Notes: Set not long after episode 2.14 but Oliver & Sara never hooked up and Slade hasn't made himself known yet.
Felicity propelled her fists up in a self-defence pose, nearly leaping out of her desk chair when a scrunched up ball of paper hit the middle of her forehead. Tearing her eyes away from the computer she was met with the sight of two grown-ass men attempting not to giggle. "Real smooth, guys," she said, trying to compose herself. "Did I miss the memo about this new way of greeting co-workers?"
"No, but it's nice to see our training's come in handy," Diggle replied in amusement as she abruptly lowered her hands.
Oliver nodded solemnly. "The office supplies were looking pretty shifty."
"Hey, nuh-uh, you two don't get to sass me right now without explaining why you're trying to slam dunk my face," Felicity protested, pointing between her two friends.
"In all fairness we did call your name about five times before reinforcements were needed," said Oliver. "Turns out I just have really good aim," he added innocently.
Picking up the paper from her desk she tossed it in Oliver's direction, watching as it veered right and bounced off Diggle's shoe. "And I couldn't hit a target if it were dancing naked in front of me," she muttered, before wincing slightly. "Not that anyone should be doing that in the office… although that's probably one memo I wouldn't miss…" She heard the men cough and snapped back to attention. "Sorry, what were you guys going to ask me?"
"We're heading out for lunch," said Diggle. "Did you want to join us?"
"Oh God yes, I'm starving." Felicity stood to gather a few items into her purse, smiling when Oliver moved around to pick up her coat and hold it out for her. "I'll need to bring my tablet with me, though," she said, slipping her arms into the sleeves of the blue pea coat. "I've got some stuff to do."
"QC stuff or 'other' work stuff?" Oliver frowned, stepping back as she did up her buttons. "I thought we were up to date with both?"
"Neither," she replied as they moved towards Diggle and headed for the elevator. "It's more like me stuff, in the sense that I may have run into a slight problem and I'm operating on about zero sleep and ten cups of coffee trying to fix it."
The two men shared a look of concern as the elevator doors opened and they all shuffled inside. "What kind of problem?" they asked in unison.
"Wow, your jaws just clenched in perfect synchronization too," Felicity said in awe.
"Fe-li-city," Oliver exhaled slowly. "What problem?"
"It's OK, I'm fine, no one's after me," she reassured them, biting her bottom lip. "It's just the small fact that as of tomorrow I'll be kicked out of my apartment and technically I'll be homeless." Felicity gave them a sheepish grin. "Good thing I know of some people who can lift heavy boxes, huh?"
"What about this one?" Felicity passed her tablet across the table for Oliver and Diggle to look at while she took a bite of her sushi. "Do you think by 'charming size' they actually mean 'would probably be suited for a tiny mouse-like person'?"
Oliver raised an eyebrow as he scrolled through the few available pictures of the apartment. "I'm pretty sure there might already be mice living in there."
"OK, well then click on the other tab. That complex isn't too bad, right?"
The men tried not to flinch. "Felicity we've infiltrated seedy criminal hideouts that look better than this," said Diggle.
"Yeah, but throw in a nice lamp, some cushions…" she trailed off at their sceptical looks, "… you'll have yourself a really chic drug den. All right I get it, this place is bad. But as last minute rental plans go, I don't have many options."
"I'd suggest my place as a short-term solution," said Diggle, manoeuvring food onto his chopsticks, "but Lyla's there a lot these days and it might get a bit… awkward."
Felicity smiled at his bashfulness. "Thanks anyway, Digg. I appreciate the offer but you definitely don't need me as the third wheel on your love machine," she teased, chuckling as he shook his head at her.
Oliver slid the tablet back to the blonde, clearing his throat. "Come and stay with me for a while," he casually threw out as he picked up a steamed dumpling. "It's partially my fault you're in this situation in the first place." He heard a noise and quickly poured more water for Felicity who started to choke on some rice.
"What are you talking about?" she rasped, gulping down a mouthful of her drink. "How on earth is it your fault that I forgot my lease was up?"
"Because I have you working not one but two very demanding jobs that don't leave a lot of room for much else," he reminded her. "And I always ask too much, I know – of both of you," he added, acknowledging Diggle. "So I just want to help."
"Oliver, you don't have to feel guilty about this," Felicity gently replied. "And not to rehash the mom-shaped elephant in the room – not that your mom is in any way or form an oversized jungle creature – but you're currently living in a hotel." She perked up. "Hey, there we go, I can just book a hotel for a while. I mean, sure, there's plenty of other ways to drain my bank account of savings. Those red leather ankle boots in the boutique down the road aren't going to buy themselves. But it's a definite idea."
"My hotel room was only temporary. I'm in the Queen penthouse now," Oliver replied. "No one had been in there for a while so it just needed to be re-furnished."
Felicity gaped at him. "Wait, you have a penthouse? How did I not know this?" She heard Diggle snort and she rolled her eyes, smiling. "Who am I kidding, of course your family owns a penthouse apartment. You could probably make your own Monopoly board with the amount of real estate you guys have."
"He's pretty good at chutes and salmon ladders too," quipped Diggle.
Oliver fiddled with the corner of a napkin. "I'm being serious. There's plenty of room in there. You can stay for however long it takes to find a new place."
She sank back into the booth. "Oliver, there's already so many rumors floating around QC about…" she gestured awkwardly, "y'know, relations between bosses and employees."
"Everyone knows Digg and I are just friends," he replied, lips twitching ever so slightly at her exasperation.
"We occasionally cuddle, but you do give good hug, man," added Diggle.
Felicity folded her arms across her chest. "I work with comedians," she muttered. She mentally weighed up her options, glancing between Oliver and the disaster-zone of an apartment she'd looked up. "It would be nice not to have to worry about rooming with rodents or inhaling asbestos," she mused.
"Is that a yes?" asked Oliver.
Scrunching up her nose, Felicity thought of a few more concerns. "Are you sure you won't get sick of me? Because we're already in each other's faces a lot of the day. And I'm not the tidiest of people to live with. I leave mugs lying around the place like they're a breadcrumb trail to something awesome. But, surprise, it actually just leads to more dishes I haven't washed yet. And…"
"Felicity." He waited for her to finish talking and smiled. "It will be fine. I promise. Plus I like to leave towels lying on the floor so we'll call it even."
She allowed herself to slowly smile back. "Alright, yes. You've got yourself a messy houseguest. Thank you, Oliver," she added sincerely. "Um, and I kind of wasn't kidding about moving all those boxes into storage earlier either," she said, ducking her head. "I'll call Roy and Sara, we can make it a real Team Arrow bonding experience!"
"Sorry Oliver, I can't hear you over Team Arrow being kickass removalists."
By the time the following afternoon rolled around, Felicity was already over the thought of having to move ever again. Sara was spending time with Laurel, but poor Oliver, Diggle and Roy had helped her cart boxes and furniture downstairs, into the rental truck and then out again into the storage facility for most of the Saturday. Oliver had offered to pay for people to do it for her, but she refused, insisting he'd already done enough by taking her in and besides, she didn't have that much stuff.
"Dude," said Roy, shifting the last piece of furniture into the storage space, "I know I'm pretty Hulked up right about now," he glared at Oliver, "and don't think I haven't noticed you've given me all the heavy crap." He focused back on Felicity. "But is your sofa made of lead or what?"
Felicity threw plastic sheeting over the piece, carefully covering the wooden panelling on the side. "It was my great-grandmother's so it's kind of an antique."
"Are these boxes full of old antiques too?" puffed Oliver, placing the two heavy items in the back corner.
"If by old antiques you mean every computer I've owned in the past ten years then yes." She shrugged at his curious gaze. "They're like family members to me. Sure they're useless and out-dated, but so is my Uncle Frank and we still keep him around."
Diggle brushed off his hands and stood in the entryway. "There's nothing else left in the van, I think we're finally done."
"I can't believe my whole life fits in here," said Felicity, glancing around at all of her belongings. She'd only packed one duffel bag and a medium-ish suitcase to bring to Oliver's, not wanting to appear as though she was going to overstay her welcome. "Bye for now Xbox," she said to one of the piles. "Bye comfy throw blanket with the nail polish stains." She ran her hand over another box, reading the handwriting. "Bye… Random crap? Wow, I really got lazy with the labels towards the end there."
"You know you can bring more stuff with you if you want, Felicity," said Oliver. "I don't mind. It's not like there isn't any room."
"You're on your own with the sofa," Roy muttered. "This pack mule has had enough."
Felicity shook her head, ushering them outside so she could roll the door down and lock up. "No, I'm fine, seriously. It's silly to bring too many things with me when I won't be there for that long anyway. I swear I'll be out of your hair in a week, tops." Pocketing the keys, Felicity beamed at everyone. "Thank you for ruining half your weekend for me, guys. I really appreciate it. Can I shout everyone a fancy meal? And by that I mean Big Belly Burger?"
Checking his watch, Diggle shook his head. "I promised Lyla I'd take her out tonight so I'd better get moving."
"Same," said Roy, before giving the older man an embarrassed look. "I mean not 'same' as in I'm taking your girlfriend out on a date, because that would be weird."
"People just love third wheeling us this week," Diggle said in feigned annoyance, giving Felicity a wink.
"I just meant I'm supposed to be meeting Thea for our own movie date," Roy continued. "Not that we actually watch much of the movie." He noticed Oliver raise an eyebrow and turned a slight shade of pink. "Not that Thea's older brother needed to know that… Y'know what? I'm just gonna leave before things get worse. Call me if you need me."
The three of them stifled their laughter as Roy made a hasty exit. "Good to know the Mirakuru isn't always a miracle worker," Felicity joked, making sure the door was sealed tight before they left the compound.
After dropping off the truck and handing her keys back to her former landlord, Felicity drove herself and Oliver to the penthouse, her car looking somewhat out of place near all the expensive vehicles in the parking garage.
Oliver took the suitcase out of the trunk and lifted it with ease, not bothering to use the wheels underneath, while Felicity slung the duffel bag over her shoulder and locked the car. She followed him to an entryway, which lead to the main foyer of the building. Oliver gave a nod to the doorman before making his way to the elevator with Felicity.
She watched him press a code for the penthouse suite. "Oliver?"
"Did your family use this place a lot… before the island?"
He cast his eyes down before looking at her. "Yeah, we did. How did you know?"
"You said it needed to be refurnished, like it had been empty for quiet some time." She smiled softly at him. "I guess it must have been hard for everyone with all those memories lingering around."
Oliver nodded, flexing his fingers against the handle of the suitcase. "That's why it's good to make new memories," he said, offering her a faint smile.
"Like when we eventually run out of clean mugs and glasses and we have to drink our coffee out of fashionable jars like hipsters," she teased, attempting to lighten the mood.
He smirked. "Exactly like that." The elevator dinged, signalling that they'd reached their destination. "We're here," said Oliver as the doors opened. "Welcome home."
Felicity remained rooted to the spot as Oliver stepped forward into what could only be described as pure, expansive luxury. He set down her case in the living area and shrugged off his jacket, throwing it onto the back of the plush sofa as he began to kick off his shoes. Felicity had dealt with work Oliver and Arrow Oliver but this Oliver was new to her and it threw her slightly off kilter. She took a few tentative steps inside while the words welcome home echoed around in her head. That small statement opened up a whole can of emotional worms she hadn't thought through. She was living with Oliver. She was going to be sleeping in the same place as him. She was going to see him first thing in the morning, most probably shirtless, with sexy bed hair and…
"Do I need to find another ball of paper to aim at your head?"
Felicity snapped out of her daze to find Oliver staring at her in bemusement. "What? No! Sorry, just slightly overwhelmed by the place. It's seriously the size of a small country up here. Actually make that a continent. Just as long as it's not Australia: I don't want my kangaroo phobia to kick in." She chuckled nervously, pushing her glasses up the bridge of her nose. "What did I space out on this time?"
"I was going to show you to the bedroom," he smiled, rubbing the back of his neck. "Your bedroom I mean. I hope you like it."
"I'm sure I will," she quickly replied, too caught up in her own thoughts to notice his slight faux pas. Taking a deep, steadying breath, Felicity followed him down the passageway.
First thing tomorrow, the apartment hunt was definitely on.