Disclaimer: All characters remain the property of DC Comics and the WB. I do not own any of them.
a/n: This story uses my previous fanfic "It's My Fault Entirely" as a jumping off point. If you haven't read it yet, you may want to just for backstory purposes as it will be referenced from time to time. Reviews are welcomed as the only way to improve is through feedback and it definitely fuels the muse. Italics indicate personal thoughts. The Intro is short but there is more to come.
a/n2: These first two chapters have been revised slightly do to constructive feedback. Felicity is an exemplary young woman and does deserve to be acknowledged as such. After rereading I felt that that I had captured some of her strong suits but had been too heavy handed in other areas (definitely too much rambling) Now enough rambling on my part. On to Chapter 1: The Unexpected Interruption.
The hooded vigilante silently entered his lair, feeling in need of a little distraction. Tonight had not gone as planned. He crept up behind his blonde IT girl. She was focused on the monitor, using some video software. What could she be doing? Usually she was programming or researching, which didn't require video software? He leaned in close and asked, "What are you working on?"
Felicity jumped. Her vibrantly painted nails rapidly clicked against the keys. She abruptly spun around in the chair. "What exactly are you doing?" She stood up, not the least bit intimidated by the brooding man in the green hood. "You're not supposed to be back yet! I thought we agreed that you weren't going to startle the help anymore." She jabbed him in the chest with those alluring bright nails. "I'd rather be arrowed than die of fright!" Her face flushed and she quickly glanced at the screen.
He had seen the windows close on the monitor behind her. "She's hiding something," Oliver thought to himself before replying, "I know but it's so much fun to scare you." Felicity was always so adorable when she was interrupted. He purposely leaned into her, "Besides I needed a distraction" he huskily continued. She swallowed uncomfortably and stepped back.
"Still a little respect would go a long way!" She gave his arm a light slap that resonated through the Arrow cave. "Why are you back early anyway?" she persisted.
His green rimmed eyes looked at her as he pushed back the hood. "Let's just say I was interrupted." He watched the blonde's reaction as he laid the bow and quiver on the table.
"By?" Her eyebrow lifted. Her fuchsia lips pursed, waiting.
He held his silence as he unzipped the green jacket, shrugging out of it. Let her stew for a minute, he thought to himself. Felicity never was one to let things go, not when it meant solving a complex puzzle. I admire that about her, her tenacity. That and her straight-forwardness. It all made her easier to read and relate to than any of his other "friends" and "family". Especially after the island. I never have to second guess her or figure out her motives. She shoots as straight as any of my arrows and with a purer purpose." He paused as he threw the jacket onto the table.
His calloused hands reached out and picked up the bow and a single arrow. Felicity watched, waiting for his answer. Core tensed, he raised the bow, swiftly nocked the arrow, and pulled his hand back to his stubbled jaw, drawing the string taunt. Awed by the raw physical prowess, her breath caught. When he heard it, he released the arrow, straight into the heart of the target. "His daughter woke up crying for him," his low voice replied, full of uncertainty. Slowly he lowered the bow, turning to face her.
Her soft hands reached out, taking the bow from his grasp. "Oliver, today you made a choice, a wise one I might add. You let a daughter know her father a little long, despite any wrongs he may have committed." He noted a slight melancholic tone as she spoke. "I know making these choices don't make your mission any easier, but they make you more human," she whispered.
His brooding face returned, faced with his own humanity. How could he even be thinking of Felicity this way? He'd promised himself to remain detached after that last debacle with Helena. He was her boss. Her friend, if he was lucky. He wasn't even sure if he could protect her. He remembered how he felt when Helena targeted her. He'd felt completely helpless again, like those first months on the island. And Felicity, sure like any other person she had a moment, and then she was back at it, more determined than ever. A flashback to that evening where they had forgiven each other, sharing wine in Felicity's humble apartment filled his vision.
She enveloped him an endearing hug, warm, gentle and unjudging, just like that night. Oliver's heart beat faster. Of their own volition, his arms wrapped around her, pulling her closer. He watched her eyelashes veil her blue eyes as he leaned in closer. His lips gentle grazed hers. He felt himself get hotter, hungrier as her lips moved softly against his. His lips nuzzled along her throat. Her quick intake of breath fueled the fire burning within. His hand reached up, entangling in her golden locks. His lips glided upwards to nibble at her earlobe. The gentle scent of orange blossoms filled his nostrils.
Suddenly, cool air met his lips as she pushed him back, breathless. 'I need to go! …It's nine o'clock. My friend is expecting me for coffee and crepes. Two of my favorite things in fact. After you of course." She pauses. "I didn't just say that did I? I meant they're my two favorite things after solving mysteries related to the List with you." She quickly turned on her bright heels, grabbed her beige trench coat off the chair and clattered her way up the stairs, passing Diggle who had just entered. "Goodnight boys! Try not to kill one another," she called as she walked out the door.
"Where is she heading to in such a rush?" John asked Oliver.
"She's late for a very important date," was his cryptic reply. Glancing at the monitor, he realizes that Felicity has left herself logged in. Perfect! More Felicity's style, he thought, but some how he couldn't see Felicity caving under intimidation from him.
Oliver pulled a grey v-neck shirt over his head. "Dig, tonight didn't go like I planned. His daughter woke up so I left."
"So there are other ways to get him to co-operate, and other times to get him. You'll have your chance." Diggle reminded him. "You don't have to arrow everyone, remember."
"You and Felicity really do keep me human." Oliver replied "Why don't you take the rest of the night off. I'm just going to stay here, be visible upstairs and do a little research. It's early yet. You've got time to go see Carly." He prodded.
"You're not going out again tonight?" Diggle questioned, suspiciously.
"No. I'll send you a text if the plans change." Oliver offered.
"Alright then, I'll take the time. You've kept me pretty busy lately."
As John left, Oliver sat down in Felicity's chair. His blue eyes narrowed. "Now, Felicity Smoak, what have you been hiding?" he asked the cavernous room.