It's not about geography or happenstance
You need to fly and take a chance
You don't need to soar to emptiness
And float on high and forever dance alone
You're scared 'cause I feel like home
Sunday Afternoon – Rachael Yamagata
"Oliver, lunch is ready."
Felicity's voice resonates softly in her guest room – or as she's been calling it for the last 3 weeks, Oliver's bedroom – and she smiles when a grunt comes from under the covers.
When he arrives on Friday evenings, always late after supervising things at Verdant, he spends a few minutes with her if she's still up then goes straight to bed and sleep for a good 12 hours.
It's like he's trying to catch up on 7 years of bad sleep, and apparently her home, according to Diggle, is the only place where he's able to sleep peacefully. At first she didn't know how to feel about it : flattered that he felt so relaxed under her roof or offended that he basically crached her guest room to sleep. But since he generally spends the next 48 hours in her company, she quickly chose the first one.
Oliver generally gets up as soon as she calls him, but this time he doesn't move. She walks into the room, pulling open the curtains a bit before coming to sit on the bed next to him.
"Hey. You're awake? I made the chicken salad that you like."
He turns to her, his eyes blinking open twice. Without warning, he moves his upper body so his head comes to rest in her lap and his arms circle her waist.
Surprised, she jokes, "It's just chicken salad," but his arms tighten around her a bit more.
He's in a cuddling mood. Ok.
She's not one to deny him – and let's be honest, herself – a quiet moment of comfort, so her hand comes to rest on his back and the other one on his neck. She lowers her head and gently presses her lips on his forehead, eliciting a contented murmur on his part. They stay like this for a few minutes before his stomach grumbles, and they both laugh. The moment has passed.
But there's a sublte shift in their relationship after that.
For the last few months their lives have been quite the rollercoaster, especially on the emotional front. None of them really wanted to stay alone after that, and since Oliver was homeless, Diggle and Felicity jokingly decided to share 'custody', him during the week and her on weekends (because weekends at Diggle's were reserved for Lyla and the future baby) at least until he found an apartment.
Everything is mostly back to normal now. Thanks to her hacking expertise, Felicity got them Verdant back, and that's where Oliver and Diggle spend the week. They won't use the Foundry anymore (too many people know its location) so Felicity is slowly building the new lair. They have taken a break of fighting evil, but they know it's just a matter of time before they seriously have to get back in the game.
But for now, they just need to regroup and take some time for themselves.
They earned it.
"I sold the mansion," he tells her that Monday morning over breakfast.
"It's done? Wow, that was fast...No regrets?"
He shakes his head. "No. I would never have lived there again. And with Thea..." he clears his throat. "With Thea being away, there was no point in keeping it."
She sips her coffee, waiting to see if he's going to expand on the Thea situation. But as usual, he doesn't.
Someday she will force him to talk about it. But not today.
He smiles. "The good news is, I have now a very large and comfortable amount on my bank account. And with Verdant running again, I can safely say that things are looking good again on the financial side."
Her eyes brighten with anticipation. "Does that mean I can improve the new lair?"
He chuckles. "Knock yourself out, just don't forget I'm not a billionaire anymore," he says, rising from his chair. He's wearing jeans and a button down blue shirt. At first it was weird to see him wearing casual clothes on a daily basis, and not his tailored suits. Getting back Queen Consolidated was on his agenda, if only because Oliver didn't want to tarnish his parent's memory by letting go of the company they had build without a fight. But if he gets it back, he won't resume his former position. ("Let's be honest here, I was a crappy CEO anyway." Neither Felicity nor Diggle really protested.) So he's letting a few trusted lawyers to figure it out and then will decide how to deal with it.
In the meantime he has Verdant to manage, so he takes his car keys and put his shoes on before coming back in the kitchen where Felicity is filling the dishwasher.
"Are you joining us for dinner tonight?" he asks and she nods.
"Text me the time and I'll meet you guys."
He leans and presses a kiss on her cheek, a habit he has taken over the last few weeks, and she starts getting used to it. It still wake up a few hundred butterflies in her stomach though.
It's not that he wasn't affectionate before. After all, his hand always had a torrid love affair with her shoulder. There have been hugs, and meaningful looks exchanged, but most of those generally happened as comforting or 'I'm glad you're alive' gestures. Now when he arrived or left there would be a kiss on her cheek, and she would still find his hand on her shoulder but also her arm, her waist, the small of her back.
She's aware that it's not exactly the healthiest relationship – especially considering her feelings for him grow stronger and scaringly more real every day. And he has strong feelings for her too, that much is obvious.
So she doesn't know where they are going, but she does know that right now she needs him and he needs her. And if there's a little voice in her head telling her she should be more careful, she temporarily chooses to ignore it .
On Sunday mornings they go running in a park nearby her house. There's always a lot of people chilling, walking their dog, children playing. It's a friendly and domestic neighbourhood, and one of the reasons Felicity bought her house there.
They stop at their usual point under a willow, and take some time to stretch and catch their breath.
"I received a job offer," she tells him suddenly, and her tone is too casual to not hide something.
He narrows his eyes at her. "Really? Where?"
"Luthorcorp. The IT Department. It's a very interesting position."
She grabs her foot with her hand, stretching her thigh as if she hasn't just drop a big one on him.
He looks at her for a full minute before asking, "Are you considering it?" and she hids a smile at the obvious alarm in his tone.
"I did, for about 45 seconds. Then I turned them down."
The relief on his face is quickly replaced by puzzlement. "Why?"
"Well, first of all, it's in Metropolis. I don't want to leave Starling and move there." Smiling at the still bewildered look on his face she asks, "What, should I call them back and tell them I changed my mind?"
"No!" He winces upon hearing the eagerness in his tone.
He sighs. "The last thing I want is for you to leave Starling City, to leave...us. But I can't be selfish here. It sounds like an amazing opportunity. Much more interesting than anything I can offer you right now."
She tilts her head. "What about the team?"
"It would be much harder, but I guess we would manage...after a while," he says before chuckling, before pressing his nose between his fingers. "Ok, that wasn't terribly convincing, wasn't it?" and she shakes her head, smiling softly. The morning sun shining behind her is creating a halo around her blonde hair and he looks at her fondly.
"I'm trying to be the good guy, here, but the thing is, I don't want you to go. I don't remember what it's like to not have you in my life, and I don't really want to find out again."
That was a little more heartfelt and honest than he intended to, and a slightly awkward silence falls upon them. Felicity's cheeks are a bit flushed, and she's biting her bottom lip, which he finds exceedingly distracting.
Even if it sounds indeed a bit selfish, he doesn't regret his words. He never told her anything that wasn't true. For the longest time he's been keeping her at a distance, for many reasons, but now he can't even remember for the life of him the validity of those reasons. He wants her to be safe and happy. And for the last few weeks (but if he's honest it's been going on a lot longer than that) he's been wondering what it would be like to be that man, the one who keeps Felicity safe and happy.
And the idea sounds more and more alluring every time he looks at her.
She dispels the tension with one of her bright smile. "Don't worry. I'm not going anywhere, because I'll have a much better opportunity soon. And also, you once told me that Lex Luthor was an evil creep."
He grins. "I'm not sure I used those exact words, but yes, he is. What opportunity?"
She puts her hands on her waist, looking very pleased with herself. Obviously she's been thinking about this for a while. "When you get QC back, I'll get my job at the IT department back too. Except...I'll be running it. Or maybe running the Applied Science Division? I haven't decided yet."
He raises an eyebrow. "You blew up our Applied Science Division."
She hits him on the arm. "Hey! I didn't do it alone. And we'll just...build it up again. Or find another building. And since CEO is not your thing, we'll ask Walter to find someone to run QC. Or better, ask him to come back ? I miss him."
Oliver lets out a deep laugh, and puts his arm around her shoulder, pulling her to him and pressing a kiss on her forehead.
"We'll do whatever you decide, Felicity," he tells her and he means it. Heck, if she wants to be CEO, he'll fight anyone who'll stand in her way. He also realizes that since they've been sharing accomodation half a week, paradoxally he doesn't say her name as much anymore, and he misses the way those syllables roll on his tongue.
She has the prettiest name he's ever heard, and she's the most amazing woman he's ever met.
They start their walk back home, but his arm remains on her shoulders and hers comes to casually circle his waist.
(They are both a little sweaty but neither one of them really care.)
On Sunday nights she makes him watch Game of Thrones. He got pretty into it and they are almost done with season 3. They are both sprawled on her couch, her legs in his lap, and he's been kneading her calves, which, coupled with a nice dinner earlier, probably explain why she falls asleep.
It's his shocked "What the hell!" that wakes her up rather abruptly. She sits up straight, adopting a fighting stance, thinking bad guys are suddenly invading her house, or that Slade or Isabel are back from the dead (it's not like it didn't happened before).
"What?" she asks, slowly realizing that it's still just the two of them in her living room.
"He had them all killed!" Oliver says, gesturing wildly at her TV. "The old guy. He killed all the Starks!"
She lies back down on the couch with a smile. "Oh, that. Right. I told you to not get attached."
He glares at her which only makes her laugh (in a slightly evil way).
"This is sick," he mutters.
She giggles a bit louder and he gets back at her by tickling underneath her knee, which makes her squeal.
"You want to watch something else?" he asks while his hand is now lightly caressing her thigh, and she wonders if he's aware of what he's doing,
"Uh...I haven't seen the finale of Vampire Diaries yet."
He rolls his eyes. "Urgh. No."
She laughs again, nudging his thigh with her foot. "What, you don't ship Stefan and Caroline like I do?"
He shoots her an amused glance. "I don't even know who that is."
"Caroline is the blond girl, and Stefan the super good looking one."
Oliver snorts. "Right, you mean compare to all the other ones that are really ugly?"
"Hey, you're one to talk. Between you, Roy and Diggle I feel sometimes like I'm starring in a CW show."
And then she lets out a big yawn, making him laugh.
"Maybe I should get to bed," she says, regretfully taking her legs from his lap and rising from the couch. This time she initiates the kiss, and maybe she lingers a bit longer than necessary. From the heated look he gives her, he doesn't seem to mind.
Once back in her room, she muses about the growing intimacy between them. She's giving him to the end of the summer. If he doesn't do something about it, she'll take matters into her own hand.
She doesn't know yet what that means exactly, but she'll find out. There's only so much unresolved sexual tension that a girl can take.
When he arrives a bit earlier than usual on that Friday evening the house is calls out her name but gets no answer.
A quick tour of the ground floor shows that she's not there, nor in the backyard.
Frowning, he makes his way upstairs and drops his bag in his bedroom. Her bedroom door is open and with relief he sees that she's lying in bed. He finds it strange that she let it open though.
He knocks on the door. "Felicity?"
She answers with a pitiful moan and the next second he's sitting beside her.
"Hey. What's going on?" he asks softly, putting his palm on her forehead. She looks pale and in obvious pain.
"Cramps," she mutters.
Understanding what she means, he murmurs some comforting words. Then,"Have you eaten anything?"
She shakes her head. "I couldn't get out of bed. What time is it?"
"Almost 9 pm. I'll be back."
He stands up and disappears for a few minutes before coming back and handing her a glass of water and an ibuprofen.
"Here, take this. I'll fix us something, ok? I'll come and get you when it's ready."
Felicity just nods and squeezes his hand in a thankful gesture.
She must have -finally- dozed off a bit because Oliver is back in what seems like less than 2 minutes.
"Hey. Do you want to eat here ? I can bring a tray. Or if you want to sleep some more, I'll keep it in the fridge."
She raises on her elbow, finding incredibly cute how he fusses over her. That mini-nap and ibuprofen must have done the trick as she feels a bit better.
"No, I need to get out of this bed. Just give me a minute."
She pushes the covers away and try a sitting position, without great success. He smiles tenderly and leans over her, putting one arm around her shoulders and the other one under her knees, lifting her effortlessly.
"I can walk," she says half-convincingly while setting comfortably against his chest.
"Of course you can," he replies with a husky laugh, "But humor me."
He brings her downstairs and puts her down gently on the couch. There are two trays on the coffee table, each one with an appetizing omelette and lots of vegetables.
The good smell finishes to wake her up, and she examines her plate with surprise.
"I don't remember having any of this in my fridge."
Oliver sits down beside her. "You didn't. I did some grocery shopping before coming. Oh, and I found this," he adds while handing her a heating pad covered in a kitchen towel so she doesn't burn herself. She gives him an adoring look.
"You're my angel," she tells him and he doesn't really know how to feel about that moniker but then her stomach grumbles and they both laugh.
They eat in comfortable silence while watching some stupid reality show about mothers trying to marry off their sons but hating on and criticizing all the potential brides. It's really bad and completely ridiculous but Felicity finds it highly entertaining and has a lot of opinions to share about the contestants, which makes Oliver laugh every time.
After a while she doesn't say that much anymore and when he looks at her he sees that she's been slowly falling asleep against his shoulder. When he moves to lift her up in his arms again she tries to stand up on her own but he stops her.
"Hey. Let me take care of you, ok?"
She just nods and brings her arms around his neck, resting her head on his shoulder. He does a quick survey of the floor, turning off the lamps. He then takes the stairs with his precious cargo, bringing her back in her bed. He sits beside her again, his hand softly caressing her cheek.
Her hand comes to grab his and intertwines their fingers and the minute after she's sleeping peacefully.
He untangles himself before rising carefully from the bed, and makes his way to his bedroom.
But he stops short of exiting hers, turning around, looking at her sleeping form longingly. She's not well, and the last thing he wants is to bother her, but maybe if he lies next to her, just in case she needs something during the night?
His decision made, he walks back to her bed a slips under the covers, mindful not to disturb her.
He wakes up an hour later because there's a warm body pressed against him which hasn't happened in a while.
And he's reminded how good it feels. Especially considering that the body belongs to Felicity.
At some point during that hour they naturally gravitated towards each other and now she's snuggled into his chest, and his arm is around her waist. His hand is resting on her back and he can't help but caress it softly. Her eyelashes flutters, as if she too feels the anomaly in her sleeping habit.
"I'm here. Go back to sleep."
He stiffens a bit, waiting for her to maybe realize their unusual position and pull away. But she doesn't and just settles herself comfortably against him with a contented sigh.
He tenderly kisses the crown of her head and not two minutes after that he's back to sleep.
It's late afternoon and the August sun is slowly setting, peeking through the backyard door and casting Felicity's kitchen in a warm orange glow.
She's barefoot, wearing a short and a t-shirt, gathering some ingredients in a bowl and humming softly. Oliver walks in, grabbing a bottle of water from the fridge.
"What are you doing?" he asks, leaning against the counter.
She opens a cabinet and takes out a mixer, plugging it in.
"Mayonaise to put in our pasta salad."
He smiles. "You know they sell it already made at the supermarket?"
She shoots him a knowing look. "Typical response from a billionaire...oh but wait, you're not exactly a billionaire anymore, Oliver Queen, so let me fill you in on a little secret : homemade mayonaise, less expensive and much, much better than the supermarket one." She gives him a pensive look while starting the mixer and putting it carefully in the bowl. "Maybe I sould give you some tips as how to work and live on a budget."
"I'm always willing to learn," he says, leaning sideways with a flirty smile. She pushes him away playfully.
"Make yourself useful, start chopping the vegetables."
"I got a call from Stuart, one of the lawyers at QC. I have to go see them next week," he tells her while grabbing a chopping board in a drawer and a knife. "Seems like we could get it back sooner than we thought."
"Well, it was sort of taken over by terrorists, so I never really thought that you had lost it forever. And this is great news. But wait, 'we'?"
He gives her a teasing smile. "Didn't you tell me something about running the IT departement or the ASD?"
She smiles, her eyes sparkling. "I gave it some thoughts, and I think I want to go with the Applied Science Division. I have lots of ideas. And I think I found the perfect building too, one that we'll try not to blow up this time..."
He looks at her lovingly, admiring how her blue eyes shine with excitement as she tells him about her Real Estate researches and the future of his family company.
She stops mid-speech, looking at her bowl with a frustrated look on her face. "Oh no! What did I do wrong? It's too liquid. Look!"
She tilts the bowl so he can have a look.
"I think I failed this mayonaise," she adds with a giggle at her silly joke, putting the mixer on the counter.
He lets out a little sigh and is the first surprised at how easy it comes out.
"I love you."
She freezes, and he can see her processing the words, a pretty pink flush tainting her cheeks.
"For real?" she asks in a whisper.
His hand comes to cup her cheek in that familiar gesture that makes the rest of the world disappear.
"It's always been real, Felicity."
And then she's in his arms and they kiss slowly and deeply, taking their time to savor every touch. A shiver moves through her and Oliver pulls away, a tender smile playing on his lips. There's a whole conversation going on through their eyes, before he suddenly lifts her up and she circles his waist with her legs. He lets out a deep, happy laugh before catching her lips again in a passionate kiss, making his way out of the kitchen and towards the first floor.
The mixer is forgotten on the counter as the mayonaise drops steadily on the kitchen floor.
A/N : So it took me a WHOLE MONTH to write this. Real life and work had never been so much in the way of my writing before, and urgh, so frustrating. Also I had to keep making changes as I wanted to keep canon with what had happened during the finale. But yay, it's done, I hope you guys will like it and if you do please let me know. Now I can go back to filling my prompts :)
A/N2 : The reality show they are watching when F is sick is an actual french TV show called "Qui veut épouser mon fils?" (Who wants to marry my son?) and yes it is as ridiculous and entertaining as it sounds. I don't know if there's a US or British equivalent :)