title: staying safe never looked so cute
category: arrow
genre: humor/romance
ship: felicity/oliver
rating: pg-13
prompt: olicity + puppies - amouretautresdemons
word count
: 3,681
summary: When Oliver has to leave town for two weeks, Felicity's safety becomes his top concern. Compromising on a guard dog, the outcome isn't quite what he expected.

staying safe never looked so cute

The only person who complained more about her home security than Digg was Oliver. She would like it put on the record that her home security was completely fine. It was offered by the apartment she lived in for a monthly cost, she'd researched them herself, she'd added a second lock to her doors, and oh, by the way, she had a vigilante hero with ninja skills sleeping in her bed just about seven nights a week. So she wasn't too worried about home security, especially when she spent so much of her time at the foundry anyway.

But, with Oliver going on a trip out of town for the next two weeks for work, and her not able (or all that interested) in going along, Oliver was getting a little antsy.

"Why don't you stay at Diggle's apartment while I'm gone?" he suggested. "Or at the house, with Thea."

"By house, you mean mansion, and by 'with Thea' you mean, 'even though I don't like to think about it, Roy spends every minute he's not fighting crime on the streets, with Thea, so you'll be safe and I won't have to worry,'" she corrected him. "And I'm not doing any of that. I have a perfectly good apartment, fully stocked with TV shows I very much want to catch up on and an unhealthy amount of free time now that both of my bosses will be MIA for two weeks."

Oliver blew out a sigh and made a pouty face that he vehemently argued was not a 'pout,' even though it definitely was. He glowered up at her from where he was sprawled out on the couch, an arm tucked behind his head and the remote on his stomach. He'd been watching a game - she didn't know what game, or what sport, and she didn't want to - when he decided to make his not-so-subtle suggestions that she stay somewhere else.

He was leaving in the morning. His bags were already packed and waiting by the door.

"Why can't you come with me again?" he wondered, raising his voice when she left his range of sight to search her bedroom for the book she put down three weeks ago and had made as much as zero progress in reading since.

"Because. Now that we're in a relationship, one that Isabel knows about, she put her foot down about me accompanying you out of town since she thinks we'll waste company time and money on going on a private vacation. And I know you argued that you'd need me there, being your EA and all, but I can fax you just about anything you need and I personally made sure you had everything to go. I checked twice, alphabetized it, and then color-coded it when I was really bored and you were in that finance meeting that I wasn't invited to because I fell asleep that one time... In my defense, however, I'd had a very late night and Mr. Michaels has the most droning voice I've ever heard..." Waving a dismissive hand, even though she knew he couldn't see it, she added, "Plus, like I said, I have shows I want to catch up on."

"So I'm being ignored in favor of fictional characters," Oliver replied, this time much closer.

She turned her head to see him leaning in the doorway, his sweat pants slung low off his hips. He had his arms crossed and his faded t-shirt had pulled up a little to show up a strip of skin. She was 90% sure he was going to seduce her into bed and then use it as a tactic to convince her to come along with him. She was 100% sure she'd let him try.

She was looking forward to some time on her own, with less Arrow-y business to keep her occupied. It'd be like a little vacation, only she still had to go to work during the day. Regardless, much as she'd miss him, he was a total bed hog and she wanted to sprawl out and take a little time to just veg and come down from the high that their life was usually on.

Felicity's fingers uncurled from the book as she bit her lip. "Not ignored. We can talk on the phone and Skype all you want while you're gone."

He frowned, pushing off the door and walking toward her. "Some things we can't do on Skype..." he said, his voice low and suggestive as he reached for her hips, tugging her closer.

"Maybe not physically, but I'm sure we can find a way around it," she murmured, tipping her head back as he leaned down, mouth just an inch from hers.

"Two weeks is a long time," he huffed, turning them so her back was to the bed.

"Oliver, you spent five years on a remote island that wasn't exactly known for its fun-times theme park. I think you can survive two weeks of business meetings without me."

"What if I don't want to...?" he muttered rather petulantly.

She patted his chest. "We all do things we don't want to. That's life."

"I completely disagree... And I'll tell you why."

And that was how she spent the next hour 'hearing him out,' which really consisted more of him hearing her scream his name.

Later, while she laid beside him, head on his shoulder and fingers absently drawing shapes on his chest, she smiled as he brushed his hand through her hair.

"What's the reaction time if your alarm is tripped again?"

Felicity rolled her eyes. "Oliver... I'll be fine, really!"

He frowned, a rumble leaving his chest. "There's been a string of B&E's that Diggle and I were going to look into, but they petered out last week... They could pick back up while we're gone."

"Were they anywhere near my neighborhood?" she wondered. "Because I don't remember hearing anything about that."

"No. But that doesn't mean they won't come out this way."

Felicity turned her head up, her chin balanced on him. She waited for him to turn and meet her eyes. "I know you're worried, and I love that you care, but I won't live my life in bubble wrap when you're not around. You can't always be here and I can't run off and hide just because you aren't."

He sighed, turning onto his side so he was facing her better, stroking a hand up her back. "What about a dog? That's home security, right? You still get your space and I get to feel better knowing you aren't alone here."

"A dog..." She nodded slowly. "Okay. I can look into that." She raised her finger to cut him off. "I said 'look into' as in, I might not get one but I will consider it and see what's out there."

He grinned like he'd already won though and she rolled her eyes at him. Kissing her finger, he brought her hand down to his chest and nodded. "Okay."

"Okay." She wiggled around to get comfortable. "Now go to sleep. You have an early flight tomorrow and apparently I have to go dog shopping."

Just as she closed her eyes, he leaned over and pressed a kiss to her forehead.

Maybe she'd miss him more than she expected.

So, dog shopping turned out to be a lot easier than she expected. She didn't go out the first day he was gone. Instead, since it was her weekend off anyway, she spent it lounging around in her pajamas, doing nothing of real importance. But, on Sunday, she decided she should probably see what was out there, especially since she knew he'd be asking soon if she'd found a dog yet. And, knowing Oliver, if she didn't end up showing him that she was totally and completely safe, she'd open the door to find Roy handing her the leash to a bullmastiff or something equally as large.

She checked online first, to see if there were any pet shops around, and then realized the majority of them handled puppies, which was, decidedly not made up of guard dog material, cute as they might be. So, instead, she went for a walk down to the dog shelter on 8th and Grand to see what dogs they might have that could fit the bill. Honestly, there were a lot of them, and Felicity had always had a soft heart.

She texted Oliver while she was walking up and down the aisle that stretched between the kennels.

Mayday, falling in love with multiple dogs, might quit my job to become a full-time dog owner.

She was letting a pretty golden retriever lick her hand when she got his reply: Retreat. The city needs you more.

Laughing under her breath, she shook her head, patting the retriever's head before she moved around, looking at a few other dogs.

It was near the end of the line when she spotted him, her heart melting on sight.

She knelt down, pushing her fingers through the chain-link. "Hey, you… You're not much of a killer, are you?" Yawning, he pushed his head up against her fingers, stretching his neck as far as it would go, his small legs shaking at the effort. Sitting down on the floor, she continued to watch him as he sleepily looked up at her, cute as could be. She thumbed a text back to Oliver: Target acquired. Mission accomplished.

Later, after she paid a deposit and agreed to the three-day wait period, she walked out of the shelter with a smile.

Oliver texted back: Glad to hear it. I can sleep easier.

She wondered how upset he'd be when he actually saw the dog she'd picked out.

Three days after meeting the dog she'd fallen in love with on sight, she returned to the shelter to pick it up, leash in hand. She signed all the necessary papers, paid the rest of what was owed, and walked out the proud new owner of a dog.

He was so cute walking beside her, looking up at her every few seconds, that she wanted to grab him up and snuggle him.

Instead, she took him to a pet store and got him a few treats and toys. Then she found two doggy beds, one for home and one for the foundry, as well as two food and water dishes, and two fake grass boxes for him to do his business on. The odds were that he'd be joining her at work more often than not, and she could just imagine him barking at the door to go out and pee while she was running a serious mission. Loading up the car, she finally brought him home, letting him run around, sniffing everything while she put his food out and filled his water dish.

The metal name and address tags on his collar jingled a little when he walked, letting her know he was coming. She grinned down at him as he sat by her foot while she grabbed up her remote to go through her DVR. He gave a small whine before Felicity caved and patted the seat beside her, inviting him up. She took pity, however, when he only managed to jump a few inches of the ground and got nowhere near landing on the actual couch. Scooping him up, she put him beside her, scrubbing her fingers back through his fluffy white fur, biting her lip as she saw the little green collar around his neck. She chuckled to herself before focusing on the episode of Elementary that was starting.

The green was a nice touch, but naming him 'Otto' after the dog in Disney's Robin Hood was her favorite part.

Felicity smiled as he appeared on her screen. Oliver hated Skype, but the last four days of phone calls apparently wasn't enough for him.

He was fresh from work, she saw, his tie tugged loose and the top few buttons of his shirt undone. He looked tired, and scruffy, and if he weren't on the other side of the country, she knew this would be about the time he dragged her off to bed for a much-needed cuddle. But he was, so instead she did the talking, because a work-tired Oliver meant he wasn't usually up for much conversation. He listened to her talk about QC and how boring her days were when she didn't have any number of emergencies to interrupt. She told him about updates she ran on the systems at the foundry and how Roy was going out each night, dressed in the Hood to throw suspicion off, but the streets were being surprisingly forgiving lately. She knew that wouldn't cheer him up though, since she could plainly see that he was hoping something was happening so he'd be forced to come home.

"And I've miraculously not been robbed at all," she teased.

His mouth twitched. "Speaking of. Where is the dog?"

"Uh…" She looked past the laptop toward the hall. "Sleeping, I think." She shrugged. "I got him a bed, so he's been napping for the last hour. At night, he sneaks up into bed with me, though, so, watch out, you're going to have someone else to steal blankets from."

He rolled his eyes. "I keep you warm just fine."

"And you wouldn't have to if you shared the blankets."

"Maybe I like keeping you warm…" He frowned then. "I still have eight days here."

"It can't be all bad… I'm sure you've met some interesting people and, knowing you, the view from the hotel must be stunning."

"You'd know if you were here."

Felicity shook her head. "Cute. But you're surviving just fine without me."

He pursed his lips. "That's arguable."

"Oliver," she laughed.

He glowered at her through the laptop.

She smiled. "Fine. Want to see something that will cheer you up?"

"A breaking news bulletin that the city is in need and I have to come home immediately?"

She snorted. "No." With that, she reached down and pulled her loose-fitting, grey Mickey Mouse tank top off her head.

He sat up a little straighter. "I'm listening."

So, by the second week, she was realizing she actually really did miss Oliver, and almost wished she'd gone with him. She'd caught up on most of her shows and the foundry was ready to go for when he and John came back. Roy had the streets covered so long as no unexpected disaster hit. And she… was bored. And, despite Otto's presence in her bed, it still felt too big, and also too warm. She found herself kicking the blankets off at night only to realize she didn't have Oliver's body heat to replace them, so she'd pull the blankets back on, and then, after an hour, repeat the whole process.

Not to mention, his office was depressingly empty, so she was just sitting upstairs every day, alone, filing and doing general work, occasionally hacking into government agencies because she had nothing else to do. After work, she took Otto for long walks, but he was small and young, so he'd usually end up sitting down half-way through, too tuckered out to go on, and she'd have to scoop him up and carry him home with her.

Oliver's phone calls were nice, though. And she kept up a constant text tag with both him and Digg.

But she missed them. She missed joking around with Digg in the office and attempting to make dinner here or there with Oliver and eventually just settling on far too much Big Belly Burger, shared in the foundry.

She wasn't about to tell Oliver that, though, or he'd get that smug look on his face and use it against her the next time he was going on a business trip and wanted her to come with. She missed him, yes, but she also knew it was important for them to have a little space and time to themselves. And, as much as one week was enough for her, she did like the break she was getting from super intense, villain-of-the-week type situations that came with the territory of double lives and heroes.

Still, when their scheduled Skype time came up, she was happy to see him, and silently counting the days when he'd be home.

Oliver was happy to be home.

Actually, happy was an understatement.

The thirteen days he'd spent on QC work had been draining, and he was eager to get back to what he did best. Donning the hood and cleaning up the streets. More than that, however, he really just wanted to crawl into his own bed, wrap himself around Felicity, and get some sleep.

They didn't officially live together, but he'd spent the last seven months basically living in her apartment when he wasn't at the foundry or working at QC, so it was no surprise when he had Diggle drop him off at Felicity's instead of the manor. He dragged his suitcase behind him down the hallway from the elevator and dug his keys out from his pocket. It was late. Both later and earlier than expected. Originally, he was going to have the jet fly out later, so they'd be arriving early tomorrow morning, but when the last meeting ended a lot sooner than expected, he called ahead to have the jet readied.

Pushing the door open, he dropped his bag to the side, plugged the code into her alarm system, and turned both locks on the door behind him as it closed. He dropped his keys into the dish on the table against the wall and kicked off his shoes, shrugging off his jacket to hang on the hook provided.

He was a few feet from the door when he heard the jangling of metal and heard the padding noise of paws on the floor. It dawned on him suddenly that Felicity had gotten a guard dog while he was away, one that wouldn't recognize him at all. He stopped, stiffening warily. He'd never seen the dog. Every time they Skyped, it was sleeping or he got distracted with other things, namely his half-naked girlfriend. But now he was regretting that he had no idea what this dog looked like, what breed it was, or just how protective and/or aggressive it was. And standing in the dark probably wasn't doing him any favors.

He carefully reached back to hit the lights, expecting to see some drooling, snarling beast in front of him, only to frown when his chin had to drop a dramatic amount in order for him to actually see the dog she'd picked up.

It was… tiny.

Although it was doing an impressive job of trying to look bigger than it was. A small growl let it, ending on a squeak as it bent its ears back and barked at him, wiggling around like it was getting ready to attack. What it thought it was going to do, Oliver had no idea, but he couldn't say he was the least bit scared.

Sighing, he reached up to pinch the bridge of his nose.

"Whoever's out there, I have a very large and deadly weapon in my hands and I won't hesitate to use it… I'm also trained in various forms of self-defence and will use force if I have to," Felicity's voice chimed from the bedroom.

Oliver shook his head. "Are you sure don't want to leave me for your savage dog to finish off?" he called back.

"Oliver?" The door swung open and Felicity appeared in her Snoopy pajamas, her hair down and tangled. "You're home!" She crossed the floor and threw her arms around him in a hug. "I thought you were a burglar or something. For a second, I thought I might actually have to admit that you were right… Awkward."

Oliver's arm squeezed around her waist as he raised an eyebrow and looked down at the dog. "What is that?"

"Hey!" She slapped his chest. "That's Otto. Isn't he cute?"

"Felicity, you were supposed to get a dog for safety reasons, not because he looked cute."

"He did just fine. As soon as he got off the bed and barked, I knew somebody was out here. So I grabbed the bat out of the closet and prepared myself."

"He's supposed to scare them off. Somehow I don't think that small, squeaky ball of fur is going to scare anybody."

"Maybe not with the lights on, but I can put a 'Beware of Dog' sticky on the door now, so that'll turn off most burglars. And, in the dark, you have no idea what's coming after you…" She shrugged. "Besides, you said to get a dog, so I did. I happen to like him." Reaching down, she scooped him up and hugged him to her chest. "C'mon, Oliver, you have to admit… He's pretty adorable."

Oliver stared at Otto, still looking up at him warily. He reached out to stroke a finger down the dog's head and sighed. "Fine. He's all right."

Felicity beamed up at him. "Do you hear that, Otto? Hm?" she cooed at him. "Daddy likes you."

Oliver turned his eyes up and sighed. Putting his hands on Felicity's hips, he guided her toward her bedroom. "Daddy is tired, so we're going to bed."

She leaned back against him, smiling. "I'm glad you're home. I missed you."

Helpless to it, he grinned, ducking down for a kiss. "Me too."

A couple hours later, Felicity woke to find Oliver had stolen the blanket, but that was fine, he'd wrapped himself around her, drawing her into his heat. She smiled when she noticed one of his hands was cupped around Otto, holding him to her chest.

"Go sleep," Oliver murmured tiredly, kissing behind her ear and giving her a light squeeze.

Two weeks was definitely enough time apart, and now that they were reunited, and with one more to call their own, she was pretty happy with the outcome.

Sandwiched between them, she never felt safer.


author's note: since I keep handing out puppies to make up for the trauma of 'light a match,' I thought I'd take a reader up on writing some actual puppy+olicity fluff. I hope you liked it!

Thank you for reading! Please, leave a review; they're my lifeblood!

- Lee | Fina