Title: Love, the kind that's not undone (Love, I know you are the one)
Sequel to: I Can Feel Your Heartbeat (Running Through Me)
Word Count: 10,755
Summary: [Three-Parter] Oliver and Felicity make their public debut as a couple. It's both as hard and as easy as he expected.
Love, the kind that's not undone (Love, I know you are the one)
Love, they say it heals all wounds
Love, removes the hurt in you
Love, I know that this is true
Oliver spent over a half hour schmoozing the Welsh's before getting them to agree to a comfortable donation. When he was finally able to break away from them, he quickly found himself in another conversation, far away from where he wanted to be. But he did spot Felicity through the crowd; she was still with his mother and seemed to be charming her, if his mother's smile was anything to go by. He tuned back in to the conversation in front of him, nodding encouragingly at the group of wealthy businessmen.
It was nearly an hour later when he was finally able to make his way over, only to find that Felicity had gone to the ladies room. He sighed, wondering if she might be up to sneaking out early, and turned to find his mom standing in front of him, staring up at him knowingly.
"Felicity is something," she opened, raising a glass of champagne to take a slow sip, watching his expression.
"She is," he agreed.
"Very smart," Moira noted. "Accomplished, beautiful, outspoken…" She stared at him thoughtfully. "And she speaks very highly of you."
His lips twitched. "Obviously I've convinced her there's more to me than there really is."
Shaking her head, Moira smoothed a hand down his jacket. "You can tease all you want, but I know you're a brilliant man, Oliver… Just like your father."
His expression sobered as he let his eyes move away from her for a moment. Talking about his father was still a sore subject. He loved him, regardless of the mistakes he made, but it was hard to forget the sound of the gun going off as he killed himself. It was hard to think of his sacrifice and not feel guilt eat at him.
"I like her," she continued. "In general, of course. But I like her for you."
His brow furrowed slightly as he returned his attention to her. "Has she really impressed you that quickly?"
"Honestly?" She smiled. "Yes."
He grinned and let out a short laugh under his breath. "She has that effect."
"But even if it wasn't for that… Oliver, the way you two are together… I haven't seen you so at ease, so happy, since before…" She frowned, her gaze falling. "The island took you away, and for five years I never imagined I'd get you back. And now that I have you, I know you aren't the same man I lost… But I see a spark of him, I see that old smile, when you're with her… And if she can give that to you, if she can make you happy, then that's enough for me."
"I am happy," he told her, reminded of how Thea had said something similar. And he was, in some ways. There were a lot of things he wasn't happy about, things he needed to fix, things that tethered him to the island that he couldn't change. But he was content with where his life was going, what he was doing, and who he surrounded himself with. He wished Tommy could accept him, that they could make amends, but he understood that might never happen. He had Diggle and Felicity, his mother and Thea, and it was enough.
"Good," she said, her eyes bright with tears. "That's all I wanted."
A tapping noise caught their attention then and their eyes were drawn to the front, where somebody was at the microphone near the band. "Welcome, everybody, to the annual charity ball for the Starling City Children's Hospital…"
Swiping under her eyes, Moira lifted her chin. "I think that's my cue." She squeezed his arm and smiled up at him. "I already invited Felicity to dinner on Monday. Why don't you two head out early?"
He nodded, relief flooding through him. "Sure." He looked back at the stage briefly. "Good luck."
"I won't need it," she assured with a wink. With that, she walked off toward the stage, her head held high, and he knew she would top last year's donations. She always did. His mother was a master at making the elite give back.
He smiled to himself as he watched her go, the picture of elegance.
A hand at his arm caught his attention then and his head swiveled, canned smile already in place. He was surprised, however, when he found Laurel standing in front of him.
She smiled faintly, her eyes darting away for a moment. "Hi…"
"Hi," he replied, his brow furrowed. He glanced around her, wondering if Tommy was nearby.
"He was called away…" She shrugged. "The trials of dating a businessman."
He nodded. "Understandable."
"Uh… Listen, can we talk?"
"Sure." He turned his head back as he heard his mom's voice come over the speakers. "Maybe somewhere else?"
She cast her eyes around before pointing to the large veranda area, the doors open for guests to get a breather. He followed her over, moving easily through the crowd as it listened intently to his mother's speech, a variation of the same each year. He saw his sister standing with Roy and caught her frown as she spotted Laurel. He shook his head, but didn't have time to explain it to her.
Stepping through the doors onto the veranda, he breathed in deep, appreciating the cool night air.
Laurel gracefully moved to the edge, resting her arms on the smooth metal railing. She stared down on the city for a long moment, the bright lights and dancing on her ivory dress. Like his mother, Laurel was the picture of elegance. He remembered thinking she was perfect; in fact, he'd thought it many times in the past. There was never a hair out of place. She almost never said the wrong thing. She could charm an angry rattle snake with her smile. He'd thought that was what he wanted. On paper and in person, Laurel Lance was perfect.
Just not for Oliver.
She and Tommy worked together. He was sure Laurel had flaws, she'd just never been comfortable showing them to him. With Tommy, she let her guard down. She didn't try so hard. And that was the point, too. He didn't think love should have to be so hard. He didn't think it should always be an uphill battle, a series of mistakes that he could never completely be forgiven for. That didn't mean mistakes would never happen or he'd never have to ask for forgiveness, but there had rarely been traction in his relationship with Laurel. He carried the guilt of what happened with Sara and he always would. Laurel would always remember it and who he was before. She would always see him as the old Oliver, the one that had hurt her. The one he wasn't anymore.
Felicity was flawed. She said the wrong thing all the time, and it was usually an innuendo. She rambled, she was clumsy, and she didn't quite fit into the world of opulence and sophistication that he was subjected to on a daily basis. But he didn't dislike those flaws; in fact, he enjoyed them. Where she rambled, he was often silent; where she was clumsy, he was agile; where she didn't fit in, he was a chameleon of many faces. Similarly, when he closed up and shut down, Felicity could figure out what he couldn't say but was thinking. When he was too in control, she could remind him to loosen up. And when he became jaded over how dark the socialite scene his family was expected to be a part of, she was happy to spend a weekend in their pajamas, watching quality television and helping him forget all about how fake he had to be. Like she filled in the good to his bad, she also balanced out everything else, just as he did for her.
That was why it was easy to look at Laurel then, the picture of beauty, and not feel anything. She was a friend, someone he knew and respected most of his life. But the love he'd once felt for her, the love that kept him going on that island and that pushed him forward each day that he'd returned, it wasn't there anymore. Not to the degree it had been. He would always care for her, help her, root for her as she called for justice in the court room. But he was happy not being the man she went home to each night, the arms she fell into, or the comfort she took after a long day.
Where he wanted to be, where he was happy to be, was with Felicity. Whether it was in the foundry, listening to the click-clack of her fingers on the keyboard while he worked out, or having her in his ear as he ran down the latest name on the list, or lying with her on the couch while they relaxed after a long day. He was happy. It felt right with her. There was no weight of lies or secrets keeping him from enjoying it. She was aware of all the shadows, the monsters in his closet, and she didn't let them scare her off.
"I want to apologize about earlier."
Oliver's gaze landed back on Laurel as she turned to look at him. His brow furrowed. "Apologize? What for?"
"When we bumped into you guys on the dance floor, things felt awkward… I—I reacted weirdly and… I don't know. It's been bothering me." She frowned, shaking her head. "I haven't seen you in… God, it feels like forever. You've just… I mean, you and Tommy, I—I don't know what's going on there. I don't know why you're fighting; he won't tell me. And without that link, I guess… I don't see you around anymore. I talked to Thea and she said you'd just been working a lot…" She licked her lips and looked away. "And seeing you tonight, I… don't know what I was expecting."
Oliver crossed the distance between them slowly. "Laurel…" He stared at her searchingly. "What's this about?"
"Do you remember when Tommy and I ran into you on that date with Helena Bertinelli…? You know, before she was arrested for having a murderous vendetta against her dad…"
He let out a faint snort at her description and nodded slowly.
Sobering, she shook her head. "It was awkward. It was… It was weird to think of you being with someone else. And not… Not just sleeping with someone, because I see that enough in the tabloids. But… in a relationship."
"Helena and I were… short-lived… I was in a bad place at the time."
She nodded understandingly. "I just remember it because that was the first time I realized that there was a possibility you would have a future that I wasn't a part of."
He tipped his head, smiling faintly. "You'll always be in my life, Laurel. You, Tommy, even if we can't be the way we were… You've known me practically my whole life."
"I know…" She swallowed tightly. "And it was good, you know? I mean, that was one of those kicks that I needed to realize that I had something real with Tommy and I needed to be a part of it. I needed to give him a real chance."
"He's a good man," he told her sincerely.
"He is," she agreed. "And I love him. I…" She laughed under her breath, smiling. "I never expected it, but being with him is the best decision I ever made."
He smiled, nodding slowly. "I agree."
She stared up at him, searching his face. "You do, don't you?"
"Laurel, I only ever wanted the best for you."
"And you don't think you're it." Her brow furrowed.
"I know I'm not," he agreed seriously.
She was quiet for a moment, her eyes falling, and then she turned, looking out on the city again. "When I saw you with Helena, I realized you could move on," she told him, letting her words linger on the air. "And when I saw Felicity… The way you looked at her… I realized you had."
He watched as a tear escaped down her cheek, which she brushed away gently with her finger.
"You love her…" She swallowed tightly and turned to look at him. "You're in love with her."
He nodded. "Completely."
She smiled, but it was faint and trembling. "I don't want you to think I'm jealous, or that I wish things were different…" She shook her head. "It's just hitting me, and it's so clear… I spent so much time thinking it was you and me… That something might change, shift, that you would do something or say something and suddenly everything between us, all the pain, the lying, the history, it wouldn't matter…" She blinked quickly as her eyes filled with tears. "But I know it's not that… It's not us."
He stepped closer, reaching out to brace a hand on her shoulder. "I don't think it was supposed to be…" He stared down at her. "You helped me be a better person…" He smiled lightly. "I don't know what I possibly did for you, but I hope it was something…"
She swallowed tightly. "You gave me Tommy."
He let those words resonate and finally accepted them. Maybe that's what they were meant to do for each other. She was his anchor to this world and she was a guiding light while he was becoming a different man on the island. Perhaps that was their purpose to each other. His 'death' prompted her to see Tommy in a different life, giving them a chance. And she helped him live, made him want to be better, so that when he got back he would be enough for Felicity. Because he hadn't been before. Laurel might have accepted him at his worst, but Felicity never would have. The man she loved had gone through hell on that island and he fought for justice now, putting himself at risk each night. Felicity loved a man and a hero, both of whom were flawed and fragmented at times. She didn't care about the private jets or the trust fund or getting media attention. She wanted to sleep in with him on Sundays, to argue with him until he let her clean up his wounds, to guide him on his missions, to hold his hand when things were rough and cheer him on when things went well.
"This is more emotional than I expected." Sniffling, Laurel wiped at her cheeks. "I just… I wanted to tell you that I'm sorry if I was weird when you introduced us. Felicity seems really nice." She smiled. "Tommy was very proud about what she said, and that you care about the work he's doing at his dad's company."
"He's come a long way. I think he'll manage Merlyn Global better than anyone expected."
She nodded. "He will." She reached up to touch her hair, drawing it back from her still damp cheeks, and then smoothed her hands down her dress. "Well, I should let you get back…" She smiled up at him. "Thank you for letting me get that all out… I think it's been weighing on me for a while."
"It's fine. I'm glad we talked."
She went to walk past him, but paused momentarily. "Oliver…?"
He turned to look at her.
"Maybe it's not my place, but… With Felicity…" She stared up at him. "Be honest with her… Even if it hurts or it's hard or- or you don't think she can handle it. Just… don't shut her out or run away. I know what that feels like and… I don't want you to make that same mistake again."
He paused for a moment, nearly telling her that he would never do that to Felicity. That she understood him better than anyone, and that he shared things with her that he never could with anyone else. But he realized that saying so would only hurt Laurel. It wasn't her fault that he hadn't been the same with her. He had convinced himself it was to keep her safe and, before that, before the island, he had been too cowardly to say what he was really thinking. The man he was today, who he was with Felicity, had come a long way, and he entrusted her with everything.
"I promise," he said instead, the weight of his words apparently enough because she nodded, a faint smile turning up her lips.
And with that, Laurel Lance left him; she didn't look back once.
Moving to the railing, Oliver took up her spot staring out over the city, at the flashing lights of cars, billboards, traffic lights, and buildings. Usually, on a night like this, he would already be racing over building tops, searching for trouble, dressed in green leather, with his bow at the ready. Tonight, however, his armour was a designer tuxedo, which left him a lot less room to move around in.
He felt good. Lighter than he expected. While he had let go of Laurel, it was a relief to know that she had also let go of him. She'd confirmed that who she wanted was Tommy and she no longer saw a future between her and Oliver. What could have hurt only a year ago, now felt like the chains of some unseen burden being unshackled from his ankle. Not Laurel, exactly, but the idea of them; it was no longer weighing on him. He was free to move forward.
His head turned, smile widening as he found Felicity walking toward him, plucking her earrings out and wrinkling her nose at the sting before she put them away in her clutch.
"Hey…" He nodded his head. "Come here."
She joined him by the rail and he moved to step behind her, his hands braced on the rail on either side of her body. She leaned back into his chest, her head resting on his shoulder. He rested his chin against her hair and just stood for a while, breathing in the cool air, enjoying the weight of her against him.
"Laurel wanted to talk to me," he finally told her.
He was happy to note that she didn't tense up or sound the least bit worried.
"She wanted me to know that she was happy with Tommy and she was letting go of the idea of me and her…" His hands found Felicity's arms and rubbed up and down the length of them, thumbs circling the tops of her shoulders and teasing the inside of her elbows before resting at her wrists. "She said she knew I'd really moved on… And then she told me not to screw it up by making the same mistakes."
Felicity chuckled under her breath. "What'd you say?"
"That she was right, and I was happy she had Tommy…" His hands slid higher and he gently massaged her earlobes for her. She always wore such heavy earrings and he'd seen her wince when she pulled them out. "It felt good."
"Talking to her?"
He nodded. "Getting closure."
He kissed the top of her head and sighed against her hair. "Me too."
"Tonight's been kind of intense, huh?" She tipped her head further back to see him. One of his hands slid down her neck and his fingers skimmed over the line of her jaw and under her chin. "Between your mom and sister, Tommy and Laurel on top of it…"
"You wishing we'd just had that quiet dinner instead?"
Her lips turned up and she shook her head. "No."
He raised a curious brow.
"You don't see this as your world and maybe it's not, at least, not to the degree the foundry is… But it is a part of you and it's a part that's filled with really important people in your life… All of this, fundraisers and fancy dresses and shoes that pinch, it's a significant part of your life…" She licked her lips. "And I'm in your life, I want to be in every part of it, so… If it means wearing the pinchy shoes and talking to the ex-girlfriends and being introduced to your mom's friends as her son's 'brilliant girlfriend' then… I'll do it…" She grinned at him. "You're worth that, Oliver. So I might not always fit in or say the right thing, but I'll always be here for you."
His throat tightened and he bent down to kiss her, the angle a little awkward but the sentiment all too important. He traced her delicate cheek with his thumb as he left soft, lingering kisses on her lips, minutes passing as he did little more than hold her close, her chin cradled in one hand while he still rubbed her ear with the other.
It wasn't until she shivered, the night air starting to sink in, that he broke apart from her. "Are you ready to go home?"
Her face lit up hopefully. "We can go?"
He chuckled under his breath. "We've been given the green light to head home early," he assured, nodding.
"I'm so on board for that," she agreed, standing upright and moving to lean against his side as he led her from the balcony. "I hope you know you'll be giving me a foot rub on the ride home…"
His lips twitched as he thought of her complaints about 'pinchy' shoes. "Will I?"
She nodded. "I'm no cheap date, Queen."
"I'll keep that in mind."
As they were crossing toward the doors leading out of the hall, she stopped him with a tug on the lapel of his jacket, wanting to say goodbye to Thea before they made their escape. He followed her over to where his sister and Roy were picking at a plate of food and obviously making fun of everybody's outfits. Felicity, being the chatterbox he loved, couldn't settle for a simple goodbye, so Oliver waited patiently as she and Thea talked a little more, even setting up a lunch date the following week, which Thea promised would be filled with stories of Oliver's childhood, most of which she had learned second-hand from their parents, seeing as she was either not yet born or too young to remember.
While he waited, Oliver listened to the tail end of his mother's speech, his fingers lightly stroking up and down Felicity's back as she relaxed against his side.
"Hm?" He turned back to her.
She smiled up at him tenderly. "We can go now."
He realized suddenly that Thea and Roy weren't there anymore, edging their way around the crowd, probably about to make their way out of a side exit. Nodding, he slid his hand into hers and started toward the double doors.
"I texted Digg. He'll be out front," she told him, winding her arm around his waist. Head resting against his shoulder, she wondered, "Did you have fun?"
He considered her question. It would be easy to say that it was just one of many charity fundraisers in his history, but it had stood out in some ways. The conversations he'd had with his mother and Thea had further opened his eyes to how they viewed him since his return. They saw more than he expected. The fake smile he'd been pasting on wasn't fooling them. Still, they realized that being with Felicity had helped him and they were eager to include her if it meant he would meant he would be happy. That was important to him. As much as his life was separated into different facets of himself, trying to put on a believable show for so many, his family meant the world to him. And having their support for his relationship with Felicity was important. He wouldn't have given her up if they hadn't approved, but it was nice to know that they trusted his judgment and, hopefully, saw just how wonderful she was.
"I did," he told her, pressing a kiss to the top of her head.
"Me too. Your mom was great; she introduced me to I don't even know how many people. I had a mini-debate about gun control. It was great!"
He grinned. "I'm glad you had fun."
"Totally. I shouldn't have been so worried. I mean, yeah, it was a little scary at first. But everybody was really nice and it was kind of amazing to have conversations about global issues with the kind of people that can actually affect them, you know?"
They made their way outside and down the stairs, with Felicity talking a mile a minute, her hands waving around. She hardly noticed the media still hanging around, though their numbers had lessened. Ignoring the flash of cameras, she told him about a businessman with a terrible toupee and how she had to try very hard not to stare at it slipping down his forehead.
The car pulled up to the curb and Diggle circled around to open the door for them.
Felicity moved to the other end of the seat again, but this time she had a reason as she kicked off her heels and rested her feet in his lap as soon as he closed the door behind him. Oliver didn't mind rubbing her feet; it was a small reward in the grand scheme. He briefly admired her blue nail polish, the same shade as her dress, and smiled to himself, shaking his head.
The drive back to her apartment was taken up mostly with Felicity telling Digg about their night.
"So it was a success then? Nothing to worry about?" Digg wondered from the front.
"Mission accomplished. Boyfriend's mother officially impressed." She grinned as she nodded, doing a little fist-pump that made him laugh. "What about you? How'd things go with Carly?"
"Good." He smirked over his shoulder at them. "It was nice to go out to dinner knowing I wouldn't have to come up with an excuse to leave."
"Those are the breaks of the undercover hero," Felicity told him with a mock sigh.
He shook his head, amused. "And what are yours? Rubbing elbows with the rich?"
"Hey, I'll have you know that it wasn't all fun…" She wiggled her toes and point a thumb at Oliver. "Although I got a couple dances out of this one."
"My feet will never be the same," Oliver joked.
"Lies," she argued. "I'm a fantastic dancer. I two-step with the best of them." She raised a finger. "I'd also like to point out, that I can dosey-doe, so if either of you ever need a partner for square-dancing, I offer my services… Unless it requires clogs."
Oliver's brow furrowed as he shook his head at the addendum. "Why would it need clogs?"
"I sense a story coming on…" Diggle mused, grinning.
"Okay, no judging…" She wagged her finger between them, her brows hiked. "But it was high school, I was a freshman, and there was this big, themed dance…"
Oliver could already feel himself smiling. He relaxed back into the seat and just watched Felicity's animated expression and her wildly moving hands as she talked, interrupting herself as she laughed. And he felt a sense of peace burrow itself into his chest, as it often had of late. There was a time in his life when the only things that drove him on were guilt and shame, a debt he felt he owed his father for sacrificing himself in order for Oliver to live. There was a time when anger and hatred were what made sure he got up each morning, pushing him to be stronger, faster, to hone himself into a machine instead of a man. And he didn't regret those days, not really. They served their purpose.
There were things he still needed to work out, guilt he needed to assuage, and maybe they wouldn't ever fully be satisfied. Some names would stick with him, some deaths would hang hollowly in his heart. But the life he was carving out for himself was no longer etched with the ghosts of the island, of the person he was. He could be happy. He was happy. He looked at Felicity as her head fell back in laughter, her smile brighter than anything he'd ever known, and he felt peace and love and hope. Those were much better reasons for him to wake up each morning.
When they arrived back at her apartment, Oliver pushed the car door open without Diggle's help and reached back in for Felicity's hand.
"Thanks for driving us, Dig," Felicity told him. "And thank Carly for lending you to us."
He grinned after her. "I will. Have a good weekend. And please, don't call me 'til Monday."
Oliver ducked down to nod at him, adding a wave before he shut the back door of the car and led Felicity up the stairs to the apartment building. She dug around in her clutch for her keys, handing him her wallet, lipstick, a bottle of perfume, three mints, her earrings, and a toothpick, before she finally found her keys at the bottom.
He shook his head, amused. "How do you even fit all this in there?"
She held the clutch open for him to dump it back in and shrugged. "Voo-doo."
His lips twitched but he made no comment. She handed him the clutch to hold as she worked the key into the lock, frowning when it got stuck, as it always did. As usual, she refused to let him help either, and spent a few minutes jiggling it and slapping his hands away as he tried to take it from her.
"For all that you call me stubborn, you think you'd let me help out with this…" he reminded.
"Oliver, if I need a zipline from the building across the street to the fire escape outside my bedroom window, you will be the first person I call… But I think I can handle one evil door lock that is only stuck because it is trying to make me look bad and knows that I'm wearing really tall heels that hurt like a motherhugger."
He blinked at her. "Motherhugger?"
"You know I don't like to swear," she muttered before taking the key from the lock, glaring at it, and then jamming it back in.
"I know I've heard you swear…" He leaned back against the wall, absently holding her clutch to his stomach.
"Okay, well, it doesn't count if it's happening in bed," she argued, her eyes darting around as if she thought somebody might be around, listening.
He grinned to himself. "Last night on the desk you didn't seem to have any trouble—"
The door finally unlocked and she called out, "Ah-ha!" both in victory and to drown him out. Swinging the door open wide, she walked inside and started for the elevator, leaving him to catch up.
Amused at her version of changing the subject, he followed after her, climbing on the elevator as she held the door open for him, her foot tapping impatiently.
She waved a hand side to side to say to tell him she could wait a bit.
Resting her shoulders against the elevator wall, she crossed her arms behind her back. "Are you happy we're taking the weekend off?"
"Who wouldn't be happy with a classic Who marathon to look forward to?"
"And nail polish."
He smiled. "I'm all yours, the whole weekend."
She grinned up at him.
The elevator door opened, letting them out on her floor, which she happily stepped onto, making her way down the hall, all the while muttering under her breath something to do with servers and upgrades she forgot to deal with. Oliver watched the sway of her hips appreciatively before he joined her at the door. She slid the key into the lock in the same moment that he bent to press a kiss to the nape of her neck, his breath skittering over her skin, making the loose hair that had fallen from her up-do dance. Her shoulders fell back, as if reaching for his mouth, and he let it skim down the slope of one, where her dress left it bare, while his hand found her hip, squeezed, and then slid it around to rest on her stomach, drawing her back into him, until her back was flush with his front.
He could hear the shift in her breathing, feel the way her body automatically pressed against him, wanting closer. Her hand turned the lock and she pushed the door to her apartment open. They stepped inside slowly, with her dropping her keys in the bowl before she reached up and buried her hand behind his neck.
He closed the door with his foot while she found the light switch. Leaving her clutch on the table beside her key bowl, he turned the lock before putting all of his focus on her. He held her just a few inches in front of him, her hands on his hips, admiring how her dress fit her, leaving part of her back bare. He leaned in to kiss her skin, his hands slowly sliding down her sides, fingers splayed over her thighs, until he finally found the end of her dress. He dragged the fabric up with all the control of a man who enjoyed every second of the building anticipation. She let out a shaky breath as the dress cleared her legs, his fingers rasping over the sides of her underwear, the feel of lace making his jaw clench appreciatively.
Her back arched as he slid the dress up her stomach, the callused pads of his fingers lingering, dragging against her soft skin. She raised her arms and he pulled the bunched fabric free, leaving her standing there in stilettos and her pale, blue, lace underwear. He let the dress fall to the floor, ignored and stepped closer, until she fell back against his chest. Her bra was strapless and his mouth fell to kiss her shoulders while his fingers inched down her sides, teasing her ribs, where she was ticklish. She squirmed a little, laughing under her breath, and tried to focus on the pins she was pulling from her hair, palming them as she let her hair down her hair, piece by piece. It fell softly against his face as he buried a kiss at the crook of her neck.
She kicked off each of her shoes before she turned in his arms to face him. Hands on the lapels of his jacket, she raised an eyebrow. "One of us is overdressed."
His lips curled at the corners. "Couldn't agree more," he replied, before his fingers made quick work of her bra clasp. She glanced down as the fabric became loose but didn't fall.
Palms gliding down to her hips, he held her there as he bent, kissing down her chest, scraping his teeth over her skin. He paused as the top of her right breast and took the fabric between his teeth, peeling it away from her until her bra came loose completely and then he let it drop to the floor. She stared down at him, her fingers feathering through his hair, and watched as his lips wrapped around her pink nipple, his tongue and teeth teasing it. She tugged on his hair encouragingly, her eyes falling to half-mast.
He wrapped an arm around her waist and lifted her up off her feet. Her legs wound around his waist and his mouth left her breast, smoothing up her chest as he walked them into her bedroom. She unbuttoned his shirt as they went, drawing it out from his pants and pushing it and his jacket over his shoulders. She let her legs down when he reached the bed and he set her on the edge. Her hands found the button of his pants and lowered the zipper before sliding inside and beneath the band of his boxer-briefs, fingers curling around his shaft, squeezing when he twitched in her grip.
He paused for a moment, arching his hips into her touch, before he shrugged his shirt and jacket off, letting them drop to the floor. And then he was leaning in, finding her lips, his fingers burying in her hair, and pressed her back against the bed. Out of reach now, she let her hands fall to her sides. He shoved his pants down and reached for her underwear, tucking his fingers into the sides before dragging them off. She shimmied to help him, and he slid them down her legs, his palms lingering on her thighs, fingers teasing the back of her knees and down her calves. He tapped the top of one painted, blue toe, and then hooked his hands under her knees, drawing them up so her feet sat on the edge of the bed. He spread her legs open, kneading her thighs as he ducked down, kissing her stomach, and dragging his teeth down her hipbone. Her breathing picked up the closer he got to her slit and he raised his eyes to meets her as he dragged his tongue up her warm, wet pussy.
Her head pressed back against the bed as she lifted her hips toward him. He flicked her clit with his tongue before burying his mouth against her completely, licking and sucking her folds, his teeth lightly scraping. He slid a hand down to join him, his thumb rubbing in widening circles. She was panting, her fingers curled into the blanket, when he sunk two fingers inside her and focused his tongue on her clit. Her thighs quivered on either side of his head, her toes digging into the mattress. He watched her, the flush spreading down her chest, reaching the tops of her breasts. She was biting down on her lip, trying to muffle the noises she was making. Her hair lay out all around her, bright and soft.
For a moment, he was mesmerized. Too long he'd expected his life would be filled with something dark, something so overwhelming that nothing else could be bright. But here he was, with the most amazing woman he'd ever known, and his life was looking better than he ever expected it to be. It wasn't what he'd expected before he'd been stuck on the island, but in some ways, it was better. He could do this, be here, for a lifetime, and never regret it.
Oliver replaced his tongue on her clit with his thumb and pressed wet kisses to her stomach, rasping his whiskered chin against her ribs as he climbed up her, his arm stretched between them, fingers buried inside her. When he finally met her mouth, her nails dragged down his neck and scratched across his shoulders. He took her bottom lip first, soothing away the sting of her teeth with sucking kisses. She sighed against his mouth and he raised his head, their noses brushing, as he found her eyes. He curled his fingers, his thumb rubbing her clit with purpose, and watched as she came apart.
Her knees raised up his sides, hips tipping, and he listened to her breath hitch, a small whimper leaving her. She tightened around his fingers, squeezing and fluttering, warm and wet. She fell back to the bed, panting, and he drew his fingers from her slowly, feeling her legs shake against him. She leaned up to kiss him, sloppy and sweet, before she pushed against him, a sign that she wanted him on his back. He let himself be readjusted and laid beneath her, watching as she got comfortable, sitting low on his stomach.
Felicity liked to take her time; she liked to start kissing his lips and fan out from there, dragging her teeth along the edge of his jaw and down his neck. She rubbed her cheek under the underside of his chin and kissed his each of his collar bones. Her hands were wrapped around the tops of his biceps, her thumb tracing the puckered flesh on his left shoulder, a scar long healed. Her hair skated over his skin as she ducked down, tracing the lines of his Bratva tattoo with her nose and kissing the center, where the scar from impaling himself on his own arrow sat. Her mouth followed the claw-like marks that arched down from it and he remembered her telling him once that it looked like a shooting star…
"What do you wish for, Oliver?" she wondered, her chin balanced on his chest, her hair mussed, and her cheeks flushed.
"I've already got it," he murmured. Before she could ask him to clarify, he turned her over and kissed her smiling mouth.
Later, she asked him if he meant that he was off the island, that he was home, and he distracted her, letting her think that. But it was in that moment that he knew he loved her. She hadn't thought it was a line, assuming he was just being the old Oliver. She didn't even think he meant her. But he had. What he felt with her, letting her see every facet of himself, good and bad, and knowing that she accepted it, had been all he ever wanted. She was what he wanted.
Her nails dragged down the Chinese tattoos on his side while her mouth followed the length of scar tissue from an old knife wound. She pressed five pecking kisses to the torn up flesh that arched around his hip, one for each puncture wound, all the while sliding herself down his body. His stomach was wet from where she'd been sitting on him, and he felt the heat of her slit as she sat on one of his thighs. Her thumbs rubbed down his hip bones, following them until she reached his cock, her fingers ringing around the base. She ducked her head, letting her hair fall against his skin, before she licked the tip, swirling her tongue around the crown. His stomach tightened as he watched her head bob down, taking him deep into her mouth, her tongue sliding down the underside. The wet heat surround him made his eyes roll back in his head and his breath hitch. He could feel her smiling as she slid back up, her hand curling around him, stroking and pumping deliberately slow.
She rocked against his leg, grinding her clit down against him, and he gritted his teeth, wanting nothing more than to turn her over and bury himself in her. But she liked testing his resolve; she liked making him wait. And he liked it too; he liked how soft her hand was as it moved over him, how she'd flick her tongue over the tip of his cock just to hear him hiss, and how she watched him, every movement, every expression, every twitching muscle. It wasn't until he breathed out her name, his hands twitching at his sides, that she climbed up him, bending to his mouth as she straddled his waist. She kissed him in the same moment that he filled her, his hands squeezing her hips as he brought them down. His grip was tight enough to leave bruises, but she liked that. He'd seen her rub her thumbs over the marks and bite her lip, hiding her smile. She liked how he kissed them when she dressed in the morning, tugging her skirt down and out of the way so he could nip at her skin and soothe it with his tongue.
Everything after that was fast; they would do slow later. Right now, he wanted to make her come again. He wanted to watch her fall apart. She let him set the pace and matched it, meeting every thrust of his hips, her hands braced on his chest, nails digging into his skin, breasts bouncing. She tipped her head back and enjoyed it, not bothering to muffle herself now. Broken sentences and his name were all she managed to say, breathless and caught up. Sweat dotted her skin; he turned her over just so he could taste it, licking between her breasts, taking one nipple into his mouth while he plucked the other between his fingers. He dug his teeth in and felt her tighten around him, rippling around his cock. She cried out and squeezed his shoulder, her legs wrapping tight around his waist, so he slid a hand down and circled her clit, getting progressively faster until she climaxed.
He chuckled when she hoarsely muttered, "Fuck." There was no censoring herself here.
When she caught her breath, he leaned back, readjusting them so she was laid out on her stomach before he took her hips, drawing them up until she was on her knees. She braced herself on her forearms, her forehead pressed down to the bed, and let out a long moan as he sunk inside her. He kissed up her back, slow and lingering, while his hands teased the inside of her thighs and spread them further apart. Her thighs were smooth against his, soft where his were toned with muscle. Her hair was clinging to her neck and he nuzzled it out of the way as he kissed over her shoulder while his hands smoothed over her stomach, rubbing them in circles as he drew out of her slowly, only to sink back in, hard and fast.
Felicity had only one scar that stood out for him. He was sure there were others; scraped knees and random little accidents that people get into over their life. Not like his; not knife wounds and bullet holes. But there was one on her back that curled under her left shoulder blade. It wasn't deep, the flesh didn't pucker around it like it often did his. And if he didn't know where it was, he might even have trouble finding it. He had her body mapped out in his head though; every curve, every dip, every freckle.
This particular scar was from an arrowhead, one of his. Six months ago, Helena had blown back into his life without warning. She was angry, vengeful, and she couldn't get at her dad; so she came after him, in the best way she knew how. Attacking those he cared about. She'd found Felicity in the foundry, snuck up on her while she was deep in her work. Oliver had been upstairs in the club at the time, but he'd come down to check on her. Sometimes she lost herself in the virtual world and she forgot things like keeping hydrated.
Oliver walked down the stairs, a bottle of water in one hand as he wondered how long he had before Dig showed up to interrupt them. He was fairly sure Diggle knew that something was going on between them, but he didn't ask outright. He checked his watch and doubted they had enough time to get in anything that wouldn't leave them both wanting. Those thoughts fled when he got halfway down the stairs and, instead of finding Felicity buried face first in her computers, he found Helena holding Felicity in a headlock so tight that her face was red from the pressure. In her hand was one of his arrows, which she had pressed up against Felicity's back, digging it into her skin hard enough that he could see the blood had spread down Felicity's blouse, soaking it through. His heart pounded thickly in his chest, but he kept his face neutral.
"How poetic would it be?" Helena asked, staring up at him. "You'd have matching scars if I shoved it all the way through."
His eyes went dark around the edges as he considered what she was saying. He had taken a calculated risk when he'd stuck that arrow through himself to kill Malcolm. He knew where to push, what to avoid, exactly where to place it so it wouldn't be deadly to him but would finally put Malcolm down. Helena wouldn't care if she punctured something, if she hit an artery, if she angled the arrow too low and sent it right through Felicity's heart. She would think Oliver deserved it, that maybe even Felicity did for helping him stop her from getting at her father.
He felt fear then, like he hadn't in a long time. Fear that Helena would know how much he cared, that she would kill Felicity just to spite him, that he would lose her, and it would all be his fault.
The cock of a gun caught everyone's attention and Helena's dark smirk slid away as her eyes cut to the side and found Diggle standing there, his gun raised. "I promise you… My trigger finger's faster." His voice was sharp, deep, leaving no doubt that he would put Helena down without hesitation.
She considered her options for a moment before finally admitting defeat, but she wasn't serving herself up to them on a platter. She used Felicity as a shield to escape, getting to the side door before she shoved Felicity forward and made a run for it.
Rubbing her neck as she fell to her knees, Felicity looked up at them apologetically. "Sorry… I thought it was Oliver when I heard the door. She caught me by surprise."
Dig turned to look at him; the tension and blame rolling off of him were all too familiar. Even if Felicity was okay, she might not have been, and it would be his fault for ever getting involved with Helena.
"It's not your fault… We obviously just need to work on your awareness skills some more," Dig told her, holding a hand out to help her up.
"Ugh, more training," she muttered, frowning.
He half-smiled at her and led her over to the medical supplies to clean her up, listening to her ramble all the while.
Oliver remained silent, only bending to pick up the discarded arrow, still dripping with her blood. He let it drip down and coat his hands, where he felt it fit.
Felicity had been shaken up, but didn't let the situation deter her any. She convinced them she was fine enough to finish up her work, but neither he nor Diggle had left the foundry, sticking close to her just in case.
Later, Oliver took her back to her apartment, helping her undress when her shoulder protested, sore from the wound. She was exhausted and hadn't asked why he was staying when they obviously wouldn't be sleeping together. She let him climb into bed and just hold her as she drifted to sleep, waiting for the nightmares to wake her up, ready to soothe them away. And he had, three times just that night, and every night after for weeks.
So he remembered that scar and what it meant. How close she came, how much his life affected hers, how she was scarred but still soft, still sweet.
He pressed his lips to that scar and she lifted herself up to meet his kiss, resting on her elbows, her head falling back. He planted his hands on the bed, on either side of her, their arms brushing, and he kissed up her neck, nuzzling her cheek and her ear. She reached an arm up and around his neck, gripping his hair. She twisted her hips, rotating them as she squeezed around his cock, smiling with satisfaction as he grunted against her neck. He closed his eyes and focused on how it felt, how warm and tight she was around him, and he let go. He bit down on her shoulder as he came, buried deep inside her, panting hard against her skin as he felt her follow after him. He pressed his forehead down against her back, feeling their skin stick together, and felt his arms shake with the effort of holding him up.
She dropped down to the bed on her stomach, humming as he slid out of her, and he laid down on his back beside her. Her chin sat atop her stacked hands as she watched him try to catch his breath, his chest heaving. He stared back at her, feeling a tightness in his chest at the tenderness in her eyes. He rolled toward her and kissed the corner of her upturned lips, pressing his forehead to her temple as his fingers tangled in her hair. They stayed like that for a few minutes, his hand eventually falling to lightly stroke up and down her back.
And then her stomach grumbled, reminding him that he promised her take-out.
"Shower first," she told him, pushing up off the bed, pausing briefly when her legs were still shaky.
She rolled her eyes when he grinned at her smugly and walked off to the bathroom with as much grace as she could muster. Chuckling under his breath, he followed her.
Felicity was a shower-singer, and she didn't care if he was in there with her, he was still regaled with an off-key version of the song she happened to have stuck in her head. So while he was soaping up her back and she was washing her hair, he was just glad she couldn't see him mouthing along with her.
Standing where I am now, standing up at all
I was used to feeling like I was never gonna see myself at the finish line
Hanging on to parts of me,
Hanging on at all…
I was used to seeing no future in my sight line
She hopped on spot, turning around so she could dip her head back in the water, and smiled up at him as he reached behind her to rinse her hair for her. She took up scrubbing his chest for him and never paused in her singing.
Sometimes it feels like they wanna remind me
Send all those villains after me!
She poked at his chest before starting to dance again, moving her shoulders side to side. Not the least bit deterred when he had to catch her before she slipped in the soapy water that dripped off of them.
I'm not their hero
But that doesn't mean that I wasn't brave…
I never walked the party line
Doesn't mean that I was never afraid…
I'm not your hero
But that doesn't mean we're not one and the same
She smiled up at him brightly, soaking wet, her skin dotted with bubbles, and he thought about that happiness that his mom and sister had been so persistent about earlier. He thought about how they said he looked at Felicity a certain way, how he smiled more genuinely, and how Laurel knew immediately that he had moved on completely. And he knew that one day, he was going to take that step he never thought he'd be ready for. One day, he was going to marry her, and it would be the best decision he ever made.
He cupped her face in his hands and he kissed her, his arms wrapping around her wet body and pulling her flush with him. While he didn't take it any further, she was distracted enough not to finish her song. She didn't wonder what brought on the very sudden, very intense kiss, simply accepting it as something he did. Instead, she focused on getting them clean and out of the shower.
A while later, he stood in the kitchen, still wearing his towel as he called her favorite Chinese place, who knew them so well they could anticipate their order on her phone number alone. It was probably a weird thing to like, but he found it only improved his already good mood. Dropping the phone back on the cradle, he turned his attention to seeing what they had to drink. Whether or not her fridge would be stocked was a day to day struggle as Felicity spent the majority of her time between Queen Consolidated and the foundry, but he knew there'd be a bottle of wine and two-day old pizza inside, at least.
Making his way to her bedroom, he grabbed his discarded clothes from the floor to toss in the laundry basket, despite knowing he'd have to send them out for dry cleaning in the morning. Walking to her dresser, he dug around for his pajama pants in the drawers she'd allotted him. While he was dressing, he wasn't surprised to see her through the cracked bathroom door as she rubbed something into her hair to keep it from frizzing before she put it in a French braid. Her lips were moving as she sang to herself and he knew she was finishing out the song he'd cut off.
Feeling like I am now lighting up the hall
I was used to standing in the shadow of a damaged heart
Learning all I know now, losing all I did
I never used to feel like I'd be standing so far ahead
Dressed in his low-slung pajama pants, he made his way back out to the living room, his gaze bouncing around absently.
Felicity's apartment was all bright colors, from the cheerful blue walls to the cherry red furniture, her sunny yellow bookshelf, and burnt orange desk. She had a throw rug under her couch and coffee table that was made of rectangles of overlapping colors. Not so much a plant person, she instead dressed her walls with her love of TV and books, from a blue and white police box to a framed poster of the original Harry Potter book covers. She had action figures that lined shelves and different pieces of tech were laying all over, from the iPod and laptop on her couch to the tablet and PC on her desk. A shelving unit of alphabetized movies and TV series took up one whole wall, the scale of which could take him a whole year to watch. It was very much her, and the sense of comfort he got from being in her zone never ceased to amaze him.
He dropped down into the corner of the couch, running a hand over his damp hair as he rested his feet on the coffee table, next to a stack of magazines, the latest Wired on top. He felt good, his muscles loose, and though he'd usually be happy to crawl into bed and sleep, the shower had helped wake him up.
When Felicity joined him, she had her glasses on, slipping down her nose as usual, and the sight was welcomed. She was wearing one of his t-shirts, long enough that it reached her mid-thigh, and he admired how cute she looked. She crawled over him to the couch and pressed against his side, her head on his shoulder, her wet hair a little cold on his bare skin. "ETA on dinner?"
He patted her hip as he stared down at her. "Thank you, for coming out tonight."
She looked up at him, half-smiling. "I'm glad I did."
She absently traced an old burn mark on his chest as she bit her lip. "It's not always going to be this easy, you know… One night you're going to have to duck out early and your mom will want to commiserate that you always do that, but I'll have to make an excuse to go too…"
"Well, on the bright side, when that happens, they'll probably just think we're ditching our responsibilities to be together…" he mused.
"And that'll be okay in the beginning, but eventually she's going to start to doubt that. And I don't know if you've noticed, but Thea is a little more suspicious of you than she lets on…" She hiked her brows. "She's not dumb. She knows there's something going on, that you're not telling her, and I think we both know that I'm not very good at being interrogated… I'd like to think if I was ever kidnapped by the bad guys— and I use that term broadly because let's face it there's a lot of them— I wouldn't crack under the pressure. But even just having Detective Lance stare me down was intimidating… Admittedly, he has some pretty impressive interrogation face that is only aided by his weirdly disapproving eyebrows."
Oliver stifled a smile and shook his head. "I have every faith that if you were ever really being interrogated, you wouldn't say anything…"
She tipped her head up, chin resting on him. "That's a lot of faith to have in someone who has an intense rambling problem."
"Maybe there's a group you could join." His eyes flashed teasingly. "RA, Rambler's Anonymous."
Scoffing, she pinched his arm. "Shut up."
He grinned. "It'd be a very loud meeting, everyone talking over everyone. You'd be drowned out. You could spill my secret identity and nobody would even hear you."
Laughing, she buried her face against him.
Smiling down at her, he stroked one of the curls that had come loose from her braid. "You know I trust you, right?"
Looking up at him, her expression soft, she nodded. "I must have one of those faces."
He chuckled deep into his chest. "Touché."
"You deserved that."
"Mmhmm," he agreed, ducking his head down to catch her lips.
He leaned her back on the couch and moved on top of her, his fingers threading in her hair. For a long while, he was lost in her. Her hips cradling his, legs around his waist, her fingers moving through his hair and stroking down his neck, her lips meeting his, kiss for slanting kiss. He slid her glasses up and off her, dropping them above her head to the couch cushion so they wouldn't get in the way. Deep, heady kisses turned into slow, lingering ones, until finally he was resting his cheek on her shoulder, meeting her pretty blue eyes, nothing but their breaths meeting in the small space between their lips.
He rubbed his thumb over her temple and down over the arch of her eyebrow. "I love you," he murmured, feeling the weight of the words on his heart, heavy in the best of ways.
Her lips curled up at the corners. "I love you, too."
He met her mouth again for another warm kiss, but the buzz of the intercom interrupted, telling him their food was there. He sighed against her lips, but pushed himself up. As he climbed off the couch, she reached back for her glasses and slid them into place, tracking his progress over to the phone. Rolling her way off the couch, she moved over to her entertainment wall. "You wanna start our marathon now or you wanna watch a movie instead?"
Grabbing his wallet from her bedroom, he made his way over to her door to meet the delivery guy. "Movie," he said, and before she could even wave it at him, "Not any form of Robin Hood."
She pouted. "You always ruin my fun."
He chuckled lightly to himself and pulled the door open, counting to make sure he had enough as well as a large tip. The usual delivery guy greeted him with a wave and handed over the bags, taking the cash without counting it and tucking it in his back pocket.
Oliver locked up and made his way into the kitchen to grab two glasses and the bottle of wine out of the fridge. When he sat back down on the couch, she already had a movie popped in the player and took her seat next to him while he unloaded the take-out boxes.
When The Emperor's New Groove started to play, he sighed at her.
"I'm not saying you're Kuzco, or that Dig is Pacha, but I see some similarities," she told him, grinning as she tucked her chopsticks into the chow-mein.
Stifling a smile, he shook his head, and picked up the fried rice before leaning back into the couch.
"Hey…?" she said, as the movie started.
He looked over, an eyebrow raised.
"We started this night wearing insanely expensive clothes and were photographed by paparazzi. Most nights, around this time you're wearing a green hood and eye paint and fighting crime. Tonight we're watching an animated movie about a prince who gets turned into a llama…" Her smile widened. "Just let that sink in."
He laughed and looked back at the screen. Oliver's life was by no means normal. But in a weird sort of way, it was absolutely perfect.
"Wouldn't have it any other way," he told her.
And he meant it.
Author's Note: And there we have it. The end. Except maybe I'm thinking of writing a part where he proposes. We'll see. Thoughts?
I hope you liked this. I enjoyed writing it. For a story that was only meant to be a short add-on to my first Olicity fic, this sure ballooned. But it was worth it. I had a great time writing each character and delving into their personalities. Please leave a review; they're very appreciated. And I would be forever beholden to you all if you helped me get to 100 reviews for this. If you don't mind.
Thank you for reading!
- Lee | Fina