Ok, I'm back with another multi-fic story. I'm going to aim for 7-8 chapters for this, but we'll see how we go. Spoilers up to the end of season 2. I imagine this taking place around 3-4 months after the finale, with Oliver having regained control of Queen Consolidated. I'm just going to go ahead and rate this as M, just in case.
"And you can see that growth is projected to be 5 per cent in the next fiscal quarter, followed by 8 per cent once we roll out the new upgrade."
Felicity Smoak's gaze flicks over to Oliver Queen, CEO and billionaire by day and masked vigilante by night, over the top of her tablet. For once he's actually paying attention to a pitch and the expression on his face clearly falls into the "I'm interested in what you're saying" category, rather than the "I'm sitting here under sufferance picturing all the ways I could kill you with one finger" category. She has to admit, it's a pretty nice change.
She hides a grin as his gaze shifts briefly from the large screen before them to her.
"That all sounds pretty impressive, Mr Reynolds." Oliver says, leaning back slightly in his chair and fixing his gaze back on the screen. "I'd be interested in arranging a face to face so we can discuss this in greater detail."
"Of course, Mr Queen." Jack Reynolds, co-founder of Intuit Media, smiles over the video conference screen. "Perhaps you'd be interested in joining us out here? We're at a rather delicate stage of our process at the moment and I know my partner would prefer to stay here and oversee the work personally."
Oliver nods. "Completely understandable. Miss Smoak, can you clear time in our schedule?" he turns to Felicity, who tries to contain her excitement at Oliver's use of "our".
"Of course, Mr Queen. I'll liaise directly with Mr Reynolds and his team to square away a time that suits everyone." She smiles politely at Jack while flicking to Oliver's schedule on her tablet.
"I'll leave you to organise that then. Thank you again, Mr Reynolds. I look forward to catching up in person very soon." Oliver stands, buttoning the top button of his charcoal suit jacket. He leaves the conference room just as Felicity starts suggesting possible dates that work for Oliver.
He's sitting at his desk going over the financial information and technical specifications that Jack had sent through prior to the meeting when Felicity bounds in, practically vibrating with excitement.
"Oliver, you did mean that I could come too, didn't you? Or was that "our" like the royal "our"? I mean, you do talk about yourself in third person a lot, so it wouldn't surprise me if you said "our" but actually just meant "my"." He grins as she babbles away, enjoying her undisguised longing to accompany him on the trip.
He decides to put her out of her misery. "Of course I meant you as well, Felicity. I can't close this deal without your help."
She actually does a small fist pump. "Oh! That was unexpected. I normally save those for when I'm hacking."
"Did you find a time with Jack?" Oliver asks. She nods, flicking the screen on her tablet and bringing Oliver's calendar back up.
"Yeah. The only really critical appointment you have in the next week is with Mr Steele and the president of Starling National Bank. If I switch that to this afternoon, we can leave tomorrow."
"Sounds good. I'll leave you to sort out the details. I wouldn't mind dedicating a bit of time to this acquisition, Felicity, so why don't you clear my schedule for the whole week." Her eyes light up at the suggestion.
"I have absolutely no problem with that plan. A whole week in Hawaii!" she's bouncing up and down ever so slightly on the balls of her feet and Oliver can't hide his smile.
"You do realise we'll actually be there to work, don't you?" he points out.
Felicity rolls her eyes. "I seriously doubt we'll be working the entire time. You're not going to stop me from packing my bikini, Oliver Queen. Not that you'll be there when I'm packing, obviously, because that would be weird."
She glances up at the choking noise Oliver emits. He's holding a glass of water to his lips and he quickly takes another sip.
"Water went down the wrong way." He explains, coughing slightly and trying desperately to get the mental picture of Felicity wearing a bikini out of his head. He doesn't succeed.
"Well, I'm going to go and call Walter to reschedule and then I'll organise the jet and some accommodation. Is Digg coming too?" she asks, pausing half way out of Oliver's office.
"It'd be odd if Oliver Queen didn't travel with his bodyguard, so yes, unless Digg has a reason to stay here." He reasons.
"There you go with that third person again." Felicity points out. "I'll give Digg a call. I'm pretty sure Lyla is in Europe somewhere at the moment, but I'm not sure when she's getting back."
She's almost at the door when Oliver calls out. "Can you also give Roy a call? He'll need to work nights the next week while we're gone."
Felicity nods and heads out to her desk, her heels clicking on the polished floors. Oliver watches as she settles herself at her desk and leans over to snag the headset of her phone. She chats for a few minutes and then turns slightly to shoot Oliver a thumbs up, signally that Walter is able to reschedule their meeting.
He turns back to the paperwork, occasionally glancing up to see Felicity speaking on the phone or typing away at her tablet. Within half an hour his email pings and he clicks through to find a neat itinerary detailing their schedule for the next week. He smiles as he notes the third day has been designated "cocktails by the pool day".
The next morning, Felicity rushes over to the door at the sound of the bell. She throws it open to find Oliver outside, dressed in an impeccably cut light grey suit. His shirt is crisp and blindingly white and his pale blue tie brings out the colour in his eyes. He looks every inch the powerful CEO, albeit a much more attractive and muscular CEO than the ones she normally reads about in The Economist.
"Oliver! I wasn't expecting you to come upstairs. Give me a second." She hurries back to her room, scooping up her handbag and a floppy hat. She pauses in the doorway, bracing herself with one hand while slipping a sandal on with the other.
"Again, Felicity, we are going to Hawaii to work." Oliver can't help but let his gaze slowly take in Felicity from head to foot. Rather than her usual work attire, she's wearing a black sleeveless dress splashed with bright purple and blue parrots and flowers. It reaches to just above the knees, with a deep vee neck. Colourful beads grace her neck and wrists and her hair has been allowed to dry in its natural waves and is flowing down over her shoulders. She's forgone her glasses for contacts and her bright blue eyes are sparkling with excitement.
"I know that, but our first meeting isn't until this afternoon. I plan on soaking up a little sun before then. Don't worry, my suitcase is full of boring work clothes."
Oliver can't think of a single work outfit of Felicity's that could possibly be described as boring. He reaches for her suitcase, ignoring the handle that can be pulled out to wheel it along and lifting it up.
"Ready to go?" he asks. "Digg's downstairs with the car."
She pulls the hat on, lifting her chin up so she can see him from under the brim. "I am so ready." She sets the security alarm and locks the door behind them, then follows him down the hall, her beads clicking softly together as she walks.
"I'm a little bit excited, this is my first trip to Hawaii." She confesses in the elevator. Oliver glances over, one eyebrow raised.
"I would never have guessed." He replies dryly. She gives him a little shove, grinning, and he pretends to stagger from the blow.
"By the way, what on earth have you got in this bag?" he asks, hefting it slightly.
"Is it a bit heavy for you?" she asks with mock concern. In response he easily lifts it straight up, holding it her eye level.
"Show off." She mutters as he lowers it back down. "For your information, I intend on using or wearing every item in that bag. Felicity Smoak packs smart."
"So how many tablets and back up laptops did you bring?" Oliver asks innocently.
"Ha, ha, ha. Joke's on you. I only brought two tablets." Felicity responds, nose lifted in the air.
Digg is leaning against the Bentley down in the parking garage and he grins when he sees Felicity in her tropical wear. He's dressed in his usual "Oliver Queen's bodyguard" attire of a slim fit black suit and tie over a white shirt. "Looking forward to catching some rays, Miss Smoak?"
"Sure am, Digg. I'm also claiming first dibs on deck chairs. I'm very particular about deck chair placement." She slides into the back seat, joined quickly by Oliver as Digg hefts her suitcase into the trunk, exclaiming at the weight.
Felicity keeps up a steady stream of chatter on the way to hangar where the Queen Consolidated jet is kept, alternating between offering her opinion of Intuit Media's proposal, double checking the hotel reservations, wondering whether the restaurant reviews online are accurate and debating whether or not she's brought along enough sunscreen.
Oliver offers the occasional murmured response, catching Digg's eye in the rear view mirror every so often to exchange a smirk over Felicity's very obvious excitement.
She's less enthusiastic once they actually board the plane, anticipating her usual motion sickness.
"In all the excitement of the trip I forgot we actually have to fly there." She says unhappily, firmly tightening her seat belt and setting a handful of sick bags within easy reach.
Oliver settles in beside her, reaching over to give her hand a brief squeeze before buckling his own belt. Digg sits opposite, immediately relaxing his guard now they're securely on the plane.
"We'll be there before you know it." Oliver says, pulling out his paperwork to read. "Why don't you kick off your shoes, de-hat and try and get some sleep?"
Felicity wordlessly agrees, toeing off her sandals and dropping the floppy hat onto her handbag beside her. She pulls her legs up, angling herself towards Oliver so she can curl into her seat and rest her head against the back of the seat. Her eyes flutter closed, but as the plane begins to taxi along the runway, she reaches over to snag Oliver's hand until they're safely up in the air.
"Couldn't you have chosen a different car?" Felicity asks from the doorway of the plane, looking down with distaste at the hire car waiting for them on the tarmac. Digg glances back over his shoulder.
"This is exactly the same as the Bentley we just left in Starling, Felicity."
"Yeah, that's my point. Shouldn't we have something a little more suited to the environment? Like a convertible? Preferably red?"
Digg rolls his eyes and Oliver stifles a grin as they reach the unsatisfactory car and the driver loads the luggage.
"Meanwhile, how are you two not roasting in those wool suits? At least some of us dressed for the weather." She swishes the hem of her sun dress, tipping her head back so she can see them from under the brim of her hat. Oliver shrugs. Hot weather hasn't really bothered him since his return from Lian Yu where, more often than not, it was raining, cold and miserable. After all that he craves the sunlight.
"Aloha and welcome to Hawaii, Miss." The driver smiles, dropping a lei of hot pink tropical flowers over Felicity's head. She grins in delight, drawing the blooms up to her face and inhaling their scent.
The three of them slide into the back of the car, Digg shifting somewhat uncomfortably at being a passenger for once. Felicity pulls out her tablet and brings up the website of the resort she's booked.
"I booked us one of the bungalows. It's secure from other guests, has four bedrooms and even a private pool." She glances up at Oliver. "I figured you'd prefer to be out of the eyes of the public as much as possible. The hotel manager assured me it's completely private, no chance of any opportunistic guests snapping some photos of you to sell to TMZ."
"Looks nice." He replies, glancing over her shoulder at the pictures on her tablet.
"When's the first meeting with Intuit?" Digg asks.
Oliver checks his watch. "It's at 4. What are we, three hours behind Starling?" at Felicity's nod, he adjusts the time on his watch. "It's eleven now, so we've got a bit of time to relax before heading into the city."
"Great. I can't wait." Felicity enthuses. "Would it be wrong to have a cocktail before an important business meeting?"
"I'm sure we can manage that." Oliver replies.
Felicity is suitably impressed as they arrive at the resort. The gardens are exotic, expansive and immaculately maintained. The main building is low and modern, with plenty of glass windows. She glances to Oliver beside her, who is flipping through paperwork (he stubbornly refuses to accept a tablet with electronic documents, preferring the feel of paper in his hands) and then to Digg, whose expression shows little of the awe she knows her own face shows.
She isn't surprised. Oliver grew up the indulged son of billionaire parents and probably spent his childhood visiting every exclusive hideaway there is, and Digg had worked for some pretty important clients before being hired by Mrs Queen to shadow Oliver upon his return from Lian Yu.
The driver continues past the sweeping main entrance, which actually gets Oliver's attention.
"It's okay," Felicity explains upon seeing his questioning glance. "I arranged with the manager to have him meet us directly at the bungalow. It's an exclusive resort, but I'd rather limit exposure as much as possible."
Oliver nods his appreciation, turning his gaze to the window as they approach the gates of the private bungalow Felicity has secured for the week. After losing control of Queen Consolidated in Isobel's coup, the press attention had been intense as each media outlet speculated on what Oliver Queen's next move might be. They'd practically forgotten him as he worked hard with a team of lawyers and Walter to regain his CEO position, only to follow him with even more interest once he was back on top.
"Mr Queen's party," they hear the driver tell the security guard, passing over documentation.
Oliver lowers the window long enough for the guard to confirm their identities and then they're allowed through. Felicity's spent the night poring over photos of this place, but in reality it's even more opulent than she expected. The bungalow is enormous by the standards of her small apartment and as she moves through the entry way, she can see the sun reflecting off the private pool outside. The furnishings are lavish and large vases of fresh tropical flowers can be found dotted around the room.
The hotel manager greets Oliver like an old friend, introducing the staff that will be on call during their stay, all of whom Felicity and Digg have vetted with the tiniest of invasive and slightly illegal background checks. Within fifteen minutes, the staff have disappeared with the promise of refreshments to come, leaving Oliver, Felicity and Digg to themselves.
"Well I don't know about you two, but I'm going swimming." Felicity announces.
"I might go through this paperwork outside," Oliver says, turning to John. "Digg?"
Diggle is glancing around the room, taking in the various security measures. "I might do a quick sweep of the grounds and then I'll join you."
"I'm going to go change." Felicity says, moving towards the room that's been allocated to her. It's almost as big as her entire apartment and it isn't even as big as the master suite that's been allocated to Oliver. "Oliver, please change out of your suit. We're in Hawaii and you don't have a meeting for hours. Live a little."
He watches as she walks off, her sandals slapping softly against the plush carpet. He turns to see Digg eyeing him with amusement.
"I'm with her, man. It's been a crazy few months since you got control of QC back, not to mention everything that's gone down in the past six years. If anyone deserves a break, it's you." Digg points out.
Oliver sighs, running one hand over his closely cropped hair. The idea of just sitting and relaxing seems foreign to him after years of activity and constantly having to be on his guard, but it sounds appealing. "Fine. But no flip flops."
Oliver has to admit, it's pretty nice to just sit by the pool, drink in hand and sun warming his skin, even if he's got a pile of papers to go through. He's wearing board shorts and a tank top – items he hadn't actually packed himself but is certain Felicity instructed Raisa to sneak into his luggage. They're the sort of clothes that the old Oliver Queen lived in during the summer months. Digg joins him, wearing casual clothes, the bulge of his gun visible at his back.
He's alerted to Felicity's arrival by the pad of her bare feet on the pavers and he glances up, every nerve end jumping to attention at what he sees.
She's wearing an aqua blue halter neck bikini with a sheer white sarong knotted around her waist. As she walks, the filmy fabric floats around her, revealing flashes of her toned legs.
"Digg," she calls, approaching them. "Can you do my back? I can't reach." She holds out a bottle of sun lotion, which Digg accepts, patting the foot rest in front of his deck chair for her to sit on.
Oliver finds himself watching as she takes a seat, flipping her hair over one shoulder to expose her back. He wonders absently why she didn't ask him to help her, but he's grateful she didn't put that temptation in front of him.
Lotion applied, she settles in the chair between Oliver and Digg, stretching out her legs and wiggling her toes, the nails of which are a bright canary yellow.
"This is the life." She murmurs happily, accepting a drink from the tray that had been left earlier.
"I thought you were going swimming?" Oliver asks casually, turning his attention back to his papers.
"Got to wait twenty minutes for the lotion to kick in. I don't want to have to reapply." She sips on her drink, pulling her tablet out of the small bag she'd brought outside before taking a picture of the pool area. Before Oliver looks up, she takes a quick snap of him too, in full CEO concentrating mode, frowning as he reads his papers, but dressed like a beach bum. He obviously hadn't double checked his suitcase after she'd called Raisa asking her to add some casual clothes to Oliver's bag, knowing that otherwise it would consist of suits and running clothes.
Digg pulls a face as she turns the camera on him and she takes a quick selfie with Digg peering ominously over one shoulder, one eyebrow raised.
After an hour or so of lounging in the hot sun, Felicity decides it's time to get in the pool. She stands up, feeling a bit self-conscious about taking off her sarong in front of Oliver and Digg, but she swallows that down as she reminds herself about their complete lack of shyness about stripping off their shirts in front of her, and quickly unties the knot, dropping the silky garment on her seat, along with her sunglasses.
She rechecks the ties on her bikini top and bottoms, dreading the thought of them coming loose, then takes a breath and dives into the pool.
Oliver starts at the feel of cool water splashing onto his legs and looks up from the paper he was engrossed in to see Felicity surfacing in the middle of the pool, pushing her long hair out of her face.
"How's the temperature?" Digg calls out.
She does a few breaststrokes towards the edge of the pool. "Not too bad, on the cool side, but quite nice in this heat. You coming in?"
Digg shakes his head. "Maybe another day. I want to get the feel of this place before dropping my guard."
She turns to Oliver. "Oliver?"
"I'm not really in to swimming." He replies. His mother's insistence on he and Thea taking twice-weekly lessons and swimming laps pretty much killed off any enjoyment they got from the large indoor pool at the Queen mansion.
"Oh come on. It's hot, this is refreshing, we're all alone with no one to see bigshot CEO Oliver Queen let loose." She sprawls back in the water, floating on her back and Oliver can't tear his eyes away as he takes in the flatness of her stomach, the curves of hips and waist and the fullness of her breasts.
She tilts her head back, her hands skimming along the surface to make herself drift slowly along. Oliver makes up his mind and before he can change it, quickly stands up, dropping his papers and peeling off his shirt. He takes a short running leap and cannonballs into the pool near Felicity, covering her with a wave of water in his wake and sending her briefly underwater.
Felicity resurfaces, spluttering, and all she can hear is Digg's laugh. "Oliver!" she cries, laughing along and pushing her hair out of her eyes. He's lazily swimming next to her, a shit eating grin on his face. She flicks water at him and then duckdives, trying to make a quick escape before he can retaliate. But this is Oliver Queen and he has the reflexes of a jungle cat. He snags her by the waist and suddenly she's being tossed easily up in the air squealing, splashing water over Digg as she hits the surface.
The look on Oliver's face is one she rarely sees. He's let down all the walls and there's pure joy radiating out. He grins at her and pounces, grabbing her again and throwing her in the air like she weighs nothing. She breaks the water's surface a few feet from him, enjoying the sight of his eyes sparkling with laughter.
"I thought you hated swimming." She asks, keeping her distance.
"I do, but this isn't really swimming." She shrieks as he moves towards her, and she darts away, splashing towards the side of the pool.
Before he can reach her, she's hoisted herself up and spun around to sit on the pool's edge, drawing her legs up out of his reach. "Time out, I've got water up my nose." She gasps.
Oliver takes in every inch of her as she wrings out her hair and worries at the knots on her bikini. He watches a bead of water rolling down her neck, tracing it down past her collarbones, down across the upper swell of one breast…
"Huh?" he looks up to see Digg standing at the edge of the pool. "You say something, Digg?"
"Yeah. I just thought it might be time for us to start getting ready for this meeting. It's nearly two."
"Crap!" Felicity scrambles to her feet. "It's going to take ages to get my hair decent in this humidity." She scoops up her stuff and hurries into the house, leaving a trail of damp footprints in her wake.
Oliver easily lifts himself out of the pool, avoiding Digg's knowing expression.
"Back to duty, I suppose." He says lightly.