The slamming of a door woke her. Blearily, Felicity looked around her surroundings, trying to replace the gaps in her memory. She had been pressed up against a cab window, the seat belt of the passenger seat digging into her shoulder. Sitting up, her leg brushed against a very full backpack. That's when she remembered everything.
She had hitched a ride with the truck driver and had informed him, with long tangents into things he didn't need to know, that his destination was her destination. It was his door slamming shut that had woke her.
Not that Felicity didn't mind being woken. The past three days had been a mixture of fitful slumber and exhaustive wakefulness. Running away had the tendency to do that to a person.
The driver side door opened, and the trucker leaned in. "This is as far as I go tonight. Company policy regulates that I can only drive for a ten hour stretch. So…" He trailed off, looking at her helplessly.
Felicity shrugged, understanding. "Which means I either need another ride or find some place to wait. Gotcha. Roger. Didlio. Which is not a reference to a dildo even though now I talking about it. And I'm just going to go. Now. Bye." She quickly unbuckled and pushed open the door. "Oh!" She turned back hastily. "Thank you. For the ride. Now I'm going to go." She shut the door to the cab in relief. This is a record. She thought.Only one embarrassment for today. She emphasized this with a punch to the air.
She should've known that wouldn't last.
Felicity walked into the crowded trucker station. A coffee was needed, desperately. She dug into her pockets, looking to see if she had any cash left. Triumphantly, she held up a five dollar bill. A decaf it is.
Making her way back towards the coffee machines, she bumped into a guy in the candy aisle. She quickly apologized to the green hood that was pulled over his head. He didn't even acknowledge her. Rude. Curious, she looked to see what held his attention.
He was trying to decide between Spree's, a Pez dispenser and a KitKat. Seriously? Felicity questioned the choices of some people. She would've have gone the KitKat all the way. Shaking her head, she returned to her quest of coffee.
The line was long. There was only one cashier and what seemed like a million customers, not all of them truckers. Overhead she could hear the call of 'shower number one now available' and garbled conversation of two men in front of her. She zoned out into her thoughts.
Why, oh why did she have to overreact? In part, it was her mother's fault. Springing not, one but two truth bombs on her in one day was just asking for her to overreact. She had regretted the action about half way to LA. But once something was done, it was better to do it all the way. Her pride demanded nothing less. Therefore, running away meant running away. And not doing it half assed. Perhaps she could go back in a month.
The cashier motioning to her snapped her back to the present. Quickly she paid for the coffee and the only bakery item they had left; a chocolate frosted donut bar.
Now to find somewhere to sit. Then she would seek out a ride.
There was one open table on the far side of the store. Wearily, she trudged over there, abandoning her backpack and letting her head drift to the table. Her hands wrapped around the coffee cup, warming the blood to circulate.
She don't know how long she sat there, ten, twenty minutes. She had lost track of time and she wasn't sorry. A body ached to rest and the table was right there and God forbid she get any amount of sleep. Running away was hard business.
A tapping of the table and a "Can I sit here" had her flying up in surprise. The motion challenged her hold on her coffee. It went flying all over the mysterious stranger and for a split second, she lamented the loss of her warm, tasty heaven.
The stranger, who did not deserve a burning hot coffee spilled all over him, was the guy in the green hoodie. Well, now it was a green and brown hoodie. She looked up at him, noticing his vivid blue eyes and a 3 day scruff on his jaw. That scruff also framed a deep frown of annoyance.
She immediately opened up her mouth to apologize. So, naturally, what came out of her traitorous mouth was not "sorry".
"Oh my god the Pez guy is hot." She blushed when she realized that she had just called the man after a disgusting candy.
His eyebrows went through the roof. "You think I'm hot?" His frown wavered into a half smirk.
"That's the part you focus on and not the fact that I just called you a Pez Guy? I mean I could have called you a hot bastard or a hot handsome stranger, or a hot dog and you would still focus on the fact that I find you remotely attractive and not that I had insulted you while in the midst of complimenting you and I just made it worse didn't I?"
She looked up to see him holding back laughter, a smile lighting up his features. His hood had fallen back slightly and she could see more of his face. He was very, emphasis on very, attractive. If she wasn't so embarrassed she might swoon. Wait, what? When had this become a cheesy Victorian novel? She didn't swoon.
He grabbed a bunch of napkins, fruitlessly wiping down his sweatshirt.
"No, no, no. Don't do that. You dab at it, not wipe. If you wipe then it just gets everywhere and dabbing it is the proper way to get rid of stains, says every infomercial out there. Well I guess infomercials aren't entirely accurate, they're just trying to sell something. And I'm rambling. Here, let me."
She came around the table, snatching the napkins from him, and pushing him into the booth. Crouching in front of him, she dabbed at the brown stains spattering his hoodie. She suddenly looked up and he was right there, lips inches from hers. If she just reached up she could press her lips against his. She wondered how he would taste… What was wrong with her? Why did she keep having these inappropriate thoughts? Hastily, she backed up, and tripped, landing hard on her butt. The man smiled, reaching out a hand to help her up.
Gratefully, Felicity took it, climbing back into the booth. "I'm sorry about your hoodie." She smiled, hoping all was forgiven.
"It's okay. I'll just take it to the dry cleaners. They'll get it out."
"The dry cleaners? You would pay close to thirty bucks just to get out a coffee stain? Must be some hoodie."
"Yeah. Yes it is." He didn't say more on the subject.
Their topic of conversation done, they both sat there awkwardly, neither wanting to be the first to leave. The girl nursed her too hot coffee, sneaking peeks at him across from her. Oliver was still dabbing at the drying stains. Every so often he would look up at the exhausted blonde who was totally intent on her coffee.
Begrudgingly, he saw that continuing to dab at the coffee would be fruitless. He might as well leave it alone. Hopefully, the dry cleaners could get it out. It wasn't just that this was his favorite hoodie, it's what it represented. Sacrifice and honor.
"My best friend gave me this hoodie before he died."
Oliver immediately questioned why he was sharing this with her, Very few people knew about it, and all of them were related to him. But there was just something about her.
Her head had jerked up at his first syllable, eyes opening in both wonder and horror. For a seconded he questioned that last emotion until she started speaking, hands almost knocking over her coffee cup.
"Oh my god I didn't know! Of course I didn't know you're just telling me but I'm so sorry! I'm sorry that I ruined your sweatshirt that reminds you of your best friend. I remember that I once broke a pair of shot glasses that my father had given to my mother before he left…" Her teeth clacked close, chagrin covering her expressions, casting a darker shade over her eyes. He had the sudden urge to reach out, to comfort her in any way he could.
He could see her berating herself, a slight nodding to her head as she stared down at the table. After a few beats, she composed herself, drawing herself up. She cocked her head to the side as she made eye contact with him. She had the prettiest shade of blue eyes…
"How did he die?" She asked.
Oliver tensed. Wave after wave of inexplicable emotions coursed through him. Disbelief and pain being the two noticeable ones. He did not expect her to ask a follow up question. He was still questioning why he told her in the first place. But the fact that she would care enough to ask the hurtful truth was unfathomable. What confused him the most was that he wanted to answer. He wanted her to know. He wanted her to understand him.
And he wanted to know her too.
However, as his grandmother used to say, you don't get something for nothing.
And so he told her.
"An earthquake. You see, my best friend Tommy and I were always doing stupid stuff. Drinking, partying, drugs, you name it I've probably tried it. The night of my birthday party, after all the guests had gone home, we ended up on an over pass, just yelling at the cars, throwing beer cans. Then Tommy had a great idea to walk the wall."
He paused as the rush of memories threatened to overwhelm him. Tommy smiling at him like it was his most brilliant idea in the history of ideas. Oliver not caring that it might be dangerous. He was there, Tommy could hang onto him if he started to fall.
"I helped Tommy climb up. He started howling at the moon like a lone wolf and like an idiot, I joined in. Just two dudes howling at the moon. And for a moment, it was the best night of my life."
Oliver rubbed a hand over his face. A slight pressure on his hand alerted him to the fact that the girl had reached out and taken a hold of it. She was trying to comfort him. And he was. For unreasonable reasons. His hand came away wet. He was crying, and he didn't care.
He choked up as he thought about what happened next. "I heard a small crack. The ground started shaking and then all at once. Tommy, he—he lost his balance and I couldn't… catch... I-I wasn't fast enough and…"
"Hey, it's okay. It's okay." The girl was leaning forward, her grip tight on his hand. She was running soothing circles across the back of his hand. He was scared to look in her eyes, to see the pity glaring back at him. But look he did. And there was no pity. There was only understanding in her eyes.
Abruptly, he drew back, pulling his hand from hers. Years in the military had taught him to displace emotions, throw them in the corner of the mind. This is what he did with the guilt and grief of Tommy's death.
With a monotone voice he finished his telling. "The worst of it was when I finally made it off the overpass. He was lying there, with a rebar shoved through his chest. And he was still alive. I held him as he took his final breath."
The girl's mouth dropped open in horror, her face filling with shock and… there it was. The pity. He sat back, closing off. He looked around debating whether he should leave or not.
Just as he was going to get up, because it was stupid to share these things with a complete stranger, she spoke.
"I was seven when my dad stopped showing up." His eyes flashed to hers but she was looking down again. "All I remember was how much it hurt, waiting for him to come back. But he never did. Months, then years passed, and I never saw" she hesitated "him again.
"After he left, my mother, she never talked about him. I would mention him and she would clam up, wouldn't say a word. So I imagined scenarios. Being as smart as I am, I rationalized, theorized, why he never came back. Why he only showed up on weekends. I thought it had to do with custody agreements. That he was only allowed to see me on weekends, twice a month. And that sometimes he couldn't make it. I thought that he stopped showing up because he was arrested or something.
"When I went to college, I looked for him. I accessed my birth certificate looking for him. My mom she didn't even put a name on the birth record! I mean she probably knew, just knew, how smart I was going to be. She outwits me every. Time. And my IQ is 100 points above her. Do you know how high my IQ is? Think Stephen Hawking or-or Einstein! Brilliant, right? My IQ is right up there with them. And my mother somehow out plays me or gets around my brilliance without even trying….three…two…one…"
The girl took a deep breath, looking up into Oliver's eyes. The pain and frustration he saw there, grief he felt, they were two souls both looking for comfort and not being able to find it for years. Her with her father and abandonment and him with Tommy and guilt over his death. Two strangers bonding over a spilt coffee and a full gas station.
Felicity didn't know why she was doing this. Telling the man across from her the entire tragedy that was her life. Why her home life was such a wreck.
She scoffed as she remembered what she had been saying.
"It wasn't until a few days ago that I figured out why. Why he only showed up on weekends. It was because my mother, the woman who raised was an affair to him. I was the product of a binge day in Vegas. I guess I should be grateful that he even decided to show up for those seven years. Pretended to be a loving dad. And I guess he was, for a time.
"So my mother comes and tells me this, stating that I needed to know the truth. Right after she drops the bombshell that she's getting married. To some douchebag asshole, that I've had the displeasure of meeting. He tried to tell me that Windows has the best operation system. " and she's feels very passionate all of a sudden, anger blazing through her, leaning towards him, needing him to understand, "when I know that Linux is the best. I went to MIT for heaven sakes, and worked at Queen Consolidate in their IT department. Do you know that Queen Consolidate is the leading edge of scientific discoveries, despite the fact that they helped level half of Starling City? I was grateful to keep my job after that. No one wanted to deal with them after that catastrophe happened. Not to mention that it was my father" She spat the words venomously, "who was the mastermind behind all that.
"The worst thing though, isn't that he destroyed half a city, it's who he was. A rich billionaire who could've been providing life support, putting me through college, taking care of my mother so we didn't have to be kicked out of our apartment every couple months. The constant moving, using candles when we couldn't pay electricity, could have all been avoided with his help. I just wanted him to be there for us. But if not, then send us money. I just wanted for him to show that he cared about us, even a little bit."
She sat back, crumbling the wrapper in her hand before throwing it down on the table.
"But he didn't. He never did."
Her tale finished, she looked at the man across from her, awaiting judgment. She was expecting a lot of things. For him to say "I'm sorry" or "Who is he" or better yet, "What a bastard." What she was not prepared for was him to glance around subtly, then tug back his hood, letting it fall to his shoulders and proclaim one sentence that would change her life and the way she saw it.
"You're Felicity Merlyn."
Having been slouched in the seat, she sat up straight, tension flooding her veins.
"Smoak." She snapped reflexively. "Even if Malcolm Merlyn is my father, as per finding out three days ago, I will never take his name. I have been Smoak my entire life." She bit her lip, as she realized that she had been impolite. If she was honest the polite thing would have been not to share her life story with some random… stranger.
She looked carefully at him. He stared back at her, obviously let her scrutinize him. He had seemed familiar, but lots of strangers sometimes did when only a glimpse was caught of them. She remembered a stranger looking like Calvin Topps, a guy who had teased her relentlessly in High School. Felicity had shied away from the stranger, until she had gotten a better look at him.
But she had seen this stranger before. He was different from his photos from five years ago but recognize him she did. On doing research of Malcolm Merlyn, she of course had come across the articles on Tommy Merlyn's tragic death in the '13 earthquake that had wrecked Starling City five years ago. Her brother's death.
That's why the man's story had sounded familiar. It's because he was describing her brother's-half-brother actually- death. And who had been Tommy's best friend through thick and thin? Who had gotten into more trouble in the tabloids than Tommy Merlyn?
How could she not have recognized him sooner? He was, after all, the son of her boss's boss's boss's boss. She worked for Queen Consolidated in Las Vegas, as of up to until three days ago when she had quit. When she had taken off. Why would she do such a stupid, stupid thing? Not giving a two weeks' notice would ruin her perfect resume of two master degrees from MIT, an internship at Kord Industries and what had been an entry level job at QC and would have gotten another promotion in two weeks. But she had screwed that six ways from Sunday. Why had she done that again? Oh. Right. Billionaire father. Jerk future step-dad.
She internally groaned when she realized that she had zoned out again. Oliver was looking at her with one eyebrow cocked in curiosity and a weird mix of resignation. She felt that he was bracing himself for the ultimate freak out, because he was a celebrity. Having grown up out of the public eye she only had sympathy for the constant publicity that had been Oliver Queen's life. Five years ago he had joined the military after his mother had confessed to the ultimate destruction of the Glades and no one had heard anything about him since.
But here he was sitting in front of her. His floppy blond hair was gone, replaced by a buzz cut that had been outgrown. It was spiky in places where he had obviously run his hand through it, whether in frustration, habit, or boredom. His playboy persona had vanished under a man who had become a stranger. From the photos she had seen of him, that lazy spark had vanished from his gaze, hardened into a steel-tipped alertness. The Oliver Queen that had left was not the same one that had returned.
Oliver just looked at her the moment she recognized him. And any person who knew Malcolm or Tommy Merlyn would definitely know him. He waited with baited breath for her freak out. The one that never came.
Felicity cocked her head to the side, studying him closer upon the new found revelation. Her blue eyes quivered back and forth, searching him. He wondered what she was thinking. Patiently he waited, the stillness drilled into him from his commanding officer. She would have to be the one to speak first. And from the very brief time he had known her, he already knew that what she would say would be unexpected. It was peculiarly her in that way.
"Wait. How do you know who I am? I mean, I know who you are because Hello, you couldn't walk into a gas station like this without seeing your face splashed all over Teen Magazine or whatever tabloids you decided to blow up next with your all out partyness. Is that even a word? The entire world knows who you are, son of a drowned billionaire and a mother who confessed to creating an earthquake in the middle of the city. I mean, why would anyone do that? And how was it even possible. Creating an earthquake? Just the trajectories and finding the correct fault lines and -"
Felicity abruptly cut off, staring at him in embarrassment. He could feel his smirky smile disappear underneath an expression so callous that it would rival diamonds. But it wasn't anger that made it hard. It was pain. Raw pain.
His mother and father, what they had done, was a very sore subject for him.
Felicity contritely looked down, whispering a soft "I'm sorry," to him before getting up. She had snagged her backpack and was almost away from the table when he reach out and caught her wrist. His expression he thought was softer, but still full of sorrow.
"It's okay." He reassured. She reluctantly sat back down. "It's still a tender subject for me, even after five years. I-I left just after she had admitted to it. That because of her actions, and her lies and her secrets, my best friend was killed. My sister's brother."
She looked at him then, and he bit his tongue. He wasn't supposed to tell her that. Nobody but him and his closest family knew. It was that lie that had finally drove him away. Yes, the pain of losing Tommy and knowing that his mother had been a part of that was painful. But the fact that his mother had lied to him about Thea's parentage had him fleeing to the service. Probably in a similar fashion that had Felicity fleeing from her home. The lies of the ones closest to you…
The military had been his way of paying for his mistakes. For all the hurt he had caused in his spoiled youth. Atoning for Tommy's death. Which is why he took the hoodie with him. It reminded him of the love that he once had, of bonding, of brotherness. He found it again, in his the corps. Especially in one John Diggle.
Diggle had been his commanding officer his first tour. It had been Dig's third tour. He had just come out of a broken marriage and had threw himself into the work. Both he and Dig hid from the pain that was plaguing their lives, bonding over the need to escape. He had saved Diggle's life multiple times and him his. They were brothers in spirit, rather than blood.
But the tour had ended and Diggle returned to the States. Oliver stayed in his self-imposed crucible. Many people had come and gone, some his fault, other not. Slade, his brother after Diggle, had died from friendly fire. Shado, the only woman on their team, shot in the head. Five years of war had changed him. He had died there with his squad.
Deciding on not telling what was left of his family that he was home, he had contacted Dig, begging for help. Dig had gotten him to Portland, the airplane ticket from New York to Starling too much for Diggle's bank account. And since Oliver was reluctant to alert his family, he had stolen a motorcycle, his morality shot. The gas tank had only taken him here, to an out of the way truck stop. A coffee for the road and a taste of American indulgence and he would've been on his way. And he would be, if Oliver hadn't been intrigued by the woman now sitting across from him, staring in shock.
"You mean to tell me that your sister is also Tommy's sister. That your sister is in fact your half-sister and that her father is Malcolm Merlyn. The same man who is also my father." Her head fell back in exasperation. "Your sister is my sister. Which is weird to say because you are not my brother. Are you? Because that would be weird. I've fantasized kissing my own brother-" she swallowed the rest of words, internally cursing her lack of a word filter. Deciding that deflecting would be her best course of action, she pounced upon a fact that was still bothering her.
"And you never told me how you knew who I was." She firmly bit down on the end of that sentence, being firm that that was all she wanted, or needed, to say.
Oliver sighed across from her, his face suddenly twisting into a mischievous smirk.
"You've fantasized about kissing me?"
She blushed, hard.
"Nu-uh mister. I asked my question first. And if your answer is satisfactory, then maybe, just maybe, you'll get an answer." For some odd reason she was perfectly relaxed around him. Normally around strangers she would fidget and blurt out something embarrassing and then she would leave. If she ever saw that person again she would avoid them. First dates were especially awkward.
Except this first meeting wasn't a date.
To her it felt like she and Oliver where the oldest of friends. Though only having known him for ten minutes, she knew his story; who was precious to him, some of his values, his regrets. In one story she could tell all that. And she would bet her tablet that he could read her the same way. And everyone from Vegas knew not to bet against Felicity Smoak.
Oliver shifted in his seat nervously.
"A couple years ago before Tommy died, he had come to me with a favor. Tommy had been restless. Merlyn had been pressuring him to choose a college, so that he could take over the family business. Just like I am destined to take over Queen Consolidated." He made a face. Obviously, the thought of running a multi-billion corporation was unappealing to him. Felicity took mental note of the fact. Oliver was still speaking.
"So me and Tommy partied hard, got wasted. December first was the application deadline and Tommy was procrastinating for as long as he could.
"It was around Halloween when Tommy found something. Tommy had decided that we had to go in costume to the annual party a classmate held every year. Digging through a couple of his dad's old coats he found an old airplane ticket. Now, most of the time, Tommy wouldn't have thought anything of it. Malcolm flew around the world constantly, so an occasional airplane ticket was nothing of notice. But he found another one, to the same destination. All over in the pockets of that coat was dozens of airplane tickets. Spanning years."
Felicity clapped a hand over her mouth, trying to suppress her shock. He paused, looking at her inquisitively. She nodded at Oliver, communicating that she was okay, he was alright to continue.
"He apparently tried to ignore it, but I remember something being off with him that night. Usually he would have taken a girl home but he just got wasted instead. Trying to drown out the worry and the curiosity those tickets had spiked. In the morning he showed them to me. They were all tickets to Las Vegas.
"Tommy swore his father wasn't a gambling man. His mother definitely didn't approve of it, and Malcolm loved Rebecca very much, he wouldn't go against anything she wouldn't like. Or so we thought. Right up until we realized that all the tickets were from the years Rebecca was still alive. Unless Merlyn had been visiting Merlyn Global down there. But twice every month? And on a Saturday? It was too confusing.
"For days we speculated. I think it was the one time in my teenage years that I was most sober. We had to solve this mystery. The answer came one day before Thanksgiving. Tommy was in Merlyn's office, I don't remember what for, and he found a letter. Dated the day after Rebecca Merlyn's death. It was from a woman named Donna Smoak.
"The contents of the letter informed us that he was having an affair. The tickets cemented the fact. I was done with the investigation but Tommy wouldn't let it go. Why would he still go back for years? He got a nerd to research Donna. That's how he found you.
"It wasn't hard to put together that you were his sister. Spending years visiting a woman several states away just for sex, was unimaginable. But throw a child into it and all became clear.
"Tommy found out that you were at MIT. At fifteen. Quite impressive, I might say. And we've already established that you're smart." Oliver grinned at her. She couldn't help but smile back.
"He became obsessed with meeting you. So he applied to Harvard. And what could I do but go with him?
"For a year we watched you. Tommy thought about approaching you several times, but always chickened out. He was proud of you and what you had made of yourself. He decided that he was better off not in your life. The day before we dropped out though, we ran into you at a coffee shop. You spilled a latte all the way down his shirt. Very similar to the way you just spilled it on me."
Felicity cringed, but a sad smile still graced her features.
"I wish I could've known him." She whispered. Her brother had found out about her. And instead of being furious and wanting nothing to do with her, he sought her out, choosing a college near her just so he could keep an eye on her. It was sweet.
"I wish he would have said something. I probably would've been shocked, I don't know. I guess that meeting's lost in an alternate universe I guess." Oliver looked at her confused. "You don't know what an alternate universe is? Okay. Um. Think Back to the Future. When Marty gets back to, you know, the future, it's different than how he left it. That's an alternate universe. So me meeting Tommy is somewhere in my alternate-never mind forget it. Doesn't matter. But if you watched me for a year, how come you didn't recognize me at first?"
He looked at her incredulously. "Felicity. The last time I saw you, you were sixteen and brunette. It's been almost ten years and you're blonde. Nobody would recognize you."
They both fell silent, neither of them knowing what to say next. But it was a comfortable silence. Felicity broke it with a maniacal laugh.
"What am I doing? I'm sitting in the middle of nowhere with my dead brother's best friend with no phone, no car, no money, no job, and no destination. I'm royally screwed up."
Oliver batted back. "Sounds like we're a pair. Besides you and an army buddy, no one knows I'm back in the states. I have no money or credit cards and stole the motorcycle out front. My basic plan is to crash at Diggle's place until I figure my life out."
"Why don't you want to let Thea know you're home?"
"Why don't you want to meet your father?" He returned. "I don't want to face Thea." Oliver confessed. "I don't even know if she knows. If my mother told her who her real father is. I ran as soon as I found out. I couldn't be there any longer. I mean, finding out about you was a shock, and terribly painful for Tommy to accept that his father cheated on his mother. I wasn't as affected as him. But my own sister." He shook his head, not finishing the thought.
"Not to mention I would be pressured into becoming CEO of the company on my return. And I don't think I'm ready for that kind of responsibility. Everyone thinks I earned my MBA but I didn't. I dropped out of four colleges. They wanted me to take the reins of a multi-billion dollar company. Just because my name in on the building. No thank-you."
"But why not?" He looked at her in confusion. "Why not?" She repeated. "QC has been on the down low since the earthquake. Stock prices are down. Why? Because there isn't a Queen at the helm. You could make a difference in Starling, in the world. The same difference you were making on the battlefield in Afghanistan. You were fighting for justice there, right? What about the people who lost their homes? Their livelihoods? Half the city was destroyed by my father and your mother. Where is the justice for them?
"Or is it only justice for those outside of your home? Can you only find justice on a battlefield? I think not. There is another way. You just have to find it. The door is wide open. You just have to open your eyes up to opportunity presented and realize that it's perfect."
"But I'm not CEO material—"
"Bull shit. Bull. Shit. Oliver. You survived the military which means you're quick enough to pick things up. So you're not CEO the first year. Shadow someone. Learn. You can make difference. You can honor Tommy this way. Not by wearing a green hood. But by being the man he thought you could be. Plus, wouldn't Thea want to see her brother? The brother that she loves? Who left her without a word? Like my father did? Don't let her turn into me. Go see her. Before it's too late."
Oliver reached out and grabbed her hand, looking at her imploringly. "Only if you'll come with me."
He put up a hand to stop her protest. "I don't know if Thea knows. If she does, great. If not, I'm not going to lie to her. Lies drove me away from my family. I'm not doing the same to her. And she would love to have a sister. Plus, you have nowhere to go. You might as well as come with me."
"But my father…" She couldn't go to Starling. That was the one place she dreaded to go.
"Felicity. You're going to have to face him sooner or later. Just like me with Thea. We have to stop running. Running away from our problems never fixed anything. Please. Come with me."
Felicity faced that fact that she irrevocable trusted Oliver. And she didn't care why. "Okay."
Oliver stood up. "It's decided then. You're coming with me. But I'll make you a deal." She looked at him. "If I become CEO, then you will have to come work with me. Together. As my partner."
She grinned at him playfully. "I was due for a promotion in your company in two weeks. I guess head of the Applied Sciences wouldn't be too shabby. What do you think?" He nodded, pulling her to her feet. She slung the backpack over her shoulders.
Then, stepping up to him and rising on her tippy toes she planted a kiss on his lips. She meant to make it short, but he pressed back greedily. They cut it off when they both ran out of breathe. She then danced away from him.
"Does that answer your question?" She baited him, going out the front door. He followed her until he backed her up against the motorcycle. He kissed her again, harder, but slower than before.
"Yes." He smiled against her lips. "Yes it does."