Title: The Devil is in the Details
Genre: Humor, Romance
Word Count: 4,369
Disclaimer: I own neither the characters presented in this story nor the show from which they originate. Unfortunately.
Summary: Roy has figured out Oliver's secret (identity), and it's up to Felicity to convince him otherwise. Like as what often happens, though, Felicity's words get away from her, and they have repercussions with her relationship with Oliver that she never could have predicted.
A/N: This story is set after Barry and before Roy's introduction to the team. This was actually the second Olicity story I wrote, but it was less time-sensitive than the ones that have been written and posted since. Plus, it's PURE fluff, and I think a little fluff is deserved before I start to post my first full-length story (not The First Time's full-length sequel). Like with many stories from Felicity's perspective, there are A LOT of references. If you're curious about any of them, just ask. Finally, I hope this is as much fun for you to read as it was for me to write.
The Devil Is In the Details
An Olicity One Shot
"... can't all be motorcycle wielding superheroes; some of us drive cars, cars that have to wait patiently in traffic no matter how impatient their drivers' bosses might be. So, just keep your pants on. Er. Not that you take your pants off. I mean in front of me! Obviously, you take your pants off. How else would you shower? Or bathe? Maybe you prefer soaking in the tub. You know, because of muscle strain. I mean soreness. Really, there's just no non-embarrassing way to say that. Anyway, I don't know how you... clean yourself. Not the point, though. My point is that you don't take your pants off when I'm with you. Well, except for that one time... But that was only because... Hey, look. It's a door, a door that I can use to come inside. Or," Felicity added as an aside, finally pausing to take a breath, too. "You know, smack my head against. Hard. Several..."
Not expecting someone to say her name, especially not for someone to say her name from behind her, Felicity was so startled that she did just what she had been threatening to do: she smacked her head – hard – against the back entrance of Verdant... only the collision was so not on purpose. But that's what happened when you were an easily surprised former IT girl turned executive assistant whose demanding boss did not give her enough time between her not one but two jobs to go home and change out of her fancy pants (okay, so technically it was a skirt) and high heels.
Oh, and it also didn't help matters that Verdant was located in The Glades... which had been rocked by a pseudo-earthquake less than a year before, and the evidence was in the pavement. As in cracks – giant, stiletto-eating cracks.
"Sweet Macintosh," Felicity gasped, pretty sure she could feel her right ventricle temporarily cozying up to her larynx. Taking a deep, fortifying breath, she raised the hand that was clutching her cell phone to her forehead, rubbing absently, and whirled around to face her attacker. And, yes, she meant her attacker, because words could – and had just – hurt her. "You," she narrowed her eyes, though she had a feeling her glasses sort of impeded her glare's effectiveness. Distantly, in her ear, she could hear Oliver checking to make sure she was alright. She just ignored him. "What is it with Thea Queen's boys and sneaking up on me, huh?"
Roy Harper just stared back at her, head tilted to the side like he was the one being put out by her getting attacked by him. However, she had asked a question – rhetorical or not, so the ball was in Roy's court. (Oy. A sport idiom. She was spending way too much time with Oliver and Digg.) Anyway, Felicity was determined that it was Roy's turn to say something; she wasn't going to give in first.
Finally, hands shoved so tightly into the pockets of his trademark red hoodie that she could see the outlines of his fingers through the fabric, Roy said, "I need to talk to you."
"Yeah, well, most people call. Or email. Heck, I'd settle for a regular, snail-mail letter. Even Susan's envelope glue would be better than a concussion."
In her ear (because they were still connected thanks to her bluetooth), she could hear Oliver ask if she'd really hit her head that hard; before her, she watched as an impassive Roy ignored her subtle reminder of the injury he had caused her. Felicity quickly sent Oliver a reassuring text message. Usually, she'd just hang-up the phone. After all, she was a big girl; she could fight her own (verbal) battles. But Roy was mad Arrow-crushing on Oliver, and she had a feeling she knew exactly where his questions were leading them, so it just made sense to take the man in question into battle with her, so to speak.
Confidently – almost brashly so, Roy announced, "I know."
"Yeah, well, I know a lot of things," she countered. Yet, despite her own mock-arrogance, Felicity felt the first flame of alarm lick up her spine. "Care to elaborate?"
"I know that Oliver's the Arrow."
She said the very first thing that came to her mind, the very first denial that she could think of. Felicity should have known better. "My Oliver?" Before Roy could respond and before she could fully ingest the Arrow himself asking "your Oliver" smugly, silkily – and just why exactly was Oliver's voice saying anything silkily to her? - in her ear, Felicity practically talked over herself as she rushed to add a proviso – no, a whole pot-load of provisos to her previous, way too familiar and possessive question. "Not My Oliver as in those little, yucky Valentine's Day candies with the words 'Be Mine' on them but in the, you know, my BOSS Oliver. Or my technically challenged FRIEND Oliver. Even then, he's not really mine, because I don't own him. Can't. Lincoln said so. But, yeah. That Oliver? Really?"
And then she laughed – grab-your-side-because-it's-about-to-have-a-stitch, cross-your-legs-because-you-might-just-wet-your-pants, Ashton-Kutcher-was-cast-as-Steve-Jobs-and-people-were-supposed-to-take-that-movie-seriously – laughed. Felicity figured she'd try for incredulous first.
Roy, in front of her, got pissed; Oliver, inside of her, got sullen. (Inside of her ear!)
"I have proof," her attacker (Nope, she wasn't about to forget that anytime soon.) saw her fake-chuckles and raised her some self-righteousness. (Um, hello: card shark.)
Snarkily, she quipped, "this should be good."
Roy paid her no mind. "Well, see, it all started when I noticed that Officer Lance ends up at a lot of the crime scenes involving the Arrow. Like too many to be a coincidence."
"He's a cop. Cops go to crime scenes. The Arrow's involved in a lot of crime scenes... or so I have read. Online. In blogs, not police reports." It didn't take Oliver's "gee, thanks, Felicity" to make her wince. Nope. She did that all on her own, because, while she had started so strong in this little battle of wills against Roy...
As what was quickly becoming a habit, though, Roy simply ignored her. She didn't know whether to be offended or grateful. "So, I went and had a talk with him."
"Yeah, I heard you know your way around a precinct."
"Lance at first gave me the run around. Said he was too busy. Said I should get out of the way before someone remembered something else I should be locked up for. Then he said, if I was going to hang around, that I should go and make myself useful; get him a coffee. I got myself one. It was awful. No wonder cops are such pricks."
"Language," Felicity interjected pointedly.
"... worst cup of coffee I've ever had." Roy bulldozed right on through her interruption. "Anyway, at that point, Lance was so annoyed that he was practically willing to tell me anything in order to get rid of me. So, I asked him about the Arrow, and he told me 'go see your girlfriend's brother's Girl Friday.'"
She sighed. "So, here you are."
"Actually, no. You're jumping way ahead and skipping over some very important clues."
"Well, excuse me," Felicity rolled her eyes. "It's not my fault you tell stories like a yenta."
"Like a what? A yeti? I thought they just beat their chests and groaned?"
"A yen-ta," she enunciated precisely. When still there was no clarity on her attacker's behalf, Felicity took a deep, frustrated breath. "You're an idiot, and I'm Jewish. This is not going to go well."
To her never-ending surprise, Roy laughed. "Yeah, that's pretty much what Lance said, too, well... besides the Jewish part." At just the up-ticking of her left brow, he clarified, "when he called you Oliver's Girl Friday, I thought he was saying that I needed to go talk to some girl... named Friday. I asked him who would be stupid enough to name their kid that; he told me to go read a freaking book and get out of his way."
"And did you?"
"Look 'Girl Friday' up in a book?"
"No, of course not. I googled it."
Under her breath, Felicity insulted him, "lazy idiot."
"After I figured out that Lance meant Oliver's secretary..."
"Executive Assistant," she yelled, correcting him. "And when exactly did you and Officer Lance become gossiping biddies, for that matter?"
"After I figured out that Lance meant Oliver's executive assistant," he talked over her, dismissed her. "I looked you up on the QC Directory. Got a name."
Oliver was getting antsy; her dinner, which was waiting for her down in the basement, was getting cold; Felicity was just getting exhausted from listening to two morons dance around each other in her mind; and her Arrow work certainly wasn't getting done because the one non-nitwit at Verdant that night – her – was stuck outside defending the phony dishonor of the ignoramus inside. So, when she sighed in exasperation, it was genuine. "Look, Roy, I think I've been patient here." The little snot snorted. "But I really don't see your point. Not only are you apparently one internet search engine away from being illiterate, but your math skills are obviously lacking as well, because one job as Oliver's executive assistant for yours truly plus one partnership with the Arrow – and, since Lance ratted me out... which, come to think of it is ironic since he's a cop, and cops are supposed to be the rattees, not the ratters." Felicity rethought what she had just said and shook her head as if to dispel the lingering confusion. "Anyway, I won't deny it. But, when you add those two things together, they do not equal that Oliver Queen is the Arrow. You're barking up the wrong tree there, Moondoggie."
She turned to walk away, dignity intact and chin haughtily in the air to prove it when Roy's words stopped her cold. "You know, I used to think you were a call girl."
"Excuse me?" Usually, when Felicity Smoak was mad, she used her 'Loud Voice,' but Roy Harper was getting treated to the 'Practically Silent It's So Deadly Voice.' She hadn't broken that one out in a long time... which in and of itself, considering the fact that she spent both her days and her nights (Her awake nights! Her awake and vertical nights!) in the company of one stubborn, egotistical, infuriating Oliver Queen... who was flat-out snickering inside of her (ear!), that said a lot. Like oodles of noodles a lot. Turning swiftly on her heel, she leveled a scathing scowl at her attacker. "What did you call me?"
"Look, obviously I know now that you're not a hooker; you're a secretary."
"An executive assistant!"
"But, look at it from my point of view," Roy argued, clearly not comprehending the fact that, for his own safety, he should have been back-peddling and apologizing, not justifying his insults. "You're always around, not in the club but lingering – back here in the alleyway, in the hallway that only leads to the store room and offices. And, I mean, look at you," Roy waved a hand in Felicity's direction. "I thought you were going for that innocent yet with a secret dirty side look. You wear sweaters, but they're too tight. Your hair's curly and in a ponytail or loose but it's like bedhead curly, I just had great sex bedhead curly. And then there are your skirts..."
The fact that she could hear Oliver exclaim in her ear that her skirts were not that short made Felicity question just who else had been casting aspersions on her clothes (character).
"Anyway, I thought you were the naughty librarian type."
"Naughty. Librarian." She repeated. The words were guttural and hard but there was no mistaking the fact that she was demanding an explanation.
"Yeah, you know... like, when you took off your glasses, you'd get your freak on: tie-me-up/tie-me-down, maybe some whips... naughty librarian."
Just when Felicity thought it couldn't get any worse, she distinctly heard, "hm... maybe some back-seamed pantyhose," proposed inside of her ear. (And, after that little remark from her partner, she didn't even feel slightly compelled to pull her usual mental Oliver's-inside-me gaff.)
She took a calming breath. When that didn't work, she closed her eyes and tried again. After a full minute of practicing yoga-zen inhalations and exhalations (not that she actually did yoga, because, seriously, who had time for that much meditation... well, besides Sting?), Felicity felt composed enough to query, "Roy, how do your assumptions – and you know what they say about people who make assumptions, right? - make Oliver the Arrow?"
"Because Lance told me to talk to you. And you're Oliver's... you work for Oliver. And, if you're not a call girl, then why are you always here. At Oliver's club. At night. When, if one was the Arrow's partner... as you've already admitted, you'd be helping the Arrow. So, the Arrow must be here, too. He must have unlimited access to the building, and he has to have a plausible reason to be here every night and for however late he wants. The only person who has that kind of access to Verdant, besides Thea, is Oliver."
"And you, Roy," she pointed out.
"Yeah but I think we both know that I'm not the Arrow."
For several minutes, Felicity was silent, and, thankfully, so was Oliver. His ability to come up with plausible cover-stories had never been strong and had now been completely compromised, and, apparently, it was up to her skills of deception to pull his bacon from the fire. Again. Roy just waited while Felicity ran through every option she could think of. Anything tech related was a no-go, because Thea now ran Verdant (way to go, Slacker Oliver!), so Felicity wouldn't be called to the club every day to set up 'the internet' or to fix 'the internet' by the guy who had passed the buck on those responsibilities along to his little sister. She and Thea weren't friends, so she couldn't say that she dropped by every night to chat up the manager. And... she should have just gone along with his whole call girl accusation, because it was much better than... "I'm sleeping with him."
And her phone went radio silent.
"Sleeping with," Roy repeated.
For Pete's sake, she knew he and Thea weren't just holding hands if judging by Oliver's reaction to their relationship was any indication. "Sex. We're having sex. We're knockin' boots. Having us some rumpy-pumpy. Doing the ol' herkie-jerkie."
And again with the echo. "Herkie-jerkie?"
"Literally, it's a cheerleading jump," Felicity exploded, tossing up her arms in annoyance. "Figuratively, it's a euphemism. For sex. For the sex. That I'm having. With him. And, if you want to know why I call sex the herkie-jerkie, look that up on google."
For the first time since she announced that they were 'taking Grandma to Applebee's,' Oliver spoke. Over her bluetooth which she had (foolishly) not disconnected yet, he inquired, "you were a cheerleader?"
As quick as she could text him back, she replied, ha, like you're the only sweaty man I've enjoyed looking at!, because, evidently, her thumbs needed a filter, too.
"Him who," Roy questioned. Teased. Brought her back to her surroundings. "Oliver or the Arrow?"
Like his name was a pile of stinking guts, like it was vomit, like it was the scum between her toes (Okay, so Alfalfa's toes... at least, according to Buckwheat. Her toes were pretty, and clean, and the nails were always painted.), Felicity barely managed to spit out, "Oliver."
"I don't believe you."
Well, now she was just offended. Again. "Why not?"
"Because you're not his type."
"Roy, five minutes ago, you slapped me so hard with the name tag Vivian Ward that my thigh-high, plastic hooker boots broke. Now, you're saying that Oliver wouldn't be interested in sleeping with me?"
"Oh, no, I think he'd sleep with you," her attacker reassured. Or, at least, Felicity thought he was trying to be reassuring, but now she just felt like he was looking at her like she was the naughty librarian. Again. "You're hot. I think we've already established that. But I don't think you're the type of girl willing to just sleep with anything that looks your way."
"Once more, you thought I was a call girl." She said it slowly... as though he were slow. Which, apparently, he was.
"Look, Oliver has a type."
"Yeah," Felicity found herself agreeing with him morosely. Under her breath, of course. "Brunette and bad for him." The man whose taste in women was in question wisely remained mum's the word.
"I mean, you're not dumb. Obviously." It was said with an eye roll, but Felicity appreciated it nonetheless. "You're able to speak your own mind. Unfortunately." Yeah, not so appreciated. "And I'd bet money that you don't have an STD."
"Well, when you lie down with dogs..."
"Hey!," came through loud and clear into her ear.
"Is that some kind of reference to the women Oliver sleeps with being bitches?"
Felicity said brunettes; Roy said bitches. Tomato; tomatoh. "No."
Shoulders slumping and eyes closing in resignation, she just gave into the lie. "While I appreciate your suddenly better opinion of me, Roy, it's unfounded. I am that girl. I'm the secretary who sleeps with her boss. That's why I'm here every night. Because, if I was the girlfriend who slept with the man, then he'd come to me. But he doesn't. And I'm the secretary, because it's easy. I keep his schedule. I get his coffee. I make his copies. And, when he's not looking, I have practically all day to research for the Arrow. Because, you know, I wasn't always the secretary who sleeps with her boss. I was once an IT girl, the IT girl. I could write codes that would make Tim Berners-Lee weep. But being the IT girl didn't leave me enough time for the Arrow, and it didn't get me the sex. With Oliver. So, uh, yeah." She fidgeted, bit her bottom lip. "Do you think we could keep this between us, because the Arrow stuff – the anonymous Arrow stuff, because he contacts me on burner phones and in encrypted emails; I've never seen him – is illegal, and the Oliver stuff is embarrassing."
Felicity finally risked looking up to see if her lies had managed to convince. Roy looked... ashamed for her. Apologetic. And she almost felt bad for making him feel like a jackwagon, but then she remembered that he had once thought her to be a Fast-Fanny. And that it was his fault she was that last Tic-Tac away from hypoglycemia. Oh, and that he had attacked her. So, yeah, screw sympathy.
Roy nodded his assent and then said, "I, uh, I should get back to work." She watched him disappear inside before completing her own trek towards that same door, a trek that felt like it had started days prior. As Felicity made her way inside, through the hall, towards the keypad which would grant her access into the basement, and then down the stairs, she took her time, gathering her wits and courage about her. Because, if it wasn't for the fact that she did have research to do and that she was starving, she so would have high-tailed it in the opposite direction. She was pretty sure she had maxed out her embarrassment quota several babbling blunders ago, and, yet, she still had to face Oliver. Because that was inevitable. After what she had said...
… Only, when Felicity reached the bottom of the stairs, Oliver was off training. With a shirt on. She finally turned off her bluetooth; he didn't even turn around to see her. Taking a seat at her computer where her dinner was there waiting for her, she gratefully lost herself in the oblivion of food and information. Sometime later (she wasn't watching the clock, because, if she did, then she'd be aware of just how long it had been since she announced she and Oliver were bed buddies... or, really, since she had proclaimed that they had sex at the club, probably more like desk buddies... which was fitting considering she was his secretary), Digg came in. If he noticed the awkwardness, he didn't add to it by questioning it. He didn't even make snarky remarks about it either.
Eventually, her food was consumed, her research was done, and Digg was gone. All that was left for Felicity to do that evening was go home. Standing up from her workstation, she powered down her computers and then headed for the stairs. She didn't know what blue haired old lady she'd failed to yell at for driving so slowly, but Felicity wasn't going to look a karma gift-horse in the mouth. If Oliver was willing to not talk about Roy now thinking they were sexing each other up every night in one of Verdant's back rooms, who was she to argue? Felicity had managed to get just one foot on just one step, however, when her pretty-pretty present of denial dried up in a sudden and wicked African drought.
From behind her, Oliver mused, "so... tomorrow?"
"Work. Arrow-y stuff. Like always. Night." She didn't turn around.
"Don't forget the sex."
Thank goodness for the small favors of handrails, because, as soon as the words left Oliver's mouth, she was reaching for something to hold onto. And she was extremely grateful that she was facing away from him, because she just knew, otherwise, she would have ended up with a whole lot more than she bargained for.
"Thank you. I'd like to think so." And that was when her last line of defense – silently, in her head making a fool of herself versus out loud – fell. "And I guess you're about to find out for yourself just how much..."
Spinning around, she interrupted, "alright, that's enough of that. I got the picture. Loud and clear." Oliver quirked not just a brow but the corner of his lips as well. (The no-good, cheeky bastard.) "Not that I'm imagining you – that – naked. Right now. Or ever. As in never. Before. Or after?"
Wisely, for both their sakes, he elected to ignore... whatever it was she had been trying to say. "So, about us sleeping together... Despite what you said, I'm open to us going to your place. Plus, I think Digg would appreciate the discretion."
"The devil is in the details, Felicity," he reminded her. (Like she needed a reminder!) "You told Roy we were sleeping together."
"Yeah, because he thought you were the Arrow!"
"I am the Arrow."
"Not the point," she snapped, glowering at him. "The point is that he had gotten too close. The cover you came up with was blown, and I had to scramble in order to come up with something to explain..." She motioned back and forth between them. "This. Sue me for going with the first thing that came to my mind." When he went to interrupt her, she held up a single digit, a dangerous warning for him not to say anything flashing in her eyes. "The first plausible thing that came to my mind, because, no matter what you might believe and no matter what my mouth might lead you to believe, I actually do not constantly think about having sex with you." (Okay, so maybe that didn't come out the way she wanted it to either...)
"Well, then, I guess I'll have to see if I can't rectify that."
"Oliver, we are not going to have sex. Together."
"We have to. If we want this lie to work, then we need to make sure that we can't be caught in it."
She moved to argue with him further, words already taking shape in her mouth, but then Felicity really and truly looked at the man standing across from her. (By the way, she'd have to remind herself to start having all her arguments with Oliver while standing on a step, because it leveled the playing field... vertically, at least.) What she saw made her reconsider.
She saw a man who knew that she knew that he knew she had feelings for him. (He knew, she knew, he knew? Yeah.) She saw attraction and want. And it wasn't the first time she had seen those emotions in Oliver's gaze when he looked at her either. In fact, the want had been there more and more, especially after Barry happened. And then didn't happen. However, it was the first time that she was allowing herself to admit his attraction towards her. She also saw fear and confusion, bravery and curiosity – an entire maelstrom of sentiment that, if she had the time, Felicity would have relished exploring. But she knew Oliver. She knew that, if she gave him enough time to truly think about what he was proposing, he'd take it back before she could accept.
And she definitely planned on accepting.
Because maybe he wasn't ready to be with someone he could really care about, but she'd rather be with him when it was just sex than for him to be with someone he didn't actually care for. Sure, she was probably setting herself up for heartbreak, but could anything feel worse than watching him with another woman? Women? Besides, a part of Felicity wondered if Oliver would ever think himself ready for a real relationship. What if, instead, he needed someone to show him that he was already there? He was offering her sex; by accepting, she'd be offering herself a chance.
"Fine," Felicity huffed. She glared at him, pivoted around, and then walked up the stairs. Without glancing back, she tossed down the gauntlet. "But not before you go and see your vet. I need it in writing that you don't have fleas."
Because that was so not the itch Felicity Smoak planned on scratching with Oliver Queen.
She took his silence as assent and confidently walked out the door.
A/N2: So, yeah: a cheerleader. I stand by that. While Felicity might be a self-proclaimed nerd, I don't see her as a geek. In fact, I see her as someone who is supremely confident in her own skin. Oh, she has insecurities – don't we all?, but she knows who she is, she likes who she is, and she isn't afraid to show who she is to the world. She's also not a cliché. She can like computers and flirty, pretty clothes; she can like sci-fi and still have been popular (enough) in high school. I think this is part of the reason why she rambles. But, anyway, that's that. The second thing I wanted to wait until after the story to say is that I might just turn this into a one-shot series. We'll see. In the meantime, thanks for reading, I hope you enjoyed, and I'll see you all again soon.