In hindsight, Felicity should have said something else. Anything else. Literally anything else would have been better than this. But no.
She'd waltzed into Oliver's office with paperwork draped over her arm, just in time to hear Laurel accusing Oliver of not showing up to her engagement party.
"This was important to us, Oliver. How could you not come? What could have possibly been so important that you had to miss your best friend's engagement party?" (Obviously, Felicity noted, she was talking about Tommy, not herself.)
And then - oh boy - that was Felicity's fault. She'd found a lead and made the mistake of actually telling Oliver about it right before he had to leave. Naturally, he'd grabbed the lead and ran with it. Within five minutes, he was in his suit and out the door.
Now, Felicity was a genius, she knew how it looked it you unexpectedly didn't show up to your ex-girlfriend's engagement party. So she acted (rather stupidly, but at least she tried. Right?).
She dropped the pile of papers onto Oliver's desk and said, rather flippantly, "Oh, he was with me."
She regretted the words almost immediately. Almost. And knowing her, this was a hole she would just keep digging herself into. For one brief second, Felicity basked in the look of surprise, and then disbelief on Laurel's face.
"You're joking," She snorted, dismissing Felicity and turning back to Oliver, whose eyes moved to meet Felicity's behind Laurel's back. They argued silently for a long moment, and he seemed completely unfazed by the daggers she glared at him, which was just fucking great , because she was counting on those daggers to work.
Please don't go with my terrible excuse! She screamed internally at him. Laurel didn't seem to notice, and Oliver ignored her.
"Actually, Laurel, Felicity is right. I was with her yesterday," He said, and Felicity huffed.
"That's funny, because Tommy called the office when you didn't show up, and they said you left around three, a good two hours before you didn't show up at our party."
"No, Laurel, I wasn't at the office," Oliver said, looking frustrated, and Felicity cringed. There was the hole, Oliver with the shovel, digging it wayyyy deeper.
Considering her high intellect, it took the lawyer a surprisingly long time to figure out what Oliver had accidentally implied. Even Oliver didn't seem to realize until Laurel widened her eyes and then narrowed them.
"Let me get this straight," She snapped, and Oliver cowered in fear. Felicity rolled her eyes, half expecting him to use her as a human shield. Laurel could be scary. "You're sleeping with your secretary -"
"- Executive Assistant," Felicity said helpfully.
" So not important right now, Felicity," Laurel practically growled. "I can't believe you chose having sex with some fling over mine and Tommy's engagement party!"
"For starters, never call Felicity a fling ever again. She will always be so much more than that," Oliver started. "And I would never intentionally ditch such an important event."
Laurel crossed her arms, raising an eyebrow. Oliver did some quick thinking.
"I'm sure your father has told you that Felicity works for the Arrow?" Oliver asked.
"Well, yes, but -" Laurel started, and Oliver cut her off.
"- She was working and needed my help. I'm truly sorry, Laurel, but Felicity is my top priority." Laurel's glare faded as Oliver finished explaining himself. (An sure, it was a fake explanation, but - wait , had Oliver called her his first priority?)
"Oh my god," Laurel gasped. "You're in love with her."
"You're talking about me like I'm not here," Felicity complained, but the words died in her throat as she processed what Laurel had said.
"Wait, what?" She blinked, dumbstruck. Oliver smiled, and the pair continued to talk like Felicity wasn't standing right there.
"Yes, Laurel, I am," Oliver replied, and if Felicity hadn't suspected him to be lying, she would've smiled like an idiot.
"I'm so happy for you! Both of you! This is wonderful!" Laurel practically beamed, and pulled Oliver into a hug. Felicity took a momentary pause from her confusion to smirk at his discomfort.
"I've gotta go, but you two should probably talk, Felicity looks like someone dropped a building on her," Laurel grinned, backing out of the office. Felicity laughed nervously. Once she was gone, Felicity turned to Oliver and smacked him on the arm, hard.
"What were you thinking!" She exclaimed. "By this time tomorrow, everyone is going to know about us!"
"We've been talking about telling people for months," Oliver sighed, rubbing his arm. "Now seems a good a time as any."
"Yeah, but…" Felicity couldn't think of a good argument, so she trailed off. Then, all of a sudden - "Wait. Did you mean that? What you said to Laurel, I mean. Because if you didn't and you just said that to shut her up I completely and totally understand, -"
Oliver effectively cut her off by swooping in for a kiss.
"Yes," He said. "Meant every word. I love you, Felicity."
"Well then, I suppose I love you too."
It took less than twenty-four hours for the news to spread, and less than five for Thea Queen to swoop in and claim Felicity as her new sister/best friend. Which was totally weird, but also sorta nice? The youngest Queen went so far as to show up to Queen Consolidated during their lunch break, barge into Oliver's office, and demand to meet his girlfriend. Oliver, baffled, introduced them properly. It was then that Thea realized she already knew Felicity. She'd met her a handful of times at the club.
In other news, Felicity was now dodging her mother's calls. Donna Smoak, however, was relentless. Meaning she was on the next flight to Starling City.
The media was swallowing Felicity whole, chewing her up, and spitting her back up. (And obviously Felicity knows you can't be swallowed and then chewed up, but don't ruin the metaphor.)
They hated her. Distinctly aggressive headlines were scattered across newspapers and websites and twitter posts, and Felicity wasn't even bothering to do any damage control. Oliver was furious. Not with her, obviously, but with the people saying things like: "Pity, he could do so much better."
And: "What a slut, sleeping with her boss. I bet that's how she got her job."
Felicity was completely unfazed. People had been saying those kinds of things to her since she'd been promoted.
Oliver, on the other hand, only restrained from firing (and then maybe punching) them because Felicity had demanded he do absolutely no such thing.
She didn't care about any of it. Oliver loved her. That was enough.