Goldilocks and the 3 Bears (erm… houses)
She stumbled upon it completely by accident. She'd been driving to the new lair – she couldn't figure out what she wanted to call it just yet - from a job interview. A completely bogus interview that she had taken only because they'd wanted to gather intel on the company and its CEO, Douglas Kemp. He was their new target. A corrupt one-percenter who'd been involved in a drug trafficking ring that had popped up in Starling City after Slade's rampage. The interview had actually gone quite well, she'd been offered the job on the spot, but she'd told them that she'd have to think about it. Of course, there was nothing to think about. She wasn't going to take a job with anyone but Oliver but she hadn't exactly been able to tell them that so she'd bought herself some time, asking if she could call the next day with her answer.
So it had been while she'd been driving, her head trying to form a clear and regretful 'no thank you', when she'd come across the house. She'd turned down a side road that she hadn't recognized, her brain too focused on creating a reason why she had to turn down the job at Kemp Industries to realize that she wasn't where she was supposed to be. When she pulled over in front of the house in search of her phone, the sign in the front yard had caught her by surprise.
She dialed Oliver's number.
"Hey, where are you?" he asked worriedly, "You said you were coming straight back here. That was twenty minutes ago."
Getting out of the car, she surveyed the front yard, casting a glance up and down the street. The house sat on a large lot, empty lots on either side of it, and she couldn't see a neighboring house from where she stood.
"I got turned around," she explained, "Oliver, I – I think I found it."
He was quiet on the other end but she paid no attention to his silence. Instead, she clutched her phone to her ear and her keys in her other hand, and made her way up the front walk. The yard was a little overgrown, there were weeds in the flower beds along the front porch, and she imagined that the house had been empty for a while. Standing at the bottom of the front steps, she felt her heart begin to gallop in her chest.
"Found what, Felicity? Where are you?" he questioned.
She climbed the steps and peered into one of the large picture windows that flanked the front doors. She had been doing a lot of research, looking for anything that would spark her interest, and she'd found that she was partial to the craftsman style houses that really weren't that popular in Starling City. So the fact that she had stumbled upon this one, with its green wooden shingles and striking white trim, amazed her. The front door was oak, three small panes of glass lining the top, and she felt her breath catch as she looked in on the expansive front rooms. The floors, from what she could see, were hardwood, a large, beautiful staircase broke up the living space and an image of them, of her and Oliver and the dog that they had yet to get, filled her head. She could easily picture them here.
"Damn it, Felicity, where are you?" Oliver growled.
She started a little at his tone, realizing that she had been so drawn to the house that she hadn't realized that her lack of conversation was worrying him.
"1515 Courier Lane. I'll be here when you get here. Hurry up."
"Stay on the phone!" he barked before she could disconnect the call.
She shook her head, "I'm just going to look around, Oliver. The house is empty. Call Janet and ask her to meet us here."
She hung up, pocketing her phone before leaving the porch and walking around the side of the house. The driveway led to a two car garage that didn't face the road but rather one of the empty lots next door. The carriage doors where oak, like the front door, and she found the effect absolutely stunning. There was a fence, an actual white picket fence, that led to the backyard and she couldn't stop the smile that tugged at her mouth. She found the gate unlocked and swung it open, scanning the large yard, finding it as overgrown as the front, before stepping forward through the arbor that had been built at the entrance. A covered porch adorned the back of the house and she found herself drawn to it, taking the stairs in one large step and pressing her face to the French doors. What she saw was an average size kitchen, nothing too ornate, with what looked to be real wood cabinets and newer appliances. It looked large enough to be an eat-in kitchen but not so large that she would feel like there was wasted space.
It looked cozy, she thought, warm and inviting. It looked like the home that she'd been dreaming of since the moment they had started their search. Her heart was in her throat, tears suddenly burning her eyes, and she turned from the doors to sit heavily on the steps.
That's how Oliver found her. She hadn't heard him calling her name, hadn't heard the motorcycle's engine when he'd torn down the street. She'd been so lost in the images scrolling through her head like a movie that she hadn't even realized that he was there. It wasn't until he had appeared in front of her, his hands frantically checking her over, skimming her face and neck and shoulders, that she was pulled from her daydream.
"You scared the hell out of me!" he snapped, hauling her off of the steps and into his chest. His arms were vice-like as he held her.
"I'm sorry," she murmured, dazedly, "I just … this is it, Oliver. This is our house."
He sighed, stepping back enough so that he could look up at the house behind her. She felt his chest expand against hers at his sharp intake of breath.
She laughed, "I know."
"Mr. Queen? Ms. Smoak?"
They both turned at the sound of Janet's voice calling them from the front of the house. Oliver released her, his hand finding hers and his fingers tangling with her own. She held onto him tightly as they walked together around the house.
Janet met them in the driveway.
"The listing agent is meeting us here," she told them, "He should be here shortly. The house was built in 1944. There has only been one previous owner. Apparently Mr. and Mrs. Dougherty lived here for nearly seventy years. They raised both of their daughters here. From what I've been told, when Mrs. Dougherty passed away last year, the girls decided to sell the house but they've been very specific with their agent about who they want to have their parents' house. They've turned down several offers."
She smiled, looking between them.
"They've been very adamant that the house be sold to a young couple, a family," Janet continued, "They want another family like theirs to enjoy this home. They wanted to make sure that their parents' dream home would be appreciated for what it is."
She swallowed past the lump in her throat and looked up at Oliver. He grinned down at her, squeezing her hand.
"I don't even care what the inside looks like," she told him, "This is it, Oliver. This is our home."
She pressed herself into him, her face hidden in his shoulder as his arm came around her. She was trying desperately not to let her emotions overwhelm her. She would not cry.
"I couldn't agree more. If the owners are in agreement, we'll take it. I don't care about the cost. Felicity is right, this is our home."
No more discussion was needed. They were done looking. It had taken almost two months and more than a dozen other houses, but they had finally found the one that was theirs. The house that was perfect for them. She couldn't express in words – she, Felicity Smoak, queen of the never ending ramble – how happy she was. She loved him and she loved the house and they were finally home.