"Alber," Oliver called aloud in a half disinterested voice.
It was three days after they'd found out they were having a girl and taking a half hour or so in the mornings before they got ready for work to try out baby names had quickly become a new habit. So far their efforts had been unsuccessful.
Felicity shook her head in disgust from the other side of the bed before shoving another pillow under her bent legs without even looking up, "That sounds like a character in some post apocalyptic novel."
"Is that a hobbit?"
"Caspar. With two a's" he said with a snort, already moving to the next page of baby names before she could say anything.
"...you can't be serious."
He paused before he shared the next one because it was the most ridiculous one yet, "Dries."
There was dead silence and then she turned her head to look at him from her side of the bed, "Just...no."
Oliver didn't wait before continuing to the next suggestion.
"I thought that was a type of pasta."
"We will not be those parents."
"Thea might like it thought," he replied and swiped the tablet again. "How about Kacper with a 'k' and a 'c'"
"That's not even possible" she said twisting so she could see the screen, and then scrolled down.
"Mert? Did I read that correctly? Mert? Exactly what did you google, Oliver?" her eyes were wide behind her glasses as she glanced between his face and the admittedly ridiculous list he'd found.
"I don't want her to have the same name as every other kid in her class." he protested weakly.
"Well with a name like Mert I don't think you have to worry about that."
"We're not calling her Mert."
"I don't know, it's kind of starting to grow on me. I say it goes on the maybe list."
"Felicity…" he drew out with a sigh and dropped the tablet to the bed, "We're not calling her Mert. But Dries is definitely in contention." he said with a grin as he slid down to lay on his side, Felicity adjusted herself until her head rested comfortably on his thigh.
"I'll consider it for a middle name," she teased in reply, scrolling through what appeared to be endless names that began with 'C'. "Why is naming a person so difficult?" she said with a groan, rolling to her side so she could see him. "Why did your parents name you Oliver?"
He sighed with a half roll of his eyes, "It was my great grandfather's name. Mom was big on us having family names, which is why Thea got her middle name from Mom's maiden."
"You don't want to continue the tradition? I've noticed you haven't made one suggestion along those lines."
"Neither have you," he countered, smiling when she wrinkled her nose in protest.
"No way. Not that I don't like my name, because I do, but I've never been terribly connected to my family like that with my dad and...how he left. I don't even have his last name."
Oliver stroked the hair back from her face, a flash of guilt stabbing through him at the memories of ever making her doubt him after what she'd gone through. But one quick smile from her let him know she knew what he was thinking.
"So no 'Olive' or 'Olivia' then?" Felicity said quickly, ready to move on.
His thumb rubbed over the her middle, "I think this little girl deserves a name that's all her own."
Felicity smiled, covering his hand with hers before pushing up on one elbow to meet him for a kiss, "I think that's a perfect idea." she said before lying back and looking down at her belly, "You hear that, Mert, you will definitely have a name that's all your own."
"We are not naming her Mert!" he exclaimed while Felicity began to laugh.
"I really think it could be the right choice. Mert Fabiola Smoak kind of has a nice ring to it."
He didn't mean to flinch, it was involuntary and he relaxed immediately but she noticed and looked at him with wide eyes, "Or Mert Fabiola Queen." she said quickly, "Or Smoak-Queen? I'm not sure I'm a hyphenate sort of girl but-" Then her eyes went even wider, "I meant for the baby...just the baby. Not me."
He tried not to let himself think about anything beyond what he had right there in the moment. Everyday was a struggle to believe he had any right to Felicity and to the baby. And after almost losing them to the Count the fight he had with himself that they'd be better off far far away from him was worse than it ever had been before. He constantly had to remind himself that just having her there, in his life, in his bed when he woke was enough.
But despite that, hearing her call the baby 'Smoak' made that sleeping dragon in his chest roar to life and imagine what could be. They'd avoided the topic of anything more ever since the meeting with the lawyers. Thea had dropped some not so subtle hints here and there, and the internet and press were unrelenting, but it was easy to ignore all that. Having to name the baby however, that changed things.
Even though he shut it down as soon as it began, his thoughts had wandered more than once. To the ring he knew sat in a vault. The one his father had given his mother and that she'd taken off only after she'd gotten together with Walter. Admitting that there was a part of him that wanted to give it to Felicity, to ask for forever was that final step to letting it all go and truly moving forward. Every day with her brought him that much closer, but it scared him as well.
They were dangerous thoughts, ones he would have never entertained a few months prior. The threats they faced every day were very very real. And yet somehow he kept wanting more.
"Hey, where'd you go?" Felicity asked softly.
She was on her knees beside him, hair tucked behind her ears as she looked at him with concern. He hadn't even noticed she'd moved.
His first instinct was to cover, to dismiss where his mind had taken him and get back to looking at ridiculous baby names. Felicity would have allowed it, because she trusted him and gave him space when he needed it, and only pushed when it was necessary. But the slight twitch of her mouth as her smile faltered for a second let him know she needed him to be honest with her just then.
"I don't deserve you," he began, laying a quick finger over her lips at the protest he knew would come, "but I'm trying to."
She smiled her agreement, pursing her lips to give his finger a quick kiss. He let his hand fall to cup her cheek, loving how she turned into his touch.
Then with a deep breath he plunged ahead.
"I hadn't thought about it before now, but...I'd like for her to have my name. Both our names if you're okay with that." he said, and before she could reply he stepped off the cliff, "I'd like for you to have it too. One day."
Felicity froze, eyes wider than he'd ever seen them before and he was certain his heart had ceased to beat in his chest.
A quiet, breathy, 'Oh," passed her lips and then without blinking she answered. "I'd like that too. All of it. One day."
He physically felt his heart lurch into motion again, and the smile that broke across his face was uncontrollable.
His other hand found her jaw, thumbs brushing over her cheeks as she matched his grin before he dipped his head to meet her lips.
They kissed long and unhurried, a lightness within him had suddenly appeared and lifted away a weight he hadn't even known was there.
When she finally pulled back with a contented hum she rested her head under his chin, his arms wrapping around her. "I think I like the idea of taking a page from Moira's book and using Smoak as her middle name. But don't tell your mother I said that." she added quickly.
Oliver's chest rose in a huff of laughter as he dropped a kiss to her hair, "It'll be our secret," he promised.
"So that's half her name figured out, or I suppose really two thirds. Why can't the first name be this easy?" she pouted, turning the tablet off with more vigor than was necessary.
"Well when we have contenders like Mert and Dries…" he began only to be cut off by Felicity grabbing a pillow to cover his face.
"We are not calling her Mert!" she yelled, laughing as he pretended to struggle underneath her.
Oliver let her go a few more seconds before skating his fingers up the sensitive skin along her side, grinning as she immediately began to shriek and twist away from him, the pillow falling forgotten to the floor.
"Oliver stop!" she cried, trying to roll off of him but he followed, still tickling her. "Oliver! You're going to make me pee myself if you don't stop!"
Her words and laughter still echoed off the walls when he froze poised above her as a voice he never expected to hear began to speak.
"I apologize for interrupting but you didn't seem to be able to hear my knock."
A garbled noise of horror came from Felicity's throat. She went stock still where she lay on her back sideways across the bed, shirt rucked up just under her breasts, and head tilted back to see his mother standing stiffly in the doorway.
None of them moved, seconds stretching into infinity until finally he jolted, tugging down Felicity's shirt as he helped her sit up, noticing how she let her hair hang in her face longer than necessary to hide the flush of red he was certain had nothing to do with the position she had just been in.
"Mom, hi, sorry, did you need something?"
Felicity slid off the other side of the bed, intending to head towards the bathroom or the closet or perhaps out the window if the look on her face was any indication. "I'm just going to-" she motioned vaguely in the direction away from Moira, hastily grabbing her glasses from the side table and shoving them crookedly on her face.
"No, please, stay for just a moment." his mother said in a voice he could tell was her attempting to be pleasant.
Felicity came to a halt, looking from him and then back to Moira as if she wasn't sure what to do. He made a point to cross the wide expanse of carpet between the bed and doorway, effectively putting himself between the two of them. He had no idea why his mother would want to speak to them both, but considering her less than cordial acceptance of Felicity he wasn't going to assume anything.
"Sure, Mom," he replied with forced easiness, crossing his arms as he waited for her to continue.
Moira's eyes widened just enough when she took in his stance, but there was no guilt when he saw her take in a small centering breath. He knew where his loyalties lied.
"I was hoping you could join me for dinner, tomorrow evening. There are some things I'd like to discuss with you and your sister." she paused for just a second before raising her gaze, "Felicity, you're of course welcome to join us."
Oliver was silent, turning slowly to look at Felicity, his back completely to his mother. She stared back at him, surprised but curious. Without a word he asked if she was okay with the invitation and, in true Felicity fashion, she gave him a crooked smile and a raised eyebrow letting him know they would be going.
"That sounds great, Mom, we're looking forward to it," he said as he turned back, just catching the look of irritation that crossed his mother's face.
"Wonderful. I'll let Raisa know. It'll be nice to finally have a family dinner. You know nothing is more important to me than you and your sister, Oliver."
As always Moira Queen got the last word. He knew since her release from prison he hadn't spent as much time with her as perhaps he should have, but her attitude towards Felicity wasn't endearing her to him.
Oliver heard the quiet snick of the bathroom door as Felicity had obviously decided she didn't need to be present any longer.
His mother stood even straighter, mouth opening to say something he instinctively knew would not be okay.
"Thanks for coming by to invite us," he said purposely emphasizing the 'us', as he approached her, hand coming up to brace against the door frame, his actions clearly showing it was time for her to leave. "We can't wait."
Moira took one step back and then another until she was in the hallway, "Of course, Oliver." she said in a tight voice, "I have meetings all day with Walter, I'm not sure when I'll return."
He gave her a nod, "We'll be at the office and then I thought I'd take Felicity out to look at cribs."
A multitude of emotions flashed through her eyes, but a door shutting further down the hall made her shutter whatever she'd been about to say. "That sounds lovely, dear."
Without another word she made her exit, Oliver blew out a long breath, pinching the bridge of his nose to relieve the tension that had been building.
"Ah, I see you have also been on the receiving end of Mom's 'invitation'," Thea said suddenly.
He looked up to see his sister with one shoulder propped against the other side of the door frame, hands still raised in air quotes.
"Yeah, any clue what it's about?"
"Nope, just that she wanted us there and that it was important." she said with a sigh, looking at the floor before raising her eyes to his, "Mom wanting to discuss things has never turned out well, Ollie."
"Hey, I'm sure it's nothing to worry about," he said quickly, hand coming up to grasp her shoulder, "Mom's back home and safe."
"I know, I just...I can't shake this feeling that something bad is going to happen. Again."
He pulled his sister into his arms, one hand stroking over her dark hair, "Focus on the good, Speedy. Right now, everything is good."
"Who are you and what have you done with my permanently grumpy brother?" she muttered against his chest.
Oliver laughed, hugging her tighter, "He's decided to focus on the good."
With a sigh she pushed back, "Thank Felicity for me," she said, but there was a sparkle in her eyes.
"I will," he said sincerely as she kissed his cheek.
"Good. Now go get ready for work so you don't run our family's business into the ground."
"Right. That's the first thing on my to-do list for the day," he deadpanned.
Thea's eyes widened in surprise shock, "Wow, and he's got jokes now, too."
He shook his head in mock irritation, "See ya, Speedy."
The door to the bathroom was open but the shower was on when he re-entered their bedroom. A quick glance at the clock let him know the interruption from his mother had put them more behind schedule that usual.
Felicity's form was visible through the fogged glass of the shower, the roundness of her belly now readily noticeable no matter how she stood or what she wore. With a grin he tugged his shirt over his head and quickly stripped off his sleep pants before joining her.
"Is she gone? Did she demand our first born for some sort of ritual or sacrificial ceremony only those of noble and high birth are allowed to attend?" Felicity grumbled without looking at him, head turned upwards towards the spray.
His hands spanned her hips, tugging her back into his chest as he dropped his mouth to the side of her neck, reveling in how he knew she'd jump first and then suck air in through her teeth as he nibbled his way up to her ear.
"She's gone, no rituals," he assured her, "Though I may have told her we were going crib shopping after work."
Felicity paused, neck stretched to the right to allow him greater access, "You did?"
"Mmmhmmm," he replied, swiping her wet hair over one shoulder so he could drop a line of kisses across the nape of her neck.
"We are what?" he asked, distracted by how perfectly her ass fit against him.
"Oliver," she reprimanded, turning to face him. "We're going crib shopping after work?"
"Oh. If you want? I know we haven't talked about it again. We don't have to if you don't want to or if you found one online."
Her lips found his, cutting off his words. The water sluicing down her back made it too easy for his hands to slide wherever they wanted. When he grabbed her ass and squeezed, the approving hiss she gave made him do it again as she sank further into his chest.
Despite the warmth of the water he felt small shivers cross his skin as she placed small kisses and bites from the underside of his chin down over his collarbone and systematically around each point of his Bratva tattoo before pausing over his nipple.
"We're going to be late to work today, aren't we?" she gasped.
"Very. Very. Late."