A/N: Just a little something inspired after the "First Kiss" video. Pardon me for grammatical mistakes. Hope you enjoy!
The weather is muggy outside and the smell of trash and gasoline wafts up to her nose, causing her to gag and embarrassingly cough in the middle of the street. She will never get used to Metropolis, but for some reason she stays. The crazy people and random street performers momentarily cause her to forget about her past and present situation. Metropolis is an escape, a chance to be someone you're not meant to be.
(She's still figuring that part out.)
But today things are different. She sent a resignation letter to her boss at LuthorCorp, a complete and utter jerk who denied her promotion twice in the past three years, and dismissed a novel idea which could potentially cut LuthorCorp's energy costs by 57 percent. Once quitting Felicity promptly went back to her apartment to change from stuffy work clothes to a summertime dress, and now she's walking around Metropolis with nearly twelve thousand dollars in her savings account and zero fucks.
I'm actually free. The thought brightens her mood even more, and with a bounce to her step she zeroes in on a ice cream shop, her mouth salivating at her newfound freedom.
"Excuse me miss!"
She stops suddenly and finds a petite woman, probably around 28, with an oversized shirt and black combat boots. She's staring right at her but Felicity still asks, "Are you talking to me?"
"Yeah!" the woman replies enthusiastically. She steps forward, shy, but she smilies brightly and Felicity automatically feels charmed by her presence. "I have a studio upstairs, and I'm doing a series of … portraits of random street people. Would you like to get your picture taken?"
Taken aback, Felicity incredulously looks at the building. She's in the middle of Soho and it seems nice and expensive. Unfortunately, to her it's typical hipster crap and all she wants to do today is gorge on red wine and food. Or it could be something much more sinister. She takes one more glance at the building before saying, "I don't know if I should come inside." She fidgets slightly and blurts, "You could, I don't know, murder me."
The woman laughs heartily and deepens any sort of discomfort Felicity's feeling. "I'm sorry, I didn't mean to say that. Honestly, you never really know." Good God, will she ever stop? "I meant you look really nice and not all as a murderer, so I'll just …"
"Listen Babble Blondie, you're in Metropolis." The artist grins and adds, "I bet you've never done something spontaneous."
Her first instinct is to deny it, but the more she thinks about it the woman is right. She never has done anything out of her comfort zone. Felicity's always been so focused on getting out her troubled life back in Missouri and getting the best job that she's never taken the time to relax. Maybe today is the day.
"I — do I have to be naked for this?"
The woman outright chortles, and even a few passersby stare at her. "Oh man, you are such an adventure virgin. I promise, you'll learn something from this."
3, 2, 1. Felicity takes a deep breathe, a small amount of adrenaline running through her and she finally says, "OK. Lead the way."
"Great!" The woman turns around and Felicity follows after her. Immediately she's greeted by a set of narrow stairs and a blast of cold air conditioning. "By the way my name's Tricia," she says as she glances at her.
"Felicity," she supplies.
"Nice to meet you." Tricia trudges up the stairs and explains, "I'm renting this space, but there's been an uptick in sales recently. Hopefully I can move into my own place." They finally reach the top and Tricia takes a left, walking down a long corridor before they're in a brightly lit room. The windows are huge and the sunlight filters through, coating her studio with warmth. She likes it.
It's a fairly large space; there are unfinished paintings littered over to the side, resting upon a brick wall. On the left her photographs are hung up, and there's a Mac computer with a very large printer next to it. Curtains are hung all over the room, making it appear ethereal. "This is really cool," she notes lamely.
Tricia smiles. "Thanks!" She walks over to the side and beckons for Felicity to come over. "I'll need you to sign this, so you won't murder me for using your picture," Tricia teases as she points to the paper. Blushing, Felicity comes over to her and scans the contract. Everything seems normal and she proceeds to sign it.
"So … where's the camera?" she inquires awkwardly. She's never had her picture taken professionally, and Felicity is the type of person to shy away from taking any. This is foreign to her.
"Right this way, babe." Although Tricia is shorter than Felicity she walks with a lot of purpose and confidence. She's a firecracker and Felicity feels herself relaxing even more as she walks behind her. This may be fun.
They walk towards the back of the room, and as they step closer Felicity sees camera equipment and three studio lights. There's a gray backdrop, and perched on a stool is an exceptionally handsome guy wandering off in space.
What is he doing here? It seems Tricia is able to read her mind as she immediately introduces the man. "Felicity, this is Oliver. Oliver, this is Felicity." Tricia stands next to Oliver and smiles. "You two are going to be partners."
"I'm sorry, what?" Felicity was under the impression she was doing this by herself, take one photo and that's it. This was not part of the plan. The longer she asses this situation, the more aware she is of Oliver's inhumanely good looks.
He's slightly tan with a strong build, and there's a light stubble littering his structured jaw. His eyes are piercing baby blue, while his hair is cut fairly short, and his immaculate clothing suggests he has money. There's an air of arrogance surrounding him, but for some reason she doesn't think it's intentional. He's seems self aware, that's all. And in short, he looks like a male supermodel and Felicity positively cannot deal with this.
She gulps loudly.
In the time Felicity is turning into an anxious mess, Tricia moved and is sitting behind the camera. Oliver is nervously standing in the middle; the stool he was sitting is now over to the side. "Hi," he greets warmly, and Felicity is reduced to an even bigger agitated mess.
She's pretty. Her hair is a beautiful waterfall of blond locks, and her innocent, youthful — but crimson — face makes him want to sit down and chat with her for hours. Her lips are painted with pink lipstick; it looks good. The sun seems to have created a golden glow on her shoulder blades, making her shine in the most delicate of ways. And to boot, she's got sapphire eyes and legs to die for. Actually, she's not just pretty — she's gorgeous.
Oliver's surprised at his internal dialogue; he doesn't remember the last time he honestly thought a female was gorgeous. Oliver Queen fucks and doesn't think twice about it, and yes, he knows it's a terrible thing to say. He's surrounded by superficial, sanctimonious idiots — especially women his age and status — and for whatever reason society has deemed it perfectly alright to get away with such behavior.
He wants to change that. He's gotten nowhere in life with nearly everything within his grasp, but Oliver knows something is missing. There's a hole in his chest when he dreams of the future, and it worsens as days go by. It is a cosmic vortex of selfishness and greed. He hates it.
Perhaps today things will be different.
"Hi," Felicity squeaks out. She clutches her purse closer to her and comes forward, her slow steps ricocheting off the walls.
"You can drop your purse over here, sweetheart," Tricia suddenly says. Felicity flinches at Tricia's abrupt voice, but does as she asks and feels a thousand times more naked. Once she's finished she comes towards Oliver but manages to stay at least five feet away. His beauty is too much for her.
Oliver shuffles his feet but he doesn't appear nervous. "You're not the only one surprised at the turn of events," he says helpfully. He grins marginally, but in turn Felicity takes another deep swallow and can't open her mouth. Until she does.
"I-I've never, ever done anything like this, and I'm not into that hipster-art stuff. No offense, Tricia. I just quit my job and I was planning on gorging myself on ice cream and booze, and wow, I did not expect to come here and find a really hot guy as my art partner."
Oh God. She spilled her internal beans again, and a flame of embarrassment shoots up, landing smack dab on the middle of her face. Closing her eyes and taking a deep breathe she manages to say, "I'm sorry." Awkwardly she looks anywhere but Tricia and Oliver, adding, "I have no filter."
Much to her surprise neither one of them are fazed by her rambling, and instead they're both smiling. "Well," Tricia begins as she adjusts herself on her stool, "now that's taken care of let's start." She gets flustered for a moment before sucking it in.Odd. "Uh … we're not going to be taking portraits. I, um, I want you two to kiss. For real. As strangers."
She must be joking.
It takes a solid minute for Felicity to digest all of it, and once she does she's outraged. "What the hell?" She came here under the pretense of doing something somewhat spontaneous, not kiss a random — albeit good looking — man for someone she just met. This is extremely comfortable and crazy.
"Look, neither one of you were going to say yes if I told you what you really had to do," Tricia explains nonchalantly. She has the gall to shrug and adds, "It could be worse."
For once in her life Felicity is speechless. "I don't even —"
"What did you expect was going to happen?" Oliver asks. He steps closer to Felicity in a more protective stance, dumbfounded by Tricia's reveal. He doesn't seem troubled too much by Tricia's proposal, but he is just as bewildered.
"I don't know, protest for a minute and then kiss."
Felicity is finished at this point. "I'm sorry but no. You lied to us and then expect me to just —" she makes a grand gesture of pointing at Oliver "— kiss this guy I met five minutes ago?"
Oliver's eyebrows furrow immediately. "What's wrong with kissing me?" he asks. He's not serious, but really, how could he not be troubled?
Turning and facing him, Felicity sputters out, "Because this — this may be a walk in the park for you, Trust Fund Boy, but I was tricked into doing …"
"Something spontaneous?" Tricia cuts in. She's eyeing Felicity, clearly judging her, and smirks when she can't think of a response. "Honey, it's for the sake of art. Live a little. Plus, I did you a favor of getting an extremely hot guy."
Sighing and realizing her fight is futile, Felicity runs an agitated hand through her hair, her mind spinning in circles. Felicity has never had a one night stand since she would rather spend her time and energy on someone she can hold on to, therefore she is completely unaware of how to handle this. Kissing strangers was not her idea of fun, let alone she could potentially contract mono or strep from him. She does notwant that.
She could leave and give her well-wishes to Tricia, but she read somewhere people find it harder to offend someone and ignore trusting their gut instinct no matter how dire the situation. Actually, that may have been from the resident murderer on The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Which doesn't help her case.
Out of nowhere Felicity feels a warm hand on her shoulder, and much to her surprise Oliver is right there in front of her, smiling with such softness she can't think. She can see the individual pores on his face, and due to their closeness she sees bits of blond in his hair. He smells good, like a well-fed and pampered guy who went out to the woods occasionally. All of a sudden she's feeling extremely hot right now, and as his hand lies on her shoulder it burns with every passing second. Something happens to her; it's an odd combination of cold and warmth, and she shivers at the intense feeling. It leaves her stomach rolling and her heart beating faster. This is weird.
Oliver clears his throat and inhales. "I think getting this done and over with will be a great way to start off your unemployment," he says gently. "Besides, you don't want to ruin your newfound freedom by not doing something crazy."
"Right. Because kissing some guy was on my list of—"
His lips are pressing against her and she suddenly can't think. She can't breathe. Time stops and for once her brain is frozen. She's not thinking about logistics or codes or what's right or wrong. All she's aware of is him, her eyes fluttering to a close, the way he feels, and how his lips are slightly chapped. The floor beneath them groans in protest as Oliver moves closer, lightly pressing his body against hers.
He breathes harshly and takes her bottom lip with his, and it hits her that he's wanting this to go on. A … piece of her is missing, and she realizes it's the part of her that second guesses everything. The part of her that's afraid of taking chances and not being able to move on from the past.
It feels good.
Oliver's has taken her face in his hands and she sighs at the touch. Instinctively her hand goes up to his structured jaw, her fingertips lightly resting upon them. Her heart beats faster and faster, and when Oliver asks permission for her to open she complies, forgetting about regrets, the studio, the freaking art stunt and herself. Just for a moment.
Tilting her head to the side she lets him softly explore, his tongue meeting hers halfway. They tease and learn; Felicity's chest expands from his playfulness. It's obvious he's kissed many girls, but she likes how he takes his time. Oliver savors the moment and Felicity feels inclined to follow.
Tentatively, she loops her arms around his neck and suddenly the kiss deepens, a small amount of urgency gripping Oliver. There's a height difference, but Oliver makes up for it by bending down. To her disappointment this will be over soon and Felicity — acting very much out of character — let's it happen. She doesn't care.
He presses her flush against him and she moans softly, marveling at how delicious he tastes. God this is wonderful. He's spurred on by her response, and before she knows it they're tumbling forward with an intense bout of feelings and she falls headfirst, not afraid.
As silly as it sounds, there's a connection and she can't shake it.
His hands encircle her body and she pulls him closer, drinking in every bit of him. There's an inferno rising, and it builds and builds, even more when his hands start to roam around her body. Her nerves tingle at his touches, and she's worried she might explode right then and there. His smell assaults her and Oliver's very presence overpowers any coherent thinking she might normally have.
It's too much.
Oliver starts to slow down and she realizes it's time for them to stop. She doesn't want to. The kisses get shorter and smaller, and with a crushing disappointment he pulls back.
They're breathing heavily and their arms are still entangled with one another. Her eyes slowly open but she's scared of looking at him. How ironic. Eventually she gathers the courage and finds his eyes dilated, his lips swollen and covered with her bright pink lipstick, and a sense of awe covering him. God, that look is beyond something she's ever seen.
But it's … never going to happen again.
Something gets stuck in her throat and she realizes it's reality. This wasn't some fairytale or a spontaneous fun adventure. It was a kiss that meant much more, and she's left feeling stupid for allowing herself to feel for a stranger. Honestly she's not sure exactly what she's feeling, but this was not a simple first kiss. She can't handle it.
"I have to go," she says hoarsely. Felicity practically shoves him and immediately a blast of cold air hits her. Briefly she glances at Tricia; the woman is smiling so big her heart might burst. Ignoring her and gathering her purse, Felicity almost sprints out of there, adrenaline coursing through her. Her lips are burning from the kiss, and she feels hot and sweaty.
Out of nowhere her gut tells her to stop. It's almost painful how much her instinct believes she would say something, and so she does, not sure what to do. Tricia has turned around from her stool and watches Felicity while Oliver stands there in his perfect glory. He looks … awestruck and a little bit confused. So is she.
"It was nice meeting you, Oliver."
Without so much as sparing another glance, Felicity escapes back into smelly and bustling Metropolis, a bit of lightheadedness catching up to her. Swallowing thickly, Felicity jumps down the stairs and heads off in the street, a place so congested with things not pertaining to her that she welcomes it as an old friend.
And it's sad.
"Aren't you going to run after her?"
He thinks about it for a minute but decides against it. Maybe it was all a dream, and the hole missing in his heart that was momentarily filled was probably an illusion. Nothing real.
Nothing could be as real as that.
Four weeks later Felicity is sitting at Queen Consolidated's cafeteria, desperately trying to answer her friend's texts about the video that's gone viral. The video with him and her kissing as if they were past lovers.
It's a nightmare. There are other couples in the video, but their kiss is advertised heavily, and even worse, her name is at the end of the clip. She prays no one at QC's IT department as seen it, because as a senior tech advisor and researcher she cannot have that on her resume.
She takes another bite of her sandwich when a shadow falls on her table. Since she started working here people have kept their distance. She doesn't mind, honestly. It makes things easier.
Glancing up, she's hit with a sense of dread and fear. Oh no. He's here in his full glory. Her heart thuds beneath her chest, and she's afraid of what's going to happen next.
He smiles suddenly. "Hi."
And like that, she oddly feels at home.