AN: hey everyone, I hope you all had a great Christmas! So this story is part of the olicityholidays fic exchange over on tumblr. My secret santa is spokenfromthemouth - I hope you like it! Also, please forgive any mistakes I may have missed while editing.
Prompt: Felicity decides to bake some gingerbread cookies with the hope of getting Digg and Oliver into the Christmas spirit. With nothing better to do, Oliver helps out and chaos ensues.
Disclaimer: not mine, so please don't sue.
Felicity has tried everything she can think of to get her partners-in-vigilantism into the holiday spirit, but they seem determined to go down the Ebenezer Scrooge path. She can't really blame them, considering the year they've had, but that's exactly why she wants them to have a good holiday season. Digg and Oliver deserve at least a few days of ease and maybe, if she can swing it, even a little laughter.
These are the thoughts that have driven her into her kitchen in the early evening on Christmas Eve, her counter covered in baking supplies and her iPod playing music loudly from the other room. She may not celebrate the holiday, but that doesn't mean that she can't do something nice for her boys – which is why she's decided to bake them gingerbread cookies from scratch, just like her mother taught her. Felicity has a few days off from her job at Queen Consolidated, and Oliver has given them the next two nights off of Arrow duty (although she's pretty sure that she's gonna have to check the foundry later to make sure that he's giving himself the time off as well).
So she's making them cookies, and she's going to get Oliver to laugh if it's the last thing she does. Maybe she'll even record it, so that she'll have proof later on that it actually happened.
Felicity surveys the supplies and ingredients scattered in her kitchen and decides to make twice as many as she'd originally planned; she can send some home with Oliver to share with Thea and Moira, and she can leave extra in the lair for herself and Diggle.
She's looking for the apron her mother bought her when there's a knock at her door. Glancing at the clock, Felicity makes her way across the room and wonders who would be visiting her at six o'clock on Christmas Eve.
When she opens the door, she's faced with none other than Oliver Queen, looking unfairly attractive in his blue Henley sweater and jeans.
"Hi," she greets, surprised.
"Hey," Oliver answers.
"What are you doing here?" she blurts before she can stop herself. "I mean, not that you aren't welcome, of course, it's just … it's Christmas Eve, shouldn't you be at home?"
"I … needed some air. I was gonna go to the foundry, but …"
He doesn't finish the rest of his sentence; Felicity just smiles and steps aside, motioning him inside with her arm. She thinks maybe he came here instead because he knew that she would have gone to the foundry, and then scolded him when she found him there alone. Either way, she's happy he came here instead, even if his presence in her home makes her heart beat a little faster.
"Are you listening to Christmas music?" he asks, slipping out of his leather jacket and placing it on the back of a chair.
"No, I don't really like it. This is Daft Punk."
"I like them."
Felicity halts mid-step on her way to the kitchen and fixes incredulous eyes on him. "That's … surprising."
"Why? I do own a club, ya know." There's the tiniest hint of a smile on his face and she realizes that he's teasing her; it makes her smile.
"Owning a club doesn't mean you automatically have good taste in music," she retorts, leading him into the kitchen.
"No, I come by that naturally."
Felicity laughs. Apparently, whatever reason Oliver had for leaving the mansion hasn't affected his mood at all; she hesitates to use the word, but he seems almost playful.
"Well, since you're here, you get to help me bake cookies for … well, you, and Digg."
"Why are you baking us cookies?"
"Because you've both had a bit of that 'Bah-Humbug' thing going on and I thought homemade cookies might help you get into the holiday spirit. Ya know, 'made with love' and all that." She's staring at the stuff on her counter so it doesn't occur to her what she's said until she glances at Oliver and finds him giving her a look that she can't decipher. She's about to launch into what's bound to be a ramble when Oliver saves her from herself.
"Cookies it is," he says. "Although I should warn you, baking is not a skill of mine."
Felicity smiles. "We'll make it work."
She'll admit (to herself) that it's a little strange to have Oliver in her kitchen, the sleeves of his shirt rolled up and a serious look on his face that's almost comical. The fact that her kitchen is kind of small doesn't help matters much, because she keeps finding herself having to move around him to get things and, try as she might, she can't seem to do it without brushing some portion of her against some portion of him. Their constant proximity would be distracting if she didn't have to concentrate on what she was doing.
Felicity finds out quickly that Oliver wasn't lying about not being good at baking. She has him starting on mixing everything for the cookies – she's gonna be working on the icing – and she turns away for what seems like a second; when she turns back to the counter, she can't seem to find the bag of confectioner's sugar that was there just a moment ago.
"Did you …" she trails off as she glances into the bowl that he has in front of him, which is supposed to be full of flour – except that when she glances to the other side of him, the bag of flour is still sitting there, untouched. "That's not flour."
He glances over to where she's pointing, narrows his eyes at the bag of flour and then sighs. Thankfully, he hasn't added the other ingredients yet, so she's able to empty the bowl of the sugar and (covertly) watch as he adds the flour instead.
Felicity can't help grinning at the idea that simple baking ingredients confuse this man, who is skilled at so many things.
"So, what are your big plans for tomorrow?" she asks as they work. "Is there, like, some big Queen gift exchange or something?"
Beside her, Oliver chuckles. "Something," he agrees.
"Will you hand me the molasses?"
She's not sure if it's her fault or his, but one minute she's reaching for the jar and then the next thing she knows it's on a direct path to the floor. Felicity scrambles to snatch it before it hits but only succeeds in somehow popping off the lid, and then there's a veritable volcano of the viscous stuff that coats her hands and some of her cabinets. Oliver manages to grab it right before it smashes against the tile of her kitchen floor.
Felicity should have known that things weren't going to end there.
This time, it's Oliver's fault. He turns to the counter; ostensibly looking for a place to put down the molasses, when the elbow that's nearest to her connects with the half-full bag of flour. Felicity sees what's about to happen and lunges to catch the bag before it can fall: she feels like she's moving in slow motion, though, and her hands end up closing around empty air. The flour crashes to the ground – it's suddenly snowing in her kitchen – and Felicity tries (unsuccessfully) to stop her forward motion. She smacks into a very surprised Oliver, who lets out a muffled "oomph!" as he rocks back on his heels and automatically reaches out to grab her by the shoulders.
They go down in a jumbled mess of molasses covered limbs and exclamations of surprise.
When Felicity finally manages to get her bearings again, she realizes several things at once: one, there's flour everywhere; two, Oliver is on his back in the middle of her kitchen floor; and three, she's spread eagle over his chest, both of her molasses covered hands planted on his (ridiculously chiseled) pectorals.
They stare at each other for a few long seconds and then the chest beneath hers begins to rumble, a pleasing sort of vibration that starts near her stomach and works its way up. Oliver is laughing; the sound is rich and full, reverberating off of her cupboards and drawing her own laughter in response.
"I told you," he manages to gasp between laughs, "I can't bake."
"Oliver, this … we haven't even … started yet!" Felicity is laughing so hard she can't breathe.
She finally pulls a hand off of Oliver to adjust her glasses, the material of his shirt sticking to her hand and pulling away from his body before it finally falls away. Felicity crawls off of him so that he can sit up, but neither one of them moves to their feet as they survey the disaster area that is her kitchen.
"You should come with a warning label," she tells him, only half-joking. When she looks back at him, she starts to chuckle again; there's flour in his hair, making it several shades too light, and a few patches of the fine white stuff gathered in his stubble. He mock glares at her, his eyes glittering spots of color in an overly white face, and then gives in to a grin.
"I think we're gonna need more flour," he deadpans.
"Not quite how you planned on spending your Christmas Eve, is it?"
"No," he agrees. "This is much better."
That's not the answer she was expecting. There's no reason for her heart rate to accelerate, or her stomach to suddenly feel like it's full of butterflies, but she can't do anything about either of those.
No one should look as sexy as Oliver does, covered in flour and molasses and sitting on his ass in her kitchen.
"Even though you're covered in flour and it looks like you were making snow angels on my kitchen floor?" She asks to distract herself.
"You forgot about the molasses." He waves molasses covered fingers at her as a reminder.
"Oh, right." She laughs as she pulls herself to her feet and then holds out a hand to help him up; he takes it, despite both of them knowing that he doesn't really need the assist.
Separating their hands proves to be a bit of a nuisance, though, and in the end Felicity just pulls them to the sink, turns on the hot water, and stuffs their still joined hands beneath the faucet.
"What?" she asks when she notices that he's watching her.
"Felicity … thank you."
He sounds so sincere, as if she's done something Earth shattering for him instead of just inviting him to make cookies with her; she smiles, gently, and doesn't bother pointing out that she hasn't really done anything. He hates it when she does that.
Oliver smiles. "You aren't going to ask what for?"
"Would you tell me if I did?" she counters.
"Maybe." His answer sounds almost coy, which is just … ridiculous.
"Okay," she concedes. "What are you thanking me for?"
"For being you," he answers immediately. "For not prying, even when I know you want to; for letting me trash your kitchen on Christmas Eve because I can't bake."
Oliver is looking at her with that expression she can't name. He's standing entirely too close to her, so close that she could count his eyelashes if she wanted to, and his voice has taken on that soft quality that he only ever seems to use with her. Her heart is racing and everything about this situation is too … intimate – so she does the only thing she can think of, and tries to make light of it.
"Well, to be fair, I didn't let you trash the kitchen." Her voice is throatier than it usually is. "I did try to stop it."
Oliver grins and gives a little nod of agreement.
Are they … is he getting closer?
Felicity doesn't realize she's holding her breath until Oliver's warm, soft lips brush over her own in a fleeting kiss. It's so quick that she's not even sure that it happened – which isn't fair, really, because if she only gets one kiss, then she's gonna make damn sure that it's memorable.
She rises up onto her tiptoes and presses a firm kiss to his lips before she can talk herself out of it; Oliver's hand latches onto her hip, holding her against him before she can pull away again. His lips part beneath hers without warning, but she quickly covers her surprise by following his lead.
A distant part of Felicity's mind registers that she's making out with Oliver.
Hallelujah, Christmas miracles are real!
Heat is what finally drives them apart, although not the kind that Felicity would have expected. "Hot," she mumbles.
"Hot?" Oliver repeats, confused.
It finally clicks. "The water!" she exclaims, snapping her hand away from the faucet. She'd completely forgotten about their hands!
Felicity is so engrossed in staring at her now clean and very red hand that she isn't thinking about the fact that Oliver's hand is still on her hip; her oversight is remedied by the gentle squeeze he gives her. He doesn't seem at all bothered by his own hand, which is just as red as hers.
Feeling suddenly shy, she mentally curses the blush she can feel heating her cheeks and takes a moment to brace herself before making eye contact again.
"That … I, uh …" have apparently been kissed speechless.
And then Oliver starts to laugh. "Speechless, huh?"
"Oh, God, I said that aloud?" she grouses, hanging her head in embarrassment. "Of course I said that aloud. Stupid mouth, why does it always do this to me?"
"I dunno," he says quietly, hooking a clean finger under her chin and raising her head to look at him. "I think it's kinda cute."
And just like that, he's kissing her again. She has no idea how long they stand there, kissing each other in the midst of their disastrous attempt to bake cookies, and she doesn't really care. They're covered in flour and molasses, the water in her sink is still running, and her kitchen looks like some sort of baking war zone – but right now all that matters is the man in front of her.
Well, him and his ridiculously soft lips.
This time when they pull away, it's due to a lack of air. Logically, Felicity knows that they need to talk about this – whatever "this" is – but that conversation can wait. For now, she just wants to stay sequestered in her little apartment and hear Oliver laugh again.
"Come on, we've got a kitchen to clean and cookies to bake."
"Are you sure you wanna court that disaster again?" Oliver asks, dropping a kiss on the end of her nose.
"We're baking those cookies," she answers determinedly. "And then we're going to shower. There's molasses everywhere."
"We're going to shower?"
"Shut up, you know what I mean."
They spend the rest of the evening cleaning up and stealing kisses from one another, and when they finally manage to bake a batch of gingerbread cookies they laugh about how Oliver's look nothing like actual gingerbread men and agree that they should save those for themselves and make another batch.
Oliver drags her and their misshapen cookies to her couch, where they curl up together and watch I Love Lucy reruns until they fall asleep, Felicity's head on his chest and Oliver's lips pressed against her hairline.
They don't get around to actually making more cookies until the next day; all of Oliver's cookies come out looking like Octopi instead of people.