A/N: So, I've decided to make my Connor Hawke stories into a series. The first instalment is "Every Kid Loves Videogames." This is a future fic, set sometime in early season 4 of Arrow. Connor's mother isn't mentioned really, it's more his insertion into the lives of the Arrow team, but there's no reconciliation with Oliver and the mother, just a relationship with his son, mainly because he's clearly in love with his Girl Wednesday.
Felicity Smoak smiled brightly as she watched the young boy from across the room, dutifully setting the table for two, his little arms struggling to reach across to fix the spoons.
"Figures, my first date in nearly two years, and it's with an eight-year-old," she murmured to herself, only feeling the presence of someone behind her when the words had already escaped her mouth.
"What?" the voice of Oliver Queen enquired as he stepped out of the bathroom and forward to stand by her side, his eyes trained on his son.
Felicity tried to stem the blood rushing to colour her cheeks, "oh, haven't you heard? Your son has a crush on me."
Oliver turned, his eyebrows raised as he stared at her. After a moment, a tiny smirk appeared on his face.
"Well, he's got good taste…"
Before Felicity could reply, Oliver stepped across the room and stood by the table.
"Hey buddy, I heard you've got a date."
The young boy stilled, his little hands clasped around a plastic cup and turned to his father, his head held high, his blue eyes sparkling behind his glasses.
"Yep," he nodded, popping the 'P', before focussing back on the table.
Oliver chuckled, chancing a glance back at Felicity who was still standing over by her couch with a look of amusement on her face.
"And your date is with Felicity?"
Connor nodded enthusiastically.
"But I thought you said you didn't like girls because they're…icky?"
He heard Felicity's snort and could practically feel the roll of her eyes.
Oliver held up his hands, angling his body towards Felicity, their gaze meeting across the room, "hey, his words, not mine."
"Clearly," she deadpanned, just loud enough for him to hear.
"Felicity doesn't count," Connor interrupted their bemused moment.
"And why's that?" Oliver asked without taking his eyes off the woman in question.
"Because she's smart, funny, pretty, AND likes videogames," his son responded immediately as he set the plates down on the table.
Felicity's features softened, a small and touched smile spreading across her face, her eyes lightening.
"He's smooth," she chuckled, as Oliver shook his head in amusement.
"Like father like son," she continued, walking over to the boys and meeting Connor's eyes.
"Is there anything I can do?"
Connor clutched her hand excitedly, and dragged her over to sit down at the table.
"You relax, have some juice, me and Oliver will do the rest," he assured her, pushing a large jug towards her, before pulling on his dad's sleeve, urging him over to the stove, where the bolognaise sauce that they all made earlier, was bubbling.
"Can you help put the spaghetti and sauce into bowls? Felicity said it's too dangerous for me to do…" he asked, clearly put out at the fact he couldn't do it by himself.
"And Felicity is right," Oliver grinned as he caught the blonde's eye over his shoulder, sipping her red-wine-coloured juice, a permanent-looking grin on her face as she watched them.
"I'll get the rolls," the boy replied, satisfied as his father began to spoon the spaghetti and sauce into two bowls.
Connor grabbed the small basket full of bread-rolls and placed it in front of Felicity, snatching two and putting them onto the little side-plates.
Felicity couldn't help but be impressed at the eight-year-old's ability to dress a table. A restaurateur could be a good career option for him when he grew up.
"Thank you, Sir," she nodded to him.
"You're welcome, Miss," he politely replied and Felicity couldn't hold in the bubble of laughter that escaped her throat.
He was such a little gentleman.
She could feel Oliver's eyes on the two of them as she interacted with his son. She had noticed that a lot lately, her friend and partner-in-crime-fighting gazing at them as they played videogames, ate ice-cream, made dinner. It seemed like he was drinking them in, reassuring himself that this was indeed his life now. That the son he didn't know existed until eight months ago, was fitting in seamlessly with the rest of his life.
The life that included Felicity Smoak. Who had taken to Connor just as easily and quickly as Connor had taken to her. Instant friends. She was grateful for it too, as at first, Oliver had really struggled to connect with his son. But, with Felicity's almost immediate bond with the boy, she could help, and did, with uniting father and son, finding small and subtle ways for them to forge their own bond. And they did, eventually.
Now it finally felt as if they were taking baby steps towards having a proper relationship, and Felicity couldn't be happier about it, and knew Oliver couldn't either. It had proven hard, and would ultimately still be difficult to balance how Team Arrow spent their nights with also caring for a young boy, but after some bumps and wrong turns, in the last three months or so, they (Oliver aiding by Felicity, Diggle, Roy and the newly-integrated Thea) had seemed to find their footing to it all.
Which led them here. Their weekly Saturday morning activity, followed by Saturday night dinner, at Felicity's. It began about six weeks ago, when Oliver's original plan to take his son to Starling City Zoo was tarnished, when Connor had informed him he wasn't feeling well. Panicking, (as the last time he dealt with a sick child was then Thea got chickenpox when she was three, but had Raisa's help then,) Oliver went to the first person he thought of, he admittedly always thought of, Felicity Smoak.
Knocking vigorously on her door with one hand, and feeling his son's forehead with the other, Oliver was begging every deity he knew for the I.T. genius to be home. After a moment, he was relieved to hear footsteps shuffling towards the door, before it was unlocked and opened, revealing the woman in question wearing what appeared to be pajamas with little blue phone-boxes on the pants and bunny slippers.
"Oliver?" she croaked, confused and blearily eyed, her glasses nowhere in sight, "what are you—Connor?" she halted, as her eyes landed on the small boy who wasn't looking too great, before kneeling down.
"You okay, kiddo?" she asked, moving her hand to place it on his forehead, just as Oliver went to move his off, their hands brushing. Clearing her throat, Felicity ignored the fluttering in her stomach as her skin connected with Oliver's, and touched her palm to the boy's head and then under his chin.
"He's got a slight fever," she murmured, standing up and ushering them into her house.
"I'll grab the thermometer just to be sure. You bring him into the spare bedroom, we can set him up there," she instructed Oliver, knowing how helpless he must feel at that moment.
"Felicity, you don't have to—"
"Oliver. Bedroom. Now."
A silence hung between them, Oliver's head tilted at her as she gaped at him. After a moment, she mentally slapped herself, ignoring how her brain made her say words that in most contexts embarrassed her, and gently pushed him towards the door with a grumbled, "you know what I mean. Put him sitting on the bed. I'll be in with the thermometer in a minute."
And so, Felicity Smoak saved the day. Connor had taken to calling her The Doctor (a reference that made them both giggle, but clearly went over Oliver's head) as she helped tend to him. She dabbed his forehead with a cold towel to lower his temperature, gave him his own new pajamas (that she purchased on a whim in anticipation of a day like this) and even made him her special chicken soup, all while Oliver did his best not to freak out over his sick son, instead doing as Felicity instructed and being there when Connor needed him.
Once the kid was asleep, the two adults finally allowed themselves to relax, setting up camp on the couch and watching a movie. Connor woke up later that night, padding out into the living room with a blanket in hand, and spotting his dad on the couch with Felicity, her head on his shoulder, eyes closed, having fallen asleep during Iron Man. Father and son glanced at one another for a moment, before Connor made his way further into the room and sat down on Oliver's other side, tucking himself under the blanket and resting against his arm.
Oliver glanced down at his son, running his hand through his hair before his eyes flickered to Felicity, a warm feeling pooling into the pit of his stomach. A feeling he wasn't quite ready to name—
"Hey Daydream Believer," the voice of his Girl Wednesday sounded, snapping him out of her reverie.
Slowly, his eyes rose and met hers, where she still sat at the kitchen table, juice in hand.
"You gonna serve me some spaghetti, or stare into space all right? You would make a terrible waiter," she teased.
With a chuckle, he rolled his eyes and retrieved the two bowls off the counter and set them down on the table, one in front of Connor (who was practically vibrating excitement) and one in front of Felicity who was sniffing the air appreciatively.
"Hmm…smells good," she hummed, before a look of realisation passed over her face.
"Hey Connor, if you and I are having spaghetti for our date, what is Oliver gonna eat?"
Connor smirked for a fraction of a second before letting out a rather loud yawn, stretching his arms high above his head and pushing the seat back from the table.
"A-Actually, I'm kinda tired," he responded, letting out another yawn for good measure, as he stood up.
Felicity and Oliver exchanged glances.
"But, what about your date? You can't have Felicity eat alone," Oliver faux-huffed, folding his arms across his chest.
Connor fixed his father with a quirk of his eyebrow.
"You're a boy, you take over. I did most of the hard work anyway."
Felicity bit her lip, trying to hide her laughter behind her hand, her shoulders shaking as Connor rounded the table.
"I'm sorry, Felicity. I just don't think I'm ready for dating. Can I play X-Box in your room?"
The bubble of laughter she tried to suppress echoed in the small kitchen, as Felicity nodded her head.
"Sure thing, kiddo, I understand. Dating's rough."
"Yeah," Connor agreed, "I think it's more of a ten year old's thing."
And with that, he was leaving the kitchen.
"Hey, I thought you were tired?" Oliver called after him, stopping the boy in his tracks.
"I am, but Felicity has the best games so…" he trailed off with a shrug, before his face turned stern, "hey, hurry up and eat already, don't let the spaghetti go cold, me and Felicity worked hard on that."
He turned back around, but stilled again suddenly, clicking his fingers. Quickly, he darted out of view for a moment, before running back towards his father, and pushing something into his hands. Frowning, Oliver looked down and saw that it was a box of matches.
"For the candles," Connor stage-whispered, before turning on his heel and stepping away.
The two adults watched him go in silence, eyebrows raised as he closed Felicity's guest room door behind him with a snap.
"Wow," Felicity breathed into the silence, "that was subtle," she laughed as Oliver sat down on Connor's vacated seat, pulling the bowl of spaghetti towards him.
"I think he gets his lying ability from you. That ranks definitely somewhere between scavenger hunt and my coffee shop is in a bad neighbourhood."
Oliver grinned, looking across the table at her, before leaning forward and striking a match, lighting the two candles that sat in between them.
"Oliver…" Felicity began, looking from the candles to his face, and back again, a familiar tugging feeling in her stomach as she watched the candlelight flicker across his cheek.
"C'mon Felicity, like Connor said, you guys worked hard on dinner, wouldn't want it going to waste, would we?" he asked, knowing that their something, the same something that had been brewing between them since the moment they met, but had indefinitely heightened since the whole Slade debacle over a year ago, was being aided by his crafty, if somewhat transparent, son.
She shook her head, her lips twitching as he filled her glass up with real wine that Connor must have taken out of her fridge while she wasn't looking. It was just dinner with a friend. With candles, a homemade meal, and a nice, alcoholic beverage. No need to over-think it.
"Well," Felicity tilted her head at Oliver, happy to find that familiar smile that was making more of an appearance with every passing day, gracing his face, "it would ease the sting of being dumped by an eight-year-old."
A/N: So, like I said in my other Connor Hawke fic, I'm not too psyched about long-lost-kid plots but if Arrow is going down that route, this is the kinda thing I'd like to see. Hope you enjoyed! Also posted on Tumblr under OctoberObserver and Ao3 under cortexikid. ~Ck x