"I figured you for a cat person," Oliver said as they pulled up to the restaurant.
"Bite your tongue, infidel!" Felicity laughed. "I don't trust cats, they're creepy. I always feel like they're plotting to kill me." She turned off the engine and hopped out of the car.
"So why don't you get a dog?" He reached for her hand.
"You've seen how small my place is." She laced her fingers through his.
"So get a small dog."
"They scare me. I only like big dogs."
Oliver laughed. "How can little dogs scare you?"
Before she had a chance to answer the hostess greeted them. "Oliver Queen," she said in a way that suggested she knew him.
Felicity looked at Oliver.
He forced a smile. "How are you, Vanessa?"
"Veronica." She bit her lip suggestively. "Not as good as the last time I saw you, that's for sure."
Felicity stared at her shoes, wishing she were anywhere but there.
"Table for two, please." Oliver squeezed her hand.
"Only two?" Veronica asked. Felicity could feel her appraising gaze. "This way."
They hadn't taken more than five steps into the dining room before two girls stopped them.
"Oh my hell, Ollie Queen!" The short brunette squealed. "We were just talking about you!"
"We totally were!" The tall brunette added helpfully.
"We were rating the guys we've slept with and you made both of our top five! Can you believe it?"
Felicity walked away before she could hear anymore. Veronica was waiting patiently by their table.
"So is this a business lunch?" she asked pointedly.
"Yup," Felicity said. "Because Oliver would never date a girl like me, right?"
Veronica handed her a menu. "Your waitress will be right over."
"Oh good! Has he slept with her too?"
Veronica had enough brains not to respond and made a hasty retreat. Moments later, Oliver sat down across from her.
"Sorry about that." He tucked his napkin into his lap. "Why'd you just leave me with them?"
Felicity didn't look up from the menu. "I thought you might want to catch up."
"With them? I don't even remember their names."
She gripped the menu so hard she was afraid she might rip it, laminated or not. "Well this is kind of a dive compared to what you're used to. I wouldn't expect you to remember all the trysts where you slummed with middle-class girls."
The waitress arrived just in time to save Felicity from hearing his response.
"We need a minute," Oliver said.
"I don't. I know exactly what I want." She hurried and gave her order. "Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to pee."
She left before Oliver or the waitress could say anything. In the bathroom she paced the floor, warring with the two voices in her head.
The first voice was reminding her of all her flaws and telling her a man like Oliver could never be with a nerd like her. That voice sounded a lot like Prissy Wells, the most popular girl when she was in high school.
The second voice listed all the reasons she was too good for Oliver and why she was an idiot to be on this date in the first place since he'd only break her heart. That voice was her best friend Eliza.
It took a lot of concentration, but she pushed both voices away until she only heard a third voice – her own.
Oliver rose when she came back to the table. "I was afraid you'd climbed out the window."
"I wanted to, but there wasn't one." Felicity picked up her fork and started eating. She couldn't believe she'd been gone long enough for the food to arrive.
"Felicity, listen –"
"No, let me talk. In the first five minutes of our date we ran into three people that you've slept with. Three!" She held up her fingers to emphasize the point. "Now, although it would be nearly impossible, how would you feel if that happened to you? How would you feel if we ran into three guys I'd slept with, one right after the other?"
He stared at his plate. "I wouldn't like it."
"And you'd probably compare yourself to them to see how you measured up, right?"
Oliver shrugged and nodded.
"Well that's what I did." She struggled to reign in her emotions. "And do you know how I rate compared to them?"
"Exactly." There were tears threatening, but her anger held them back.
He met her eye. "No contest because none of them are you. None of them are even close to you. They were all before the island. The Oliver today wouldn't look twice at any of them, much less sleep with them. There's only one girl I want and that's you."
"Well." Felicity stabbed at her food. "I guess I wouldn't want you to judge me based on decisions I made six or seven years ago."
"So we're okay?" he asked, hopeful.
"We're okay." She looked up at him and sighed. "I know this will happen again though. I can't promise I won't be a little jealous when it does."
Oliver grinned. "I think you're hot when you're jealous."
She couldn't help but smile. "Wait until it happens to you."
"So, small dogs."
The abrupt subject change surprised her. "What?"
"Why are you afraid of them?" he asked.
"They're yappy and mean. Big dogs, in my experience, are sweet and gentle. The only time I was ever bitten was by a small dog." She showed him the almost invisible scar on the back of her hand. "Besides the space issue though, I couldn't really afford a dog right now."
"I could buy you one," Oliver said. "It could even live at the mansion until you get a bigger place."
"Are you going to buy that for me too?"
She put her fork down. "That's something I wanted to talk to you about. You don't have to spend money on me."
"What do you mean?"
"I mean the flowers today probably cost a small fortune. And when I told you about Jane Eyre I could practically hear you thinking about where you could buy me a rare edition."
Oliver nodded sheepishly.
"I don't need any of that. I'm not dating you for your money."
"We're dating then?" He grinned.
Felicity smirked. "If I say yes are you going to stop wooing me?"
"Okay, then we're dating."
They left the restaurant hand in hand, both grinning like idiots. Oliver couldn't remember ever being this happy. Suddenly Felicity dropped his hand, yelled "Johnny!" and ran to hug a guy he'd never seen before.
The guy picked her up off the ground and spun her around. Felicity squealed.
"Put me down, you dork!" She laughed. When he finally put her down she kept a hand on his arm. "Oliver, this is Johnny. Johnny, this is Oliver."
Oliver shook his hand, resisting the urge to break it. "Nice to meet you, Johnny."
"Same here. So how do you know Felicity?"
"We work together," Felicity said.
"And we're dating." Oliver slung a possessive arm over her shoulder. "How do you two know each other?"
"We're practically family," Johnny said, beginning to seem a little possessive himself. "I'm married to her best friend, Eliza."
Oliver immediately relaxed. "We'll have to meet up for dinner some night."
Felicity clapped. "That would be so much fun. I haven't seen you guys in ages. I'll text Eliza and work out the details."
"Okay." Johnny smiled. "She'll probably want to do it at our place. Threaten Oliver on home turf."
He and Felicity said goodbye and Johnny walked away.
"Why is Eliza going to threaten me?" he asked.
"Because we're dating and that's what she does. She'll threaten to lop off your balls if you hurt me."
"Lop off my balls?" He opened the driver's side door of her Mini for her.
"Or something akin to it." Felicity shrugged. "By the way, was that jealous Oliver I just witnessed?"
"What?" he scoffed. "No."
"Really? Well, if that's the case, I'd hate to see you when you are jealous."
He closed her door and got in on the other side. "Hypothetically, if I were jealous, I would have every right to be."
"How do you figure?"
"Some random guy was hugging my girlfriend."
"Girlfriend," Felicity repeated. "I'm Oliver Queen's girlfriend."
"How does it feel?" he asked.
"Good. How do you feel about being Felicity Smoak's boyfriend?"
"It feels pretty nice." He tried to hide his smile. "I just wish she would have wooed me more. It's embarrassing how easy it was for her to get me."
"Really?" Felicity bit the side of her cheek trying not to smile. "How does a girl go about wooing Oliver Queen?"
"That's for you to figure out."
"Challenge accepted," Felicity said with a laugh.