title: I don't need a hero (I need a partner)
category: arrow
genre: humor/romance/family
ship: felicity/oliver, felicity & roy (siblings)
chapter rating: pg-13
overall rating: nc-17
prompt: au where roy and felicity are siblings? or step siblings? pleeeeeeease - anonymous (Tumblr)
word count: 2,706
summary: Felicity Smoak has grown up subscribing to the life of hard knocks, but that hasn't kept her down. Sure, she's had to raise her rebellious, mouthy, always a step away from juvie, step-brother since she was just a kid and every chance she's had at having a better life has been shot down, but she's a strong, independent woman who doesn't need no man. Especially a vigilante with a terrible reputation for murdering one-percenters and who just keeps popping up in her life, trying to lend a hand where she says it isn't needed. Then again, maybe help isn't the worst thing, and maybe he isn't either.

I don't need a hero (I need a partner)
-novel-

III.

The first time Felicty met the Hood, she maced him.

She'd been feeling like someone was following her for a few blocks now. She got off work later than usual, which meant she missed the last bus that would get her anywhere near home, so she'd decided to hoof it. Not her best decision, and Roy would definitely yell at her for it later, but those were the breaks. She'd spent a few years saving up for a car, but then, well, Loraine, Roy's mom, just kind of stopped coming home. Felicity filed a missing person's report, but nothing ever really came of it. Since the stash of money she kept in a jar under her bed was empty, she knew Loraine had probably just split with what money she could find. After that, all of Felicity's money went to making sure her and Roy had a roof over their heads, even if it did leak, and food in the cupboards, though it was hardly the healthiest.

Sometimes she rode the bus for free. Okay, mostly, she rode the bus for free. She made friends with the drivers by babbling at them in that cute way that Roy used to tell her would make anybody take pity on her, either that or to get her to give their ears a break. Because of this, they waited an extra minute or two on days she was running late and they knew she had to get to work. They waved her off when she tried to pay and let her know when they were close to her stop if she looked like she was falling asleep in her seat (which was far too often, actually; she really needed to talk to Jonah about working those late night shifts).

But tonight, there was no bus waiting to pick her up. Oh, she was sure Matty, the guy who worked that shift, tried to hang around for her, but she was more than an hour late in getting to the stop. He couldn't afford to hang around and wait for her. And, it wasn't unlikely that Roy rode his bike out to walk her home. He would have, too, if she'd called him. But he was so busy lately. Looking for trouble, probably. Last year he'd basically appointed himself the savior of the Glades. He walked around looking for people needing help and put himself between them and Trouble. Capital T totally warranted. She'd had to clean him up after more of his scrapes than she cared to think about, but her brother was a scrappy kid who was sure there was something he could do. She loved him for it, she really did, but that didn't stop her from being terrified that one day, she was going to have the cops walk into the diner and they wouldn't ask for the truly awful coffee she served, they'd tell her that her brother was found, dead in an alley somewhere, trying to help someone.

It was ironic, of course. Roy occasionally robbed people, which probably looked like an awful thing to do. But he never hurt them. He just took their money and tossed the purse or wallet into the nearest garbage can. He used to save the purses and gave them to her, until she realized what he was doing and told him she wouldn't be walking around with somebody's stolen property, not to mention the fact that it might one day incriminate them. The crimes he stopped were of the assault and rape variety, mostly. He liked to tell her about it when she got home. Sometimes he boasted about how he got the drop on someone, ignoring her when she slapped his shoulder and told him it was too dangerous and he needed a new hobby. Roy was too stubborn to listen to her. And his recent obsession/idolization of the Hood wasn't helping things.

So, walking home alone in the Glades was not one of her brightest moments. And she had a lot of those, actually. Bright moments, that was. She was a genius. Even if her current situation didn't speak much to that. But, well, things happened... Like, trying to smuggle her ten-year-old brother with her to MIT, and actually managing to accomplish it for almost a year before her step-mother noticed. Then it was all handcuffs and kidnapping charges while they tried to pull him away from her and put him back with his mom. Loraine dropped the charges but Felicity lost her scholarship to MIT. She returned home to Starling City with her tail between her legs, but she didn't let that stop her. She got a job at the Queen Steel Works Factory thanks to an amazing training program and the pity the hiring supervisor took on her. It was actually kind of awesome, because it came with benefits and a pension and good enough pay that she was already circling apartments in the Classifieds. Nothing fancy, of course, but a two bedroom, so Roy could have his space, real locks on the doors, and actual hot water. Eight months later, however, that dream died. The factory was shut down and she had to pick her job back up waiting tables for Jonah.

Waiting tables. Talk about a step in a completely different direction from her skill with technology. Oh, she still fixed computers. It was a side job that made her some extra cash when things were tough. But computers were hard to come by in the Glades, and money was always a little too tight for people when they did crash. So, more often than not, she fixed them up for cheap. Especially when it involved somebody just trying to use their shoddy, outdated computer to get their school work done. It wasn't much to give back, but it was all she had. Don't even get her started on how Roy thought she should just hack some billionaire's bank account and skim some off the top for them to survive off of. They'd had that conversation far too many times, in her opinion.

Anyway, now she and Roy lived in the same trailer park they grew up in, both hoping and dreading the day Loraine returned, just trying to scrape by together. Did she hate that? Yes, she did. But she tried really hard not to let it show. Roy had enough on his plate. He was nineteen now and she desperately missed the days when he still had hope in him that the world could be better than it was. Maybe that was why she didn't push too much when he came home with a fat lip and bloody knuckles. Because she saw it in his eyes, that spark of something that said he felt like things were different, or could be different.

Now she was going to get killed in the Glades and she was never going to live it down. Metaphorically, anyway. What he would do with her dead, she didn't know. He always felt things on a deeper level. Oh, he tried to hide it, but she knew him. She knew who he was under all that bitter rage for the hand the world dealt him. And they were all they had. Each other. That's all they'd ever really had.

Which was why she decided no way. No way was she going down without a fight. So, she dug the mace out of her purse that Roy (definitely stole and) gave to her for situations just like these. And just when she felt like they were close enough, she turned on her heel, gave a loud yell, and sprayed them in the face.

Only, well, he might've wrangled the mace out of her hand just short of spraying him, and whirled her around so her arm was pinned to her chest, holding her tight to his, very firm, front. So, that didn't turn out as planned. Well, unless she planned to wind up in the arms of a stranger dressed in green leather and smelling particularly good, especially for someone hanging out in the Glades. She did, however, get a clear idea of who it was thanks to the street lamps. As much as she could when her attacker was dressed up in a hood that somehow managed to cover most of his face. Mostly in shadows, not so much in fabric. Actually, how did he manage to keep his identity hidden? He should really have a mask.

"I'll take it into consideration," a deep, altered voice said against her ear.

Felicity briefly closed her eyes. Great, she was giving the vigilante tips because her mouth filter was perpetually broken.

"Maybe take into consideration letting me go," she told him, squirming. "I don't know if you missed the memo, but I'm not a corrupt, middle aged, one-percenter, so I don't think I fit into the parameters of your target list."

He went still for a moment, stiff in that way that Roy always did when someone said something that hit a little too close to home. But then he relaxed, loosening his grip on her. "I was only making sure you got home safe," he told her, taking a step back as his arms fell from around her.

Turning on her heel, she glared at him, which felt a little pointless when she couldn't make out his eyes, but whatever, it was the principle of the matter. "Right, because apparently The Hood does that now?"

Her heart was pounding in her chest, a little warning bell in her head going off, telling her not to poke the proverbial bear. Only, she talked a lot when she was nervous, and also in general, but mostly when she was scared, and it wasn't every day she was faced with a man known for killing people. She decided to focus on her anger rather than her fear, however. Mass-murderer or not, he was the one who snuck up on her in an unsavory part of town!

Felicity balled her hands up into fists and put them on her hips, much like she used to when Roy was much younger and she had to explain something to him that she thought ought to be obvious. "Hate to break it to you, but your reputation doesn't exactly come with a 'don't worry, ladies, he's a gentleman' addendum."

He cocked his head at her a little, a faint twitch to his lips could be seen if she squinted. "It's dangerous out here. You shouldn't be alone." The mouth-thing was gone now as he stood a little taller, sounding like a parent telling their child they'd done something wrong.

She bristled at the very idea. "Wow, no, I so did not sign up for this."

He shook his head so minutely it was almost imperceptible. "I'm sorry?"

"You don't get to swoop in here and act all high and mighty, telling me how dangerous it is on the streets just because you found a discount Robin Hood outfit and suddenly felt like playing hero to the unfortunate." Gripping her purse strap a little tighter, she waved a finger in his face. "I've lived here almost my whole life. I've raised my kid brother in this. I walk these streets almost every day, completely aware of how dangerous it is, because I have to. So, while you might think it's just so easy to hole up in my trailer, waiting for someone to save us, you have got it all wrong, buddy." She stabbed a finger past his shoulder. "Go back to whatever self-righteous mission you were pulling downtown, because Ido not need to add a murder-y vigilante to the skyscraper high pile of issues I already have." Turning on her heel, she walked away, grumbling to herself. "Who even wears a leather body suit? Does it even breathe? You'd have to peel it off with all the sweat you'd probably work up…"

The Hood didn't follow her home. Or, at least, not close enough that she could try maceing him again. She was pretty sure he was still following her, at a distance, until she walked into her crappy trailer and slammed the barely-hanging-on door so hard it nearly fell off its already-strained hinges.

An hour later, when Roy walked in with a bruise on his cheek and a cut over his eye, he grinned at her, blitzed out on his own heroics. She nearly threw the book she was reading at his face.

"Just so you know, that leather-wearing hero-wannabe you like so much does occasionally drop by the Glades…"

Perking up, he looked over at her. "What? You saw him?"

"More like talked to him… Or yelled at him. It's a toss-up."

He turned toward her, his eyes a little wide. "Tell me everything," he demanded eagerly.

Felicity rolled her eyes. "I was walking home from work—"

"Wait, why were you walking?" His brow furrowed. "Why didn't you take the bus?"

Felicity frowned, shifting in her seat. "Jonah had me stay late to close up and the buses weren't running anymore, so I decided to walk home."

"Felicity!" he snapped. "That's eight blocks!"

"I know…" She sighed, biting her lip. "But it was late and my feet hurt and I just wanted to go home… It was no big deal, honestly."

"I stopped two girls from getting raped tonight. What if that'd been you?" he shouted, pushing up from the ratty orange arm chair he was sitting on to pace the short space in front of the coffee table. "You can't do things like that. You know how bad it is out there, and it's only getting worse." He waved a hand toward the window and scowled. "What if something happened to you? Huh? What the hell would I…?" He let out a huff, dragging his hands down his face, and turned on his heel to leave.

"Roy!"

He shook his head, yanking the door open and making his way outside.

She knew he needed a minute to calm down, but that didn't make her guilt ebb any. Felicity knew her brother worried. It kind of came, part and parcel, with the whole growing up in a really bad part of town with nobody to rely on but each other. But she was a grown woman, seven years his senior, and as much as he wanted to watch out for her, she also needed to be independent. Her whole life had been about taking care of other people, from her dad to Loraine to Roy. She always came second, and she'd accepted that. But she wouldn't let herself be dictated to about how she lived her life. Yes, the Glades were dangerous, for everyone, so she wouldn't have him or the vigilante treat her like some damsel in distress. She wasn't even in distress!

Ugh.

Eventually, after an hour of waiting up, she accepted that her brother wouldn't be coming home, or not, at least, while she was still awake. And she had a morning shift tomorrow, so as much as she wanted to wait around, she also had to work ten hours tomorrow, on already sore feet, with very little food in her stomach and too much terrible coffee in her more-than-exhausted system. So she took a shower, in lukewarm water, and climbed into bed with her hair tossed into a lopsided pile atop her head.

Tomorrow, she would talk to Roy, she would put things right. She wouldn't apologize for going out on her own, but she would, at least, acknowledge how much it scared him sometimes. And then she'd remind him how he scared her every night, too, running around trying to play hero. For now, though, she'd try to get a whole solid five hours before she had to get up tomorrow and start the usual grind again.

Burying her face in her pillow, she fell asleep wondering if all vigilantes smelled as good as the one she met. That should probably be illegal. Smelling so good and feeling so awesome when it was a well-known fact that they were out there, killing people with archaic weapons.

"Stupid Hood," she muttered as she drifted to sleep.

[Next: Part Four.]


author's note: sorry for the late update. I meant to put this up saturday but things happened, and other fic was focused on. I don't like to update too many things at once because I don't want to overwhelm anyone, especially if they've subscribed to me on here.

anyway, I hope you liked this! you got a little bit of Felicity/Hood and some Felicity&Roy family-feels, as well as some more back story for felicity and her life. I'm really enjoying writing this, so I hope you guys are enjoying reading it.

I've had a few people mention that the chapters are much shorter than what I usually write and, yeah, they are. I imagine that'll change as time goes on, but for now, I'm happy with the length. I've already got a couple more pieces to this written up, so I'm happy to share and write more if you're interested. I'm really enjoying the dynamic of felicity and roy as siblings.

also, for those curious few, no, Oliver won't show up with a bullet-ridden laptop, because this is taking place from 1x15 (Dodger) on, so the bullet-laptop has long passed. Felicity and Oliver will be getting to know each other via different ways, but, as you can see, it's the Hood that's letting himself get closer to her right now. ;)

thank you for reading! please leave a review; they're my lifeblood!

- Lee | Fina