie Gould, Yale Medical School. He drives an alpha romeo."
"He's also the creep, though, who knocked up Penny."
"Ouch. Valentine's Day struck again?"
"Nah. Summer in the Catskills."
Humor and playfulness gone, Roy asked, "this is totally something you're going to make me watch with you now, isn't it?"
He sighed in resignation. "Alright, who's up next?" Then, a crooked, evil smile took over his disgustingly handsome face. "Oh, wait. The only Team Arrow member left is Sara."
Spitefully, Felicity remarked, "because she has her own name, I think she's a team unto herself." Under her breath, she added, "now, she just needs to learn to keep her hands to herself, too." But she knew that Roy had heard her, and she knew that she was alright with Roy hearing her. Maybe because he was dating Thea and could sympathize about what it was like to have feelings for a Queen, or it could just be because he, unlike Digg, didn't particularly like Oliver, Felicity felt comfortable expressing her unrequited crush around her new friend. Plus, Roy wasn't Sara's biggest fan either. She had a feeling it had something to do with having to practically stalk and beg the Arrow for more than a year before he was allowed inside the inner circle, while Sara was practically handed a gilded, personal invitation by the Arrow himself. Twice.
However, animosity could not remain long when she thought of her card to the other Lance sister. (Seriously, what was with that family? Well, besides Officer Lance. He was the Sheriff Valenti to her Liz Parker, to Roy's Kyle.) "I honestly tried to think of something less... obvious," Felicity said as she minimized Oliver's card... which was just getting signed with her name, that's it... and brought up Sara's. The cover was simply a big, bold photograph of Ron Burgundy, and, inside, it said, 'why don't you go back to your home on whore island?'
It really was her pièce de résistance, and Roy guffawed accordingly. Not that she was actually planning on giving the card to Sara. (Right?) "Subtle," he critiqued.
"Why don't you tell us how you really feel."
"Too harsh? Too honest? Too hopeful?"
"Well, it's certainly morecolorful than what I'm used to from you."
Felicity pretended to look contrite, whispering conspiratorially, "it's the I-word, isn't it? You know I try not to use it, but sometimes nothing else will suffice."
Somehow, they had both ended up leaning close to her computer screen, elbows on the desk, chins cupped in palms, looking at the card. After several quiet seconds, it was Felicity's turn to laugh, only, rather than a guffaw, she giggled. Eventually, she closed all the cards and swung around to observe her friend, her posture relaxed into the back of the chair. "Make Thea something," she suggested.
"How are you with wood?"
She knew that was an unfortunate question even before Roy grinned crookedly. "Can't say I've personally handled it recently."
Unlike with Oliver, however, Felicity didn't get embarrassed by her little verbal blunders around Roy. Instead, she just rolled with the punches. "That's good, because, otherwise, I'd think you didn't quite understand this whole boyfriend-girlfriend thing you've got going on with Miss Queen."
"And when was the last time you were out on a date?"
If he didn't already know, he would after he read her card. The knowledge made Felicity smirk, because, whether he teased her about her lack of sex life or not, she knew that Roy really did not want to know about her record-breaking drought.
Instead of saying any of this, though, she queried, "can youcarve wood? Do you have a saw, hammer, nails?"
"No, no, no, no. I barely have running water and electricity."
"Do you know how to bake," she asked, only to roll her eyes when he looked at her incredulously. "I'd suggest writing her a poem, but I think we both know you'd just stand up, pat me on the shoulder, and say 'why don't you get started on that, thanks Smoak.'" Tossing her hands up, for she was at a loss, Felicity demanded, "just what exactly are your skills." Roy looked pointedly around the basement. "Well, besides beating people up."
"I'm a pretty decent pickpocket. In fact, that's how Thea and I met. I stole her purse."
Feigning conceit, he rolled his shoulders, "I haven't had any complaints yet."
"Oh, so that little-not-so-little record you asked me to seal for you...?"
She gasped in mock-realization. "No wonder I'm not getting any. I've only been questioned by the police, never officially arrested or charged with anything."
"Well, don't give up hope yet. Valentine's Day is upon is, so there's still plenty of time for you to do something foolish." He took a deep breath. "Speaking of which – again: Thea. Gift ideas. Do you have anything for me yet?"
Felicity bit her lip in earnest contemplation. After a moment, she happily suggested, eyes wide, "you said you're a pickpocket, right, which means you can do slight of hand, which means... you should totally perform a magic trick for Thea... as her gift."
Roy looked confused. "You're talking about sex again, right?"
Pushing her chair away from his, she announced, "you're hopeless," only he followed her, one-upping her grandstanding by putting his feet up on her work station and crossing his ankles.
Well, when in an underground, secret, superhero basement... Felicity copied him. So what if she had a skirt on. She wore underwear, and it's not like anyone was looking at her anyway. Unfortunately. (Was it just her, or was that becoming a running theme for the evening?) "Stupid Cupid," Felicity mumbled under her breath simply because her previous and totally accurate name-calling was deserving of spoken recognition. Plus, given Roy's own Valentine's Day plight, she thought he'd appreciate her anti-cherub stance.
Instead, what he offered up was a comparison – a rather insightful one. "Hey, think about what other fruitcake goes around shooting people with arrows."
Felicity snickered. "Imagine Oliver going around as the Arrow, shooting people to make them fall in love."
"Imagine him doing that wearing a big diaper."
"With calf socks."
"And a button down shirt." They were totally rocking the sameRisky Business image.
"Imagine him doing that naked."
"Hey," Roy groused loudly, pushing her away from him. Felicity was so lost in her own... re-imagining of the movie... that she almost took a header out of her chair. "Not cool, Smoak; not cool."
She shrugged her shoulders in apology. "My bad. I'd promise never to do it again, but we both know that wouldnever happen. I just... curious minds want to know, you know."
"No, I don't."
She ignored him. "I mean, I see him shirtless all the time, and all that does... well, besides rev up my already revved up libido... is make me wonder what he looks like pantsless as well.Then I start to think about what kind of underwear he wears, especially considering that half of his time is spent in leather pants. So, surely, he's not a boxers kind of guy, right? I mean, he wouldn't change his underwear when he changed into his leather pants at night, would he? So, that leaves boxer-briefs or just briefs. They both have their advantages and their drawbacks. I've even worked out this whole pro-con list for both options in my mind, but that hasn't been helpful at all. It's just made me want to see him in both. And out of both. You'd think, with as many times as I've patched that man up, that he'd take a knife to the thigh or a bullet to the butt, but no! Heaven forbid Felicity should get to see Oliver with his pants off so she can just satisfy this one, teeny-tiny, innocent curiosity. But my life doesn't work that way. February's awful, and Valentine's Day is evil."
"Yeah, you win." Wide eyed and hands splayed out before him in surrender, Roy stood up and scampered away.
Why did her name sound so different when Oliver Queen said it? No matter the situation – whether he was amused or annoyed by her, he just seemed to use this special tone, and her otherwise boring name – one that she had been hearing and responding to without fuzzy caterpillars appearing out of nowhere to wreck havoc upon every single one of her nerve endings – became something more. Something better.
On that particular afternoon, to the casual listener, the sound of her name coming from his lips would have been considered neutral, but she had been studying the nuances of his various tones and voice modulations since the very first time he had approached her. Come to think of it, it had been the way he said her name that fateful day which initially intrigued her. Well... that and his prettiness. Because, genius or not, she was still just a girl, one with a weakness for prettiness, overanalyzing everything... including the ways that Oliver Queen could say her name, and finger nail polish. Oh, and interesting characters. Good food. Shoes. She loved shoes. And really cool, dangly earrings. Well, okay, maybe she just had a weakness for accessories in general. Plus, there was her penchant for wine, she couldn't forget...
And there it was again – subtle hints of a stretched patience and endless searching (a searching for what she wasn't sure, but Felicity knew it was what kept her there, by his side, even on their worst of days) all wrapped up in a feigned disinterest. She considered that Oliver's 'I-know-you're-about-to-charm-me-but-I'm-going-to-pretend-that-you're-irritating-me-instead' voice. Despite her best intentions, sheloved that voice, because Oliver's attempts to disguise his Felicity-induced smirks... which were born from said voice... were almost as gratifying as when she broke through his walls and he actually allowed himself to smile. His smiles were beautiful, but his smirks were provocative. Dare she say even suggestive?
Finally recognizing he had said her name – twice, in fact, Felicity turned to look through the glass that separated their offices. She found him standing behind his desk, legs braced apart, hands casually stuffed into the pockets of his gray suit pants. Her gaze lingered for a moment, because... gah! He looked amazing in gray. The color made his eyes all steely, and stormy, and steamy. And, sure, his suit coat had long since been discarded, the cuffs of his dress shirt unbuttoned and his sleeves rolled up, but Felicity didn't need for Oliver to be fully dressed to recall what his eyes could look like when their striking blue clashed with ash, charcoal, or gunmetal. She sighed, biting her bottom lip. Admitting that she had lingered and drawn out the moment long enough, Felicity finally meet Oliver's knowing look. He had been waiting for her to get around to that before finally voicing what was on his mind, what had made him say her namethat way twice.
"Why is there a picture of 'waiter, Robbie Gould – Yale Medical School' on my desk?"
It took her every last reserve of strength and composure not to laugh. She had just known that Oliver Queen would know exactly who Robbie Gould was. After all, a man didn't sleep with as many women as Oliver had only to somehow escape the clutches of the ultimate chick flick. Okay, so maybe it wasthat thought – the fact that Oliver had run out of belts for all his notches... and he still wouldn't let her see him in his underwear – that really might have forestalled her mirth. Like a bucket of cold water – water that had once been warm, and bubbly, and lovingly prepared so Oliver could, on Valentine's Day, take a bath with Laurel, no doubt – tipped directly over her chair, her thoughts brought Felicity back to the moment, the day, the month, and she glared at the man standing so far away from her – physically and emotionally. Using her best 'you're an idiot' voice, she tartly answered, "it's a card. Read it, and you'll understand. Well," she added, tipping her head to the side in contemplation, "maybe you will."
So, Oliver did just that. One hand – his right hand – was removed from his pocket. He picked it up, flipped it open, and read the card. And he must have read it several times over... or someone had failed to mention that 'Hooked on Phonics' hadn't worked for them, because a few silent, tense with anticipation minutes dragged by before he said anything.
"Well, apparently," and he allowed the missive to slip from his fingers. It lingered, floating, in the air for a second before sinking forgotten onto the littered surface of his desk. "You think I'm a douchebag."
That wasso not what she had meant by the card – he knew it; they both knew it, and her control snapped. "Vaginal irrigator, Oliver; vaginal irrigator!"
He shuddered at her words, quickly returning to his work and, once more, ignoring her.
And that was it.
No, 'thanks for the card, Felicity.' No, 'Happy Valentine's Day to you as well.' Heck, she would have even settled for a 'you decorate my world, too, Smoak.'
With a huff substituted for the shriek she really wanted to give... and, yeah, that did absolutely nothing to alleviate her pique, she forced her gaze away from theinfuriating man a glass office away from her. For several minutes, she couldn't return to her work, though. Oh, Felicity certainly made it look like she was busy. She shuffled papers, she opened a blank document and typed gibberish... mainly 'Oliver Queen is such... an opening at the end of the alimentary canal through which waste is disposed' over, and over, and over again, and she stapled things. Harshly. She opened things just so she could kick them shut, and she pretended to answer the phone just so she could slam the receiver down.
Oliver's card was meant to be... safe. It was to tell him, on the horrible day that Valentine's Day was, that she cared. Because she did.Everyone knew that. While she couldn't admit how much, and while he couldn't accept how much, it was well recognized that she found him attractive – stare at, drool over attractive. On good days, Oliver was even comfortable enough around her to tease her about her lack of ability to hide said attraction. So, his card was meant to play upon what had become a rather long-standing joke within their little group, to make him laugh and to reassure him that, despite everything that had happened between them and despite everything she may feel but knew had to remain unvoiced, that she was his friend. That she would always be his friend.
It wasn't even the fact that he didn't hash this out with her and recognize what she had tried to say with so few words in a little, innocent card that bothered her. Rather, Felicity hated that, despite everything she pushed aside and ignored for him, he couldn't wish her a simple, uncomplicated, platonic Happy Valentine's Day. Heck, Felicity wasn't even sure if Oliver had acknowledged the (fake) holiday at all. But that's what happened when you took a genius IT girl from her natural environment and trussed her up as an executive assistant. She might have been bored out of her mind with herpromotion, but she was good at it – ability denied and interest restrained or not. Too good, in fact.
Because she handled Oliver's shopping now for him. Because Oliver had added her name to his accounts... including his Black AmEx account, claiming it was easier that way than ever having to worry about her being denied access to money she may need forsupplies. (Now, if only she could get Oliver to put his mouth where his money was...) Because she had a perverse sense of humor, and he liked it. Usually, she just bought Arrow necessities with his money: new pieces of tech that were to be used for missions; new weapons when Oliver routinely broke the ones they already had; her HuluPlus, Netflix, and AmazonPrime monthly subscriptions, because, if he was going to keep her away from her perfectly good apartment with its perfectly comfortable couch, perfectly top-of-the-line plasma TV, and perfectly full DVR, then he was going to foot the bill for basement viewing pleasures. Occasionally, however, she made other purchases with his money – still for him but not so work-oriented. She was a sucker for a happy Oliver, and nothing made Oliver Queen happier than taking care of and making those closest to him happy.
That didn't mean, however, that she just rolled over and did his dirty work for him withoutsome kind of personal kickback. She'd scratch Oliver's back, but she'd scratch her own as well.
(But, unfortunately – gah! That word again. – her nails weren'tliterally being used to satisfy an itch. Any itch. Well, at least on Oliver's behalf. (They were willing, however – willing, perfectly polished, ready, and able.))
So, for Valentine's Day, in Oliver's name, she had sent his mother flowers. She had booked and paid for dinner reservations for Digg and his lady friend of choice (probably Lyla, she assumed... unless Digg was holding out on her, and then they'd need to have words). And she had sent Thea an extravagant gift certificate to La Perla... which she'd obviously know was paid for by her brother but picked out by Felicity. Happy Valentine's Day, Roy! Oliver was going to have kittens... if he ever found out. (Did billionaires even look at their credit card statements; did billionaires evenget credit card statements?) Oh well. Even if he never knew, she'd still know, and she'd relish the knowledge that Oliver had (unwittingly) paid for his protege to see Thea, Oliver's baby sister, in decadent and scanty lingerie.
It was this thought that finally brought Felicity back from the brink of office destruction, her mood stabilizing with a canny, charmed quirk of her painted mouth. She twirled around in her chair – lifting her legs so she could see how many times she could spin around before physics failed her and she came to an ever-slowing halt. When she stopped, slightly dizzy and full-on smiling because of it, she was, once more, facing Oliver. He was lost to the world... and no doubt probably just lost in general because he was a boy, and he hated his job as CEO even more than she hated being his executive assistant, and it was Valentine's Day, and she just knew that he hated February just as much as she did. Lost or not, though, the card she had given him was propped up and displayed prominently at the edge of his desk.
Okay, so maybe he wasn't hopeless and oblivious after all. But that still didn't mean that she regretted Thea's gift. At all.
Or that Cupid wasn't stupid.
She had the night off.
Inexplicably – because nothing said hearts and flowers better than blood and destruction (at least in Green Arrow's world), Oliver had shut down Arrow operations for the evening. While no mission had been scheduled, because Digg had a date and because they all knew Roy would try to sneak out to be with Thea whenever Oliver had his back turned, Felicity had been fully prepared to spend her Valentine's Day night like she spent all of her other nights: as the single, snarky sidekick to a superhero. Oliver would train; she'd ogle his goodies and pretend not to be. He'd leave to patrol, and she'd hack something. While, when anticipating her evening, she had conveniently skipped over where Sara would be and what she would be doing, she didn't really see the other woman as the romance type. Instead, she was the sleep with her sister's boyfriend and hook-up randomly withFelicity's partner type.
And, yeah, shereally needed to get over... that.
It would have helped if she had been able to work that evening – if she would have been able to stay busy and distracted, if she would have been reassured that, even if Oliver didn't wish her a Happy Valentine's Day, he also wasn't taking Sara out to dinner (for sex appetizers) and was, instead, spending his night with her as her friend. But she wasn't working. Instead, she was alone and obsessing. However, at least she wasn't a cliché.
There was no ice cream in sight. Her television was off, for she refused to succumb to the need to assuage her datelessness by living vicariously through her favorite characters. She wasn't even wearing her comfort pajamas, instead electing to change into something casual after work – her best 'good butt day' jeans and a plain, fitted, white t-shirt. Her hair was down and left to dry naturally, her nails were freshly painted an electric blue, and her glasses were the only adornment to her otherwise scrubbed clean face. It was her 'all by myself but I don't mind to be' look, ready for company to drop by... not that company ever did... but also perfectly content to just sit at home curled up on her couch with a good book – one that, she had made sure, was not romantic, or sappy, or even sentimental in the slightest. While she read, she distractedly (because of the reading, not because of the Oliver-obsessing) ate her dinner – a healthy meal for one that she had ordered from her favorite take-out restaurant, because she didn't need to wallow in butter, and because she refused to act like there was anything wrong with being by herself on a day that was advertised to do just that.
Hallmark, and Hersheys, and Haagan-Dazs could just kiss her denim-clad posterior.
And then someone knocked on her door.
Thank goodness she had also refrained from wine, because, otherwise, her shirt would now be stained pink, and Valentine's Day was the one day a year Felicity Smoak refused to wear pink. As it was, her white t-shirt was now slightly damp (from spilled... and, okay, maybe dribbled, too, water) when she stood up to answer the door, not really caring if the old lady from down the hall, who, apparently, never remembered to buy her own sugar... but, really, why buy your own when you can just borrow it from your pushover neighbor?, found out that her bra was the palest shade of lavender, and had rhinestones, and that it was lacy and sheer, and, well, totally hot... even if she was the only person to enjoy it. Besides, Mrs. Brooks had cataracts. It wasn't like she was going to see anything anyway.
"Powdered, granulated, or... you don't have cataracts."
Without thought, Felicity just reacted. Her hands went from her door to her boobs. It was all in an effort to hide them, to conceal the palest of lavender, rhinestoned, sheer, lacy, totally hot bra she wore, but, as she watched Oliver's eyes widen, then narrow, then darken, she knew that all she had managed to do was emphasize... and, on second thought, she was alright with that.
"You're not Mrs. Brooks."
"I wasn't sure if you'd even let me in, so I tried several of your neighbors before she was kind enough to buzz me up. I told her I was delivering your groceries." He held up a bottle of wine, a bottle of 1982 Lafite Rothschild wine,her wine, to demonstrate his cover story.
"Well, what's mine is hers. She'll be disappointed that it's not sugar, though."
"Speaking of possessions," Oliver segued. He gaze lowered from her face, landing squarely, once more, upon her chest. "Mine?"
"What, no," Felicity scoffed, inner-congratulating herself for not just saying yes!, because, really, if he wanted them, he could have them. Anytime. "Why would you...?" Her hands dropped, only for Felicity to once again feel awkward, so she crossed her arms in front of her, because, yeah, that was going to help the situation.
And Oliver... in all hisOliver-ness... just knew how affected and off kilter she was, especially in comparison to how composed he was, leaning up against her doorframe, head tilted to the side in contemplation, a bottle of her wine clutched elegantly, distractedly, forgotten by the neck and dangling loosely by his side. With a raised brow, he asked, "La Perla?"
"Oh." And then realization dawned. "Oh." And then she laughed.
"Is there some mission I'm not aware of, Felicity?"
Delight. When he said her name, all she could hear was delight. It was new, and she wanted to hear it again, so many times over.
"No, no mission... well, except maybe 'Operation Get Roy Laid,' but I really don't think that's something he needs help with." Oliver grimaced; she tittered merrily. "The La Perla was a gift from you to your sister."
"Yes, because that's not weird," he quipped. "I thought the dinner reservations were for her and that you had..."
Okay, so maybe February wasn't so bad, because Oliver was there with her. And he broughther wine with him. And he was smiling, and laughing, and openly looking at her boobs... not that she was doing much to keep them concealed. And it was Valentine's Day.
With that thought, she crashed back down to earth. All humor fled her posture, and Felicity found herself biting her lip in uncertainty as she asked, "Oliver, what are you doing?"
"I came to see you."
"At my apartment," she questioned further.
"You've never been here before..." His eyes skittered away from her as he shuffled into a standing position once more, and she suddenly knew that, whether she had been aware of it or not, Oliver had been to her home before. Creeper. But she chose to ignore that little revelation (for the moment). "... And, of all possible nights, you picked tonight,today, to stop by for the first time?" He went to open his mouth, but she prevented him from saying anything by pressing forward. "Oliver, do you even know what today is?"
"Today is Valentine's Day." This time, it was his turn to stop her from responding. "That's why you gave me a card. That's why my mother called me to thank me for theexquisite and thoughtful flowers, why I'm guessing Digg and Lyla are out to dinner tonight at the best restaurant in town, and why, apparently, Roy is seeing my baby sister in the very expensive lingerie I thought – hoped – you had treated yourself with. Because, while I don't say it, Felicity..." – gratefulness, like a prayer – "... I do appreciate everything you do for me. You take care of me by making sure that I take care of the people who mean the most to me. I take that granted, however; I take you for granted. It's not intentional." His brow furrowed. "I think I do it, though, because you're just... always there, in a way that I'm not used to but have come to rely on. But that doesn't make it right."
She titled her head to the side, squinting. "Okay?" But, really, what was she supposed to say tothat? When Oliver chuckled at her non-reaction, she snapped to attention. "I mean, thank you?"
"No, Felicity." She distinctly heard notes of innocence and joy. "Thank you."
"Well, alright then," she said, rocking forward to make a grab for the wine, because, no matter what his plans were for the rest of the night, she was ready now to wallow in cliches. "I'll just take this, because I'm going to assume it's my long overdue bottle, and you can be on your merry, guilt-free way. The executive assistant has been properly thanked, her apartment visited, and I'm sure you have other... things... to do tonight. On Valentine's Day."
"Actually, I thought we could hang out," Oliver offered. "Spend some time together outside of the office and above ground for once." His free hand, the one that wasn't hanging ontoher wine, was suddenly shoved into a jeans pocket. Of course he would have to do that, drawing her gaze down to where it wasn't supposed to be, especially not when all she could think about in that moment was the rambling rant she had dumped on poor, unsuspecting Roy the night before about what she wanted for Valentine's Day.
He cleared his throat, recapturing her attention and bringing it back up to his face, only for Felicity to say the very first thing that popped into her mind. "Shouldn't you be sleeping with... I meanseeing Sara tonight." Her face flamed in mortification, and Felicity would have just fled the room if she would have believed, even for a second, that Oliver would let walk away without addressing the elephant she had led into the room. "I'm sorry; I'm sorry. I didn't mean to say that. It just happened... like so many other things, apparently." And there she went again. Seriously. She had to reign in this whole passive-aggressive side of her personality. As if their partnership hadn't been strained enough as it was recently, Felicity did not need to go and make things even worse.
So, taking a deep breath, she decided then and there that she was going to make peace with what happened between Oliver and Sara, no matter what it cost her. "I just mean that Valentine's Day is a day that you're supposed to spend with someone who is..."
"Remarkable," Oliver cut her off, effectively alleviating her resentment and mortification. At least for the moment; at least until he didsomeone else or she said something else totally compromising.
With just that one word, she was reassured of the place she held in his life. While it might not be the place she wanted to occupy, it was still special to her nonetheless. He also let her know that, while he didn't want to talk about what had happened with Sara, he wasn't angry with her for bringing it up or uneasy with the fact that she cared too much. The moment almost felt like progress. And that was why she was able to let him off the emotional hook and make a joke.
Screwing up her face in amusement, Felicity said, "yeah... I don't think that's how it goes."
"Well, it should be."
She teased him further. "And, what Oliver Queen wants..."
"... Oliver Queen gets. And he wants to spend Valentine's Day with you, Felicity Smoak." Oh, playfulness and warmth. She'd take it. "We can do whatever you want to do... and get tipsy on wine."
He narrowed his gaze warningly. "Within reason." As a caveat, he added, "as long as you change your shirt. I really need for you to change your shirt."
She rolled her eyes but left to do as he asked. Bidded. By the time she returned having replaced one wet, white t-shirt with another, dry one – a light jacket in hand and shoes upon her feet, Oliver had made himself at home in her apartment. On her comfy couch. The door had been shut and locked, and he had even rummaged through her kitchen, apparently, to locate two wine glasses. He must have anticipated that she'd want to talk or watch a movie together. Poor little pampered rich boy had no idea what she had planned for him.
"Okay, let's go."
He stood abruptly, his eyes quickly locating her to follow her across the room to where she moved to stand by the door. "We're going out?" Even as his question objected to leaving, he was already following her.
"Grab the wine; leave the glasses."
"Felicity, restaurants don't allow you to bring your own wine." As her name from his lips washed over her, she could practically feel his exasperation and teasing manifesting itself as tickling down her sides.
"Maybe they wouldn't allowme to bring my own wine, but they would allow Oliver Queen. However," she added before he could interject, "we're not going to a restaurant."
"Where are we going?"
They were already outside of her apartment and moving towards the elevator, the keys she used to lock her door behind her shoved forgotten once more into her jeans pocket. "That's for me to know and for you to ask for directions to."
He whined – really, she'd spare his dignity and say that he merely complained, but Felicity was a horrible liar – the entire way down to the lobby, through the front doors of her building, and out to his bike.
"So, why a playground?"
The wine was long gone. Having passed the bottle back and forth between them like a couple of teenagers who did not understand that a 1982 Lafite Rothschild should be savored while they had soared on the swings – okay, so she had soared, pumping her legs to get as much height as possible, while Oliver, ever the spoil-sport, just used his swing to bump into hers and completely ruin her epic flights, they had quickly put her gift/long-overdue prize to good use. The swings had been followed by the slide, and the slide had been followed up by the teeter-totter. Despite Oliver's ceaseless grumbling, she knew the complaints were offered only because he felt he had to. He had secretly enjoyed their evening as much as Felicity had. And, now, tipsy enough to brave her loquaciousness, he had posed the question she just knew he had been holding back since they had arrived at their destination two hours earlier.
They were laying across the top of the monkey bars facing opposite directions, arms brushing together as they both cradled and supported their heads, cheeks with just a breath of fresh air separating them. "I don't know." Her voice was soft, her words, in their blatant dishonesty, even more delicate. Because they both knew she was lying.
"Come on," he cajoled her, letting his neck slide over so that he was looking at her. She could feel his eyes, unblinking eyes, studying her. Without conscious thought, Felicity allowed herself to move and mimic his pose. "Tell me."
"You want... what?"
Oh, he really didn't want her to answer that question, and he especially didn't want her to answer it while laying down beside him... even if they were on top of monkey bars, because, if anyone could have sex on playground equipment, Felicity would put her money on Oliver Queen. So, she did the only sane thing and sat up, breaking their connection. Carefully, she pivoted so that she was sitting and facing him, legs tucked up and folded beneath her. "I, uh, wanted to add a little levity to our lives, especially after... well, everything."
"You're good at that," Oliver complimented as he, too, sat up. He allowed his legs, though, to dangle over the sides of the monkey bars. "When no one else can make me laugh, you can."
"What can I say? It's a part of my charm." She meant it self-deprecatingly.
"It is." He didn't. And it made her blush.
So, of course that meant she had to say something to break the tension. Ruin the moment. Embarrass herself further. "Plus, you know, this way I got to swing drunk and experience public drunkenness for the first time. Two bucket-list birds with one bottle of very good wine. That's what I call some evening."
"You're not drunk, it was more than just a very good bottle of wine, and it's not just some evening. It's Valentine's Day."
"As you keep reminding me," Felicity mumbled in disbelief. Elevating her voice once again, she asked, "are you sure you didn't trip and fall, hit your head?"
He chuckled. "I think I'd remember that."
"Not necessarily," she argued. "It would depend on how hard you hit your head... which, in your case, would have to be really hard, because you're already so hard headed. Your brain head, of course, because... oh my god. What is wrong with me!?" She moved to shove him but then thought better of it and, instead, scooted backwards until she could swing her legs around and start climbing down. "I'm totally snockered. That's the only possible explanation why... I mean, brain head. Seriously?!"
Delightedly... as in with delight, he said her name. Even humiliated, she relished the sound. "Felicity, if you were snockered... as you put it, then you wouldn't have stopped yourself. You would have proceeded to describe to me what other possible head you had not, of course, been referring to."
She ignored his reassurances. Coming around to stand before him, she looked up. "We need to go before I'm arrested. Because I can't go to jail, Oliver. They don't have wi-fi there. I can't have a bunkmate. And I don't share well with others."
"I never would have guessed," he bantered sarcastically.
"Oh my god, they'll call me Smoaky."
"Smoaky, huh? I like it."
"Yeah, well, laugh it up, mister, because, if I'm Smoaky, then that makes you the Bandit. Have fun arrowing yourself."
"Maybe I'll just let you do it for me."
Cheekily, Felicity taunted, "you wouldn't like where I aimed."
He snorted a laugh before moving to jump off the bars. "Hey, I wouldn't do that if I were you," she warned, eyeing the rusting piece of playground equipment. While the park was close to her apartment building, it wasn't quite up to the Queen standard. "You might..." The telltale sound of what she was cautioning against filtered through the air. "... rip your pants." She couldn't help but add, "told you so." But at least she refrained from sticking out her tongue.
Oliver, however, just shrugged before walking away, already headed towards his parked bike. The ripped seat of his pants flapped open with every single step he took, revealing... tight, black boxer-briefs which fairly molded like a second skin to his...
Lifting her eyes from Oliver's backside, Felicity made sure that the object of her leering hadn't caught her. When she noticed his back still turned...
She totally fist-pumped it.
Like she had predicted, stupid Cupid? Totally her bitch.