A/N: Hi All! Here's another Olicity road trip fic. I hope y'all like it. Lots of personal real life feelings crept in to this one.
A couple of weeks ago I got this idea that olicity would go to Vegas, but Felicity wouldn't have a good time for obvious reasons. This would really unsettle Oliver, and this is basically a fic about how Oliver harnesses Felicity's light too.
p.s. I own nothing
Glitter Only Sparkles When There's Light
Oliver chortled as he sat next to Donna Smoak on a worn plaid couch from the nineties. He gazed down at the photo album splayed across his and Donna's lap, priceless images of a young, wide-eyed Felicity with brown hair staring back at him. The three of them had just finished dinner, a simple meal of spaghetti prepared by Felicity's mother that was five star quality compared to the junk they had been eating on the road. Felicity sat on the floor in front of them, her head banging on the coffee table in a vain attempt to block out the embarrassment known as her childhood.
Oliver's eyes couldn't help but land on an image of an eight year old Felicity in a bright red pageant dress. Her brown locks were curled and piled high on her head, her face dolled up in makeup. It was such a contrast to what he knew of her now. He couldn't help but laugh when he took in the sight of her grumpy face, full of disdain for being forced to dress up like a doll and parade around a bunch of judges.
Without lifting her head, Felicity mumbled dejectedly to Oliver.
"You found the pageant pictures didn't you? I will forever loathe the fact that she has multiple hard copies of that. I can't delete those from existence."
"Oh hush you!" Donna reprimanded. "You were a precious cupcake. I was just trying to break you out of your shell."
"You looked like an angry little princess, just like you do now." Oliver teased.
To say that Felicity had been a little introverted as a child, would be an understatement. For the first seven years of her life, she was loud and precocious, excited and willing to meet and interact with all walks of life. All that changed when her father left, dimming Felicity's spirit.
Oliver and Donna continued to flip through the album, his eyes drinking it all in, committing everything that was Felicity Smoak to his memory. In his peripheral he was aware that Felicity had stood and started clearing dishes from their meal. She had been oddly quiet since their arrival in Vegas. She had been withdrawn, a reserved countenance replacing her usual bright charm. For Oliver, it was unnerving.
When she was done cleaning up from dinner, Felicity stood in front of the unlikely pair that had been getting along like a house on fire. It was a bit overwhelming for her, being back in Vegas and watching her new life (Oliver) collide with her old one. She stood there awkwardly with her arms crossed.
Oliver sensed her presence and looked up at her with hopeful eyes.
"Why don't you join us? I could use your side of this story." He said, pointing at the image of Felicity in grunge clothes and black hair.
"Actually, I think I'm just gonna go get ready for bed." Felicity shrugged.
Oliver gave her a nod and watched as she left the small living room of the mid-century ranch style home. When she was gone, he let out a sigh, frustrated that his girl didn't seem like herself.
Patting his knee, Donna got his attention.
"It'll be alright. She'll be alright."
"I've never seen her like this. She's always so…content, like she's living in the moment, but now, it just seems like everything is dulled."
"Felicity's always been a bit somber ever since her father left. I suppose there are just too many hard memories here and she's regressing to the way she was before." Donna explained.
"What do you mean, before?" Oliver asked confused. She'd always been light and bubbly to him. This current mood was the new attitude.
"You don't know do you?" Donna asked, slightly awed by his ignorance.
"I could see it the day I met you. You're the reason her smiles have been brighter the last three years. I just thought that she had finally settled in to her job at QC and was making a life for herself. I didn't realize that you were the one who had given her those things though. You're her light, Oliver."
Felicity made her way into her old bedroom, having just brushed her teeth and washed her face. She sat on her twin bed, rolling her neck and shoulders before she laid down and stared up at the ceiling that was littered with tiny clumps of sticky tack. She watched the wobbly fan spin around and round, transporting her to another time, but same place.
It had been three months, three months since Felicity's entire world had been torn apart. She laid in her bed staring up at the glow in the dark stars that she and her father put up after she told him she wanted to drive out to the desert so that she could make wishes on the shimmering balls of gas. He explained to her that the stars in the night's sky had long since died, and that wishing on them would be fruitless. Instead, he told her that these stars on her ceiling would never die, and in them she could make her wishes. For the three months she had been wishing on every star, every night, begging for her father to come back.
Felicity's thoughts were interrupted by the sound of her mother's heals clicking down the worn out laminate floor in front of her bedroom door. It was past ten, and her mother had a night shift she was preparing to leave for. Felicity slammed her eyes shut, feigning sleep. Every night her mother would tuck her in and tell her how much her father loved her and how much he missed her. Donna's idea of a bed time story was trying to convince Felicity that she had done nothing wrong, that her father was incapable of being a father right now, and that it had nothing to do with his love for her. Felicity couldn't face hearing the words again tonight. She had stopped believing in them. How could a father love his daughter and not want to be a part of her life? How? She knew then that just because you say the words "I love you" or "You'll always be my little girl," doesn't mean they're always true.
Felicity stilled and regulated her breathing as her mother tip-toed into her room, crouching next to her bed.
"My beautiful girl." Donna whispered softly, her hand coming up to brush across her daughter's forehead.
"Mommy's going to work, but I'll be back in time for breakfast. I love you. I hope you're having sweet dreams. Maybe you're dreaming about him, your prince charming. He'll find you one day, I promise."
Donna paused, taking in a shaky breath before she continued.
"And he'll never leave you, not like your father did. He'll put the light back in your eyes, and it'll happen when you least expect it."
Donna pressed a soft kiss to Felicity's nose and made her way out of the bedroom. Felicity waited. She waited until she heard her mother start their old Chevy Nova and the distinct hum of the television her baby sitter turned on.
And then she cried, big fat tears flowed down her red cheeks flushed in anger. She hastily wiped them away, and stood up on her bed, eyes searching for something, anything. She eyed the baton her mother had gotten her recently in hopes that she would pick up the talent and use it in pageants. She grabbed it and climbed back up on her bed.
With angry jabs she used the baton to scrape off the flimsy stars, intent on watching every one of them fall, taking her hopes and dreams with them.
Felicity blinked slowly, a single tear escaping before she could hold it in. Oliver chose that moment to walk in to her room. She mentally groaned at herself for allowing her emotions to run away from her. She fully anticipated the Spanish Inquisition from him.
Oliver noticed the single tear on Felicity's face, but he didn't acknowledge it. He calmly made his way across the room, taking a deep breath as he sat down next to her. He rubbed his hands up and down his thighs as he took in Felicity's childhood room. His eyes passed over numerous scholastic awards and two books shelves filled to the brim. In the corner there was a card table, an old desktop computer sitting on it in several parts.
When Oliver was done skirting around her room, he settled his gaze on his hand that was now rubbing small circles across her knee. Clearing his throat, he finally broke the silence.
"Do you want to talk about it?"
Her head barely shook in the negative, but it was enough to bring his eyes to her face. The track the tear had made was now dry, leaving a single drop of moisture just below her cheek bone. He'd give anything to make it evaporate from existence, to make any reason for its existence to evaporate.
Felicity smiled back at him, big and fake, forced in an attempt to lighten the moment. Her eyes burned seeing the love and understanding reflected on his face. She wanted to move on from this, already knowing from the past fifteen years that talking about it wouldn't change the past.
"What's there to talk about? We all have our past's right?" Felicity reasoned.
"Of course." He said on a laugh, acknowledging that his past was rife with things he'd rather not discuss.
"I know. You'll be the first to know if or when I want to talk about it. Well, actually you'll be the second, I'll be the first." Felicity said, cutting him off before he could tell her what she already knew.
"Right" Oliver said, his lips forming a straight line as he nodded his head.
"You know, it's quite convenient that you talk so much and I'm monosyllabic."
Oliver grinned down at her, hoping to pull a genuine smile from her lips.
She let out a small giggle, her mind already picturing different circumstances.
"Could you imagine? Two of me or two of you. They'd never get anything done. Either they wouldn't communicate or they would be talking so much they would never hear what the other one had to say."
Oliver's mind eased, relaxing as he finally saw the twinkle in her eye that came with an authentic smile. A tightness in his chest settled that he hadn't realized was weighing on him the whole time they had been there.
The two of them sat there, their eyes dancing across each other's faces.
Oliver didn't want to stop with a single smile though. He wanted it all back, her bubbliness, and her light.
"Let's go out tonight. It's still early, by Vegas standards at least. Why don't we cut loose a bit?" Oliver suggested, hoping that she would take him up on his offer.
"I don't know. After growing up here, it's not as shiny as people give it credit for."
"That's because you've never experienced Vegas Oliver Queen style." He responded, turning on as much charm as he could. Maybe, just maybe, he could give her a memory worth talking about in the future.
"What does that mean?" Felicity said with a wide smile, an eyebrow quirked in speculation.
"It just means that, I may have…experience when it comes to taking full advantage of all that Vegas has to offer."
"What are we talking here? Seeing a live show, drinking, dancing?" Felicity asked incredulously.
"If you play your cards right." He replied saucily, adding a wink for good measure.
Felicity sat up at full attention. Oliver was pulling out all the stops. Oliver Queen charm, sass, AND dancing, count her in.
Felicity stood from the bed, heading towards her suitcase in search of her gold cocktail dress. After rummaging, she pulled it out and held it in her hands as she gave Oliver a smoldering look.
"You know, I can just count my cards, and you've already shown your hand, Mr. Queen."
Oliver gulped but tried to remain cool and unaffected as Felicity started to dress in front of him. Tonight was about letting Felicity see the good times Vegas offered. He wanted her to see the sparkle in the city that she had been incapable of appreciating all these years. He would fully embrace his party side, the levity he had before the island.
He followed her lead and dressed in what he mentally referred to as his "Ollie" clothes. Taking her hand when they were both done, he led them outside to the Porsche. He opened the door for her, and as he leaned down to close the door, he murmured roughly in her ear.
"I'm all in, Ms. Smoak."
Felicity's breath caught as he leaned away and made his way around to the driver side. His voice had been deep and thick with the promise of a night filled with adventure and mischief.
And he followed through on his promise.
Many hours later, Felicity stood in front of a large floor- to- ceiling window over- looking the strip, a soft smile on her face as she thought back on their night of fun.
Oliver had been amazing. He showed a side of himself that she had never seen. He was carefree and silly as they watched a comedy show, allowing himself to live in the moment. He drank more than one drink, his cheeks turning rosy with mirth. And when they danced, their bodies pressed together, hips rolling in sync, they remained in the middle of the dance floor, surrounded by throngs of people rejoicing in life like they were.
Felicity tightened the sheet wrapped around her naked form, and blushed. Oliver had topped the night off with amazing, life- changing sex. She was deliciously sore in all the right places, and her heart was filled with the love of a man she never saw coming.
Looking out over Vegas, Felicity saw the glittering lights below her, and for once the sight didn't leave her feeling heavy, but light.
Interrupting her thoughts, Oliver called out gruffly to her from the hotel bed.
"I wasn't done with you future Mrs. Queen."
Felicity glanced down at her left hand, emeralds and diamonds sparkling back at her like a sky full of stars you could wish on. She didn't need it anymore though. She had her wish, her dream come true, the moment she heard four words.
"Hi, I'm Oliver Queen."