By Bre (dust2dust34)
Disclaimer: I do not own anything related to Arrow or The Flash.
Author's Notes: Holly (geniewithwifi) hit me with an awesome prompt where only soulmates can have sex.
Author's Notes 2: Title from Your Soul by RHODES, which is the official song for this story.
Author's Notes 3: What do I now about genomes? Absolutely nothing. I took extreme creative liberties aka I made up a lot of stuff.
Summary: Soulmate AU. Humans are incapable of having sex unless they find their "soulmate," their perfect match. It's been decades since a documented case of soulmates anywhere, but scientists believe they are finally closing in on the rare "soulmate gene." Felicity is one of the few who doesn't put stock in the idea, until Dr. Wells sends her to Starling City.
Chapter One - I see you on the blue skies...
Once upon a time, the earth was populated with only a handful of humans.
The balance of life was precarious, held together by a single thread that would one day be called the "soulmate gene." They called it a gene, because that was what scientists searched for - it was the only plausible explanation for why a person could only have sex with one other human being, what the legends liked to call a "soulmate."
For thousands of years, the human population didn't grow, it was merely sustained. There were always a few soulmates, a few matches that brought new life to the planet, that helped keep the species alive, but it wasn't enough to grow.
Nobody could explain how it worked. Early tales called it the fertility gods' wrath on the human race, a punishment for past deeds that were no longer remembered. Others called it the sanctity of the human soul, keeping people pure, that anyone who found a "soulmate" was committing a grave sin against the Natural State - essentially existing as a sexless being, despite the obvious flaw that humans would die out without them.
The human race went through periods where sex was revered, honored, celebrated - when two soulmates found each other, huge celebrations resonated throughout the entire planet, especially when those unions produced multiple children - and they went through other periods where soulmates were hidden, a shameful collaboration that was used only for the creation of life and nothing else.
People fell in and out of love, marriages occurred, but sex was only possible between soulmates. People who didn't have soulmates didn't understand the driving need to find their other half, the power of that connection, the passion and love it could produce. The closest they could get to it were through kisses, but they were nothing more than pecks; a simple way to say, 'I love you,' without words, and nothing more.
Without sex drive, there was no need for overt intimacy or affection. All that was left was simple companionship, and for many, that was enough.
More baby droughts were documented than baby booms. Only once did the population hit an increase, but it didn't last.
Soulmates were rare, and babies even rarer.
But then the age of technology came about, and babies were no longer required to gestate inside actual human beings. No, after several decades of experimentation and research, it was discovered that sperm and eggs could be harvested, and babies could be grown.
And that was how the human population grew. Sex became a myth, something talked about, but never, ever experienced. Once humans started growing in labs, once the population boomed, soulmates died out. There were too many people to find that one specific person…
Until one time - one time - two soulmates found each other.
Once they were discovered, they were immediately whisked away to a secret lab in Central City where they were essentially broken down to the very foundations of their cellular structure, looking for whatever made these two people special. Nobody was sure what happened to them after that, if they produced any children, if anything ever came out of the research besides a new research project called The Soulmate Genome Project.
It was a way to find if there was a specific gene within some humans, something that could be harvested as well and reproduced in every single human being grown, and thus, the human race could learn to sustain itself naturally, without the mystical issue of finding a soulmate.
Everyone would be soulmates, everyone could procreate, and the human race could finally thrive.
But that had been over forty years ago, and it had yet to be found. The original soulmates who started the research died, and any other soulmates had yet to be found.
Felicity Smoak was starting to believe it was all a bunch of crap.
A story, a "legend," told to make the fact that people were grown in labs and distributed around the world a lot more romantic than it was. Felicity believed in science, in codes, in patterns. She believed in seeing the pathway to understand how something was created, and as far as she was concerned, they had found that pathway.
The soulmate gene didn't exist, because if it did, they would have found it. Billions of people populated the planet now, and more were being made every single day, in labs across the earth. Even more eggs and sperm than that were harvested once a month, added to the ever-growing research pool of information looking for this one specific gene that did not exist.
Two people existing at the same time, able to have sex, were genetic flukes.
Why did Felicity Smoak believe this so adamantly?
Because she was a genetic fluke.
Even if she did have a soulmate out there, it was physically impossible for her to do anything about it. So if she, with all her fun genetic anomalies, existed, then there were others, which meant the soulmate gene had either been worked right out by manipulated evolution, or it had never existed in the first place.
"Nope!" Felicity shouted over her shoulder, tugging her overnight bag higher up on her shoulder. "I'm already late, Barry, and Dr. Wells literally threatened my life if I miss another trip to Starling City."
"Come on, your train doesn't leave for another hour," Barry said, sidling up next to her, his breathing heavy from running. "It will only take two, three minutes top."
Felicity pushed the elevator button again. "Get Caitlin."
"Iris wants you."
Felicity snorted. "I highly doubt she specifically asked for me. I'm pretty sure this is actually you not wanting to be the one to extract her eggs. Like always."
Barry rolled his eyes. "That is not it."
"It is it," Felicity said, poking him in the chest as the elevator dinged. "Just tell her how you feel, Barry. You've had a crush on this girl since you were, like, five. And she's had her eggs extracted dozens of times by you, I'm pretty sure she can handle it." She stepped onto the elevator, pushing the button for the ground floor. "I really need to catch this train. Apparently someone had some sort of breakthrough in Starling City and Dr. Wells has been riding me about getting out there to collect some of those eggs." She rolled her eyes, imitating him, "'The soulmate gene is real, Ms. Smoak, and we're on the brink of finding it'."
"It is ironic he keeps sending the one person who doesn't believe in his research to get more test subjects for him."
"Isn't it, though?" Felicity replied with a saccharine-sweet smile. "That's what happens when you send a test subject after other test subjects."
Barry grinned, cocking his head. "Do you even remember what the inside of your apartment looks like? Didn't you just get back from Memphis yesterday? And then Coast City three days ago?"
"No rest for the wicked, Dr. Allen." Felicity dropped her bag on the floor as the elevator doors closed, tugging her jacket on. "Now go act like the twice-fellowshipped doctor you spent half your life training to be and harvest Iris' eggs like a man."
"Yeah, yeah, yeah. And hey," he said, shouting to be heard through the doors. "Watch out for the Vigilante!"
The second Felicity stepped foot into Starling City, she gave a little credence to what Barry had said.
She might have been traveling a little too much recently.
A heady flush had hit her the second her heeled foot hit the train platform and the only reason she didn't keel over right then and there was because of the rushing crowd flowing around her.
For a split second, she had the weirdest out-of-body experience, like she was floating above her body, like something was tugging her out, before she nearly fell on to an older gentleman.
She was jerked back to reality when he poked her with his cane.
The feeling followed her all the way into the heart of Starling City.
Felicity didn't have time to get sick. She had ten different plane tickets in her purse right now, all for different cities and countries around the world, all on a mission for Dr. Wells to secure different egg samples for his research. She hadn't been getting the best sleep recently, sure, and she had skipped some meals to make her flights - and the airlines' idea of food was more like something decrepit rabbits ate - but she'd felt fine just a few hours ago.
Felicity wiped her forehead, her skin clammy, taking a deep breath of the clean, sterile air that was Palmer Tech.
She'd felt better when she'd stepped into the building, formerly known as Queen Consolidated before they'd gone under after a huge harvesting scandal. For the first time since she'd gotten there, she felt like she could breathe without her head starting to spin…
But it was slowly creeping back on her.
Felicity took a shaky breath.
Maybe she should stay in Starling tonight, get a good night of sleep. She'd been hoping to make this a one-day trip, get back to her apartment at least one night this week, but she didn't need her bed to sleep.
Another flush skated over her skin, and she closed her eyes briefly when Ray turned away from her, taking another breath.
When she opened her eyes, darkness edged her vision, only dissipating when she blinked rapidly.
Yes, she was definitely staying tonight. Thank goodness her forethought included securing a hotel room.
She'd pat her past-self on the back later.
"I was sort of hoping it was going to be Dr. Wells who came out for these, but…" Felicity shifted her attention back to lab she was standing in, looking up as Ray Palmer studiously handled the egg samples, placing them in the padded briefcase she'd brought specifically for this.
He set them in the plush pad, pressing the tiny glass cases in until securement straps popped out, wrapping tightly around the tiny glass case.
Ray's smile was warm when he looked back at her. "But I'm glad it's you that came."
Felicity grinned, her lightheadedness abating enough for her to realize her heart was humming.
She liked Ray. No, she more than liked Ray. He was handsome, quick-witted and smart. They'd met in Las Vegas during a conference, after which he'd invited her and Dr. Wells to dinner.
They'd hit it off, or she liked to think they did, and judging by the rather healthy dose of flirting he was throwing her way, he thought so too.
Felicity pinched her lips, ducking her head shyly. "I'm glad too."
She didn't miss the quick grin Ray sent her way before he turned back to put back the rest of the eggs she'd specifically been sent to retrieve.
Felicity checked the strappings on the eggs he had given her, feeling a moment's reprieve in whatever cold was attacking her as she checked to see how many eggs he'd given her.
"So we're only getting ten?"
"That's all I can spare right now," Ray replied as he turned back to her. His arms dropped, his hands slapping his thighs. "I'd give you more but we just opened a new wing dedicated specifically to the strand that Dr. Wells discovered last year. Those samples he sent to us were…" He paused, and the grin on his face made him look like an excited ten-year-old boy. "Pretty exciting."
"Right. The soulmate gene," Felicity said, unable to keep the sarcasm out of her voice. "I thought you guys were more focused on the diversity aspect."
"Oh, we are, we definitely are, except the soulmate gene plays a huge part in that, or so we think." A thin line of interest creased his brow as he looked at her. "You don't believe in the soulmate gene, do you?"
Felicity opened her mouth to immediately say, 'No, of course I do,' before she snapped her mouth shut. That was the party line, but when Ray merely lifted an eyebrow, she sighed. "You got me."
"And yet you're the one Dr. Wells sends on his scavenging trips."
Felicity shut the briefcase, harder than she'd intended to. Even she didn't know why Wells had chosen her to be his field trip gopher, although she really didn't have much to complain about. It was better than the life she had been leading, ever since she'd turned fourteen. Or, rather, the life that had been led for her.
"Yeah, he probably assumes I won't up and sell them to the highest bidder."
Ray's mouth snapped shut at that and regret washed through her chest. Just because she didn't put any stock into it - because hey, personal experience and all - didn't mean others didn't. And she was annoyingly aware of the fact that she was one of the less than one percent who thought the way she did, which was a little intimidating considering their human race was rounding out at about six billion now.
"I'm sorry. That came out a whole lot snappier than I intended. I'm just not… feeling well. Not feeling like myself right now."
"It's okay. Everyone reserves the right to their opinions. Although you do look more flushed than you did walking in," Ray said. "Are you feeling alright?"
He touched her forehead and Felicity jerked back like he'd burned her, because it felt like he had.
A roaring sound filled her ears for a split second, making her wince, and then it was gone in the next second.
She opened her eyes to find him staring at her.
"Sorry," she started when he saw the concerned rejection but he waved her off.
"You are pretty warm. Do you want to visit the medical floor before you leave? At least get a shot of some Grade A adaptive white blood cells? I just perfected for formula, they're designed to perfectly copy your own cells, give that ol' immune system a boost."
"Uh, no," Felicity said, shaking her head. No need to tell him that those things didn't work on her. That was for her and Dr. Wells to know. "I think I just need to sleep." She picked up the case. "I've been traveling pretty much nonstop over the last few weeks, I should take at least one night to get some decent rest."
"Oh. I didn't know you were only here for one night," Ray said, disappointment coloring his tone.
"Yeah. I'm heading to Chile tomorrow night, and I should probably get some sleep while I can."
"Well, that sucks," he said with a laugh and Felicity cocked her head. "I was hoping to take you to dinner again."
Felicity blinked, pausing. "Oh."
That sounded nice, like really nice. Last time it had been her and Dr. Wells he invited and they had hit it off, but that had been business… but now he was asking just her.
It had been so long since she'd been on an actual date.
And she'd been fine just a few hours ago. Maybe a few minutes of shut-eye, just laying down somewhere would help, and she'd feel right as rain.
Her body had other ideas.
A heated, almost painful, flush swept through her from deep within her core.
Felicity gasped, grabbing the counter and Ray's finger grazed her hand when he moved to help her, and the same burning sensation - like someone was dumping acid across her fingers - had her hissing under her breath, holding her hand up to ward him off.
Mostly because she didn't want to know what would happen if he touched her again.
Her skin felt itchy and thin as tissue paper.
"I'm fine, really. I just need to… go lay down," she said, wiping her forehead. She was covered in a cool sweat.
"Do you want to stay here?"
"No, no, that's not necessary, I'll be okay." She swallowed, looking back at him. "But I do."
He lifted his eyebrows.
"I do want to see you again, when I'm not…" Feeling like someone was slowly planting poison in her pores. "Chasing you away by looking like a sick gremlin."
He chuckled. "It would take a lot to chase me away from you, Ms. Smoak, and you actually look like a very beautiful sick gremlin." Felicity gave him a genuine chuckle and he ducked his head to catch her eye. "Can I call you, the next time I'm in Central City?"
"Yes. Yes, I would really like that."
It was worse when Felicity finally stepped outside.
The sky was darkening and it let out a low rumble, dropping a few sprinkles of rain as a stormy promise.
Felicity squeezed her eyes shut, her heart hammering against her chest plate, her skin feeling tight and prickly. She shifted in her jacket, regretting it immediately when her clothes scraped along her skin.
"Why aren't people like snakes?" Felicity whispered, shuddering when she shivered, her skin tightening. She would have been perfectly content to crawl right out of hers to escape the feeling.
She felt like she needed something, but she didn't know what; she'd never felt this before.
Something zipped through her body, making her feel oddly achy and hot, and Felicity's hand drifted to her throat, her breathing becoming rapid.
What was wrong with her?
"Are you okay, miss?" someone asked and she took a quick breath, nodding.
"Yes, I'm fine, thank you," Felicity replied breathily. She gave the person a faint smile, not seeing their face. "I might be suffering from some jet lag or something, I'm fine. Uh… do you know where I can get to the Starling City Hotel? Isn't it around here?"
"Oh, sure. You know," the person said. They touched her elbow, pointing a few blocks south, and she barely caught their next words over the loud rushing noise that filled her head again, all her attention on their three fingers touching her elbow. "You can cut through the alley on seventeenth and it's right there."
"Oh," she whispered, jerkily taking her arm back. "Good." She didn't look at them as she rubbed the spot, barely getting out a, "Thank you," before she lurched in that direction.
Felicity wasn't sure how she got to the alley specifically. The entire walk felt like a blur and she considered stopping twenty different times to hail a cab to drive her just a few more hundred feet before thinking that was just plain stupid.
Her clothes felt too tight. No, it wasn't her clothes, it was her skin. Every move she made, her skin rubbed against something - against her clothes, against the people walking by, against the air. With each breath, she felt more raw; like electricity was dancing along her nerves, making her limbs tingle with… something.
She should call Barry, or Caitlin. Or Dr. Wells. Someone.
Something wasn't right.
Felicity reached the alley, just as the rain started picking up. She lifted the briefcase to cover her head before changing her mind. The cool rain actually helped, along with the light breeze rushing through the small space, making the moisture on her face feel even colder, which was perfect.
But each time the breeze slowed down, her skin grew hotter, like she was running a fever, but it wasn't like any fever she'd ever felt. Felicity made her way down the alley, fumbling with the buttons on her coat to slip it open, to get more air, the briefcase barely staying in her fingers.
With each step though, the heat in her skin increased, the ache inside her increased, and she… needed something, but she just didn't know what.
Running her hand over her wet face and through her wet hair, Felicity let her fingers drag down her neck and over her chest, and a sharp shiver attacked her spine at the sensation.
"Oh," she breathed. She ran her hand back up her chest, her breath faltering. "Okay, that's different."
Felicity stopped, dropping the briefcase and it landed on the ground with a loud slap. She barely heard it, the tiny voice of alarm in the very back of her head reminding her that the metal had been designed to withstand an airplane crash, it was fine. Instead, all her attention was focused on her hands - her palms were so hot, prickling, and she touched her neck again, with both hands this time, shuddering as the heat inside her transformed into something else.
She needed touch.
How strange, when Ray and that stranger had touched her, it was nothing like this.
Was it only her touch?
God, it felt good.
Felicity sighed as she ran her hands along her neck before dipping them down her chest, over her breasts. Her nipples were hard - which this wasn't an abnormal thing because they always did that when she was cold and wet, but this time, when he heated palms touched them, a quick jolt of pure pleasurable sensation darted through her, making her nipples tingle painfully, hardening for more.
She needed more.
What the hell was wrong with her?
Like her hands had a life of their own, she touched herself again, and she arched into her own touch, seeking more, so much more…
"Oh god," Felicity gasped, wrenching her hands away. She stared down at them, rain pooling in her palms, but there was absolutely nothing strange to see. They were just her hands, and her body was just… on fire. Her fingers started trembling as she stared at them, her breathing getting heavier.
The rain was coming down in a steady drizzle now, and she was drenched. Felicity closed her eyes, fighting to calm her racing heart, scrubbing her face before she ran her hands over her head, through her wet hair. She gasped when that shot a spark through her, sensation sizzling through her scalp and fingers.
It felt like she was alive for the first time ever. Her body was alit with awareness, awareness of everything, of the rain falling on her, of the way the breeze caressed her, how her fingers felt drifting across her hair, her skin contracting with a need she'd never felt before.
What was going on?
"Move, Felicity," she breathed, her hands cupping the back of her neck, her face turned up to the sky, letting the rain wash over her. "Move. Get inside. Call Dr. Wells."
Was this a side effect? How could this be a side effect of anything though?
This was… too much.
Felicity's hands had a life of their own, and they pushed up into her hair, her nails scraping along the way. Felicity froze when she moaned at the feeling.
With stilted movements, she leaned down, grabbing the briefcase with slippery fingers. Her grip was unsteady as she stood again and started walking, slipping her free hand into her pocket to find her hotel keycard. She clutched it tightly, letting the edge dig into her palm, and the pain helped calm her racing heart.
She just needed to get inside. Call Barry. Maybe she'd contracted something on the train, or something in the air here wasn't sitting right with her. Or maybe the fact that she was a genetic freak was actually starting to catch up with her. Maybe something had pushed her over the edge at Palmer Tech, they were constantly messing with genes, and hers had always been slightly different…
Blinking rain out of her face, Felicity didn't see him until the last second.
One blink she was alone, and the next he was standing before her.
Felicity faltered, her heart clamoring to a quick, shallow stop that made her body overly aware of the way her blood had already been rushing through her veins, but it wasn't fear that made her stop.
It was something… else. The strange out-of-body experience came back to her, but it was so momentary she only felt the lightness that came with, while she overly aware of everything else.
Felicity stared at him in a daze.
The man was dressed in green leather, a heavy hood pulled over his head, making the hole where his face should be an empty black space; she couldn't see anything. In fact, his very presence was like a giant black hole, sucking all the light around them into him until there was nothing left but shadows.
Recognition skittered across her mind as Barry's voice filled her head,
"Watch out for the Vigilante!"
She should be scared. This man was a killer, if she was to believe the news reports. He'd randomly appeared less than a year ago in Starling City, going after the city's elite, and the rumor was when they didn't do what he wanted them to, he killed them. In cold blood. Outright.
She didn't run.
She didn't want to run.
No, the only thing Felicity Smoak was aware of in that moment was how much she needed to touch. To be touched.
The briefcase slid from her fingers again, clattering against the asphalt.
In a trance, she reached out to touch him, knowing instinctively that the pain she'd felt when Ray had touched, when that helpful stranger had touched her, it wouldn't be there.
She didn't know how she knew, she just knew.
She'd never felt anything like this before, this pull, this bone-deep need that was radiating through her. She felt hot, flushed, her skin on fire, like she couldn't breathe until something was satisfied. Her insides tangled together, her heart raced erratically…
Her fingers grazed his leather-clad chest.
Felicity's breath stuttered as the heat in her skin instantly grew hotter, but not with pain - with need.
Need like she'd never felt in her life ran through her, and she stumbled against him, eager for more, so much more, and he caught her instantly.
For a split second, Felicity thought it was just her. The man, the vigilante, stood there, a statue in the rain, his leathers soaked, a quiver and bow strapped to his back, barely even breathing. She should have been worried for her life, she should have been running, but instead he caught her when she fell against him, her frantic fingers grasping for more…
He didn't just catch her. His trembling arms wrapped around her waist, yanking her off her feet and into his hard chest painfully, his fingers digging into her to anchor as against him, their lips instinctively finding each other.
The need inside her exploded the second their lips connected, and Felicity gasped against him, their lips parting, their tongues meeting in the middle.
Felicity had kissed before, but only chaste exchanges. Kissing was nothing more than a way to show emotion, really, there was no biologic need for kissing in her book, and the only two men she'd ever kissed were her boyfriend Chris in middle school and the only man she'd ever loved, Cooper, when she'd dated him in college.
They were nothing - nothing - like this.
He kissed her as hard as she kissed him, their mouths ravaging each other, devouring. She couldn't get enough; she needed more, so much more. Felicity moaned, his teeth scraping her lips, stubble on his cheeks rubbing her skin raw. She gave as good as she got, and when she nipped at his lips, biting down hard enough to draw blood, he moaned.
It was the sexiest, neediest thing she'd ever heard, and it shot her need for more through the roof.
He stumbled across the alley with her in his arms, crashing into a dumpster. The wheels screeched on the concrete as he pushed her against it, hard, shoving the giant metal box up against a brick wall with a loud clang, but neither of them noticed.
She grasped at his soaking wet hood, holding him closer as he hiked her up in his arms, and she wound her legs around his waist. Her tight skirt tore up the sides, ripping along her skin painfully, but she didn't feel it. She didn't feel anything but his gloved hands all over her, and she frantically pulled his hood back, needing to touch more of him. So much more.
His skin was as hot as hers was, and it burned her palms when she cupped his face.
He growled, the sound vibrating from his chest through hers and she whimpered in response, everything inside her melting at the sound, at the surrender she wanted to give him, at the surrender she demanded from him. He pushed her up harder against the dumpster and for the first time she felt something very hard and very large rubbing against her sex, and her hips natural rotated against it, seeking something she'd never felt before…
Fear shot through her, the fear quickly morphing into terror when she realized exactly what if his she was feeling. Something that shouldn't be hard, something that she shouldn't be rubbing against like she was, something that was making slick moisture pool between her legs.
Felicity tore her lips from his, shoving him back, a sob falling from her lips.
What was happening to her?
What was she doing?
What was he doing?
Who was he?
"Get off me," she said, her voice cracking, but he was mindless, shoving his face into her neck. His lips only sparked the need for more of his touch inside her, and that need stampeding through her veins had her grasping his head closer, crying out when his teeth sunk into the delicate flesh there, his hips thrusting up against her, and something amazing blossomed between her legs…
But it was too much.
It was too much.
"No!" Felicity said, shoving him back and this time he responded instantly. He stumbled back, dropping her and she landed hard on the ground, her knees skidding in the gravel. She scrambled to her feet, pressing her back up against the dumpster, her nails digging into it to keep herself from moving. She didn't feel the two nails that broke, or heard the jagged screech as she clawed at the metal, fighting to not move.
Because if she did, if she did move, she was going to launch herself at him, give in, and she couldn't… she couldn't.
"What's happening?" she whispered, and tears she didn't realize had been falling burned her eyes as she stared at him. He was crouched on the ground, his head in his hands, and she could see his shaking; it was nearly as bad as hers.
"Who are you?" he asked, the first time she'd heard his voice, and the sound tore through her. It was broken, serrated, raspy and ugly all in one. Felicity stared at him where he trembled on the ground, the rain making his leather grotesquely shiny. "I didn't… I don't know…"
With every ounce of self-control she could muster, Felicity slid along the dumpster. A sharp lever caught and tore at her jacket, matching the twin tears in her skirt. When she reached the edge of the receptacle, she slipped around it, holding onto the metal so tightly her fingers were bloodless, her eyes never leaving him.
For a second, neither of them moved, and the need inside her only beat harder, hotter, needing more.
So much more.
Her eyes flashed over his body, over his hands, over the powerful muscle she felt a visceral need to have touching her.
A sob escaped her throat, ripping through her chest, and he looked up at the sound.
Felicity gasped, squeezing her eyes shut before she saw him, unable to see his face - it would be too real - and she threw herself at her briefcase. Her foot caught in a crack and she went down, hard, but she didn't feel any of it.
Instead she opened her eyes enough to see the briefcase she had dropped and she grabbed it.
Shoving herself off the ground, Felicity ran towards the alleyway entrance, towards her hotel, not daring to look back.
I have no idea what this is. This was supposed to be a one-shot and then I had ideas.
Reviews literally feed my soul and muse.