I own nothing. This was supposed to be a one-shot prompt response. Then it grew.
"Well," Felicity says, pushing her glasses up her nose, "this is interesting. And not in the Spock way. More like this mental image is going to stay with me for a while and I'm not really sure that's a bad thing."
Diggle looks up at her from where he's working at the desk.
"Felicity," he greets, then glances behind him where Oliver is shirtless (as always) and fighting an equally shirtless brawny man she's never seen before with escrima sticks. "You got here just in time."
"Why?" She asks, dumping her bag beside the computer. "Is the floor show about to begin?"
Diggle quirks an eyebrow, but she knows him well enough to see there's concern hidden under the amusement.
"I'd say it's been going on for some time."
Oliver ducks under a blow and lashes out, hitting his opponent in the back of the knee and forcing his leg to buckle.
The other guy doesn't quite have Oliver's height or leanness, instead he's squarely built, all solid bulk and flat panes of muscle. And scars. Mustn't forget the scars. She's learned a lot about scars since she met Oliver Queen. They're important.
Felicity watches as Oliver shifts his stance and brings the sticks around, managing somehow to flip the other guy up and over so he hands hard on his back.
It has to hurt, but the man just lets out an "Oof" of lost air, then grins up at Oliver.
"You've been practicing," he says in an Australian accent. He sounds amused, almost proud.
"Some," Oliver says, his tone flat.
"It took you long enough to learn in the first place," the guy on the floor says. He grasps the hand that Oliver holds out and bounces up to his feet.
Looking now Felicity can see that he's older than Oliver, has maybe ten years on him. There are lines around his eyes - a mixture of worry and laughter etched into his skin. He pulls a towel from a nearby hook and wipes his face, seemingly amused by everything around him.
Oliver crosses to Diggle and Felicity at the desk.
"What do we know about Giorgio Bennini?" He says briskly.
"Nice to see you too, Oliver," Felicity responds. "I'm fine today, thanks for asking."
"Good to know," Oliver responds without missing a beat. "Bennini?"
"There's nothing in the public records," Diggle says, "to suggest he's anything other than a local businessman. But I don't have Felicity's magic touch."
"Aw Digg," Felicity grins, "you say the nicest things."
Diggle steps up out of the chair and offers his place to her. She sits down with a smile and starts reviewing the data Diggle has already accessed.
"Are you going to introduce us?" She asks Oliver over her shoulder, "Or is this another of your crazy exes?"
Beside her Diggle snorts.
Oliver does that thing where it looks like he might be grinding his teeth but before he can say anything, the other man is there, offering her a hand.
"Slade Wilson," he says, "I'm an... old friend of Oliver's."
"Ah," she says, shaking his hand, "now is that kind of significant-pause-old-friend where I should be checking his back for scratch marks or a very thin euphemism for a shared castaway experience."
Slade raises an amused eyebrow and barks out a laugh. He chuckles, low and deep, maintaining eye contact with her and there's a spark of... something. He hasn't let go of her hand yet and the calloused pad of his thumb runs over the back of her hand in an intensely suggestive way.
Felicity feels herself blush and curses her pale skin.
"I knew Slade on the island," Oliver says, and it's an effort to tear her eyes from Slade's to look at him.
Slade chuckles again.
"You sure do know how to pick 'em," he says, and Felicity is about to ask him what that means when the Australian lifts her hand to his mouth and kisses her knuckles.
"It's very nice to meet you," he says, holding eye contact with her, his hand holding hers close to his mouth. She can feel his breath on her skin. "Any... friend of Oliver's..."
"Oh we're not friends," she says, then winces, "I mean we are friends but we're not significant-pause type of friends. I'm his IT girl. Felicity. Smoak. Felicity Smoak."
"Lovely to meet you Felicity Smoak." Slade drops her hand and steps back, looking around. "I like what you've done with the place," he says to Oliver.
"Thanks," Oliver says, but he sounds strained. She looks at him but he's turned away. She would swear he's grinding his teeth again but that doesn't make sense and he has his back to her so she can't check.
To her left Diggle shakes his head, an amused expression on his face.
"Diggle," he says, offering a hand to Slade, who accepts it with a nod.
"What brings you to town Wilson?"
Slade looks over at Oliver, as if asking for permission.
"They know enough," Oliver says, "but I never told them this." He shrugs.
"Giorgio Bennini," Slade says, "has ties to an organisation that Oliver and I have encountered before. I've been tracking them for several years and the trail led me here. I don't think it's a coincidence."
"Can you get inside his system Felicity?" Oliver asks, "See what's hidden from view?"
"I'll try," she says, "it might take a while."
"Beautiful and talented," Slade remarks, and Felicity feels herself blush again. She looks up and sees Oliver look away, a muscle in his jaw twitching.
"Felicity is very good at what she does," Diggle says, in a neutral tone. Felicity glances up at him but he waves her concern off, so she returns her attention to the screens.
"I knew I should have come to Starling City earlier," Slade says. But Felicity barely hears him, so engrossed is she in solving the puzzle of accessing Bennini's systems. "You'll have to give me the tour."
"Will you be staying long?" Oliver asks.
"That depends," Slade replies.
The desk shifts slightly and she looks up to see him, still shirtless, the towel dropped around his shoulders, leaning against the desk and grinning down at her.
"On what?" Oliver sounds testy. Felicity would be confused by it but a large part of her awareness is taken up with the mental fight not to stare at Slade's chest.
Damn these shirtless men. How is a girl supposed to get any work done when they walk around like that?
"So," Slade says, "how about that tour?"
"Sure," Felicity says before she can think. "But hack first, right?"
"Come on Slade," Oliver says, an edge to his tone. "Plenty more to show you right here."
Slade grins at Felicity.
"Later," he says, his tone amused.
And then he's gone, crossing the floor to follow Oliver. Felicity looks up at Diggle and blinks.
"What just happened?" She asks.
Diggle shakes his head.
"If you have to ask..." he says, then snorts. "But then, maybe it'll be good for him."
"What?" She asks, genuinely confused.
"Hack now," Diggle says, patting her shoulder. "We'll deal with the rest later."
Felicity returns her attention to the screens dutifully. And if her concentration wanes occasionally as she works her way through layers of encryption, she can't really be blamed.
She'd say she wishes they would wear more shirts but then she wouldn't get to see the view.