A/N: The title for this piece was inspired by the holiday song "Snowfall" by Ingrid Michaelson. Also, while this is technically complete, I wouldn't be surprised if I revisited this version of Oliver and Felicity someday in the future – perhaps even turning it into a holiday series in the years to come. I just... really like them and this gentle, quiet one shot. I hope you do as well. Enjoy and thanks for reading! ~Charlynn~
A Snowfall Kind of Love
An Olicity Flash Fic One Shot
Flash Fic Prompt #23: Mission: Mistletoe
The first time Oliver saw her, he noticed her because, while she was alone, she wasn't lonely.
It – she – should have been sad. Or maybe she would have been to anyone else but him. A young, attractive woman at a Christmas tree farm by herself during the holidays? Where was her family? Was she divorced, widowed, single? Why weren't there children with her, eager to trudge through the snow and sneak too many candy-canes behind their mother's back? If she didn't have a family of her own, then where were her parents, her siblings, aunts and uncles, grandparents, cousins? Nobody should willingly spend the holidays alone, least of all someone like her.
Yet, Oliver always spent Christmas alone now. Although his family invited him to go home for the holidays and spend both Christmas and New Years with them, he never accepted their invitations. Instead, he would argue that the roads were too bad, or he was just too busy – the holidays being his boom time of year for obvious reasons. At first, they would protest. They'd fight him. But, after several years of excuses, their insistence wained and so, too, did his guilt. He just... wasn't that Oliver anymore – the one who needed to be constantly surrounded by other people, the one who enjoyed the bright lights and the even brighter sounds that went with a big, effusive family holiday celebration, the one they remembered and still loved but yet hadn't been able to reconcile with the man he had come back to them as.
It was because of these same reasons – Oliver's dislike for crowds, for noise, for being the center of attention – that it was surprising that he even had a chance to notice the beautiful, young woman. While the tree farm was his business – something more to do with his time than something he actually needed to support himself financially, he left the day to day operations with the public up to his few, seasonal employees. While Oliver handled the brunt of the physical labor – planting, trimming, and cutting down the trees; gathering the loose evergreen, holly, and pinecones; taking care of the horses which pulled the sleds through the woods and fields, he didn't sell the trees, or assemble the wreaths, or drive the teams as they pulled their lively sled occupants. In fact, it was in trying to remain inconspicuous – living and moving on the outskirts of his own life – that Oliver noticed her – her joy, her pleasure. For several minutes, he watched the young woman. When she climbed aboard a sled, however – one hand tightly grasping a hot cup of cocoa, while the other situated a lap-robe around her legs, he let her go. He moved on, returned to his solitary work.
It wasn't until several hours later that Oliver realized that, whenever he closed his eyes, he still saw her, and, every time he did, he smiled. Too bad he'd never see her again.
Oliver was wrong.
The second time he saw her, it was a weekday, which meant that the tree farm wasn't nearly as busy. He preferred those days for obvious reasons, but, on that particular afternoon, it also gave Oliver the chance to talk to the young woman. Normally, he wouldn't have bothered, but it had been several days since the first time he had seen her, and the woman had yet to be far from his mind. He didn't approach her right away, though. He waited. Studied. Observed. For the first time in so long, he noticed the little things that didn't matter about someone.
Usually, if he saw one face, he saw a thousand. Features blended together. Nothing stood out for him. But her...? She was different. He liked that, instead of gloves, she wore mittens. They were impractical, something he otherwise would have dismissed, but also sweet and... completely fitting. The pink, fuzzy mittens were just as colorful, just as warm, as the woman who wore them... or so Oliver believed just by looking at her. He also appreciated the fact that she didn't seem to be in a hurry. Everyone else who came to the tree farm wanted everything right now, right away, yesterday, but she took her time. She looked and touched, running her mitten clad fingers over needles, laughing when she brushed snow off unto her coat and boots. And Oliver liked the fact that, when it started snowing after she had already been there an hour, she stuck her tongue out to catch some flakes, thinking that nobody was watching.
So, finally, when they were about to close and after she had consumed several cups of hot cocoa, he approached her, curious because she had yet to purchase a tree and worried that, despite all of his hard work, she hadn't been able to find the perfect pine or fir to grace her living room. But the words seemed to get stuck, and all Oliver could do was nervously clear his throat.
She spun around, obviously caught by surprise, not expecting anyone to have snuck up behind her. "Oh," she breathed out, big blue eyes behind smart, rectangular glasses going wide. And then, from her exclamation, he watched as the frames fogged over slightly, and she giggled – actually giggled. "Hello," she greeted him happily.
"Can I help you with something," Oliver offered. He had wanted to ask her for her name, why she was alone, if she would be coming back again, but, instead, he went with something safe. Something predictable.
She received his question well, though, smiling gratefully. "No, thank you," the effervescent blonde responded, punctuating her polite words with a carefree smile. "I was just leaving. I know you close soon, and I don't want to keep you. Have a lovely evening." She was already walking away before Oliver could stop her, but then she paused, spun back around to look at him once more, and waved, yelling out, "and happy holidays!"
He didn't, couldn't, say a single word in response before she was gone.
The third time she came to the tree farm, Oliver was ready for her.
He watched her carefully – seemingly without blinking, so, when she approached the next sled that would be leaving for a trip around his land, he surprised his employees by offering to drive the team himself. Without waiting for even one more patron to pile on, Oliver urged the horses forward at a steady clip, making the young woman call out in concern, "shouldn't we wait for the others?"
Instead of answering her – because, really, how could Oliver respond without making the moment uncomfortable and awkward?, he changed the topic. "You know, I've seen you here before."
Once they were far enough away from the lot, he allowed the draft horses to slow down to a walk, twisting in his seat to look over his shoulder. She was blushing profusely, the rosy glow to her cheeks more than just from the biting cold. "Shoot!" Oliver shocked himself by chuckling. "I mean, not shoot," she hastened to correct herself, "but sorry. I know I shouldn't keep coming without purchasing anything. Everything is really lovely. Please, tell Mr. Dearden that for me. I just..." Pausing, the woman blew out a harsh breath, the loose strands of hair which had come free from the braid she wore lifting momentarily from the sides of her face. "You guys have the best hot chocolate in town, and I'm a sucker for a sleigh ride. They get me. Every time."
"A sleigh ride," he questioned, still laughing softly. Thankfully, she wasn't offended, because she offered him a crooked grin in return. Obviously, she must have realized that he wasn't laughing at her; he wanted to laugh with her.
"I grew up in Las Vegas. I never even saw snow until I moved away for college." Although Starling City wasn't the desert, Oliver could understand snow's novelty... or, at least, he believed he could. After all, his family, for as long as Oliver could remember, had vacationed in places like Aspen and the Swiss Alps every winter. "But that only lasted for a few years, and it wasn't the same. I was in Boston, and I didn't know what a real snowfall was like until I..." Oliver was caught off guard when her tone became somewhat bitter, somewhat sad. "Well, until I had to come here." She quickly brightened once more, and his wonder and worry disappeared nearly just as fast. "But I like it. I didn't think I would. I remember watching that episode of Gilmore Girls where Lorelai offered sleigh rides at the inn, and it was supposed to be so romantic and beautiful, but I just thought it looked cold, and wet, and uncomfortable. There's a lesson there, I guess."
"What," Oliver offered. "Don't judge a book by its cover?"
She laughed. "No, I'd never do that." Before he could respond, she pressed on, "always trust Lorelai Gilmore. She'll never lead you astray... well, except for when she married Christopher, but that wasn't her fault, because the series changed show runners that final season, and it was all a mess. But Gilmore Girls is totally a chick show, so you probably have no idea what I'm talking about, and I'm just going to stop talking now in three, two, one."
He watched as the young woman seemed to mime screwing her mouth shut as tightly as she could, and Oliver settled back in his seat, turning around once more to make sure that the horses returned them to where they were supposed to go. A few minutes later, the ride was over, and she was disembarking. Oliver hadn't learned her name yet or why she was always alone, but the ride still left him with plenty to think about nonetheless.
On her fourth visit, Oliver switched her customary hot chocolate out for a hot toddy. When the young woman took an appreciative sip, she looked up at him with wide eyes, asking, "are you trying to get me drunk?" Oliver started to sputter, completely caught off guard by her assumption and question, but his discomfort was quickly eased when the blonde pixie laughed at his reaction, reaching out to squeeze his forearm through the many layers he wore, grinning at him widely. "I'm just teasing. Of course you're not trying to get me drunk, because then I'd never be able to make my mind up about what I want to buy."
He nodded his head over his shoulder, indicating that he wanted her to follow him, and, as they started to walk off, Oliver picked up an ax like it was no more than an umbrella and slung it over his far shoulder. He watched as she eyed the tool speculatively, but her steps never faltered. "I thought maybe it would help you if we walked the path instead. You'll have more time to study the trees that way. When you see something you like, let me know, and I'll cut it down for you." It was a calculated risk on his part – trying to make sure she didn't leave that day without a tree but, in doing so, he was getting to spend not just a few minutes with her but perhaps a few hours. "You'll need the whiskey to help keep you warm."
With just a slight touch upon his forearm once again, she made him pause. Turning to face her, he found the young woman staring at him inquisitively. "You're not just an employee, are you?"
Grinning and holding out a hand for her to shake, he introduced himself. "Oliver Dearden."
Her mouth fell open, and, instead of returning his gesture, she groaned out loud. "Oh god! Dearden... as in Dearden's Tree Farm?" She didn't wait for him to answer. "And my... freeloading has totally insulted your business. I'm so sorry!"
He actually laughed out loud. "It's alright. Why don't you tell me your name, and we'll call it even."
"Felicity," she was quick to answer, finally snagging his hand and shaking it enthusiastically if not apprehensively. Apparently, despite his reassurance, she still feared that she had offered him offense. "Felicity Smoak."
He liked it. It... fit her. "It's a pleasure to meet you, Felicity. Now," Oliver indicated the path that they had started on. "Let's find you a tree."
They walked in companionable silence for several minutes, Oliver slowing his naturally long and fast gait to match her much smaller yet no less rapid one. In fact, the way she moved reminded him more of scurrying than walking. He found that endearing as well.
When he first bought his land and started his business, Oliver wasn't sure what he would have made of Felicity all those years ago. His wounds and scars were still too raw then – live wires, so to speak. After five years of barely managing to survive after he and his father were believed to have perished during a freak yachting accident in the North China Sea, Oliver had returned to his family and his home in Starling City a completely different – damaged – man. He had tried to make it work. He had tried to be the Ollie his sister remembered, the dear boy his mother loved so much, the flippant playboy the world expected him to be, but he just... couldn't. Everything was too much, and it didn't take him long to take off once more, finding some remote town in the mountains to settle down in and claim as his own. There, no one knew him – either as his former self or as the new man he had, through hard work, sweat, and sacrifice, been forged into. Without Oliver realizing it, though, time and distance must have smoothed over some of his rougher edges, banished some of his deeper and darker demons, because, for the first time since he had been rescued by that fishing boat, he found that he didn't want to be alone. Instead, he wanted to be with Felicity.
"Okay, I admit it; I can't keep lying anymore," she burst out, making Oliver's sure steps falter as he hastily stopped in his tracks to turn around. He found Felicity twisting her mitten-clad fingers together harshly and biting her bottom lip. A sudden urge to do that – bite her lip – for her swamped through his veins. "I'm Jewish."
"What," he questioned, caught between confusion and amusement.
"I'm Jewish. I don't even put up a Christmas tree. Or a holiday wreath. Or holly. I've never had any intention of ever buying anything from you. I just... really like your hot chocolate."
"And the sleigh rides," he finished for her, smiling widely.
It took several seconds for Felicity to look up and meet his gaze. Once she did, she gasped in realization, "you're not mad."
Oliver shrugged happily. "You're the first customer I've ever noticed before." A pretty blush stole its way across the apples of her cheeks, the bridge of her nose. Deciding to push his luck even further, he dropped his ax where he stood, stepped forward, and took one of Felicity's hands in his, pulling her along with him. "Come on. There's something new that I just started growing this year that I think – hope – you'll appreciate... even if it isn't used in celebrating Hanukkah."
Fifteen minutes later, they were standing in the woods, the branches of the trees above them almost completely bare.
Felicity glanced around, flummoxed. "Are these... maple trees? Not that you could have planted them and had them grow this much in one year. Are you going to start selling maple syrup in the spring?"
Suddenly nervous, Oliver whispered, "look up."
She did, and then her mouth did that adorable thing again where it seemed to breathlessly, soundlessly form a perfect circle of surprise. "Oh." Oliver turned to stand directly in front of her, now holding both of her hands loosely in his. "You know," Felicity anxiously started to talk, never once tearing her eyes from the plant above them. "Technically, mistletoe is a parasite. It latches onto otherwise healthy plants and then steals their water and nutrients. However, despite this, it is extremely important ecologically, because many animals depend upon it for their..."
Whatever else Felicity was going to say Oliver cut off by kissing her. It was a sloppy embrace at first – fueled by trepidation over whether or not she would even want such a thing from him and the fact that their faces were partially numb from the cold. For several seconds, he just held his lips against hers, and, when Felicity didn't react, Oliver started to pull away... only for Felicity's hands to slip out of his so she could take hold of the front of his coat, wrenching him closer. Eventually, her arms slipped around his neck, and his moved to encase her waist, tiny even with all the layers she was wearing. He picked her up so that he could bring her warmth, her mouth, her... everything just that much closer, and, when he whispered his tongue out to lick her bottom lip, requesting entry, Felicity moaned her enthusiastic agreement. It wasn't until they were both breathless that they finally pulled away. Even then, though, they held each other close.
"Yes," Felicity stated emphatically. The sensuality laced through that one word, that one syllable, made Oliver tense deliciously. "Yes, yes, yes! You were so right."
His brain was still too drugged with pleasure to follow what she was saying. "What?"
Felicity was already closing the distance between their mouths once again as she murmured against his lips, "I'll buy it all – all the mistletoe."
But Oliver held back, making her pout slightly. "Or maybe," he suggested hesitantly. Suddenly, he couldn't look her in the eye, and, instead, he found his gaze dropping to those damn mittens of hers, which he found playing with the zipper of his coat. "You could spend the holidays... here. With me?"
The fifth time Oliver saw Felicity Smoak, she came with a carryon suitcase... and she never left.