Felicity nervously walked into the arrow cave, her hand clutching the item that had been hiding in her pocket for weeks now. It had taken her so long to work up the courage to do this, and now she was going to go up to him and—and do nothing. She would just walk away, and ignore him, and not say anything, because this was stupid, and he would say no, and it would be weird, and-
Gah! She just had to do it. Right now, like ripping off a Band-Aid. Diggle looked over at her subtly, and she nodded her head nervously, telling him that she was really going to do it this time; not like last time, when she had had the exact same inner dialogue going, and had done the exact same thing, and Diggle had left to give them some privacy and she had chickened out, and he had come back and asked "So… you guys have anything to tell me?" And there wasn't anything to say because she had chickened out. No. This would be nothing like last time. Or the time before that. She was really going to do it this time.
Oliver was leaning against the table in a suit, having just gotten out of the office. He smiled at her and her heart did that weird jump-rope skipping thing and she knew that if she didn't do this, she would regret it for the rest of her life.
"Hey, Felicity." He gave her a once over and made a slightly puzzled face. "Why are you wearing pants?"
She panicked. What if he figured it out already? Had Diggle told him? Maybe she should have just gone with the dress, she would have figured out the kneeling thing somehow. "I—um, I mean—just-"
Diggle cleared his throat, and she shot him a grateful look.. "Well, it's late; I think I'm gonna head home."
Oliver gave him a strange look. "Dig, it's only 7:30."
Diggle smirked like he knew something Oliver didn't—which he did, in fact, because Felicity had told him what she was about to do, and now he was giving Oliver that look, and oh god, he was going to figure it out! And then he would say no and it would be weird and she would have to quit team arrow and then Oliver would die and it would be all her fault!
Shaking her head, she set her bag down and removed her coat, hanging it on the back of her chair like she always did. Oliver wasn't looking at her; he was still staring at Dig as he picked up his stuff and walked up the stairs.
Oliver suddenly looked like a light bulb had gone off, and he started grumbling under his breath, too low for her to hear except the tail end of it. "…could do this myself, dammit. I don't need his help with this."
Felicity closed her eyes in attempt to keep her thoughts from wandering down the path of figuring out what he had meant by that, because then she would get distracted and this would all have been for nothing.
Come on, Felicity; put your big-girl panties on and do. Taking a deep breath, she gripped the edges of her desk.
They both stopped as they spoke at the same time. Oliver inclined his head, gesturing that she should go first. Of course she has to go first; lets just make this more awkward.
She shook her head again. "Okay. Okay. So, umm…"
Oliver looked worried and amused at the same time. "What is it, Felicity?"
She smiled nervously. "I had planned out what I was going to say earlier and now everything has just completely escaped my mind and now you're looking at me funny and I just know I'm gonna-"
"Felicity." Oliver gently interrupted her, and she flashed him a grateful look.
"Right. Okay. So, you know when we first met, I thought you were this crazy partying frat boy who had never had anyone say no to him. And then you showed up bleeding in the backseat of my car, and I realized that you probably weren't a parting frat boy, though the other two things probably applied."
Oliver gave her a look, as if to say, where are you going with this?
"And then I said I would stay until we found Walter, but then when we found him, I just… couldn't leave. Because for the first time in a long time, I felt like I was really doing something with my life, something meaningful. And because you and Diggle… you made me feel comfortable, like you didn't care that I babbled all the time, or that you didn't understand what I talked about when I got really into computers.
"No one has ever made me feel like that before. Well, no one who wasn't breaking the law on a daily basis in the name of a twisted sense of justice."
Oliver raised an eyebrow at that, and she thought back to what she said. "Oh, God. I really need to invest in a brain to mouth filter."
"Felicity, it's fine. But, who else could you have—"
Felicity interrupted him. "We were all so happy together, and then the Undertaking happened. And then you left for three months, and those were some of the worst three months of my life."
Oliver looked pained at this, so she continued quickly. "That's when I realized something. About me, and you. But I never really did anything about it, and it just kind've got packed into a little box in the back of my mind for a while, until six months ago."
She didn't need to elaborate about six months ago. It had been after a particularly rough night on the job. Oliver had come home bleeding and bruised, and when she was patching him up, he had leaned in and kissed her. No preamble, and nothing to talk about afterword. But, if you'll pardon the cliché, they had been the best ten seconds of her life. Wild, and passionate, and no longer hiding what she had felt for him for over a year. It had been glorious.
But then he had pulled away, and she could see he was about to hand out another BS speech about how it was too dangerous for them to be together, and if his enemies found out he had feelings for someone, they would use that against him, and hurt her. She stopped him and they just left it at that. Well, he had, but that was when she had started planning this.
"I realized that despite all we had been through, you still didn't believe that I don't care about the risks. They don't matter to me, because I love you, Oliver."
His face went slack; wherever he had thought this was going, this wasn't it.
"I've loved you since you walked into my office with brooding eyes and some half-assed story about how an evil latte put bullets into your PC. I love how you fight for your city, and how you believe that it can still be a good place even after everything that's happened to you here.
"I love the way you say my name. I love how grumpy you get when you lose an argument. I love how frustrated you make me feel when you make a decision for me, because I know you're just trying to protect me. And I really, really love when you work out shirtless on the salmon ladder, because I'm pretty sure that's the hottest thing I've ever seen."
She pulled out the small blue box from her coat pocket and got down on one knee in front of him, silently thanking everyone she could think of that she had remembered to wear pants, because this would have been so much more awkward in a dress.
"I love you so much, and I know this is kinda early in our not-relationship because we haven't even ben out on a date yet, and we haven't talked about this, and you're probably going to say no, but-"
"Felicity…" he said again, only this time it sounded shocked, as though he couldn't believe what she was doing.
She gathered her courage and took a deep breath. "Oliver Queen… will you marry me?"
Felicity opened the box, and inside Oliver saw—well, it wasn't what he had been expecting.
It was a pair of cufflinks nestled in the blue velvet lining of the box. They were silver, and they sparkled in the light they were so shiny. Most striking of all, however, was the arrow you could see on them when the light hit them just right."
Oliver had been quiet for a few seconds, and that was enough to get her to start babbling again.
"I couldn't get you a diamond ring, because, well, you're a guy, and even you couldn't pull that off, and because there's no way I could afford it. Really, there isn't any jewelry that you could wear that wouldn't look weird except a watch, but that didn't seem right. But when I went out shopping two months ago, I saw these sitting in a case, and I couldn't believe it because-"
"They're perfect." Oliver said with a smile. She looked at him hopefully and he realized that he had been so caught up in staring at her that he hadn't even answered the question. He chuckled slightly, and got down on his knees right next to her. She looked at him, extremely confused.
"Well, this is a little weird." Felicity looked crestfallen, until he reached into his pocket and pulled out a little box, opening it so she could see what was inside. "I was planning to do the exact same thing; I just couldn't work up the courage. But you did, which is why I bought this. You're so much braver than I am, and smarter, and better, and I realized that I'm an idiot. Because you already risk your life every night, and I was just being afraid about taking the next step. I love you Felicity Smoak; will you marry me?"
Felicity gaped at him for a moment, then mock-glared at him. "I asked you first, buddy."
He laughed. "Yes, Felicity. I will marry you."
"Yes. I'm done keeping you at arms distance; I know now that it was just the easy way out, not the right way."
She stared at his sleeves for a moment, then handed to box to him. "I don't actually know how to put cufflinks on, so I'm just going to let you do it before I make a complete idiot out of myself."
He laughed again and set the box aside for a moment. "Well, I think I know how to put this on." Oliver took her hand and gently slipped the ring onto it. Felicity looked down at his hand when he didn't wait for her to offer hers up.
"What if I don't want to marry you, huh?"
Oliver shook his head. "Felicity, you literally just asked me to marry you."
She made a petulant face. "It could have just been an elaborate ploy to get you to admit your feelings so I could rip the rug out from under you for payback, you know. I'm not always a nice person. Bitch with Wi-Fi, remember?"
He played along with her. "Well, I'll just take it back then," Oliver said, reaching for her hand again.
Felicity clutched said hand to her chest. "Oh, no. No way are you ever getting this one back. It's mine now, forever."
She looked down at the ring. It was perfect, really. More perfect than the cuff links had been. It was very simple, and elegant. A medium width silver band wrapped around her finger, with an emerald set in the middle instead of the traditional diamond. And the pattern that wrapped around the base looked almost like a string of arrows.
Oliver smiled at her, and he reached down and picked up the cufflinks, gently taking out the ones he had in and replacing them with the ones she had gotten him.
They both looked at each other then, and Felicity decided that she wasn't done being an independent person tonight. Leaning in, she put her hands on the back of his neck and pulled him down so she could kiss him.
It was like fireworks, and electricity, and this tingling sensation that made her toes curl in her flats. Felicity felt giddy, because now she could finally do this without the whole superhero club thing interrupting them; they could just do this all—
"Agggh! My eyes! Jeeze, hang a sock on the door, will you? I think I'm scarred for life!"
It was, surprisingly, Felicity who growled at Roy in annoyance. Oliver laughed and leaned down again, planting a kiss on the tip of her nose.
Roy covered his eyes. "C'mon, man; you don't see me making out with your sister in front of you, do you?"
Oliver's smile tightened and her gave Roy the I'm-going-to-eviscerate-you-now look with his eyes that always appeared when Roy mentioned his sister. Roy's eyes widened, and he suddenly decided that he didn't need anything down here after all, fleeing safely out of Oliver's domain and into Thea's upstairs.
Felicity leaned her head against his chest. "So, I'm assuming Diggle knew what you were going to do?"
Oliver closed his eyes in annoyance. "Yep. And you?"
"Mm Hmm. Told him the minute I figured it out. He knew what was going to happen with this, the smug bastard. Probably waiting upstairs for us so he can gloat about it."
Oliver grinned down at her. "Who said we had to go upstairs anytime soon?"
Felicity yelped in surprise as he swiftly picked her up off the ground and placed her on the table. She crossed her arms and glared at him.
"You know, you really need to quit it with the manhandling Tarzan-"
He cut her off with his lips, leaning down to continue their earlier conversation. And if, after Thea closed up and was about to leave, they both appeared with slightly rumpled clothing and new jewelry, well; that wasn't really anyone else's business, was it.