Ava Queen is like her mother in every single way.

Every. Single. Way.

Oliver's definitely not joking when he tells people that. He listens to the coos of 'she's got her father's eyes' and wants to tell people; you don't understand, this girl has a devil inside her that was born in my wife.

It's endearing, most of the time. It's adorable. It's something he loves when he comes home from a hard day being CEO - something he hadn't wanted to spend his days doing again, but then again, he had a family to provide for and his night job didn't pay - and his girls are waiting for him. They disagree on her smile. He thinks it's all hers, she thinks it's all his. They compromise. Ava's particular smile of 'I know I'm not allowed to do that so I'm gonna do it' smile is inherited from her father, but that smile of pure elated joy at everything life throws at her is all Felicity.

She inherits her mother's hair. The more she grows, the more their home is filled with flashes of blonde moving from place to place - increasingly at the same speed, because Ava just learned to crawl and all those baby-proofing ads were not joking. But his home is filled with laughter, and happiness, and beauty…

...and talking.

A lot of talking.

Felicity babbles. He loves that about her. It was in the top three things on a very long list of things that made him fall in love with her. She babbles when she's excited, she babbles when she's nervous, and she babbles when she's happy. She babbles on extra speed when she's stressed. The only mood she doesn't talk like there's a motor running behind her tongue is when she's sleep deprived.

Ava, much to their….delight...has inherited this trait from her as well.

She's not talking yet, not quite there, but dear God, she's trying. First was the animal sounds. She loves her animals, and Oliver discovered when she was sixteen weeks old that a three-am tantrum could easily be resolved with thirty minutes of Daddy Cuddle Time in front of the Discovery Channel. They don't talk about what happened when Felicity caught them during Shark Week. They're not allowed to mention that because he doesn't ever want to see Felicity look that angry again.

Movies are fun. When Felicity works, Oliver decides it's the prime opportunity to teach his daughter the important things in life; like appreciation for the original Star Wars movies. It's adorable, the sounds she makes, but less adorable when he has to explain to Felicity why the usual babbling she hears when she walks through the door is filled with joyful 'pew-pew' noises as she crawls around the coffee table, hiding from Oliver as he chases her.

After the animal sounds, came the attempt at words. They're stuck in that stage at the moment. Quite heavily stuck. Ava's favourite thing to do is sit on Felicity's hip while she's talking on the phone and attempt to mimic every sound she makes. She fails, tremendously, but mimicking sparks the battle they've been holding off on for too long.

"Say Mama first. Mama."

"Daaaadddy. Daaaaaadddddyyy."

Of course, she says neither. She just stares at them, and resumes her best impression of a duck sound and continues refusing to eat her dinner in favour of trying to steal Oliver's fork from his hand.

She'll mimic anything else they attempt to say, though, as long as they're not saying it directly to her. Except that one time, just before the babysitter arrived, that Oliver really wanted to see Felicity get flustered in that way he enjoys taking advantage of, and he followed her around the house with Ava on his hip, the two of them giving their own commentaries of what Mommy was doing.

Now, Oliver loves his daughter. She is the brightest part of his day, this most perfect thing he's ever created a symbol of his undying love for his wife. She's growing every day, slowly leaving behind her baby girl status and becoming a toddler, and she won't be his little girl anymore, and now she's about to speak and...

...and he just needs her to shut up for the next five minutes.

He's trying to speak to an investor, and Felicity was supposed to be there ten minutes ago to take Ava with her, but she's caught in traffic and he's slowly wishing the world would implode on him and destroy this moment from existence.

It's very hard to look like a professional CEO when his infant daughter is poking her fingers in his ear.

He takes her tiny hand in his, drawing his attention away from the investor and whispers a very tiny "no, Daddy's working," to her, which makes her frown in a way that he definitely recognises as one of his genetic inputs.

"So as I was saying, Mr-"

"Ahh-saah-baaaaaaah laaa daaaaa-"

He tries to speak over her. He tries.

He fails.

"We really appreciate your involvement with-"


"-very important to the business as a whole-"


"Ava," he says a little sharply, turning his head and removing his tie from beneath her drooling chin. His voice softens at his daughter's wide eyes. "Be quiet, Daddy's talking."

She can't possibly understand, he tells himself, but she places her tiny hands on his cheeks as she leans close to him, and oh no, he can see what's going to happen, he's loves his daughter's slobbering kisses usually because she's pure adoration and affection for her father but their biggest investor is stood right in front of him and he's going to have to finish this conversation with drool on his cheek and-

-and she squeezes his face in her cheeks and draws a deep breath before belting out her first coherent word.


Everyone hears. Of course they do. Of course a meeting is emptying out across the hall. Of course Felicity and Diggle are exiting the elevator at that moment. Of course everyone fails to hold back their sniggering laughter. Of course his damned - wonderful, beautiful, perfect - wife is taking a photograph.

The investor, to his utter relief, doesn't turn and leave without a further word. Instead, he cracks his first smile of the impromptu meeting, shakes Ava's little hand, and tells her that he looks forward to doing business with the real Queen in charge of the company.

When Oliver finally hands Ava over to Felicity, he gives her a very serious, very terrified stare, and tells her in no uncertain terms; "we created a monster."

She laughs, rolling her eyes in a way that he'll only ever tolerate from her. "Let's see if we do any better on Queen baby 2.0, shall we?" she suggested, hoisting their daughter onto her hip and heading back to the elevator.

The doors are closing in front of them by the time Oliver's recovered from that statement.

"Queen baby 2.0? What? Felicity?"