A/N: Here we are, folks, a short and sweet epilogue. I'll have few more things to tell you after you're done reading, but for now, happy reading and a beautiful weekend to y'all.
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"Oliver, you've just crowned a spectacular season with the win of your second Super Bowl. How do you feel? And what would you like to say to your team and the fans?"
Oliver takes the mic from the interviewer and grins widely at the camera. "Thanks, Gordon. How y'all doing?" he hollers at the crowd that immediately goes crazy. "Thank you all for coming out tonight to cheer us on. We couldn't have won this without your incredible support."
His praise is met by another thunderous eruption of applause and cheers. "How do I feel? I feel fantastic. Even though the Atoms put up one hell of a fight we came out on top and won. The whole team gave it their all and we really came together to make this win happen."
"Where will the biggest party be tonight?"
"I think that's a better question for my younger team mates," he chuckles. "I'll be happy to join them for one or two celebratory drinks, but I'll be just as happy to go home to my son and celebrate with him."
His eyes scan the packed ranks of the stadium, drifting down to the field that's filled with players and their families, photographers, and reporters. His gaze lands on a familiar shock of blonde hair not too far off from the podium. Felicity's chasing after Connor who's completely drowning in his championship t-shirt. A happy smile makes its way onto Oliver's lips while a warm feeling takes over his body that has nothing to do with the adrenaline rush from just winning his second championship ring.
"Now if you'll excuse me, there's someone I need to see." Without waiting for an answer he shoves his mic into one of the reporters' hands and half-jogs off the stage.
His steps don't slow until he's only a few feet away from his girlfriend who's giving his son a piggy-back ride. He sneaks up behind them and grabs Connor under his little arms whirling the screeching kid through the cooling Arizona night air. "Daaaaaad, put me down."
Chuckling, he puts the kid down on the field and ruffles his hair. "How about you go over to Uncle Digg and say hi to him?"
Connor barely takes time to throw an 'okay' over his shoulder before he takes off running towards Diggle who's talking to his wife and some other team mates.
Oliver smiles to himself and steps closer to Felicity, banding his arms around her, pulling her flush against his front. "Hey, how are you?" he asks, never taking his eyes off hers.
She melts into him. "Pretty good," she smiles up to him. "You just won the Super Bowl."
"I did," he muses.
"I'm proud of you."
He huffs out a sigh and drops his forehead to hers. "I'm sorry for all the stress of the last few weeks."
She worries her bottom lip between her teeth and lets her eyes drift around. "This kinda makes it worth it, doesn't it?"
"Mhh," he hums non-committally, while his hands slip from her waist to her butt, slipping slowly into the back pockets of her tight jeans. "I still plan on making it up to you... many, many times," he breathes into her ear before pressing a lingering kiss to her temple.
She sinks even further into and he swears he can feel a groan erupting from deep in her chest. "It's not really nice to tell me something like that in such a public place," she mumbles into his chest, and with all the noise around them it's short of a miracle that he can even hear her low voice. "But don't think for a second that I won't hold you to that later, Mister."
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'Later' actually turns out to be a few days later, once some of the cheerful ecstasy surrounding the Archers' Super Bowl win has died down a little and they're finally back home. The last few days are a colorful blur of parties and interviews, and of course the big parade through Starling City this afternoon, sharing the team's triumph with all of its citizens.
Tonight is the first quiet night he's had in a long time, and he's sharing it with his girlfriend. What better way to spend a Wednesday night?
As if she's able to read his mind, the woman in question stretches languidly against him. Her soft skin creating a delicious friction against his own. He runs the tip of his index finger ever so slowly over the naked flesh on her waist and takes an almost primal pride in the way her whole body arches into him as a shiver rocks through her.
He knows that they'll eventually have to relocate to her bed, remembering how sore a night on her couch with her had left him not too long ago, but for now, holding her in his arms, both of their skins still glistening with a thin sheen of sweat, their breaths barely evened out, is a kind of pure perfection that he's not quite ready to give up.
The soft touch of her lips against his chest makes a lazy smile blossom on his lips. "What are you thinking about?"
His tongue darts out to wet his lips, his voice is a little hoarse from disuse. "I love you," he says simply, thinking that that pretty much sums up his current state right about now.
He feels her lips curl into a smile against his skin, and she drops another kiss right over his heart before moving up his body. "I love you, too," she whispers against his lips when she finally reaches his face.
It's his time to shiver. He'll never get tired of hearing those words come out of her mouth, especially when her voice is this husky after just making love to him.
And suddenly everything about his life becomes so incredibly clear to him.
"Move in with me."
It's not exactly what he wants to say to her, but at the same time he knows that they need to be in this relationship longer than then four or so weeks they've had since they worked things out on New Year's Eve, before he can ask her to marry him without freaking her out.
Or maybe she wouldn't freak out. Not if she feels the same way about him that he feels about her.
Because Felicity's it for him. His happily ever after. His forever. His one true love.
It's a realization that would've scared him years ago, but now? It's just right. It's what he wants. She's everything he'll ever want.
She looks at him with wide eyes, her hair a little wild from where he'd gripped it earlier, her lips deliciously swollen from his kisses. "You're crazy," she huffs out, her tone somewhere between wonder and caution.
"Yes," he laughs. "Yes, I am. And I wanna spend the rest of my life being crazy with you right next to me."
Her eyebrows draw together, building a little crease on her forehead. "Oliver..."
"Hear me out, okay?" He asks quickly, sitting up on the couch, pulling her with him, never once breaking eye contact. "I'm not asking you to marry me. Not yet." He smiles softly at her sharp intake of breath. "That's a conversation for another night when we're both ready for it. But, Felicity, I'm serious about being with you and spending as much time as possible with you. I know it won't be easy with you starting your new job at QC and with me getting back to training in a few months, but I'm willing to try."
She stares at him for a long moment, her eyes boring into his soul, searching for any kind of doubt or reason not to say yes. "What about Connor?"
He's pretty sure he just fell a little more in love with her just for being so damn considerate. "He loves you, Felicity. You wouldn't believe the discussion I had with him before I came here tonight, trying to reason with him why he couldn't come, too. If that kid had a choice he'd spend every waking second with you. And I gotta say I can't blame him."
She shakes her head slightly, trying to tamp down her smile. "That may be true, but living together is a whole different thing than seeing me every few days. A little over a month ago we weren't sure if we were moving too quickly for him."
"Yes, and we slowed things down and everything is going great now," he points out, letting his thumb flit over her waist.
"So maybe we should keep things as they are for a little while longer to give him and us more time to ease into this."
His brows draw together into a frown. "So what you're saying is that you don't want to move in?" He tries really hard to keep his tone neutral but even to his own ears he sounds hurt.
A soft hand comes up to cup his jaw. "What I'm saying is that we rushed into things once and that didn't turn out all that great." He takes a breath, ready to argue but her thumb stroking his upper lip stops him. "Let me finish."
"I love you, Oliver. More than I've ever loved anybody in my entire life. And that's why I don't wanna screw this up," she says the words so softly that it makes his heart ache. "I didn't expect you. Or any of these incredibly intense feelings for you. Make no mistake, I want to be with you. I want to live with you and when the day comes I want to marry you."
He's pretty sure his heart just skipped a beat. Or maybe two.
She takes a deep breath and lets her lips curl into a relaxed smile. "But, Oliver, we have all the time in the world. I'm not going anywhere, and you're not going anywhere. So give us both some time to adjust to our relationship and learn from our mistakes."
Something is nagging at his insides. A feeling of sorts that this isn't all that her caution is about. He can understand her reasoning, of course. The first time they moved too quickly, it blew up in their faces and almost tore them apart completely. But now they're steady, taking one step at a time, moving their relationship forward. Moving in together is just the next step, right?
"Is that all that this is about?" his mouth asks the question that's burning on the tip of his tongue before his brain can stop him.
She bites her lips.
There's definitely something else.
"Talk to me, Felicity," he urges softly, pulling her body further into his, giving her that little piece of comfort.
"I just..." she starts, but trails off, taking a deep breath. "I'm not sure how I'll fit into Connor's life. I mean, I know I'm your girlfriend, that role is pretty clear, but what will I be to him? I'm not his mother. I don't... I know nothing about raising a child."
"You're amazing with him, Felicity," he breathes out, not understanding how she can doubt herself so much. "I've never been in this situation before either, so I can't give you a step-by-step description of what will happen or how much we'll have to define your role in his life. And we'll probably make mistakes and get into fights, but that's just a natural part of our relationship, isn't it?"
"I just don't... feel comfortable taking on this huge role in his life when I have no idea what I'm dealing with. I don't want to inadvertently hurt him or force my presence and new role on him just because I'm your girlfriend." She waves her hands around helplessly.
"So we'll sit down with him and talk this through with him and come up with a way to deal with everything ahead of us," he suggests, taking her hands into his to still her movements. "We'll make this work, Felicity. If we're all willing to try, we'll make this work."
"I am. I want to make this work. I just want us to take our time and let us all adjust to the new situation."
He nods slowly. He can work with that.
"So how about we make a compromise?"
"What do you have in mind?"
"You'll stay over at my place for two or three days per week, and we see how everything goes? If it's good, you'll stay over for one more day the next week and so on. That way we can all get used to each other, see how living together works." He shrugs lightly. "Sound okay?"
A soft smile appears on her lips and she nods. "Sounds good."
He exhales a long breath and lets his hands fall down to her body, skimming over her exposed skin. "Great, then how about we move any further discussions to your bedroom?"
She swiftly moves her body to straddle his lap and grinds up against his growing erection. "That sounds like an excellent idea. Tell me more about it."
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A/N: And that's a wrap on Game Changer. I can't tell you how much I've enjoyed creating this universe and I'm pretty sure it's safe to say that at some point there will be a sequel to this story.
For now, I have another AU that's been stuck in my head for quite some time that is begging to be dealt with. I've mapped out the premise and first chapter and hope to finish up the planning process by next week. So yeah, keep an eye out for my next story ;)
There are no words to describe how much your continued support via reviews/comments, kudos, fav's, etc. has meant to me. You're all incredible and I hope to see you again for my next project.