A/N: I know...I have three WIPS. I have no time to make another multi-chap. But I just couldn't help myself! I was itching to write an AU Olicity and then I got this idea. So, I hope you like it! Quick note - I made up some Tommy stuff in here, so any departures from the show history are intentional.
Felicity Smoak hurried down the street, anxiously blotting at the rather large stain at the front of her periwinkle blue dress. She could smell the coffee coming off the stain, a constant reminder that she was incapable of holding a coffee cup upright, a shortcoming that she didn't exactly want to hang around for the close of her first week of work. Especially because she was supposed to make an appearance at a lunch with some of the company's stockholders that afternoon. She shouldn't have stopped for coffee. She should have known that her nerves would get the best of her, and sure enough they did, resulting in a messy stain down the front of her dress and a severe lack of caffeine. Part of her begrudged the last part more.
She'd also decided to stop at one of her favorite coffee places in the city, thinking that she'd have a nice leisurely walk down to the office, which would help silence her quivering nerves. While never sporty, she always believed in the soothing effects of physical exercise, whether it be a walk or simply fidgeting. She was an A-plus fidget-er. But, the prospect of a three or four block walk with her nerves already pulled so tight was too much for her, so she decided on a cab and stepped to the edge of the sidewalk, holding her arm out just like they did in the movies. She saw a cab coming and when the driver nodded she dropped her hand, peeking into her purse momentarily to make sure she hadn't accidentally left her wallet in the coffee shop. All she needed now was to be stuck in a cab without any money.
When she glanced up she was flummoxed to see a tall man walking toward her cab - which had stopped just short of her - and then, when she was certain he'd see that the cab was meant for her, he had the gall to actually open the door and climb in himself. Undaunted, Felicity flew toward the cab and said, "Hey, this cab is mine!"
"I don't think so considering I'm the person in it," the guy said. Blue eyes looked up at her with nearly as much defiance as she felt. They were nice eyes, and she would have taken a breath to admire them if she hadn't been so miffed.
"But, this is my taxi. I hailed it," she argued. Catching the cab driver's gaze in the rearview mirror she said, "Tell him you were pulling over for me!"
"I'm not getting in the middle of this," he returned in a thick accent, holding his hands up.
"I hailed this taxi," she told him firmly. "It's mine."
"I didn't see your hand out or anything," the guy said.
Irritation flaring she all but shrieked, "I hailed the taxi!"
"Look, this isn't the only cab out here. You'll get another," the guy said, reaching forward and taking a hold of the inside handle.
He slammed the door in her face and she staggered backwards with an audible scoff, watching the cab pull into traffic and disappear down the road.
"That son of a bitch," she murmured, shaking her head. There were few things in life that made Felicity Smoak positively seeth, but a lack of common decency was one of them. Stealing someone's cab? Well, that was just about one of the least decent things a person could do.
Another cab rode down the street and she easily hailed it, no one jumping in at the last second and snatching it from her. She made sure to keep her hand out the entire time this go, though. She never made the same mistake twice.
Oliver checked his watch, hoping that traffic wouldn't keep him from getting to Verdant on time. The champagne shipment was supposed to get there at 8:45, and he knew from experience that if he was a minute late the delivery guy would head on straight to his next delivery and leave them literally high and dry for that night. Tommy was supposed to be there to sign off on the shipment, but he'd called fifteen minutes before the shipment was due to arrive and told Oliver he had to be there instead. He'd spouted off some list of excuses, but Oliver stopped listening at the point when he heard Tommy wouldn't be at Verdant, imagining all the money they'd miss out on that night if they couldn't offer bottle service.
Starling City's traffic was predictably heavy right before the bewitching corporate hour of 9:00, and Oliver anxiously watched as the cars inched forward. They came up alongside any alleyway and Oliver said, "Pull off here."
"That won't get you to the address you gave me, sir."
"Yes, it will," Oliver said. He knew the back streets well around Verdant, and while not all of them were exactly legal, they did the trick.
The cab driver hesitated for a moment before pulling off. He showed a normal level of discomfort at making incorrect turns and driving past hoards of drug dealers and prostitutes as they snaked through a rougher area of Starling City, but he held no grievances against Oliver when he handed him a crisp fifty dollar bill for a twenty dollar cab ride.
Still, even with the illegal detour, Oliver was late. It was only a few minutes, and he hoped that the guy happened to wait a bit. That wasn't how they usually played, but who knows, maybe he'd get lucky. He walked into the club and was surprised to see the men already working to bring the cases back into the storage room, Tommy directing them.
"Tommy, what are you doing here?" Oliver said.
His friend glanced toward him and said, "What does it look like I'm doing? I'm telling the guys where to put these cases of champagne. It's the wrong brand, by the way. You're going to have to call and yell at some people. I'd do it, but we both know I hate confrontation."
Oliver smirked. "Yes, you're much too delicate for it. I thought you couldn't make it. That's why I rushed down here. I even stole some girl's cab to make it in time for the shipment."
Tommy snorted. "You stole a cab? That's douchey, man. Even for you."
"I didn't want us to have no champagne tonight," Oliver argued. He did feel a little bad about taking that girl's cab, and she definitely had seemed pissed. But, hey, city life is brutal and sometimes that involves people stealing your cab. She'd live.
"I know. That would have sucked major. Can you imagine all the bitching we would have heard about not having bottles?"
"Alright, that's all of it," the delivery guy said, coming out of the storage room with the large cart he'd rolled all the champagne in with rolling behind him.
"Thanks, man," Tommy said off-handedly, walking behind the bar and pulling a bottle of Jack Daniels from the shelves of liquor. Oliver sat down on one of the bar stools, watching Tommy pour himself a drink.
"You know, you need to stop filching our liquor."
"We both know that's never going to happen," Tommy returned happily, taking a sip of his whiskey. "Besides, what's the point of owning a club if you can't have a free drink once in a while?"
"It's not free. We pay for it."
"Semantics. Anyway, are you going to be at the club tonight? There's someone I want you to meet."
Oliver grinned. "Is this another Tommy Merlyn match-up? That last girl you introduced me to still calls me at least once a day. I've had to start screening my calls."
"I probably should have mentioned the whole mental imbalance thing. But, hey, she was a good lay, right?"
"Sure. But at what cost?"
Tommy shrugged, taking another large gulp of the whiskey. "Well, rest assured, this is not a match-up. My cousin just moved here, and I promised to introduce her to some people."
Tommy nodded. "Yes, and you are not allowed to even think about touching her."
Oliver laughed at his friend's uncharacteristic protective showing. There had never been a single girl that Tommy hadn't actively championed him to pursue. "You know, I'm a little offended here."
"I know how we are with women," Tommy answered sensibly. "And we are the worst. Usually I'm proud of that fact, but not when it involves my cousin. She's too pure for the likes of us. So, you keep your hands and thoughts to yourself, understood?"
"I promise, not a single impure thought will pass through my mind," Oliver assured him. Besides, the way Tommy was describing this girl, he was pretty certain there would be no problem keeping his mind clean.
Felicity hated going out. She hated clubs. She hated bars. She hated any place where it smelled like beer and urine and you had to shout to have any sort of conversation. But, Tommy had invited her, glibly reminding her that a computer wasn't a proper friend, and she grudgingly agreed. It wasn't so much that he was right – because most times her computer was just enough company for her, thank you very much – but she told herself that things would be different in Starling City. She'd make an effort to meet people, to make connections that weren't over an Ethernet or wi-fi, and she knew there was no better person to facilitate that than Tommy Meryln.
Tommy had always been the social one in their family. Sometimes she thought it was a way to compensate for his father's constant lack of attention, or maybe he just really liked people. Either way, he always had a large hoard of friends and a conveyor belt of girlfriends. People gravitated toward him, and while she would never readily admit this, she'd always envied him for it.
So, she was going to put a little effort in and let him help her. Besides, what was one night of socialization? If it really was so awful she could go back tomorrow night to her Netflix account and large red wine stash.
He'd told her to wear appropriate club attire, which she took to mean everything that did not comprise her usual wardrobe. There were a few dresses from college that were purposely left out of her wardrobe rotation, and she laid them on her bed to choose from. She settled on a shorter shift dress covered with gold beads. It had been part of a go-go costume she'd worn for Halloween in undergrad, but she figured that without the tall white boots it would do just fine for a night of forced frivolity.
She kept her hair in its usual high ponytail but ditched the glasses, opting instead for a pair of contacts. She put on a swipe of shimmery lip gloss and then picked up her liquid eyeliner, doing a thick cat eye. Finished, she stepped back and checked her work. Staring back at her was someone who looked like she would willingly spend a perfectly good night at a club wedged between sweaty bodies.
"Well, at least you look the part," she murmured.
Her phone buzzed and she picked it up, groaning when she saw a text from Tommy saying he'd be about forty minutes later. That was another thing about Tommy. He was never on time.
Figuring she had some time to spare, she walked out into her kitchen and pulled out a bottle of red wine. She might as well get a jump start on the evening.
"Well, I'm glad to see that our business is thriving tonight," Tommy said loudly over the boisterous throng of the young and hip surrounding them inside Verdant.
Oliver nodded, taking a pull from his beer. A girl in a skin-tight emerald green dress walked past him, catching his eye. She gave him a coy smile, her hips moving fluidly as she walked away.
"Damn, that was a hot one," Tommy murmured, clapping a hand down on Oliver's shoulder.
"I know," Oliver said unhappily. Tommy had made him promise to not go on any conquests until he'd met his cousin. He claimed that Oliver would get caught up with his new piece of skirt and completely ignore his cousin. Oliver couldn't deny he had a point.
"When is your cousin getting here again?" Oliver said, neck craned as he tried to see where the green dress had gone off to. Maybe if he kept an informal tab on her he could find her after his best-friend-duty was finished up.
"Ah, there she is," Tommy said.
Oliver followed Tommy's gaze and nearly dropped his beer. Walking toward him was a shimmering vision in gold. She was undeniably beautiful, and Oliver thought to himself that she didn't seem like the type of person who needed anyone's help to meet other people. His eyes travelled down her long expanse of legs. Yeah, she looked like she did just fine by herself. Something about her was familiar, and he tried to place her as Tommy hugged her and then took a hold of her elbow, bringing her over to Oliver.
"Felicity, I'd like you to meet my partner in business and crime, Oliver Queen."
Her eyes widened briefly before narrowing, her lips pressing into a clearly disapproving frown. It took him a minute, but then he placed her.
"We've met," she said icily. "I'm going to get a drink."
She turned on her heel and stalked off toward the bar, only she went in the wrong direction. Tommy went to yell something after her but then shrugged and said, "She'll figure it out eventually." He turned his attention back squarely on Oliver. "So, she seemed to really hate you. How'd you pull that off so quickly? She only got in town yesterday."
Oliver rubbed the back of his neck uncomfortably. "Remember how I told you I stole someone's cab?"
Tommy's snorted. "You stole her cab? Oh man, she's going to hate you for life."
"Come on, it's not that bad."
Tommy laughed. "It's pretty bad. You can admit it."
"It's not like I kidnapped her first born or something. I accidentally took her cab."
"I think the word accidentally requires a lack of knowledge as to what you were doing. And, let's be real, you knew what you were doing."
"Whatever. She'll get over it."
"Good luck with that," Tommy said, raising his glass. "Really. I've seen that girl hold a grudge, and she's exceptionally good at it."
"If I am good at anything, it is moving immoveable objects," Oliver said smoothly. With a wink he added, "I did sleep with Janet Queller, remember?"
"Yes, we all know how you deflowered Pastor Queller's daughter," Tommy said, rolling his eyes. "But Felicity is different. Trust me. Looks like I'll have to find her new friends, because you're toast."
A glimmer of gold caught Oliver's attention. Felicity must have caught her misdirection because she was pushing through the crowd, making her way to the bar.
"I'm going to go buy your cousin a drink."
As he walked off he heard Tommy call out, "You're a brave man, Oliver Queen!"
The crowd was thick and populated with female land mines that almost derailed him on his mission. One in particular, with a slinky red dress and loose black curls nearly caught him, but he pressed forward. He finally made it through the crowd and he spotted Felicity casually leaning against the bar. With a deep breath he stepped forward, plastering on his most charming smile.
"Let me get you a drink," he said, sidling next to her.
She held up what looked like a cosmopolitan and told him, "I already have one."
"Well, then let me pay for it."
The bartender returned with change for her and she took it, paying Oliver a lofty glance as she said, "Too late."
Undeterred he said, "Okay, then I'm buying the next one. But I can't in good conscience let you order another one of those." He pointed at the pinkish-red drink. "I think you're the first person to order that since 2004."
"Wow. First you steal my cab and then you criticize my choice of drink. You're currently scoring negative points."
Oliver chuckled. She was positively pissed and looked about one snarky comment from throwing the drink in his face, and he liked it. Not many girls made him laugh. They made him a lot of other things, but laughing was not on that list.
"Okay, can we start over?" he asked. "I think we got off on the wrong foot."
He could see her rearing to argue with him. Her jaw ticked and he was moderately sure if he glanced down her hand would be balled in a fist. But she seemed to decide against any further outburst as she exhaled slowly and returned in a tight – albeit calm – voice, "Okay."
"Okay," he repeated, small grin playing on his mouth. This was progress. "I'm sorry for taking your cab. It was not a nice thing."
"No, it wasn't," she returned crisply.
"So, I'm sorry. I mean, I did have a good reason, but –"
She made a face and shook her head quickly. "Excuse me? There is no good reason to steal someone's cab. Unless you're severely injured. Or in labor. Those are good reasons. But as you seem neither injured or female, you have no good reason to fall back on, buddy."
"Buddy?" he repeated, laughing. "Did you really just call me buddy?"
"Okay, our fresh start is officially over," she said angrily. She went to leave but he grabbed her arm, pulling her back.
"Hey, I'm sorry, okay? Please don't go. Tommy will find out I pissed you off for the second time in one day and dip my hand in warm water again when I'm sleeping."
Despite her irritation, Felicity couldn't help but smirk. "Do you and Tommy live together?"
He nodded. "For two years."
She bit the inside of her cheek. Every bit of her wanted to leave and not have to talk to Oliver Queen again, but the fact that he lived with Tommy led to another undeniable fact that she would be seeing a decent amount of him. Her and Tommy were close, and she couldn't exactly ignore Oliver in his own apartment. Besides, it seemed like Tommy and Oliver were close.
"I have one ground rule," Felicity said after a moment. Oliver nodded for her to continue. "From this moment on, neither of us mentions the cab incident."
He laughed, nodding. "That seems fair."
She paused for a moment and asked, "Have you done the hand in warm water thing to Tommy?"
He didn't know whether or not this was a trick question, but he decided no one could ever fault him for the truth and he nodded. To his surprise she grinned wide and said, "I wish I could have seen that."
An hour or so later they snagged one of the coveted large corner booths at the edge of the club. Felicity was sipping her second drink bought by her for Oliver. She let him pick the drink for her after he obstinately refused to order her a cosmopolitan, and she was pleased with the pumpkin-basil whiskey sour he brought her back.
"So, where do you work?" Oliver asked. Felicity had just told them it had been her first day at work and she already had to fix the fax machine twice.
"Merlyn Global Group," Felicity said.
"She's in the family business," Tommy filled in. "And my father has neatly shifted all his hopes and dreams for me to her. It's a nice little arrangement."
"I think you're too hard on him," Felicity said, remembering the numerous pictures of Tommy and the family that Malcom Merlyn had on his desk.
"No, I'm just basing an opinion off of years of missed birthdays, graduations, and that one time he legitimately confused me for my brother."
"You and Rob do look alike," Felicity tried.
"Sure, maybe it you squint really hard and downed a handle of vodka," Tommy said. His gaze had drifted off into the crowd and he perked up when he saw something. He hit Oliver arm and said, "Green dress has surfaced again."
Oliver looked at him in confusion. "What?"
He pointed over to a group of girls to the side and Oliver recognized the green dress girl from before. She felt his gaze and glanced back, a satisfied grin spreading on her face as she placed a hand on the curve of her waist and pointedly looked away.
"I believe my presence is requested," he said, standing up. "Felicity, it was a pleasure meeting you. I'm sure we'll be seeing more of each other."
"Yes, we will," she returned in a voice that masked just how she felt on that particular topic. "Make sure that one has her shots, now."
He smirked. "Thanks for the advice. I'll see you guys later."
Felicity watched Oliver walk over to the green dress. He touched her arm and she glanced up with a knowing grin. Felicity wouldn't be surprised if he had her out of the club and on her back in less than an hour.
"So, that's your roommate," Felicity said, tearing her eyes away from the mating ritual.
"Yeah. It seemed like you guys were getting along okay. I wasn't so sure after the cab –"
"Ah, no," she interrupted, holding up a hand. When he gave her a confused look she told him, "There is a complete and total moratorium on speaking of that event. It's really for the well being of everyone."
Tommy laughed. "Whatever you say. So, my dad's not being too much of a dick at work, is he?"
She shook her head. "No, he was actually really great today. He invited me to a lunch with some of the company's shareholders. It seemed a bit strange for an IT kid to be there, but everyone was really nice."
"Good," Tommy said. "Because you're too nice to have to deal with his bol shit."
"I can handle it," she assured him. "But I don't think I'll have to. I think…" she trailed off, not knowing whether she should continue.
"What?" he asked. When she didn't say anything he pressed, "What is it?"
"I just think he's different since your mom passed away," she said. It had only been a year, and she didn't know if it was appropriate to bring it up – especially in the middle of a club – but Tommy only shook his head.
"He mentioned you a lot," she told him. "He was telling me about the club here and how you and Oliver built it single-handedly. He's proud of you."
"Yeah, well, being proud of someone is not the same thing as having an actual relationship with them," he said bitterly. "Anyway, I don't want to talk about him. I just wanted to make sure he's treating you okay."
"He is," she assured him.
"Good." He was silent for a moment, studying her face. "You want to go home, don't you?"
She laughed and nodded. "Yeah. I have since about the moment I got in here."
"Alright," he said, scooting out of the booth. "You know, you're lucky you're family. I'm giving up this prime real estate for you right now."
She smirked. "I am more than capable of getting a cab."
"I know. Come on."
They headed out of the club, Felicity's blood pressure decreasing significantly when they stepped out into the cool outdoors. There was a line for cabs and her and Tommy went and stood in the back. They chatted about nothing in particular, passing time as the line moved up steadily.
"I hope you had a little bit of a good time tonight," Tommy said, opening the cab door for him.
"I did," she told him, ducking into the cab. She looked up at him from the seat. "Thank you for taking me out on the town, Tommy."
He smirked. "Anytime. Have a safe trip to your apartment."
He closed the door and the cab driver glanced at her in the rearview mirror, waiting for the address. She told him the address and then leaned her head back against the seat, watching Starling City pass in a blur outside the window.
A/N: Is this worth continuing?
I know Oliver is sort of douche-y in this first part, but it's intentional. He will get better. I promise!
Note - I am out of town until Friday, so if I continue this it will likely not get an update until the weekend.