A/N: I should be writing the ending chapter(s) of Love is a Kind of Warfare, but after the disappointing response after the last chapter I couldn't really find a lot of motivation and then after the AFC championship game and watching an old documentary about Tom Brady I got hit by this little idea, and I just had to write it down. Got some fun ideas for this Verse, and if you like it as much as I do, let me know in the comment section.

For now, happy reading and a wonderful weekend!

⁂ ⁂ ⁂

Oliver straightens the collar of his black coat as he leaves Table Salt behind him. A cold breeze greets him once he starts walking. After a truly Golden October with a lot of good weather, so far, November has only brought rain and cold to Starling City.

He starts walking the two blocks towards where he parked his car earlier, annoyed with his choice not to use the valet service of the restaurant. But then again, this allowed him to slip into the restaurant through the back door and have an undisturbed dinner with his best friend Tommy and his girlfriend Laurel, without the paparazzi huddling in front of the restaurant.

He loves his job dearly, but he could really do without all the media attention.

His thoughts drift back to the dinner he just shared with two of his closest friends, unable to suppress the memory of her. The incredibly attractive blonde woman in a blood red dress who he'd seen standing at the bar, her head thrown back in laughter, the sound of it drifting over to where he was desperately trying to keep track of what Tommy was saying.

But time and time again, he failed to concentrate on the conversation that was happening at his table, instead, he shot fleeting glances over to the mystery woman who he felt an inexplicable pull towards the second he'd laid eyes on her.

She left the restaurant a few minutes before him, leaving him wondering if he should go after her and ask her for her name. The decision was taken from him when Tommy announced that he and Laurel would be calling it a night. Oliver took that as a sign and thanked them for dinner, telling the mâitre d' to put it on his tab on his way out.

He quickly stepped out the front door and his head whipped around in search of the mystery woman, but to his disappointment she was nowhere in sight, the street completely deserted. He let out a frustrated groan. Maybe it just wasn't meant to be after all, he thought while he slipped into his coat.

As he walks down the street his thoughts are in a tangled mess of flashes of red silk, blonde hair and blue eyes. He shakes his head in dismay.

He missed his chance.

A mumbled curse dies on his tongue when he hears a muffled scream echo through the silent night. His head whips around, his step quickens as he looks around wildly, searching for the source. His heartbeat quickens when he reaches the entrance of a darkened alleyway. There, almost twenty yards from his position, he sees a two men cornering a blonde woman... in a blood red dress.

Anger flares through him like a wildfire when he sees another man behind her, one hand pressed over her mouth, his other arm banded around her, pinning her hands to her chest, effectively quelling her desperate attempts to break free.

"Hey!" he hears himself yell, his deep voice ricocheting off the brick walls.

His feet are already carrying him towards the group before his brain can even register what he's doing and tell him just how stupid his idea is to go up against three potentially armed, definitely pretty bulky men without calling the police first. But as he gets closer -even in the semi-darkness of the alley- he can see the trepidation and the silent plea for help in the blue eyes of the mystery woman, and it only serves to fuel his determination to get her out of this.

The two guys that are in front of her turn towards him. "Mind your own business, pretty boy."

"Let her go," Oliver growls, impressed with how deep and intimidating his voice sounds.

"Fuck off," one guy snarls and lunges at him.

He never though that being a quarterback would come in handy off the field one day, but by having guys try and tackle him every day in training, he knows exactly what to do and waits for the last possible moment to smoothly step out of the way, driving his elbow forcefully down into his attacker's back, sending him to the floor where his head hits the concrete with a sickening thud.

The second guy growls and starts his own attack, but Oliver blocks his hit and lands two quick hits of his own to the guy's stomach, throwing him off balance. Oliver uses the moment of distraction to hit him square in the jaw, a satisfying crack echoing off the walls before the thug slumps to the ground, unconscious.

Oliver turns to face the last thug who's perched behind the mystery woman, still clutching her to him tightly. He can't help but take in her tear-streaked face for a second, the mascara running down her cheeks, and her hair that was in a perfect up-do mere minutes ago and is now hanging loose from where her attackers must've grabbed her head.

A new wave of rage surges through him. "Let. her. go," he growls slowly through gritted teeth.

The thug shoots him a cold look, but Oliver can see the doubt swirling through his eyes as they flicker down to his friends laying on the floor behind Oliver, out for the count.

There's a moment where the whole world seems to stand still. Oliver can hear his own quickened heartbeat pounding in his ears as he waits for his opponent to make the next move.

A siren wails somewhere on the main street, close to the alleyway, making the thug flinch and turn his head in the direction of the alley's entrance.

"Let her go," Oliver repeats calmly, calling an audible. No, he didn't call the cops before he went into the alley and he doubts that anyone else has noticed what's going on, so he figures that the police car is driving off to another crime scene, which means he only has seconds before the car passes and the thug realizes he's not in danger of being caught.

He takes a step forward, hoping to force his opponent into making a decision.

A split second passes and then the thug releases his grip and pushes the blonde woman forcefully away from him, right into Oliver's arms, while the smaller man takes off running.

Oliver lets out a relieved breath, bowing his head down to get a closer look at the woman in his arms. She's slumped against his chest, hands gripping his jacket desperately. He just stands there, in a dark alley way, two attackers still laying unconscious on the floor just a few yards away, with the mystery woman leaning heavily against him. His hands hover somewhat awkwardly at her sides, unsure whether he should touch her or if that would scare her off.

A minute passes before the eery silence gets too much. "Are you okay?" he whispers, feeling stupid for even asking her when she's clearly not okay.

Instead of answering, she flinches, gripping his jacket even tighter.

He holds his breath, unsure of what to do next.

Then suddenly a choked sob rings through the cold night and her knees buckle beneath her. He's so surprised that all he can do is letting himself sink to his knees with her still wrapped tightly in his arms.

He doesn't even know the woman, but she manages to break his heart into little pieces with every shaky intake of breath. Helplessly, he wraps his arms around her, trying to soothe some of her pain.

A string of words fall from her lips, but their just a jumbled mess in between tears and whimpers. He lowers his lips to the side of her head, vaguely registering the industrial piercing that creates a stark contrast to her glamorous dress, and whispers calming words against the shell of her ear.

They stay like that for a solid ten minutes until Oliver starts growing restless, the two knocked out thugs laying so close to them making him feel uneasy. Her sobs have died down, now reduced to soft whimpers that wreck her body every so often.

He almost misses it when she speaks up, her voice muffled by his coat. "I'm fine now."

He lets out a relieved breath that he didn't even know he was holding. "We should call the police," he says quietly.

Her head shoots up, their eyes meeting, her eyebrow curls into a frown. "But..." she trails off, her head turning to the empty entrance of the alley. "Oh," she breathes out when realization dawns on her.

"Yeah, sorry, I didn't really have time to call the police and then I just..." he gestures towards the main street. "Went with it."

She nods slowly and turns back to him. "That was smart."

Suddenly her fingers uncurl from his coat and she takes a hasty step back, her eyes widening. "Oh God, I didn't mean to- I'm sorry," she apologizes in a rush.

"Don't be," he soothes gently and reaches into his coat pocket to retrieve his phone. "I'll call the police, why don't you sit down on that crate while we wait?" he suggests, glancing worriedly at her pale face.

She rushes closer to him once again, gripping the hand with his phone. "Don't," she pleads.

"We have to call the police, Miss. …," he trails off, realizing that he doesn't know her name.

She clenches her teeth in hesitation, but finally holds out her hand. "I'm Felicity."

He grabs her small hand in his and shakes it lightly. "Oliver."

He expects the all too familiar moment of recognition -the one he experiences all the time with Starling's citizens- to happen at the mention of his first name, but to his utter surprise she doesn't react to it... at all.

"Look, Oliver, I just wanna go home, change out these clothes, possibly burn them, and then take a long, hot shower to wash tonight's events off," she says, trying to keep her voice steady.



The simple roll of his name off her lips manages to convey more than a thousand words and he's stunned into silence by the effect she has on him.

"I know a guy who works for the SCPD, I'll call him and make sure he knows what happened," she says with a new-found conviction as she turns to walk the few steps to where her purse lay forgotten on the cold floor, right next to her torn black coat.

With a sinking heart Oliver realizes that the thugs had just thrown her purse away, ignoring her phone, money, and whatever else was in there. They'd just wanted her.

"Felicity," he whispers before he can stop himself.

She turns to him with wide eyes, tears forming in the corners, chest rising quickly with deep breaths, all the false bravado from just a few seconds ago is gone. The purse is held loosely by shaking fingers. She must've come to the same realization as he did.

She lets out a choked sob, one hand shooting up to cover her lips.

With cautious steps he moves towards her, waiting for her silent nod of permission before he steps into her personal space and takes her hands in his. With soft strokes he moves his thumbs over the backs of her hands in slow, soothing circles.

"What can I do?" he asks, feeling utterly helpless with this beautiful woman standing in front of him, desperately trying to clutch to her composure.

She looks up at him with wide eyes. "I don't know," she sobs, her breath hitched. "I don't... I just wanna go home." Her voice is just a broken whisper and it breaks Oliver's heart.

He nods mutely. "Is your car close?"

A frown appears on her forehead. "Uh, no, my friends dropped me off and I was planning on taking a cab home," she answers slowly.

He clenches his teeth in silent disagreement. "Look, Felicity," he starts, "I can call you a cab and wait with you until it gets here." She nods, her bottom lip caught between her teeth.

Lightly he tugs on her hands to get her full attention again. "Or..." he hesitates, wondering if he's bulldozering over every invisible line with his idea. "I could drive you."

Her eyes widen again and he mentally slaps himself. Of course she doesn't want a stranger to drive her home after she was just attacked by three guys in a dark alleyway.

He opens his mouth to backpedal from his offer to drive her home when she slowly nods her head. "Okay."

"I... uh... you mean..." God, get it together, Oliver! "Was that, uhm, an okay for the taxi or for me to drive you?" he tries again.

To his utter surprise, a small smile forms on her lips, and good God, she's beautiful when she smiles.

"You know, usually I'm the one talking in sentence fragments," she muses.

He lets out a huff, grateful for the moment of lightness. "You don't really seem like the babbling type."

Her timid half smile turns into a full blown grin, and it's so infectious that Oliver feels his own lips tick up into a smile. "Oh believe me babbling is my specialty. I'm pretty sure I unknowingly took a Master's class on how to put a foot in my mouth and graduated with honors."

She sobers a little, "And that was the 'okay, you can drive me home'. Of course only if you don't mind."

"I don't mind," he says earnestly and quickly shrugs out of his coat, offering her to slip in it which she does with a grateful smile.

With one last look at the still unconscious thugs laying on the ground he turns and leaves the alleyway behind, Felicity right next to him.

⁂ ⁂ ⁂ ARROW ⁂ ⁂ ⁂

She stretches back in the soft leather seats of his probably really expensive German SUV. A soothing warmth engulfs her from all sides, seeping into every cold cell of her body. Thank God, for heated seats!

Her eyes drift over to the man next to her. His eyes are glued to the street, even though she sometimes catches him shooting glances over to her. She takes some time to take in his appearance.

He's tall, even with her 4-inch heels he still stood a few inches taller than her. He's dressed in what she assumes to be a tailor-made suit that clings to his well-sculpted body in the most amazing way. He has electric blue eyes, and a soft stubble covers his jaw.

They stay quiet for most of the ride, the silence only interrupted by the instructions spoken softly by the navigation system. It gives her time to think.

Tonight was a close call. Too close. If Oliver hadn't come out of nowhere to save her... She shudders at the possibilities and immediately feels his worried gaze on her.

She keeps her eyes locked on a suddenly incredibly interesting spot on her lap. He's definitely something else. His kindness and compassion are almost overwhelming. The deeply worried eyes are enough to make her legs turn into rubber. Add in his insane good looks and she's a complete goner.

She rubs her hands together and closes her eyes, taking a deep breath. Thank God, that he can't read her thoughts otherwise he'd probably think she's a complete nutcase. Here she is, not even half an hour after being attacked by three street thugs, obsessing over her savior and his ridiculous good looks and overall perfectness.

Is there an equivalent to Stockholm Syndrome for her situation?

Yeah, like she said, total nutcase.

Because let's face it, a normal woman wouldn't have gotten into a car with a stranger after what she'd just been through. A normal woman would've called the police and let them deal with everything. But alas, Felicity Smoak is not a normal woman.

"Felicity," his soft voice yanks her out of her thoughts and she whips her head around, eyes flying open.

He looks at her with an indulgent smile. "We're here, I think."

A quick glance out of the window tells her that they are in fact standing in front of her house. Right, that was fast. Did she nod off?

"Are you okay?" he questions, probably taking her silence and the fact that she hasn't made any move to leave his car as a sign that she's in fact not okay.

She clears her throat. Get your shit together, Smoak.

"Yeah, yes, I'm good to... oh shit," she hisses when her eyes land on his right hand that is gripping the steering wheel. His knuckles are an angry red, a trickle of blood seeping out from a cut, his fingers look a little swollen.

"Oh my God, are you okay?" she asks, guilt washing over her, as she reaches her hand over to his injured one, ghosting over his swollen skin.

His breath hitches when she touches him and his eyes hold hers for a second before flickering down to his hand, a frown scrunching up his handsome face.

"I didn't even notice," he says after a beat, looking honestly surprised.

He lets go off the steering wheel and flexes his fingers experimentally and winces almost imperceptibly at the movement.

"Okay that's it," she says resolutely as she yanks open her door. "You're coming inside with me and let me take care of your hand."

His eyebrows hike up and she's pretty sure her face matches the color of her dress as she swallows hard. "I mean, only if you want to. Obviously I can't force you because you're all... big." Her eyes widen. "I didn't mean to imply that you're fat or that you have a big... Even though anything else would be quite disappointing considering your overall... hunkiness." Oh my God, Felicity, just shut the fuck up. "Can we pretend that the last 20 seconds didn't happen?"

His mouth has fallen open and he gapes at her for a few seconds before his lips curl into a wide smile. "Well, you've certainly earned that Master's degree."

She presses her lips together, pushing down any more inappropriate comments and instead opting for, "So are you coming or not?"

Well that went almost well. "Inside," she clarifies quickly. "Are you coming inside?"

He grins at her. "If you're sure."

He gives her an out, the opportunity to rethink her request, probably thinking that she's still in shock and making rash decisions. His thoughtfulness almost melts her insides.

"I'm sure," she says and gives him a confident smile.

He nods and with the press of a button kills the engine. "Lead the way."

⁂ ⁂ ⁂

She holds her breath when she turns the key in the lock, trying to remember the state she left her house in. She's not a particularly messy person, but sometimes things just end up being carelessly thrown on the couch or her kitchen table when she's in a hurry. And she was definitely in a hurry before she left for dinner earlier that night.

Please don't let a pair of panties or a bra lie around on the floor, she silently prays as she opens the door and flicks on the lights.

A quick glance around tells her she's in the clear. There are a few computer parts strewn over her coffee table but other than that she's good.

She kicks off her heels and reluctantly shrugs out of his coat and deposits it carefully over the back of a chair, instantly missing the calming warmth and just the scent of him that surrounded her for the past 20 minutes.

Yeah not creepy at all, Smoak.

She motions for him to follow her into the kitchen, rummaging through a cabinet until she finds a first aid kit. When she turns around she almost stumbles over her own two feet and her breath catches in her throat. He, too, took off his suit jacket, leaving him in a crisp white shirt, his tie already loosened around his neck while he works on his cufflinks and rolls up the sleeves to his elbows.

Is he trying to kill her with an overload of sexiness?

She must've made a sound because his head shoots up, his eyes seeking out hers with a curious glance, his head tilted slightly to the side.

Quickly, she clears her throat and points at the little table and two chairs. "Why don't you sit down."

He does as she says and places his right hand flat on the table waiting for her next move. She pulls up the other chair and opens the first aid kit to find hand sanitizer. She cleans her hands quickly and takes out a few supplies.

Carefully, she dabs an antiseptic wipe over the dried drop of blood. The cut underneath is so small she can barely see it but she still grabs the Neosporin and places a small amount on the wound. Only after securing a completely unnecessary band-aid over his knuckles, does she look up and meets his intense gaze.

She honestly doesn't know why she's so drawn to him. Why after everything that happened tonight she still seeks out the company of a man, a stranger no less.

But something about him is just so... familiar. She almost feels like she's seen him before, but that's just a crazy thought because she sure as hell wouldn't forget meeting someone like him. He just has a certain aura around him that makes him seem confident and imposing and at the same time completely trustworthy. Like a natural born leader.

His eyes are boring into hers, a small line has formed between his eyebrows and he looks at her like... like he's trying to figure her out. Like she's a mystery that he can't quite solve yet.

She's sure she blushes when she finally tears her eyes from his and gets up from her seat, busying herself with putting the first aid kit away.

"So," he starts slowly, "You're into computers?"

Yeah, he doesn't get points for the most innovative conversation starter, but he does sound genuinely interested.

"Always have been. I build my first computer when I was six," she shrugs and retrieves an ice pack from the freezer before offering it to him wrapped in a towel.

He accepts it with a smile and places it over his swollen fingers. "That's not exactly what most six-year-olds would do. Hell, I'm still trying to figure out how to get my smartphone to do what I want and I'm 29," he muses.

She gasps dramatically and shakes her head in mock exasperation. "Men... what would you do without us?"

He grins at her. "We'd be utterly lost and the world would be falling apart."

She huffs out a laugh. "Never doubt it," she says with a wink. "So what are you into?" She groans and has a sudden urge to facepalm herself. "I didn't mean that in a kinky way, I swear."

Oliver just chuckles quietly. "I'm into sports. Football, specifically."

"Huh, I actually know nothing about football. My friend Barry is really into it and basically worships one of the Starling City players and tries to drag me to the home games, but so far he hasn't succeeded."

There's some hesitation in his smile that she doesn't quite know what to do with. "You should go one of these days. It's fun. The tailgating, the atmosphere in the stadium, an abundance of drinks and junk food."

She tilts her head a little to the side. "That actually does sound like fun." She looks at his hands that still rest idly on the table when she realizes she hasn't offered him a drink.

"Oh wow, how incredibly rude of me. Would you like something to drink? I'm pretty sure I only have coffee and water, but..." she shrugs apologetically.

He glances at his watch and frowns. "Actually, it's getting kinda late and I have someone waiting for me at home."


Oh. Okay, maybe she'd been reading the situation wrong. She really felt like he was sending her clear signals that would suggest he was interested, too.

Or maybe he was just being nice, she chastises herself. God, just get a grip. He's not interested.

He stands and deposits the ice pack on the table. "Thank you for the outstanding medical treatment," he says with a lopsided grin. And dear God can he please stop looking at her like that if he's not interested?!

"Sure," she she replies with a tight smile. "It was the least I could."

They stop in front of her door and he turns around suddenly, the abrupt turn takes her by surprise and she slams into him.

He catches her by the waist before anything worse happens, holding her close to his body.

Wow, he's tall. Like really tall, especially now that she's not in her heels anymore.

She swallows hard and looks up at him, baffled by the tingling in her stomach when she realizes just how close she's standing to him.

"Sorry," he breathes, and she kind of hopes that his breathlessness is a sign that he's not quite as unaffected as he appears to be. He opens and closes his mouth a few times before he finds his voice again. "I know this is probably highly inappropriate, considering what happened to you tonight," he begins and his eyes turn a darker shade of blue at the mention of her attack earlier. "But I really wanna see you again... under different circumstances."

Her stomach does a somersault. Did he just kind of ask her out?

But then a thought creeps into her head.

"I thought someone was waiting for you at home," she questions, biting her bottom lip.

His hands fall from her sides and he takes a step back. And that's that, she thinks, vexed. But then again, it's better to stop now before she ends up being the other woman again. Once is already one time too many.

Instead of turning towards the door and hightailing it out of her house, he pulls out his phone from his suit jacket that had been resting over his arm. He lets out a frustrated grumble while he swipes over the screen a few times.

And then a triumphant smile appears on his lips when he finds what he was looking for and holds up the screen in front of her.

From the screen, a little boy clad in a way too big football jersey that reaches the ground beams back at her with a notable gap in his teeth.

"That's Connor, my son," Oliver explains, the note of pride doesn't go unnoticed by Felicity.

"He's adorable," she replies earnestly. But that really doesn't change anything, probably makes it worse, considering he has a family waiting for him at home.

Maybe he read the uncertainty in her eyes, because a second later he gently takes her hand in his and searches her eyes. "He's the one waiting for me at home. Only him." He tilts his head in contemplation. "Well, and technically my sister's also there because she's babysitting tonight, but there's no one else."


She can see the honesty practically seeping out of his intense gaze and can't suppress a little shudder. Sooo, he's interested after all?

He clears his throat, breaking the silence, and he looks... sheepish? "Can I... uh, give you my number? And you know, if you feel like getting a coffee or something you just give me a ring?"

Damn, he's already sexy when he's all imposing and confident, but holy hell, this shy version with his hands stuffed in his pants' pockets, eyes wide and hopeful, is downright gorgeous. How in the world is she supposed to say no to anything he asks?

She appreciates what he's doing: much like in the car earlier, he's giving her an out. He doesn't even ask for her number in return. Right now, she holds all the power. She can decide whether to continue this or pull the plug.

She's actually been through something similar like tonight just a few months ago when some street kid decided to threaten her with a knife until she gave him her purse. The joke was on him though because he didn't get rid of her phone and she tracked him from an internet cafe and gave Barry the coordinates so his colleagues could go and arrest him.

After that particular incident she started attending self-defense classes on a more or less regular basis. But even with some basic training she knows that she couldn't have held her own tonight. Not against three guys.

When they had wolf-whistled from across the street while she was waiting for a taxi to pass by she had hoped they would leave it at that. But they had crossed the street, coming closer, so she'd started walking away. Logically, she now knows that she should've gone back to the restaurant and let them call a taxi for her, but in that moment she had only thought about getting away. Turns out, that was her first mistake.

The guys had followed her, quickly eating up the distance between them until one of the guys had slapped her ass roughly. She'd spun around, her trusty pepper spray at the ready. Before she could even think about using it, one guy had already ripped the little container from her grip and another one had closed his large hand over her mouth. Why hadn't she thought of screaming earlier when she still had a chance?

They had dragged her into the alley. She only realized that they had ripped her coat off of her when the cold November air hit her skin. She'd tried to ignore their comments about how they liked it when chicks fought back, and how much fun they would have. Silently praying that someone, anyone, would come and help her.

That's when Oliver had appeared out of nowhere. Never in her life had she been so grateful to see an incredible good-looking stranger in her life.

Only after he'd knocked the two thugs out and send the other one running for the hills, had the realization sunk in of what just happened and worse, what could've happened.

Being in Oliver's arms and hearing his soft words of comfort had grounded and soothed her more than she would've ever thought possible, considering they were coming from a complete stranger after other strangers had just assaulted her. But there was just something about him.

"Felicity?" his low voice breaks her out of her thoughts and her head snaps up.


He smiles hesitantly. "Look if it's too much so soon after, I understand."

"No," she's quick to interject. Maybe a little too quick. "I mean, I'd like that. Seeing you again," she clarifies with a reassuring smile.

He quickly writes down his number on a scrap of paper he found in his pocket and hands it to her. "Good night," Felicity," he say in an impossibly soft voice.

"Good night," she replies. "And Oliver? Thank you."

⁂ ⁂ ⁂ ARROW ⁂ ⁂ ⁂

"Green 42, Green 42, Hut-Hut," Oliver yells through his mouth piece, sweat and rain dropping from his helmet onto the wet grass below him.

God, he hates playing in the rain.

He catches the snap from the center on the second Hut and retreats a few steps, trying to get a read on the defense. It's a tight game, the defensive men are taking all his passing options out of play.

He takes one more step backwards when he sees movement from the corner of his eye. But it's already too late. One of the defensive ends has found a way around his guards and crashes his padded shoulder into Oliver's chest. They both hit the ground.

"Run it again," Coach Wilson yells from the sideline of the training field.

Oliver groans, but lets his teammate pull him up. Right now he wants to be anywhere but here, being repeatedly put on the mats by the defense because his guards can't seem to do their fucking jobs today.

He zeroes in on his left guard who just let the defensive end through. "Harper, what the hell do you think your doing today? Start doing your job and don't let Williams get through."

"Man, you know that I usually play as a running back. I'm only filling in for Diggle," the younger man grumbles.

Oliver grabs his jersey and stops him from walking away. "You should be happy you get to play at all, rookie." He pushes him away and yells instructions at his other teammates while they line up the play again.

"Green 42, Green 42, Hut-Hut." The snap comes right at him, all he has to do is catch it like he has done thousands of times. But instead, the ball hits his right index finger in a weird way and an angry flash of pain runs through his body. It distracts him enough that the ball bounces off his fingers and topples to the wet ground. Shit!

A shrill whistling interrupts the messed up play.

"What the fuck is this, Queen? You've been distracted the whole night, but fumbling the fucking snap? Get off the field. Jones you're in," his coach bellows.

Oliver lets his eyes fall shut for a moment and he slowly trots off the field opening the clasp of the chinstrap of his helmet on his way to the sideline.

His coach grabs him by the shoulder pads. "Wanna tell me where your head is at tonight, kid? You're supposed to be these guys' role model on how to put 120 per cent into every single practice and here you are phoning it in."

Oliver suppresses the urge to role his eyes. "Sorry, coach, not my day."

It's not untrue though. His head has been somewhere else, or rather with someone else. Ever since leaving her house last night, he can't seem to get Felicity out of his head.

He wonders what she's doing. How she's holding up. Did she get any sleep last night or was she up, tossing and turning? Did she call her friend in the police department? What did she do after he left last night? Was she thinking about him? About calling him?

"Not my day, my ass. What's wrong with your right hand," his coach asks bluntly. "What? You didn't think I'd notice?"

He reluctantly stretches out his right hand to let his coach have a look. The swelling isn't quite as bad as last night, but his index and middle finger haven taken on various shades of blue and purple.

His coach grits his teeth together. "Getting into fights again? I thought we were well past your childish antics?"

It's Oliver's turn to clench his jaw. "It wasn't like that."

"I don't care. You're off the roster for the game on Sunday. Weight room for the rest of the week. I don't wanna see you anywhere near a football until practice on Monday. Ten thousand dollar fine to be paid to a charity of your choosing. And get your hand looked at by the Doc," he orders and turns around to observe the rest of his players.

Oliver is left to stare at him. Off the roster? No training with the team? Paying a fine?


Coach Wilson whips around, pressing his clipboard into Oliver's chest. "I told you before the draft all those years ago that if you ever get back to your fucked up adolescent shit behavior you'd be faced with consequences. So consider this as just that," he growls low enough so no other player can hear him. "If you ever get into a fight again, I'll kick you off the team for good. Now get out of my sight."

Well isn't this fucking great? Once again something from his past is thrown in his face. Will he ever be seen as the man he is now without people constantly reminding him of his past shortcomings?

⁂ ⁂ ⁂

A/N: Let me know what you think! Is this an AU you're interested in? Or should I stop while I'm ahead? Drop me a line and let me know if you want more!