A/N: Hola, peepolas! How is every little thing?
Now, for those of you meeting me for the first time, hey there, lovely to see you here, I'm thrilled you chose to spend some precious seconds of your life checking out this fic… however, to get the full appreciation of this fic, I'm really going to have to highly recommend that you check out the first part of this story which is called 'Secret Women's Business' before attempting to read this story. Now, I'm not saying that not reading SWB's will render this fic unreadable and a total waste of your time… but I am saying that partaking in this fic without reading the first one is a bit like having pancakes by themselves. Doable… but what's the point really? Plus, there are quite a few inside little references which will only make sense if you read my first story, so yeah, I think it's best for everyone involved if you toddle off and check out 'Secret Women's Business' first, okay? Don't worry, we'll wait for you to get back before going any further, take your time, no rush.
… yeah, no, we're totally not going to wait for them to get back. Let's do this thing already!
Now, an update in my life. First, I've discovered a new special talent. You know how Spock does that V thing with his hand and says 'Live Long and Prosper'? Well, I can do that with both hands and wait for it, my left foot. Only my left foot mind you, I think my right foot is more of a Star Wars fan. I'm keen to add this new skill to my CV. I'm not really sure when it'll come in handy, but like most super powers, I feel like when the time is right, I'll just know. Pretty much like when Clarke finally flew in the last episode of Smallville… after 10 frickin' years. Way to be ahead of the curve there, Kalel. Hopefully my special talent won't take ten years to come in handy. Stay tuned for more exciting updates on this matter.
Secondly, and probably more relevant to why you're all here in the first place, updates about my Arrow fandom. I have now watched the entire first season of Arrow. Yes, I am light years ahead with my Arrow mythology then I was at the beginning of my first fic… which was zero, so really, I'd set that particular bar pretty damn low. I've have given up the fight to try and stay strong against the charisma of the Olicity/Stemily juggernaut of awesomeness and thrown myself head first into shipping the living hell out of both of them. Sorry, Stephen and Emily, shipping on you by me this hard may leave some chaffing… you may want to put some cream on that… and save some for David Ramsey because that man is too delicious for words.
I'm pumped for S3 with Stephen Amell telling us there is only one woman for Oliver in S3 and that is Felicity. It's pretty obvious that he is a super Olicity fan himself and in that special fanwanking way that only fangirls and boys can really understand, I've already pretty much assumed he had a big hand in making Ollie all about Felicity this coming season. It doesn't hurt that the writers and EP's seem like pretty big fanboys of Olicity too. I know there are no guarantees with this kind of thing but if the writing is good, I'll follow… and if the writing dissatisfies, I'll fan fic.
Now, about this actual story. Whilst there will be elements of humor in this one, it isn't intended to be quite as light hearted as the last story. So yes, there will be angst… and a rating level which may get a little more adult as we go along. I'm just going to listen to the muse on that one because for me, one of the greatest appeals of the Olicity relationship is that it's not heavily based in lust. I mean, they have their moments but the way Felicity feels about Oliver is so much more pure than simple sexual attraction and the same goes for him, I think. We'll have clarification in episode one of Season 3 but in the meantime, I'm just going to run this as to where I'm up to in watching the show. And, on that note, I'm not really following a particular time line from the show in this story. I usually do but this time I'm just borrowing the characters and plonking them into my own s/l. Basically I have Moira being dead but no Malcom Merlyn/Thea reveals or anything like that. And, I'm having Quentin Lance still hunting the Hood and hating on Oliver… and no Laurel in this story… at this point.
What else to say? Lots probably, but how about I just let you read the first chapter and see what you make of it. It doesn't really give you any kind of clue as to where this story is going to go… or does it? (It doesn't) But hopefully you'll have fun with it anyways.
Thanks again for checking out this new story of mine. While you read I have to try and get my muse out of the crawlspace in my walls. Last time she got back there she chewed through all the wiring and it cost me an arm and a leg to get an electrician out to fix it all. Damn muse… talk about being raised by wolves with a heavy crack addiction. Definite time out for her coming up. Wish me luck…
LOVE POTION #9
"I must get my soul back from you; I am killing my flesh without it."
The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath
Oliver pulled at the neck of the close-fitting exoskeleton suit which he was wearing under his regular workout clothes. He looked around at the deserted old docks with its lines of abandoned warehouses as Diggle walked up to him. "I didn't even know this place existed," he commented to the other man.
"I'm not surprised. These docks haven't been used since just after World War II," replied Diggle. "Plus, they're a bit out of town, so they've got the privacy factor we were going for with testing this suit."
"It was a good find," said Oliver approvingly. He glanced over at the van they'd all driven to the spot in.
"Felicity is just sorting out the cameras," said Diggle to his unspoken question. "You nervous about doing more testing on the suit?"
"Because Felicity said she even though she hasn't completely figured out the overheating issue, we're not going to be testing it against weapons tonight."
"I know," said Oliver a little distractedly, still watching the van.
"Oliver, I'm going to ask you an honest question and I'd kind of appreciate an honest answer."
Oliver dragged his attention away from the van and frowned at Diggle. "Okay."
"Is there something going on with you and Felicity?"
Oliver's frown deepened. "No, why do you ask?"
"You're doing that question thing after a denial again," pointed out Diggle. "And I just want to remind you what happened last time you kept me out of the loop when you had a bee in your bonnet about Felicity."
"I don't have a bee in my bonnet about anything," said Oliver hotly. "Who even talks like that nowadays?"
"Don't change the subject," said Diggle firmly. "Just answer my question."
"I did," said Oliver sharply. "Nothing is going on with Felicity and me… not really."
Diggle pulled a face. "And there we have it. What does not really mean?"
Oliver hesitated. It had been just over two weeks since the night of the first testing of the suit and he and Felicity had shared that moment when for a brief few seconds, Oliver had contemplated throwing all caution to the wind. Diggle had interrupted them just in time and since then, neither one of them had spoken about it. Oliver would catch Felicity looking at him sometimes and he knew she was waiting for him to reference that almost kiss between them but Oliver just wasn't sure what he wanted to say to her about it.
"I almost kissed Felicity," confessed Oliver.
"You kind of interrupted us."
Diggle blinked. "When?"
"After the first test of the suit, when she was patching me up."
Diggle frowned. "But that was weeks ago."
"And what has happened since then?"
"But you must have talked about it?"
Oliver pulled a face. "Not exactly."
"And by not exactly you mean…?"
"Not at all."
Diggle folded his arms in front of himself. "So, you're telling me you went to kiss Felicity but didn't and then just haven't talked to her about it?"
Oliver moved his shoulders restlessly. "I just haven't gotten around to it. It's been a busy couple of weeks," he said defensively. "And then she was in Gotham City for those few days, consulting with Lucius about the suit."
"You two spend more time together than anyone else," pointed out Diggle flatly. "Hell, you spend more time together in any given day then most married couples. How could you have not found the time to not leave Felicity hanging like that, even if she was out of town for a few days?"
Oliver scowled. "I didn't leave her hanging."
Diggle pressed his lips together and gave him a disapproving look. "I'm going to assume you're not a total idiot and you're aware that Felicity has a soft spot for you."
Oliver did know that. It was kind of obvious sometimes. And in his weaker moments, Oliver had to admit he liked knowing that… a lot.
"And I'd hate to think you'd use her feelings for you as some kind of prop when there was no one else around."
Oliver was taken aback. "What the hell does that mean?"
"It means don't break that little girl's heart," said Diggle sternly.
"I would never intentionally hurt Felicity," said Oliver hotly.
"And that's my problem with this, you don't seem to know what your intentions are when it comes to Felicity and I won't have you jerking her around just because a whim takes you and you feel the need to be kissing a pretty girl at random moments."
"It's not like that with Felicity and me," said Oliver tightly. They weren't just about physical attraction and that was kind of the problem.
"Listen to me, Oliver, and know I'm saying this with a lot of love in my heart, but you're a red hot mess when it comes to your love life. You are to romance what dysentery is to a dinner party."
Oliver glared at him. "I'm so glad you prefaced that with the love in the heart bit. It really softened the blow when you compared me to diarrhea."
Diggle arched an eyebrow at him. "Are you seriously going to suggest your dating history is anything other than a nuclear holocaust?"
Oliver opened his mouth to do just that but was then forced to close it again.
"Exactly," said Diggle knowingly. "And if you want my opinion—"
"Pretty sure I don't based on how this conversation has gone so far," said Oliver in vague annoyance.
"I think you and Felicity would be amazing together."
Oliver looked at him in surprise. "You do?"
"I do. You two fit in a way that shouldn't really work but it just does only there is one big sticking point for me."
Diggle had all of Oliver's attention now. "And that is?"
"You need to be all in, Oliver," said Diggle, holding his gaze unblinkingly. "Felicity deserves nothing less than a man who knows his own mind and what he wants and what he is willing to do to have it. If you keep on going back and forth on what you feel like you can offer Felicity then you're going to break this, break us." He indicated the three of them. "If you mess around with Felicity's heart, whether it's intentional or not, there is a very real possibility she'll feel like she can't be around you anymore and you know what that means, right?"
"I don't want to break Felicity's heart," said Oliver emphatically. "That's the last thing I want, Digg."
"Yeah, but it could happen."
"And you're worried about Felicity, I get it," said Oliver unhappily.
"I am," said Diggle quickly, "but you're the one I'm ultimately worried about the most because the truth of the matter is that you need her more than she needs you. I knew you before Felicity and I've known you after and the truth is, you're a better man with Felicity in your life than without." He gave Oliver a somewhat sympathetic look. "Just be sure, that's all I'm saying. Don't make the same mistakes you've made with all the other women in your life so far. Felicity doesn't deserve a half-assed attempt at love. She deserves the whole package and for what it's worth, I think you do too but I'm not sure you believe that about yourself and until you do, I feel like you're just going to keep on self-sabotaging every chance you get at happiness and I don't want Felicity caught up in your whirlpool of self-loathing."
Oliver just stared at him. "You have a lot of opinions on the subject of me and Felicity."
"You two are very important to me," said Diggle unapologetically. "I tend to have a lot of opinions about people I care about."
"I want to do the right thing, Diggle, by Felicity, by all of us," said Oliver unevenly. "And I just feel like I'm not the guy who—"
"Who what?" asked Diggle intently.
"Who gets to have it all," said Oliver hopelessly. "I don't get to make a difference in this world, lead this kind of life and still get to have the beautiful, funny, sweet and innocent girl to come home to." His expression clouded over. "I've done too many things, Digg. Too many unforgivable, irreversible things in my life. That guy doesn't get to stand in the light, he has to stay in the shadows."
"Is that really how you see yourself?" asked Diggle in concern. "Because you've done a lot of good things too, saved a lot of lives, people who'll never even know what they owe you." When Oliver didn't immediately respond, Diggle put a hand on his shoulder. "Shadows only happen when there is light in the darkness, Oliver, you might want to remember that."
Oliver knew what Diggle was saying but he also knew that too much darkness could envelope the light and extinguish it forever. He looked over to where Felicity was finally climbing out of the van, several cameras in hand, along with a metal case. He couldn't risk drowning her light with all of his darkness. Doing something like that would only add to his long list of sins and Oliver couldn't do that to Felicity. She didn't deserve that, she didn't deserve him. Fortunately he was spared continuing the conversation as the two of them hurried up to help her, relieving Felicity of the cameras and case.
"Thanks," she said gratefully. "I think I've got everything we need."
"That's a lot of cameras," remarked Diggle.
"I want to set them up and get views from different angles of the suit in action," said Felicity, pushing her glasses up her nose. She nodded at the suitcase Oliver was now holding. "And I want to make sure I'm monitoring you closely, Oliver. I need to see how the modifications track with your body." Felicity wrinkled her nose. "I really don't want a repeat of what happened last time." She looked between the two of them. "Are you sure you're both up for this?"
Diggle half-smiled. "As long as tonight's activities don't involve me having to have my retina's scarred by the sight of Oliver's bobbing white ass at some point, I'm good to go."
"That's great," said Oliver straight-faced. "Because you were really helpful last time." He paused and pursed his lips. "Wait, no, that's not the right word. What's the word I'm looking for?" Oliver clicked his fingers. "Annoying, really annoying last time. I always get those two words confused."
Diggle chuckled. "Then my work here is done." He looked at Felicity. "I'll start setting up the cameras. You just want them in a perimeter around this area?" Diggle motioned his hand to indicate the area behind them which consisted of a warehouse with scaffolding covering part of one wall, a water tower and a couple of docks.
Felicity nodded. "That would be great, Digg, thanks." Diggle walked off to start setting up the cameras and Felicity pointed at the case Oliver was holding. "You can put that down on the ground and I'll start getting you set up."
Oliver placed the metal case on the ground and watched as Felicity bent down and opened it up. Diggle was right, they needed to talk about what had almost happened between them. "Felicity."
"Mm?" she responded distractedly, fossicking through the case.
Oliver tried to work out a way to take a run up at this thing. "You… ah… you never really told me how your trip to Gotham City went."
"That's because as soon as I stepped off the plane we had that string of bank robberies to deal with."
"I know but I was just wondering how it went?"
Felicity stood up and grinned at him. "It was great," she said excitedly. "And Bruce said I could come back any time."
"Bruce Wayne," said Felicity easily.
Oliver tilted his head. "I didn't realize you knew Bruce Wayne." He'd met the man a few times since taking on the running of Queen Consolidated but couldn't remember Bruce and Felicity crossing paths before.
"I didn't but he was in the R&D department when I went to meet Lucius and he introduced us." Felicity pursed her lips. "He wasn't really what I expected."
"What did you expect?"
"I don't know. Kind of a ditzy playboy but he was really kind of… sweet, I guess."
"Sweet?" said Oliver cynically. "That isn't really isn't the guy's reputation."
"I know, like I said, he wasn't how I thought he'd be and he was really nice to me."
"I bet," said Oliver flatly. Bruce Wayne's reputation with the ladies rivaled his own, only Oliver had left that life behind him. If even half the tabloid stories about Bruce were true, then Oliver knew exactly why the other man was being so sweet to Felicity.
"He showed me around the R&D department and it's huge," said Felicity with obvious admiration.
"Bigger than Queen Consolidated's?"
"Oh yeah," said Felicity candidly. "Bruce's is way bigger than yours, Oliver." She stopped abruptly and blinked a couple of times. "Not that size matters," she continued on hastily.
Oliver pursed his lips. "I don't think that there has ever been a man in the history of time which has ever really believed a woman when they've told them that," he said dryly.
"It's just that Wayne Enterprises has been focusing on that kind of stuff for longer," backtracked Felicity. "Of course it's going to be bigger and more developed and more—"
"I get it, Felicity, Bruce's is more." Oliver didn't know why he was annoyed at that thought but he just was.
"Anyways," said Felicity uncomfortably, "it was just really helpful to have access to those kinds of resources. Lucius and I made a lot of progress with the suit."
Oliver looked at her intently. "Does Wayne know about the suit?"
"No, of course not. Lucius just told Bruce that he'd offered me a job and was showing me around."
"Which is the truth." Oliver was watching Felicity's expression closely. "Now you've seen the size of the department, were you tempted to accept?"
"No," said Felicity quickly. A little too quickly. "Okay, it was hard not to get a little excited about the possibilities," she conceded, "but what I'm doing here, with our team, there is nothing that could trump that, ever."
Oliver was slightly mollified to hear that. For a moment Felicity had made him nervous. Diggle was right. He couldn't lose her and certainly not to the likes of Wayne Enterprises. They could find their own brilliant, funny, go to girl. They sure as hell weren't having his.
"Anyways, like I said, Bruce was really sweet. When I was leaving he gave me a box of different kinds of green tea, said I might find one that I could stomach better amongst them all."
Oliver frowned a little. "How did he know about your green tea aversion?"
Felicity looked a little embarrassed. "I was drinking some just as Lucius went to introduce us and I started choking and then I kind of spat it out all over his suit." She made a pained expression. "I think he was wearing Armani."
Oliver's lips twitched. "You spat green tea on Bruce Wayne?" He wished he could have seen that.
Felicity screwed up her face. "Yes, it was horrible. I was so embarrassed."
"You're not embarrassed when you do it to me," said Oliver wryly.
"That's because it's you," said Felicity in exasperation.
"I'm just going to go ahead and take that as a compliment," said Oliver in vague amusement. "I'm sure that is what you were going for."
"We've got a history which can absorb a little bit of involuntary gag reflex," said Felicity a little defensively. "I was just meeting Bruce for the first time and that wasn't the first impression I was hoping to make."
"If he's handing out boxes of tea to you, I don't think you have to worry about the kind of impression you made," said Oliver flatly. He was a bit annoyed with himself that it hadn't occurred to him to gift Felicity with other types of green tea. Instead it had to be Bruce freaking Wayne.
"What wrong with him giving me a variety of green teas?" asked Felicity in consternation, obviously having picked up on the disapproval even Oliver could hear in his own voice.
"Because it wasn't a box of teas."
"What was it then?"
"It was breadcrumbs."
Felicity looked at him blankly. "Breadcrumbs?"
"When you're trapping small, furry animals, you bait the trap with innocuous little treats that the unsuspecting animal will like and you use them to lure your prey into the bigger trap."
Felicity held up a hand. "Whoa, did you just compare me to a small, furry animal?"
"I'm just saying Bruce Wayne is a predator and predators see the world in terms of always scouting for their next piece of prey," said Oliver unapologetically. "Trust me, I know."
"And you know this because?" she challenged him.
"On the island I hunted to survive and before the island…" Oliver wrinkled his nose. "Well, you know who I was before the island when it came to women. It's the same principle."
"Can you hear yourself?" asked Felicity in disbelief. "Do you actually think a man like Bruce Wayne would look twice at me? He dates supermodels and famous actresses, not little no-name IT wenches."
"It's the thrill of the chase," argued Oliver. "It doesn't matter who you are or even what you look like, it's the hunt which interests a man like Bruce Wayne."
Felicity's expression became irritated. "I'm going to go ahead and take that as an insult," she twisted his words back to him. "Seeing as I'm pretty sure that was what you were going for."
Oliver scowled. "That wasn't an insult, Felicity. I'm just trying to tell you to be careful around men like that."
"Bruce was nothing but a gentleman with me," she protested.
"Aha," said Oliver skeptically, "and when this gentleman offered the invitation to come back any time, did he happen to promise to put you up in one of his five star hotels?"
Felicity hesitated briefly. "Well, yes, but he was only being polite."
"And did he also happen to offer to show you the sights of Gotham City when you did?"
"Oh, well, he's just promoting his hometown," said Felicity defensively as Oliver obviously guessed correctly. "There is nothing wrong with that."
"I really don't think Bruce Wayne is on Gotham City's board of tourism," said Oliver acerbically. "The only thing he was looking at promoting to you was himself. It was an obvious by the numbers play."
"You're really cynical, do you know that?" said Felicity flatly.
"I'm just not as naïve as some," he said, giving her a pointed look.
"I don't even know why we're having this stupid conversation," said Felicity in exasperation. "I went to Gotham to work on the suit… and that's what I did. Just because I accidentally spat on a billionaire while I was there isn't important. I also stole all of the soaps and shampoos from my hotel room and that's not relevant either."
"That's not stealing," he corrected her. "You've paid for the room, they're there for you to use."
Felicity looked a little torn. "I also may have swiped a handful of them from the maid's trolley when she was stocking up the room across from me," she blurted out. Felicity's face screwed up. "Don't judge me. I can't help it. All those little bottles are so cute. I have to have them."
Oliver couldn't help the smile which came to his face. "So, you're a kleptomaniac, good to know."
"Only for little soaps and baby bottles of body care products," said Felicity defensively.
Oliver shook his head, finding the revelation of this latest quirk of Felicity's to be very endearing.
"Anyway," said Felicity, obviously looking to change the subject, "all of this talk isn't getting you ready for the trials tonight." She crouched back down by the metal case and started to pull out various leads and bits and pieces.
Meanwhile, Oliver realized he'd gotten completely sidetracked with what he'd wanted to talk about to Felicity in the first place. He glanced over his shoulder to see Diggle was still off in the distance, setting up the cameras. Oliver then directed his attention back on Felicity who was straightening up with a handful of monitoring equipment. "Felicity."
"Yes?" She handed him the same self-adhesive pads she'd used on him before to monitor his body temperature. "These go on your chest."
Oliver pulled down his t-shirt and the exoskeleton suit and applied the patches to his chest. "You know when we last tested the suit—"
Felicity looked up at him sharply. "I know what you're going to say," she said quickly.
"You do?" asked Oliver skeptically.
"I promise you, nothing like that is going to happen again."
Oliver frowned. It wasn't? Despite the fact Oliver had been about to brush off their little moment, for Felicity's own good, to hear her actually dismiss that almost kiss actually stung far more than he'd expected. "What if I want it to happen again?" The words were out of his mouth before Oliver could stop them. What the hell was wrong with him? Diggle was right, he couldn't keep his intentions straight about Felicity for more than five minutes at a time.
Felicity was looking at him like he'd lost his mind. "Why on earth would you want the suit to burn you again?"
Oliver blinked. "Oh, right, the suit." He cleared his throat. "Actually, I didn't mean that. I meant what happened after my unplanned manscaping session."
Felicity's eyes widened a little. "Oh… okay." She stared at him, obviously expecting him to say something.
Oliver shifted his weight a little on his feet. "I… ah… well, you know… sometimes…" He grimaced. "What I'm trying to say is that sometimes when… you know… there are these moments where… in hindsight…"
"I think I liked your 'can't be with someone I could really care about with the life I lead' speech better," said Felicity, interrupting his rambling attempts to get out what he knew he should say.
"Felicity," said Oliver unhappily.
She fixed a bright smile to her face. "It's fine, Oliver, really. It was just one of those stupid things. Your brain was cooked from the suit and it impaired your judgment and impulse control." Felicity indicated towards his arm. "Give me your hand."
Oliver distractedly complied, trying to read her expression. "Felicity—"
She strapped a heart monitor watch to his wrist, continuing on determinedly. "Really, Oliver, there is nothing to talk about."
"So, we're good?" asked Oliver hesitantly. That little talk hadn't gone exactly as he'd planned but then he hadn't really been sure what kind of reaction he was going to get from Felicity in the first place.
That bright smile was back on her face. "Of course we are," said Felicity simply. "Nothing happened. There is nothing not to be okay about." She pulled a face. "Sorry about the double negative. We're friends and that's all we'll ever be."
Felicity gallantly held his gaze in an attempt to show that she really was fine with that as Oliver stared back at her.
"And that's not nothing. That's a lot," he replied unevenly.
"I know. It's enough, more than enough."
It was like they were both trying to convince each other and themselves that they were both content to draw a line under their relationship as it stood. The thing was though, Oliver found himself suddenly unable to stop staring at her and Felicity seemed to be having the same problem. They'd both just agreed that friends was enough for them, so why couldn't he bring himself to take his eyes off her? Felicity bit her bottom lip as they stood there, staring at each other and Oliver's eyes were immediately drawn to their softness as she gnawed away at the unprotected flesh. Before he could stop himself, Oliver cupped her face, brushing his thumb over her lips. "Don't," he said softly, "you'll hurt yourself." Felicity gave him a surprised look, immediately stopping the assault on her own flesh.
You'll hurt yourself.
A sensible warning for both of them regarding this moment and yet Oliver couldn't make himself drop his hand from her face. His thumb rubbed its way back and forth over Felicity's bottom lip, mesmerizing them both. Oliver felt his breathing become constricted, his hand tightening its hold on the Felicity's face. Suddenly there was a persistently noisy little series of beeps and it startled them both. Oliver instantly withdrew his hand from Felicity's face, not knowing what it was.
"It-it's your heart monitor," said Felicity unsteadily, looking decidedly flushed.
Oliver looked down at the monitor on his wrist.
"It beeps when your heart rate gets over a hundred," explained Felicity a little breathlessly, gaze skittering away from his.
"Right," said Oliver a little dazedly, looking at the read out on the monitor. 115. Significantly higher than his usual resting pulse of around 50. He grimaced, not really appreciating the monitor announcing his lack of control around Felicity so stridently. Oliver willed his heart to slow down, forcing himself to calm down. He took a step back away from Felicity, finding that helped. The beeping stopped.
Felicity forced a strained smile to her lips. "At least we know it works," she said, attempting to gloss over their latest almost moment. "I'll check the body temp monitors. I'll just go and get my lap top."
Oliver watched Felicity hurry off just as Diggle came up and stood beside him.
"The cameras are all set," he announced. "You good?"
"Awesome," said Oliver in annoyance but that ire was directed at himself, no one else.
Diggle arched an eyebrow at him. "You two talk, clear the air the air about your little moment?"
"That's good." Diggle was staring at him. "Isn't it?"
Oliver was still watching the van. "Yes."
"Then why has Mr. Throbby come out to play?"
That damn vein. Oliver's jaw hardened as he put a hand up to that telltale vein in his temple. There was no point in being coy. "We had another moment," ground out Oliver, angry at himself for his weakness. Oliver looked at Diggle warningly. "Don't say it."
"Tough, because I'm going to say it," said Diggle sharply. "And again, know that it comes from a place of love." He reached out a hand and smacked Oliver sharply around the ear, with a bit more force than was strictly required.
"Ow!" protested Oliver, putting a hand to his still ringing ear and glaring at the other man. "Sometimes I wished you loved me a little less."
"Hey, I didn't want to have to do that but you left me little choice," said an unrepentant Diggle. "Get your shit together."
"I'm trying," complained Oliver, still rubbing his ear.
"Try harder," Diggle advised him. "Don't make me choose sides on this thing because I'm not saying I'm going to choose Felicity's… but I'm going to choose Felicity's."
"Choose my what?" asked Felicity, walking up to them, lap top under her arm.
"I like your coffee better than Oliver's," said Diggle smoothly.
"That's because I actually change the filter on the machine more often than once every two years," said Felicity dryly.
"And it makes all the difference."
Oliver dropped his hand away from his ear, eager to get this show on the road. Clearly he needed to be occupying himself with something at all times to avoid getting himself into any more trouble. "What do you want me to do?"
Felicity smiled at him. "I thought we'd start with some easy stuff. I'll just get you to run in the suit and we'll measure your speed. The suit should double your speed, maybe even more."
"You want me to run?" repeated Oliver. That sounded like a really good idea to him – running and not stopping.
Definitely a plan he could get behind right then.
A/N: BTW, just a heads up for those of you who are chronologically challenged, the title, Love Potion Number 9 comes from a very groovy song by The Clovers in 1959. Check it out if you don't know. There is also a movie of the same name which is decidedly less groovy but does star a very young Sandra Bullock, so there is a kind of retro interest there.
I hope this first chapter has enticed you to want to check out more. I will spoil this… Oliver is going to have a kind of shitty time of things, Diggle is going to be awesome and Felicity, well, we're going to learn heaps about Felicity during this story as I fill in many blanks for her that the writers have so far left wide open. Let me give you a hint of the goodness to come re: Felicity… The Giant Pistachio. There, I can't be more obvious than that in giving away what is coming up for her and Oliver, now can I? Yup, that's what I thought.