Ch 5 - AK
A/N – Final chapter and I have to say thanks again to all who review, fave and/ or follow! It is great seeing reviewers from the Vigilante as well as seeing new names on the list! Yes, I do check as it makes me feel all warm and fuzzy! It also inspires me to write more quickly than I should so pls continue to overlook my mistakes and the fact that I didn't give you time from the bonus scene to make any final requests!
Special thank you to Chris4 for the idea of Roy and Thea seeing Oliver really train though this might not be what you had in mind!
And another shout out to LighteningPrincessR as this contains the Laurel scene and I hope you like!
DISCLAIMER – All belong to CW and/ or others except for Charlie but they can have him too if they want him! No profit except fun!
Charlie watched a little sadly as it was again only Mr. Diggle and Ms. Smoak who entered together this morning. Ms. Smoak waved cheerfully as always even if it was a small wave and she continued to talk seriously to Mr. Diggle. Mr. Diggle gave him a quick nod and smile as well.
Charlie had noted that new changes with dismay as he continued to enjoy his favorite people watching subjects. Mr. Queen had entered QC alone every morning this week while Ms. Smoak was always accompanied by Mr. Diggle. Why would Mr. Queen's personal driver and bodyguard stick so close to Ms. Smoak? Charlie wondered. The evening departures were much the same although sometimes Ms. Queen and her young man did arrive in time to leave with Ms. Smoak and then Mr. Diggle remained and left with Mr. Queen.
Charlie couldn't remember even seeing Mr. Queen and Ms. Smoak together at all unless it when he checked the cameras in their offices. They were even back to the original safe distance although the rest of the group seemed closer together whenever he saw them together.
My dear Lucy may have enjoyed the star-crossed lovers thing but I think it's a load of crap. What did he do wrong? Charlie wondered to himself and he had no doubt it was, in fact, Mr. Queen that messed up. Ms. Smoak looks more angry than hurt….but he's been looking more wary and sad. Hmmmm, just don't understand young people at all. They just don't understand what's important.
Unaware of Charlie's observations, Diggle and Felicity continued up to their offices. It had been another long week which followed a month or so of nonstop action – Roy and Thea joined the team, the Danes mission, poison laced metal claws then the demolition of the Triad labs producing the poison. Both Felicity and Diggle were exhausted and the stress was showing on other team members as well. Oliver wasn't faring much better but he had still started his day with a workout at the lair as had become his recent habit. Felicity trained in the evenings with Diggle and Roy before any nighttime missions or patrols. The current schedule meant the only time Felicity saw Oliver was at the office but even then he had starting keeping a distance.
"If he doesn't want to be near me, well, that's just fine." Felicity grumbled under her breath and Diggle pretended not to hear.
The day flew by with limited contact between the pair and even then it was often across the room with Diggle caught in the middle. After enduring another silent drive to Verdant, Diggle was ready to work out with Oliver…or just take a night off. He thought with sigh.
Diggle and Oliver were training as Felicity worked at the computer. Tensions still ran high so Felicity used the excuse of needing to talk to Thea to get a way…she didn't know she was walking into even more tension there. As she closed the lair door Felicity heard the anger in Thea's tone as she spoke.
"Laurel, I don't know what to tell you. My brother's business is his own whether that's QC or personal. You'll just have to ask him." Thea's cold voice surprised both Laurel and the eavesdropping Felicity.
Felicity was unsure why Thea was upset but she knew she had to help so she stepped into the room and approached quickly even as she greeted the group.
"Where did you come from?" Laurel asked in surprise.
"The pantry." Roy answered quickly and his sarcasm earned him both a quick grin and an even quicker elbow in the ribs from his girlfriend.
"The server room actually…just helping with a virus in the accounting system." Felicity tried to smooth over Roy's taunt as she went to stand closer to Thea in support.
Thea had a similar thought and met Felicity half way in hopes of getting her back out of the room quickly. "Thanks Felicity – don't you need to go now?"
Felicity was confused by the question but before she could answer, Laurel stepped back in and adopted her official prosecutor tone.
"Ms. Smoak, I'm not sure you are aware but the DA's office has tried to locate the vigilante as there are many questions about his activities. Criminal activities, Ms. Smoak. Did you know it is illegal to assist or abet in the execution of a crime?" Laurel's tone bordered on smug as she assumed it would be easy to intimidate the young blond. Not only had she underestimated Felicity but Thea and Roy as well.
Thea and Roy aligned themselves on either side of Felicity and Thea practically hissed, "Do not answer any questions, Felicity. Our family has legal counsel."
"It's ok Thea, I would like to hear what Ms. Lance has to say." Felicity's tone to a casual observer such as Laurel but Roy in particular recognized Felicity's style of baiting someone before pouncing.
Roy had heard the same tone with increasing frequency as Felicity and Oliver continued in some tense impasse only they understood. The tone was usually directed at Oliver but even Roy had fallen victim himself a few times. Despite wanting Felicity to win Roy couldn't help a wince of sympathy…Ignorance is bliss apparently.
"Ms. Smoak, the police have already connected you to various past crimes of the Vigilante. I could easily press charges for those as well as obstruction of justice if you refuse to help now…" Laurel paused for dramatic effect as she eyed Felicity.
Thea gasped and started to panic so she sought Roy's eyes for support. After a quick but silent exchange, Roy casually walked back to the bar and pressed a hidden panic button. This was a recent security upgrade and sounded an alarm in the Arrow Cave. It also brought the club's security cameras feeds onto the computer screen automatically so Diggle and Oliver became aware of the confrontation.
Felicity, however, was used to arguing with both Oliver Queen and the Arrow so she wasn't as easily intimidated as most people assumed. Not only did she maintain the eye contact without flinching she even raised a brow in question before she spoke. "Ms. Lance, I'm always willing to help the good guys, fight the good fight and otherwise do my part as a dutiful citizen of Starling City. Are you?"
Felicity's question caught Laurel by surprise but she responded quickly if stiffly, "I work in the District Attorney's office, Ms. Smoak. Even you must understand what that means. Can you also understand that my doing what's right may mean you rot in jail?"
"So it was right for you to accept the Vigilante's help yourself before, to give him secure files from the police and even to lie to the police? Wouldn't this be assisting and abetting in the execution of a crime, Ms. Lance? Are you suggesting we rot in a cell together? If so, I really must decline the invitation as I have other plans." Felicity's polite smile and honeyed voice did little to balance the sting of her words.
There was a moment of stunned silence as Laurel processed the accusation and began to understand just what knowledge Felicity had. Thea and Roy however smothered their laughter with obvious coughing fits. It was at this moment that Oliver and Diggle entered the room.
"Ollie!" Laurel gasped in surprise and wasted no time in moving to him to brush her lips across Oliver's cheek in greeting. She also latched onto his arm for support.
Oliver accepted the kiss with a polite smile but quickly disengaged from her grip to stand beside Felicity just as Roy stepped in close to him. Diggle positioned himself next to Thea so the Team presented a united front against Laurel.
"Did I forget a meeting with you Laurel?" Oliver knew he hadn't but he still didn't know what caused the Team to press the panic button nor what could account for Felicity's carefully blank face.
"No, I was just..." Laurel stumbled a bit here as she was unsure of how to proceed in face of the unexpected opposition from the Queen family.
"Laurel came to interrogate Felicity about knowing the Vigilante…apparently Felicity may rot in jail." Thea sniped as the silence had lengthened.
Laurel laughed nervously, "Ollie, it wasn't that dramatic. Recent investigations find Ms. Smoak constantly and suspiciously present during Vigilante activities. I was concerned for you, Thea and Moira. A lot of people are after you and if she's involved in crime, well, I thought you'd want to know."
"Have no fear Laurel. Our Ms. Smoak is simply remarkable and I'm perfectly safe in her care." Oliver smiled warmly at a surprised Felicity before turning a slightly less warm smile toward Laurel.
Laurel noticed the change in his smile as well and she switched tactics again, "Remarkable or not, Ollie, I must warn you that the DA is viewing her suspiciously and an investigation is pending which will not reflect well upon QC or the Queen family. However, I can help you. I simply need her to get a message to the Vigilante for me. Get her to do that for me, for us really." Laurel ignored the other three and kept her gaze solely on Oliver.
"I'm afraid Mr. Queen has no control over me, Ms. Lance, and I must respectfully decline your request." Felicity knew it was in the Team's interest to work with Laurel but her response was more emotional than intellectual so she then left the room quickly before anyone could speak.
"Ollie, you should consider distancing yourself from Ms. Smoak. I am going now to draft documents for a search warrant and arrest warrant. We will proceed with our investigation." With that parting shot, Laurel turned to walk away from Team Arrow.
Oliver quickly exchanged looks with the Team and then spoke, "Laurel, let me walk you out, please." He pasted his polite CEO smile on and continued. "We do appreciate your concern." Oliver's voice trailed off as the pair left the club together and lingered outside to continue speaking in private.
The other three quickly moved downstairs to speak to Felicity. They found her hard at work on the computers. She didn't acknowledge them until Diggle spoke, "Oliver is talking to Laurel. I'm sure he'll convince her not to press charges."
Felicity gave a harsh laugh before she replied, "Of course, why wouldn't she do anything he wants?"
No one was quite sure how to respond to Felicity's anger and bitterness. After exchanging a few worried looks with Roy and Thea, Diggle immediately moved across the lair to start training. Thea and Roy lingered hesitantly.
Felicity had fled to the comfort of the lair and her computers but hearing Diggle's announcement that Oliver was with Laurel destroyed what comfort she had found there. Just might have to workout with the guys tonight as I have no other options for stress relief – at least Oliver won't be around, not that that is anything new. Her recent her daily workouts had all been with Diggle and Roy as Oliver had been out of the lair often this week...or just avoiding me. Felicity thought with a sigh. She had started measuring time as BK and AK (Before Kiss, After Kiss) and anything AK truly sucked in comparison despite how good Oliver was at kissing. While Oliver didn't really revert to island mode he seemed to be distancing himself from her, just her, unless business required his presence and attention to her. The only conclusion Felicity could reach is that the Kiss didn't mean anything to him and he didn't need her anymore.
"Still could have at least talked to me." Felicity's inner ramblings and grumbles found their way out even more often than before but Diggle at least never commented. However, it was Thea and Roy with her now.
"What did you say?" Thea asked in confusion as she reviewed some search results for Felicity.
"What? Nothing – I didn't say anything at all." Felicity replied with some heat.
Roy shrugged at Thea when she turned to him for explanation. Remembering the sting of Felicity's temper he took the best option available to him and fled to join Diggle on the other side of the lair. He wasn't sure what happened to Felicity and Oliver but as Oliver had definitely been a less tolerant Arrow on the nightly patrols so Roy thought it smart to lay low.
Thea glanced at Roy's quickly retreating form, however, as she still hoped to win their bet and also simply wanted her brother and Felicity together she decided to push it a bit. "What's going on with you and Oliver?"
Felicity turned slowly to Thea and faced her with an impressively blank and yet off-putting expression. Thea was impressed but still pressed her luck to continue, "Well, you've mastered his thousand yard stare so if you start growling then we'll definitely know you've spent too much time together."
As Thea meant it in jest she wasn't prepared for Felicity's suddenly pained expression nor her mumbled reply, "There's nothing going on – we haven't spent any time together, Thea. It's all good though – no problem, back to business, right? Anything interesting in those search results?"
"Hello? You guys practically made out in front of all of us and then I caught you again about to get it on against the door. What happened? Was the first time bad or something?" Thea tried to tease a response from her friend even as she genuinely wanted Felicity to confide in her.
"No, the first time wasn't bad because there's been no first time, Thea." Felicity exploded in anger before sighing sadly. "Your brother isn't interested in me like that and he certainly doesn't lack options – look, he was just happy I was safe, that's all. Nothing new there and you know how protective he is of…the team."
"Yeah, that's true…however, I'm going to be totally freaked out if he kisses Roy like that if he gets injured." Thea couldn't help but laugh. God, could two people be more blind or stupid? Thea thought to herself even as Felicity turned to glare somewhat morosely at her before she turned back to her computer.
Felicity hoped desperately that Thea would let it go so she pretended to focus on the computer. The truth was she was running the programs and searches on auto pilot as her thoughts remained locked in misery about Oliver.
First, Isabel and now Laurel…I can't take this anymore, Felicity thought in anger and despair. A few kisses, ok, a few seriously hot kisses but then nothing, no conversation and suddenly he's moving on or moving back? Whatever! It's not like they'll tell him no…although, it's not like I did either so I guess I'm no different! God, how did my dream of Oliver turn into a nightmare?
While she was grumbling silently now Felicity's keystrokes loudly punctuated the air and were starting to concern Thea with the level of force she was exerting.
What is it about Oliver that drives me and every other women crazy? Well, there's that face, the body, and the smile, his growl…ok, no thinking about sexy Oliver. We are friends too – focus on that! Felicity paused while that thought actually struck a painful chord in her. We were friends and God, I miss that! I still remember the first time he smiled for real at me, sure, I was rambling but it was a real smile, not that fake billionaire smile. How many times have I heard him laugh now? How long has it been since the last time? How long since we have just talked to each other…
Felicity resumed her keyboard abuse as her thoughts ran wild.
He's had weeks to talk to me but no, nothing! Sure there have been some seriously hot kisses – God help me, don't focus on the kissing, Felicity! He would have told me if he had decided he's ready to be with someone he could care about, right? That's a big decision, something you'd share with a friend, right?! Which means I'm just convenient, of course, so is Isabel…and his precious Laurel. Does he really think we can do the whole friends w/ benefits things just to what – ease the tension?! I can't do that!
Felicity again stopped working as another thought occurred to her and she sucked her in breath in fear.
Maybe he knows I can't do that and he's trying to get me to leave?! Maybe he really doesn't want me around anymore – I've always been a burden to him! Is that why he's ok with his sister being on the Team so she can do my job?
Thea's voice drew Felicity about of her increasingly panicked state and chaotic thoughts.
"And speak of the Devil…" Thea commented as Oliver himself entered the lair. Thea actually glared at Ollie when she noticed that Felicity didn't even look up to greet him and her shoulders slumped as if trying to shield herself from him.
Oliver stared longingly at Felicity for a moment and even reached out a hand before pulling it back. As his jaw tensed he looked up to see Thea watching him with interest – his expression did not welcome comment however. "Laurel isn't pursing the investigation." Oliver ground out that single statement before moving toward Diggle and Roy to train.
Thea was all for Oliver and Felicity getting together but even she respected that particular expression on Oliver's face…it was the closest she had gotten to seeing the vigilante persona herself. With a slight shiver she sat down heavily next to Felicity and resigned herself to reviewing search results in deadly silence.
Roy looked up in surprise as Oliver joined them on the mats shirtless and ready to train. Diggle continued to battle the dummy without even glancing at Oliver. Roy was further surprised when Oliver motioned him onto the mats to spar.
Roy was inwardly elated at the opportunity – he typically sparred with Diggle but after seeing Oliver in action he really wanted to see how he would fare against the Arrow. Before he could even take more than a single step though, Diggle was in front of him.
"You think now is the time for this?" Diggle's low voice barely reached Roy's ears but he did understand the man's significant glance toward Felicity.
"I have no problem. Do you?" Oliver's tone was quiet as well but it was more like a growl than a whisper.
Roy tensed and saw Diggle also seemed more alert at the implied threat so he was surprised when Diggle turned him around and started to move them both away from Oliver. "Yeah, I do have a problem Oliver."
Diggle moved both him and Roy off the mats and had started explaining the metal batons. Roy now stood immobile and tried to focus on the training; however, he couldn't help a slight jump as the sounds of Oliver pounding the heavy bag at lightening speed punctuated the air. He also couldn't help turning to see Oliver in action.
Roy heard Diggle's sigh and turned back to him in question. "Let's move over here. It's going to get ugly in here soon." Diggle and Roy moved slightly further away as Oliver continued to deliver hard blows to the bag in rapid succession. This continued for many minutes as Roy and Diggle continued to spar with the batons.
A sudden metal clang distracted Roy which allowed Diggle to get in not only a quick hit but also a leg sweep which left Roy looking up stunned. From this vantage point though he could easily see Oliver moving up the salmon ladder quickly and he couldn't help but stare and be somewhat jealous considering he knew it was much harder than Oliver made it look.
"Do not speak to him right now." Diggle advised quietly as he helped the younger man to his feet. Roy did look toward Thea and saw she too wore an expression of amazement. The two shared a questioning look but Roy shook his head to discourage any teasing from her…Definitely don't want to be a target for either of them right now. Roy thought and he hoped Thea got the silent message.
Oliver was unaware of the others as he was entirely focused on ignoring Felicity. He hoped a punishing workout would clear his mind of images of Felicity continued to plague him. Felicity biting her lip as she considered her argument…Felicity's quick smile….Felicity and Thea chatting like the best of friends….Felicity standing motionless on the landmine….And it wasn't just mental images but he could remember her scent, the sound of her laughter, the taste of her kiss, her skin and even how she felt against him. She's going to drive me crazy!
Oliver delivered several more rounds of hard punches against the bag.
She could have at least told me she wanted us to just be friends - I told her we needed to talk and I gave her plenty of opportunities. I guess it was just a crush. Clearly as she was talking to Barry again she'd decided that he is the best option for her. I have to respect her decision and at least be happy that she'll be safer with him.
Oliver quickly climbed the salmon ladder.
Maybe I came on too strong…he remembered her embarrassment at Thea seeing them kiss. She didn't seem to mind at the time but she's definitely distanced herself after that…not just physically but she's even teaching Thea how to do her job and put her on the comms….maybe she's going to leave me, Oliver concluded in despair.
Oliver hung upside down for a moment before cranking out numerous stomach crunches then he dropped to the ground for one-armed push-ups.
I miss her already, her friendship and she's only stepped back. Surely she won't leave me completely – I think she was one of the first people who made me smile and laugh. Before her all of my good thoughts were pre-island, nothing after…until her. It became all about her.
All remained quiet and tense in the lair as Felicity was typing a mad rhythm on the computer and Oliver pushed through a grueling circuit of the heavy bag, the salmon ladder, upside down crunches and one armed push-ups. Roy and Diggle continued to train as well but both kept a wary eye on both Oliver and Felicity. After another tense thirty minutes, Roy and Diggle took a quick water break and went over the join the girls. Thea glanced at them in helpless supplication but Roy shrugged as Diggle remained impassive.
It was Felicity herself who broke the stalemate when she jumped from her seat and mumbled quickly, "I'll go grab us some food." She was halfway up the stairs before the others could even react. Whereas Oliver hadn't paused so far he did watch the blond rush away and then if possible continued at a faster pace.
"What do we do?" Thea asked Diggle in a hushed whisper.
"We do nothing" came his immediate and emphatic reply.
"What? There's no way they can go on like this! This is insane and don't we all need them to be clear headed for this work?" Thea added the last part as she knew Diggle would be more swayed by logic than emotion.
Diggle had continued to watch Oliver and didn't reply to Thea other than a quick "No" before he walked away. Before Thea could even turn to Roy they heard a resounding thump and turned to see Diggle had flown toward Oliver and tackled him. Only Diggle noted that Oliver had, in fact, allowed the attack but he ignored that as he was determined to work off the tension and at least try to pound some sense into the other man.
The two men exchanged a fast and brutal array of punches and kicks before they ended up grappling on the mats. There were several grunts and even crunches as many attacks met their intended target. Both Roy and Thea looked on in surprise and then sympathy as the battle continued for several minutes. Suddenly Oliver sprang free and took several steps away. Diggle rose more slowly, warily as he wiped some blood from his mouth.
"Tired?" Diggle taunted in annoyance. Damn, he landed some solid punches which I'll definitely feel tomorrow.
"I won't fight you." Oliver consciously relaxed his stance and shook his head as he backed away further. He swiped impatiently as a thin stream of blood flowed from a cut above his eye.
It was into this standoff that Felicity returned rambling about leaving her purse and needing money. She had planned to go straight in and out without letting anyone respond to her but Thea's and Roy's expression of amazement confused her. She followed their gazes and then noticed both Diggle and Oliver were sporting bruises and blood.
"What happened?" Felicity asked in surprise as she rushed to the two men. She went to Oliver first and tentatively touched the cut above his brow. He stood still but wouldn't meet her eyes so she turned to Diggle only to see him heading toward the stairs.
"Let's go guys." Diggle instructed Roy and Thea who quickly scrambled toward him. "I don't care what you two decide to do but work it out and work it out now. There's no way we can go on like this." Diggle gave Thea a brief nod as he used her earlier words. The trio left quickly after that with a slam of the door.
Felicity continued to face the uncertainly before she took a decisive breath and turned to Oliver. "Look, I'm sorry about this. Diggle, Thea and Roy mean well but I'm sorry you got that from him. I'm the one who's been short with them all week. I'll apologize to them, I owe them that. I really do know I've been a little weird AK but really I'm ok now. Everything will be back to normal, I promise, there's no need to…." Felicity stumbled now as she didn't even want to give voice to her fear that he wanted her gone.
Oliver was a little slow processing Felicity's ramble as he was distracted by her close proximity. He had avoided being near her all week for fear of grabbing her and kissing her senseless and considering that she hasn't sought his company to continue in private he didn't think she would appreciate him crossing that line again right now. Slowly her words penetrated the hazy sensual fog in his brain and he repeated in confusion, "AK?"
"Oh, um, yeah….After Kiss" Felicity mumbled quietly even as her face flamed in embarrassment. "You know, I'll just go now and apologize to them. You'll be fine, right? Ok, I'll just go." She turned to leave quickly but had to stop as Oliver grabbed her elbow and turned her toward him.
God, he's too close, I can't handle this, I don't know what I did in a previous life to deserve this but surely it wasn't that bad, kicked a few puppies, burned down a village…oh my God, the rambling is getting worse but really it's his fault for distracting me. Way too sexy for my own good. Felicity's thoughts were chaotic as she tried to look avoid looking into Oliver's eyes and take a deep breath. Ok, avoid the eyes just look someplace else…oh, maybe not his chest, God, has he gotten more muscle in a week? It's only been a week that he's avoided me, right?! Is that even possible? Yeah, abs look good, and strong arms….this is not helping me focus and walk away. Oh my God, just look at the ground Felicity. Felicity dropped her gaze straight down to her own feet and tried again to take a deep breath so she missed Oliver's surprised expression and wicked grin.
Oliver placed a second arm at Felicity's other elbow and drew her in slowly. The closer contact forced her eyes up to his and only then did she see his smile, the first one she had seen in weeks. She smiled helplessly in return and just gazed into his eyes for a brief moment. Felicity then realized she must have spoken some of her words out loud but before she could focus on that mistake she saw Oliver dip his head and she instinctively leaned in to receive his kiss.
It was several moments before the couple broke apart and only then because they needed air. Oliver rested his forehand against Felicity's and smiled as he was so glad to have her in his arms again. He couldn't resist pulling back to look into her eyes and was stunned to see her tears. Shock held him immobile and allowed Felicity's escape. She flew up the stairs and out of the Club without even noticing the other three team members seated at the bar.
"You've got to be kidding me!" Thea exclaimed in disgust at the sight of her friend running away.
Diggle had gotten up to go after Felicity himself so he was in Oliver's direct path when he raced across the room. Oliver stopped abruptly and looked at Diggle with panicked eyes before trying to move past him.
"Hold on. What happened?" Diggle asked. His disapproval wasn't as obvious as the glares Thea and Roy were shooting at Oliver but they hadn't seen the panic in his eyes either.
Before Oliver could speak, Thea jumped in, "That's it – I'm disowning you and adopting Felicity. How do you keep screwing this up! I mean, seriously, what are you thinking?" Thea had made her way across the room and was now poking Oliver in the chest with her finger. "How can you not know you love her? You aren't that stupid, you aren't that self-involved playboy anymore—"
"I know I…I know I have feelings for her." Oliver interrupted Thea in a soft voice. As three faces registered surprise at his admission he took the opportunity to add, "She doesn't love me."
After a short stunned pause laughter filled the room. Oliver didn't appreciate that response and with a clenched jaw turned to walk away.
Thea blocked him, "Sorry, but what was that?" Thea tried for a serious tone but still erupted back into laughter.
Fortunately Diggle took it from there. "What makes you think she doesn't love you? Did you get that from the fact that she after finding you bleeding in the back of her car after your mother shot you—"
"Whoa! Oh my God, Mom did shoot the Arrow!" Thea was temporarily distracted by that realization.
"Seriously, this family definitely needs to work on communication." Roy quipped bringing all eyes to him but he only shrugged and grinned.
Diggle ignored the interruption and continued, "She's always had your back and doesn't take any crap from you—"
"She's my friend, she's on the Team." Oliver offered the rebuttal in an angry voice.
"Ok, so are we but we don't stare at you when you work out! It's kinda cute and yet, as your sister, it's also disturbing." Thea replied.
"It was a crush, she doesn't want—" Oliver began.
"Hello, she was ready to let you rip her clothes off just last week!" Thea interrupted his response impatiently.
"But then she did nothing, said nothing. She just stepped back. She put Thea on the comms. She's back in contact with Barry – she's moved on." Oliver was practically growling now and hated having to even utter his thoughts aloud.
"So what did you do to fight for her?" Roy joined the conversation more seriously now.
"What? I didn't...I…" Oliver stopped in confusion.
Oliver's bewilderment startled another laugh from Thea. "That's classic pre-island Ollie – just waiting for the girls to jump into your bed, huh? No need to even ask them!"
Even Roy and Diggle laughed at Oliver's expression of disbelief as Thea continued, "Oliver, you need to talk to her. Just talk – clothes on, keep your hands to yourself, talk. Tell her how you feel and maybe she will jump into bed with you."
Oliver still looked doubtful and hadn't move to chase after Felicity. Thea sighed and then inspiration struck. "Hold on – you need to see something." Thea ran over to the bar and grabbed her tablet. She started the video that she and Roy captured many weeks before that had started this whole crazy Team Arrow journey for them.
"I've seen this, Thea." Oliver didn't want to see himself with Felicity.
"No, you haven't. Shut up and watch." Thea demanded.
With a clenched jaw Oliver turned back to the screen just in time to see Felicity's face – her expression of love that even Thea recognized before she knew Felicity well. Thea paused it there and the three waited…it took longer than they hoped but finally a look of dawning realization and wonder appeared on Oliver's face.
"I think this is the part of the cartoon when a light bulb comes on over the hero's head." Roy noted with a laugh.
"She loves me?" It was a still a question but it was clear that Oliver now hoped for a different answer than earlier as he continued to stare at Felicity's face on the screen.
"Go get her and find out but if you screw this up Thea won't have to disown you…I'll just bury the body." Diggle advised even as he clapped him on the shoulder and smiled.
That seemed to snap Oliver out of his musings and he finally lifted his gaze to his three friends and grinned before he took off. As soon as he got out of the club he realized he had no idea where Felicity was but without concern he immediately opened his phone's tracking app and located her at QC. And now he had a plan.
Felicity was at QC and was unaware of her friends' actions or Oliver's plan. She was alternating between anger at Oliver's stupidity and heartbreak even as she defended his actions to herself. He deserves to be happy and if that's not with me…
Felicity slammed her tablet down and jumped up to pace as she tried to redirect her thoughts from loving Oliver to not caring if he wanted Laurel or even Isabel. She was surprised and angry to find herself leaning into his chair and running her hands along the back. Cursing herself, Felicity turned away to look outside the window instead.
"Get it together Smoak – Go Team Arrow." Felicity snarled to her own reflection. When tears started to form though she decided she needed to go somewhere without memories of Oliver but was further dismayed when she couldn't think of anywhere to go. Fine, I'll just drive around the city then.
Felicity rushed to her car and only paused to toss a quick good bye to Charlie. She loved that Charlie was now unknowingly helping Team Arrow by protecting the extra weapons, medical supplies, computers and even cash they had stashed there just as a precaution. However, she really didn't need anyone else to witness her breakdown or see her tears so she didn't stop to talk.
Felicity got in her car and then closed her eyes to try and take a few calming breaths before she started driving aimlessly around the city.
Felicity jumped at the sound of Oliver's voice and turned to look back in surprise at Oliver in the back seat just as he had been so long ago. "Tell me you don't have a gunshot wound." Felicity demanded only half in jest.
"No wounds. I do want, I need to talk to you though." Oliver's voice turned serious.
"Ok, so talk." Felicity's nerves were already on edge and feeling overwhelmed by Oliver's presence in her small car wasn't helping.
Oliver was facing similar nerves so it took him a moment to gather his thoughts and speak. "I am sorry the AK time has been rough for you. I did stay away from you but it's not because of any reason you probably think." Oliver gave her a slight smile as he tried to ease into the conversation.
"Really? And how could you possibly know what I think Mr. Queen?" Felicity smiled back as she preferred the bantering tone to the serious tone Oliver had started with originally.
"I don't but I doubt you think I avoided you because I can't keep my hands off you." Oliver was still grinning as he teased her back so he was unprepared for Felicity to bolt from the car. He did jump out immediately and watched her pace for a moment before she started to rant in obvious frustration.
"Look, I understand with the whole Fantasy Island thing and the line of women here who chase you have probably reinforced the playboy thing for you. And I know I haven't ever told you no either but I won't be a temporary bedmate while you wait for someone to care about…I know I've crossed some lines with you and I don't want the team to be weird like it is now but I'm not leaving either. I have a right to the Team—"
"You are the team Felicity." Oliver stated with simple heartfelt honesty. He continued as Felicity stared at him in open mouthed shock. "And you are the someone I care about, it's been you for a while now really."
Felicity continued to stare and at the same moment they both realized he had finally rendered her completely speechless. She couldn't help by smile at him and moved closer…she stopped when he stepped back away. Seeing the hurt reflected on her face though brought Oliver back to her immediately. He smiled sweetly and ghosted his hand from temple to chin. Felicity kept his hand in place and nuzzled gently as she took a deep breath.
"You're making this difficult, Felicity. Thea has threatened to disown me and adopt you if I mess this up…again. Diggle just plans to bury my body." Oliver's voice was slightly gruff but Felicity didn't appear to mind as her own laugh was husky as well.
"Let's get a few things straight Ms. Smoak." Oliver continued with a slightly more serious tone as he brought his other hand up so he could cup her face and keep her eyes on his so she could see the truth as well as hear it. "You are my responsibility just as I'm yours but you are not and have never been a burden. You asked once if I had any good stories. You were the first good story I had after the Gambit – the first time there was a possibility of happiness, of a future, and someone to build it with, to build it for. There would be no Green Arrow without you, no Team Arrow without you, no CEO Oliver Queen without you, no Oliver without you. I don't know where or who I would be without you and I never want to find out."
Felicity smiled sweetly before kissing first one palm then the other. "Is it being difficult to tell you, you aren't just a hero but my hero before I kiss you?" Felicity asked even as she closed the slight distance between them and did, in fact, kiss him.
Despite the recent frustration and tension, the kiss started off sweet, gentle, loving but it quickly escalated into a more passionate embrace than a public parking garage warranted. However it was only the urgent and simultaneous beeping of both Felicity's phone and tablet that forced them to separate their mouths. Oliver only allowed enough space for Felicity to twist awkwardly to find her phone as he nuzzled her neck. Her laughter did startle him sufficiently so that he raised his eyes to witness the happiness in her face.
"So not a serious alarm then?" Oliver asked.
Felicity's smile was smug as she advised, "It's the fit band – apparently your heart rate is dangerously elevated." Felicity was laughing as Oliver claimed her lips and continued despite the alert.
Neither Felicity nor Oliver realized that the same alarm sounded in the lair to alert the remaining three members who laughed outright as they read the rest of the results – labored breathing, increased body temperature. Thea had just brought up the tracking program to confirm the two were indeed together.
Meanwhile, Charlie just smiled as he turned off the camera and erased the recent security feed from the parking garage…after he sent it to Mr. Diggle.
A/N 2 – Thanks for sticking with me guys! It's been a blast to write all three stories and a wonderful first experience as a fanfic author! I'm not sure where to go from here but as we have time before new episodes start so I'm open to suggestions! I have been toying with a short epilogue idea where we see Laurel talk to her father about Felicity and the Vigilante…anyone interested?!