Title: I'll See You in the Future (I See My Future in You)

Disclaimer: I own nothing.

Author's Note: Happy New Year! Hope everyone is having a wonderful start to their 2014. Let's read about Olicity ringing in the new year together, shall we? :)

Many thanks to loved in shades of wrong for her amazing editing skills (and not laughing at me) (and calming me down through my many freak-outs). The title is inspired by Bastille lyrics, and a line of Thea's dialogue was borrowed from Kaitlin Cooper of The OC.

Comments would be most welcome, please & thank you!

December 31st, 6:43 AM

"Oliver! Your phone."

Felicity watched sleepily as he rolled over from next to her and reached across to the bedside table for his phone, before frowning and thumbing off the alert, then looked at her in apology.

"Sorry. It was just an alert for Thea's New Year's Eve party."

"You needed an alert to remember that? Really?" Felicity asked, turning in bed to face him, her arms wrapping around his naked torso as she rested her head on his stretched out arm. "Like any of us could ever forget. And why does it need to remind you so early in the morning?"

"I don't know. I just added the alert. You're the one always telling me to use my phone more effectively and that it's more than just a phone." He smiled as he moved his head lower on his pillow to meet her eyeline, his hand reaching out to brush aside a few strands of stray hair from her forehead.

"Obviously you're not using it effectively enough," she grumbled, closing her eyes to fall back asleep. That method didn't work when she knew he was watching her though, and sure enough, she looked to see his blue eyes focused on her. "Well, you woke me up so you have to make the coffee because I turned the automatic timer off." She reminded him of their deal when it came to the other person interrupting their precious hours of sleep; their punishment was to get out of bed and turn the coffee maker on. Usually Oliver's the first one up, him with this internal island clock, and she liked it that way. (Also because he had the best ways of waking her up.) "Now, go back to sleep. It's too early. I have the day off. From both my jobs."

"Yes, you do. Isn't your boss great?" Oliver's deep voice rumbled over her and she smiled at the sound, looking up to meet his twinkling gaze.

"He's okay, I guess. Kind of homely," she added as she reached her hand out to brush her palm against his morning beard. He merely shook his head in amusement. "But he was nice enough to give everyone at QC a nice break from Christmas to New Year's. I liked that decision."

Oliver shrugged. "Well, HR complained of so many requests for days off, and hiring temps would've been expensive enough. Productivity is always down this time of year anyway. Why not?"

"Yeah, why not?" Felicity echoed with a smile. "I like that reasoning best of all. Everyone in IT loved you after we got the email notification."

"Did they?" Oliver bent down to drop a kiss on her bare shoulder, moving aside the strap of her tank top as his thumb began to rub lazy circles on her skin. "Even you?"

"Hmph." She shivered as the next kiss was placed on the ridge of her collarbone. "I'm harder to please."

"Tell me about it," he mumbled, and she grinned at his comment because he sounded more like a petulant child fighting for her attention than the suave billionaire playboy they painted him as.

"But I was very impressed by my Christmas present," she said, referring to the new tablet she'd received, so top of the line it wasn't going to be released to the public until the spring. "You know I'm only after your money, Mr. Queen."

"Of course, I forgot." Oliver leaned down to kiss her but she turned her face so his lips land on her cheek instead. Instead of being discouraged, he began to kiss down the curve of her cheek, a familiar path he visited as often as he could in the mornings.

"Oliver... I haven't even brushed my teeth yet." She tried to resist, but her face ended up turning his way, and their lips met for a hungry kiss. Her hands pulled him closer, fingers splayed across the taut muscles of his back, memorizing the play of his muscles, lingering over the burns and scars she's kissed so many times before. "I wanted to go back to sleep. No fair."

"What's not fair is you looking so pretty in the morning," he told her.

Felicity snorted, smiling at him as she pulled him closer and on top of her. "Augh, now I have to call you pretty too."

Oliver chuckled; the air leaving his mouth fanned across her cheek, making her smile with pleasure at the feeling. She enjoyed the feel of that first, then focused on the pleasure he gave by sliding his hand up the hem of her tank top, fingertips dancing up the ladder of her ribcage.

"You don't have to," he mumbled, the words lost along the skin of her clavicle, the brush of his lips making her shiver with anticipation.

"Oliver..." Her voice was meant to stop his ministrations, maybe give her a quick minute to gargle with mouthwash and fix her hair. They're still early in this relationship and she couldn't help but want to look her best when it came to waking up in the mornings with Oliver Queen at her side.

But Oliver had other plans in mind as his hand trailed down to the elastic of her underwear, mouth planting fervent kisses in the hollow of her throat. She felt the muscles of his stomach clenching with every breath he took, felt his heart pounding just as loud as hers surely was.


She said nothing more; she simply moaned in defeat.

December 31st, 8:06 AM

"It's fine, Oliver," she reassured him, watching from her kitchen table as he moved to put his plate in the sink. "Thea's gonna bite your head off if you're not there soon."

Oliver shook his head at the mental image, though Felicity thought she picked an accurate metaphor of the younger Queen woman on party day. She'd seen how Thea could get frustrated if deliveries weren't on time or if her big brother Ollie hadn't shown up yet to help. He glanced at his wristwatch to check the time again. "I'll try and come back to pick you up, but I don't know what time-"

"You don't know if Thea will let you leave the premises once she has you there," Felicity corrected as she looked up from her tablet. She loved playing with all the new features. It was just so shiny and new. "I can make it there on my own, Oliver. Believe it or not, I drove myself around a lot before you and Digg entered my life."

Oliver stared at her for a moment, his mind already whirling with alternative plans for transportation. "I'll have Digg pick you up at seven, is that okay? You should probably eat here. I don't know what Thea has on the menu and I know you hate rich people finger food."

"Yes, I do." She frowned at his comment before questioning him further. "Why's Digg working?"

"Mom got a creepy letter the other day so he said he'd work until she safely gets on the plane today."

"Right, visiting Walter. Ah, young love," she said with a dramatic sigh. "Or old love, I guess." Her eyes widened a second later as she hurried to explain. "Not that I'm saying your mom is old. She's not! I mean, she's older than us, obviously, she's your mom, but she's not old-old. She's... older. Not old love, just older love."

"Felicity," Oliver chuckled as he moved to drop a kiss on her forehead. "Digg will pick you up, okay? Don't answer the door to anyone but him."

"What if it's a neighbor? Or someone I know?" She knew she was asking the most annoying questions, but seriously, he acted like she hadn't been living on her own since her early twenties. Yes, there had been those few scary encounters when intruders had gotten in, but she'd learned her lesson, not to mention, also had several years of self-defense with Dig. And Deathstroke... Deathstroke was dead. That bitter feud is over and Felicity is no longer a pawn in the game. "What if it's my mom? What if it's Barry? What if it's UPS? What if it's-"

"Felicity," he repeated this time with his you're really cute but I don't have time for this tone.

"Oliver, I will be fine. Go. Go because your phone is buzzing again which means Thea is texting you. And soon mine will be buzzing because she'll be texting me next. Go." She swallowed her bite of cereal and leaned up to kiss him, soft and tender, what was meant to be just a quick goodbye. But her hands came up to stroke at his scruff, and she watched with affection as he closed his eyes in pleasure at her touch. "I will say that you wouldn't be running late if someone hadn't distracted me while I was showering."

"Yeah," Oliver shrugged unapologetically, "what was I supposed to do? You distracted me by being naked."

"Oliver, I was taking a shower! What was I supposed to be wearing?" She giggled at his excuse and relished the teasing tone of his voice. His blue eyes darkened at the memory and a very satisfied smirk tugged at the corner of his lips. "Go before you get distracted again."

"Call me as soon as you get there-"

"Yes, Oliver. Go!"

December 31st, 10:57 AM

She was looking through live traffic cam footage when she spotted it on tape - two robbers escaping a convenience store, guns in hand, and driving off in their getaway car. She grabbed her phone to call Detective Lance, but noticed the route the car is taking... down Main Street, left on Tuney, right on Soledad... straight into Glades territory. By the time the police made it there, who knows how far they'd have gone.

"Oliver? Where are you?"

"Organizing for Thea," he answered over the line in a breath of annoyance, "where else? What do you need?"

"Can you get out for a few minutes? I have a getaway car headed to Sable Avenue with two guys who just robbed a store in town and the police won't be able to get there in time, and-"

"Give me five minutes," came the reply, his voice switching from annoyed older brother to vigilante mode in a millisecond flat.

Felicity answered his call on the first ring and recognized the sound of the outdoors coming through the Bluetooth in his ear. The wind rustled, cold and crisp on a December morning, and the whirr of Oliver's zipline as he jumped from rooftop to rooftop. She recognized the sounds immediately from the many missions she'd guided him through; her heart started to race and adrenaline began to pump at the familiar sounds, the familiar danger hovering in the air.

"What's the car?"

"Uh... white van, total cliche of a getaway car, in my opinion. Let me look up the license plate again." She switched to the footage she had and recited the numbers to Oliver before she guided him to the exact intersection the car is heading towards.

Two minutes later, his voice informed her over the line that he spotted the car.

"Oliver, be careful," she said like always, fear clenching her heart like it did when he was about to enter the battlefield of the streets.

He didn't reply, but made a sound of acknowledgement, and she knew he heard her, knew he appreciated the words every time she said them. Because she'll always say them. She couldn't help but be worried whenever he put on the suit and stepped out as a hero, always waiting for the moment he returned safely back. She held her breath during the fight and winced every time she heard him grunt in pain. Thankfully, the two perps seemed to be on the weak side and Oliver had them subdued in no time.

"Felicity? Call the police. They'll be waiting at the corner."

She had to smile at his term of "waiting", as if the two armed robbers were standing there to catch the bus, not actually bound and gagged with no means of escape.

"Got it. And e-mailing SCPD the convenience store footage too. Good work," she told him, imagining his humble smile at her praise. "Now, get back to Thea before she discovers your bathroom break took this long."

"Is there another robbery in progress you need me on? Please?" he begged, so unlike the superhero attire she knew he had on.

"Nope, sorry, Green Arrow. Just think of it this way - this is the last time you'll have to help her all year!"

"Felicity," Oliver said in exasperation at her lame joke, but she heard the huff of laughter he couldn't contain; so she smiled too. Mission accomplished.

"Sorry, I can't resist lame New Year's jokes. I'll see you before the new year, Oliver, be safe."

December 31st, 1:56 PM

She heard the incoming video chat alert and ran to press accept, waiting impatiently for the video to load. Of course, she had the fastest Internet on the block so it didn't take very long before Barry grinned at her from her computer screen.

"Felicity, hi!"

"Hey, Barry," she said, grinning back with ease. "How are you? How'd it go with stopping the-"

"Great," he rushed to tell her, hands flying around him as he hurried to elaborate. "I managed to stop the kidnapping in time. Thank you so much for sending that code to go through all those data transfers. It would have taken me all week. More than a week! A month! Best Christmas present ever."

She grinned at the praise. That's right, Felicity Smoak had helping out not one, but two vigilantes on her resume. Well, if that was actually something you could put on your resume without revealing secret identities and breaking the whole secrecy code.

"I'm glad I could help. Awesome job."

"How are you? How's Oliver and Mr. Diggle?" Barry questioned politely. "Do you have any big New Year's plans?"

"They're good. And, yes, as a matter of fact I do," she informed him. "Verdant is having this big New Year's party so I'm meeting Oliver and Thea there."

"Oh, right." Barry nodded. "I heard about that even here in Central City. Felicity Smoak, ringing in the new year with the rich and famous."

"Oh, stop." She waved away his words and shook her head in denial. "I hardly qualify as rich or famous. But Thea is making Oliver be there so I figured I'd keep him company."

"Did you now?" he questioned in amusement, his ever friendly smile letting Felicity know that he's happy for her and Oliver's new relationship just as he was when she first stuttered and informed him of the news. "I'm sure this was one mission you didn't mind volunteering for."

"Well, Digg wouldn't fit in my dress," she quipped back. "What about you? Any plans?"

"Well, Iris and I are going to the movies. It's a New Year's tradition."

He smiled at the mention of plans with the other woman, and Felicity tried not to ache with the pain of unrequited love written all over his face. It's an ache she was once very familiar with; she would wake up with it every day, and fall asleep with the wound tingling in pain. It always hurt the most when her day was filled with more hours of exposure to Oliver. But not anymore. Now she woke up in Oliver's arms more often than not, and that scar of unspoken love slowly seemed to heal day by day. She only hoped the same for Barry one day.

Not that she wanted him to wake up in Oliver's arms! That'd be weird. Well, not weird, that's fine if that's what they wanted. But she knew Oliver wanted her and her alone, thank you very much. Barry and Iris. Barry and Iris waking up each other's arms. That's who she meant.

"Ooh, the new Iron Man movie, right?" she asked in excitement.

"Of course. How could you think anything else?" he answered with a grin. "It's going to be awesome! The special effects seem to have been multiplied by a dozen since the last film but we'll see how the actual storytelling goes."

"Let me know how you like it. Well, of course you'll like it, it's Tony Stark."

Barry laughed. "Hey, you have your own billionaire hero, leave Tony alone."

Felicity blushed. "Oh, shut up. Like I'd ever interfere with Pepperony, I love them too much." She eyed Barry with fondness for a second, the bright eyes and the young boyish face, another young man taking on a mantle of responsibility for the greater good. "Be careful, okay? I know you can move super, super fast now, but it's dangerous out there on the streets. Anything could happen in a second and, I just- just be careful," she finished lamely, her hands wringing unconsciously in worry. "Please."

Barry nodded in seriousness at the advice. "I will, Felicity. Thanks."

She nodded at his words and tried to ease the pressure off her chest. Last thing she needed in her already busy life was to worry about two superheroes. "I have to finish doing some research for Team Arrow before tonight, Barry, sorry. But enjoy the movie!"

"Bye, Felicity," he responded with a grin, "talk to you next year."

"Talk to you next year," she echoed with a laugh.

December 31st, 4:33 PM

"Where is he, Felicity?"

"Um, hello to you too," Felicity responded with humor as she answered Thea's call. She had been working to trace the trail of nearly a million dollars through offshore bank accounts and had been too engrossed to even glance at the caller ID. But she would recognize the annoyance resonating in Thea Queen's voice anywhere, anytime, especially when it's directed at Oliver Queen. "How may I help you, Ms. Queen?"

"My brother! You two didn't sneak off for a quickie or something, did you? 'Cause ew," she declared, the disgust evident in her voice, even if she adored her brother's girlfriend.

"No, we didn't!" Felicity made the denial immediately while she simultaneously felt a blush rush to her cheeks. "What are you talking about? I'm at home."

"And he's not there with you?"

"No! Thea-"

"Because he said he needed another bathroom break, and I swear, unless he's hiding a bladder infection or food poisoning or something-"

"Ew, no, no bladder infection," Felicity assured her with a shudder. She decided to investigate and quickly switched to the security camera feed that Oliver had installed outside the lair door, one only Team Arrow could access after entering the correct passwords in the program Felicity designed. Sure enough, after she viewed the footage, she saw Oliver decked out in Arrow gear and heading somewhere in a hurry. Probably another robbery in the works. Copycat teams had been striking all over the city this month. Copycats were the worst.

"I, you know, I- he- I sent him on an errand for me," Felicity blurted out quickly, fumbling for words to soothe Thea's growing impatience. "Sorry. My fault."

"Oh." That seemed to halt Thea's anger, but also ignited her curiosity. "What'd you need?"

"Oh, just, you know... stuff. Sorry, it was my fault. An emergency," she emphasized with urgency to cover for her boyfriend-the-vigilante.

Thea was silent a long moment before she spoke; when she did, Felicity could imagine the grin on her face. "Well, I never thought I'd see the day. My brother going on a tampon run for his girlfriend. Will wonders ever cease?"

"What? No, that's not, no-" Felicity stammered in a hurry, her eyes widening at Thea's assumption. "I didn't-"

"It's okay, Felicity, we're friends, I won't make fun of him... too much." Her giggle was pure evil, mixed with equal parts affection and humor. "Okay, fine, I'll go easy on him. But he better be back within half an hour. He can't be that confused in the tampon aisle. I need him to look over all the budget stuff because I refuse to do it myself New Year's Day while he's hiding out at your apartment."

"Yeah, sure, I'm sure he'll be back- I- he-"

"Bye, Felicity."

December 31st, 6:59 PM

"Coming!" Felicity rushed to answer the door as soon as she heard the knock, and ushered Digg in with a smile. "Two more minutes, I need to pick shoes."

"Felicity," Diggle said with a sigh, "what have I told you about answering the door without looking to see who's on the other side?"

"I knew it was you," she argued back.

"Oh, yeah? And how'd you know that? Your x-ray vision? Got some superpowers of your own we don't know about?" The humor was laced in his words even as he fondly chastised her.

"Ha, ha. Alas, nothing like that. I knew it would be you because Oliver said seven, and unlike Oliver, you're never late. Now, help me pick which heels." She held out a shoebox with a pair of black peep-toe wedges, and another one containing a pair of green stilettos. "Pick."

Diggle groaned even as he dutifully examined the options. "You always do this. I don't get paid enough for this."

"Well, you always pick the best choice, so it's your fault. Pick." She shook the boxes for emphasis. "Pick, pick, hurry, we're gonna be late. Hurry, Digg, pick!"

He eyed her outfit first. Her hair's loose and curled, a twisted braid trailing down the right side in a bohemian look. Smoky make-up and coral lips, black stone stud earrings and a matching necklace as jewelry for the night. And her dress? Well, it's green, of course, leaving her shoulders bare with thin spaghetti straps holding it up, a trim of lace outlining the bodice and hem which ended mid-thigh.

"What is it with you and green lately?" Diggle wondered out loud as he noticed her green toenails, a grin on his face as he teased her like an older brother would.

"I, just," Felicity began as she blushed through a response, "you know, go Team Arrow!" She fist pumped before she could stop herself. "Shut up."

"Uh-huh. More like Team Oliver, I'd wager." But he continued to ponder over her fashion dilemma before pointing at the black wedges. "I'd say those just because we have," he eyed his watch before continuing, "another five hours until midnight, and do you really wanna be weaving through the crowd at Verdant in those skinny heels?"

"Great tactical decision, my friend," Felicity told him as she slipped on the shoes and grabbed her wrap from the couch. "That was my choice too."

He rolled his eyes as he escorted her out of her apartment, waiting to watch her lock the door and double check the lock. Then he triple checked it himself to be sure. "Then why didn't you just choose them yourself?"

"Because I love seeing that look on your face when you're forced to make a decision with the clock winding down and I put the pressure on."

"Iraq was nothing compared to you, Felicity," he told her with a grin as he helped her get settled in the town car. She laughed as she took her seat, buckling her seatbelt and turning to face the front so she can talk to him the entire way there.

When they arrived at the club, Diggle was already opening the door for her before she could reach for it. "I got it, Dig, but thanks." She fixed the hem of her dress where it had risen, and wiggled her toes in her heels to get used to the new shoes before she officially stepped into the hottest club on this side of town. (Well, both sides of town was what Thea would say.)

"Oh, no, ma'am, it'd be worth more than my job to have you open your own doors. What would Mr. Queen say?" Diggle shook his head as if imagining the horror, putting on his Black Driver persona now that they're in the public domain.

"Shut up," Felicity laughed. "You don't have to walk me in. Go home, have a wonderful night with Carly."

"Will do. Be careful, don't lose your soul in there." Diggle eyed the building dramatically as if it was the evil White Witch's castle in Narnia.

Felicity laughed at the advice and grabbed his shoulder, reaching up on her tiptoes to kiss his cheek. "Good night, Digg, see you next year."

He grinned and gave her a salute. "See you next year, Felicity. Happy New Year. Tell the boss I said the same."

December 31st, 7:50 PM

"Why, Felicity Smoak, don't you look smokin'."

She turned at the compliment, the voice hard to place over the hum of music. She had settled in a corner booth with a bag of pretzels and a game of Candy Crush on her phone for company. But she should have recognized that it would be the one and only Thea Queen who would deliver a compliment like that.

Felicity rolled her eyes even as she greeted the woman with a smile, standing to join her against the back wall and watch the action on the dance floor. "Real creative. I've never heard that one before."

"Sorry, I'll get better material next year. But," Thea whistled appreciatively as she eyed Felicity from top to bottom, "you look amazing! Girl, you've got a great butt."

"Stop," Felicity ordered while blushing at the compliment. "But thank you." Despite her initial nervousness at hanging out with the younger Queen, Thea was kindhearted and always made her feel like she looked a thousand bucks even if her outfits were based on a budget and nowhere near that price range. Thea's dress was obviously designer and easily worth a month of Felicity's salary, but Thea fingered the fabric of Felicity's dress and sincerely approved of her taste. "You look stunning too, of course."

"Of course," Thea echoed with a grin. "I love the green lace."

"You don't think it's too much?" Felicity asked nervously knowing the dress showed more of her cleavage than usual even if it was covered with a layer of seductive lace.

"You mean too little?" Thea winked and shook her head. "Nope. He's gonna love it. Speaking of... there he is. Watch the madness."

Felicity turned to look where Thea gestured, smiling automatically at the sight of Oliver making his way down the office from upstairs. Customers weren't allowed on the top floor suite of offices, the area roped off with a bouncer standing by, but girls planted themselves along the stairs all night long just for a glimpse of him. Sure enough, as he began to descend the stairs, Felicity could almost feel all the estrogen in the room direct his way (and maybe some testosterone too).

He was dressed in a charcoal dress shirt paired with a black blazer and black pants, the dark colors only making his blue eyes stand out more brightly and teasing at the hint of his broad chest where he'd left a top button undone. His brow was furrowed as if lost in thought, but he looked up to find a roomful of eyes on him, the majority of them undressing him with their feminine gazes.

Felicity watched as his reserved club owner smile fell in place as he made his way down the stairs, signing an autograph or two and stopping for pictures which would surely hit Twitter and Instagram in a matter of seconds. (Felicity estimated at least 200 retweets within the hour.) He stiffened when he felt hands reaching for him when some particularly brave women would rush right into his personal space. He stepped back and nodded politely, answered the invitations to dance with a kind brush off as he attempted to make his way through the crowd. His gaze roamed the sea of mini dresses and alcoholic drinks to land on Felicity and Thea, his eyes lighting up as the corner of his mouth curved into a smile at spotting his favorite girls.

"Aw, he found you." Thea gave Felicity one last look from head to toe as Oliver made his way across the room to them. "Never thought you'd dare wear anything that short while on your period. You go, girl."

"I- I'm not-"

"Felicity, hey." Oliver finally arrived at her side, his hand reaching for hers. He squeezed her fingers and she squeezed back, a silent language of their own that no one could decipher. One squeeze meant you're here, I'm glad you're here; two squeezes meant I wouldn't be anywhere else. "You're here."

"I'm here." She looked up just as he dropped a kiss to her temple, keeping his face there a moment longer as if to inhale her in. "Hi."

"Thea," Oliver greeted formally in a mocking tone. "I see your party guests have arrived."

"Yes, including your fan club over there." Thea pointed across the room and they all turned to look. There were cameras pointed their way and girls whispered as they stared at them, their eyes giving Felicity a vicious appraisal from the top of her blonde hair to her green painted toenails. Thea glared at the girls on her behalf. "You should give them a hair sample or something since you're not giving out sperm samples anymore, Ollie."

"Thea!" Felicity admonished even as she laughed. The other woman only shrugged innocently, a wicked gleam in her eye as she grinned at Felicity in solidarity.

"Aren't you here with Roy? Shouldn't you go find him?" Oliver asked, making it clear he wanted her to skedaddle.

Being a younger sister all her life, Thea understood the meaning behind the tone and scoffed at the dismissal. "Yeah, yeah, go make out in a dark corner somewhere, catch you later." Just as she turned toward the bar, she stepped back to rest a hand on Oliver's arm. "Hey. That was really sweet, what you did for Felicity this afternoon. I'm very proud of the man you're becoming." Her tone was mocking and full of amusement, yet teasing and affectionate and adoring all at the same time in the way only a sister could sound. "I'll remind you of this the next time I need supplies."

"I... uh... thank you?" Oliver caught Felicity's guilty gaze and hoped he answered correctly, even if he had no idea what she's talking about. "You do that." When Thea's lost in the crowd, he began his questioning. "What was that all about?"

"Later," she told him with a smile. "The place looks great. And you look very nice." She reached out to fix his collar, though it didn't need fixing at all. She didn't need an excuse to touch him anymore, but sometimes it still felt too good to be true, knowing she could reach out and touch him in the middle of a crowded room without over analyzing the move. "Very handsome."

He smiled at her slowly, his eyes raking over her dress, the color and the cut, the shoulders left bare for all the crowd to see. She expected the contact but she still shivered when she felt his fingers reach out to brush against her shoulders, rubbing a slow circle that made her melt. "You look amazing. I like that dress."

"This old thing? Thank you, I-"

"I like the color," he emphasized, his eyes darkening with arousal as he took a step closer to push her firmly into the wall behind them. The contrast of the coolness against her bare skin compared to the heat in Oliver's eyes left her breathless. She licked her lips and watched his eyes dart down to follow the action.

"Thank you." She reached up to wrap her arms around his neck, and pulled him close to rest her head against his shoulder, dropping a kiss on his cheek. "Did you stop another robbery this afternoon?"

Oliver stilled at the question regarding Arrow business in the club setting, but nodded imperceptibly. "Not a robbery since we caught them this morning. Some other idiots were trying to kidnap the mayor's daughter outside her elementary school."

Felicity shivered at the news bulletin. "Is she okay? Are you okay?"

Oliver's hand around her waist tightened at her second question, as if her caring about his well being was a gift he never tired of. "She's fine. We'll have to look into the case later, find out if someone close to him just got a big payday. And I'm fine. But you can look me over tonight for injuries."

Felicity nodded even as his words caused a fission of arousal to burst in her veins; his eyes darkened even further at her being so agreeable to his offer. But of course she was. She had been checking him over for bumps and bruises long before they were officially together, and she wasn't going to stop now. "Thea made it clear you're on club duty tonight."

Oliver grimaced. "I know." Felicity wished she almost hadn't spoken because it felt like she'd jinxed the moment as his phone buzzed, rudely interrupting their quiet moment . He swore as he read the text. "They need me up front. I'm sorry."

"Don't be." She shook her head at the apology, reaching up to fix his blazer simply because she didn't want to let him go just yet. "Go, it's fine."

"I have a surprise for you." He dragged her by the hand to the steps in the corner, allowing them the perfect view to look out at the dining section of the first floor. "Table 17."

She stared at where he pointed, then turned back to him when she recognized her co-workers from the IT Department seated at the VIP table, chatting over drinks with their tablets out in front of them. "You invited them?"

He smiled at her surprise and shrugged. "I didn't want you to be bored. And you didn't eat, did you?" She shook her head and he mimicked the movement in fond amusement. "I knew it. Order whatever you all want. Stefan's cooking tonight."

Her eyes lit up at the knowledge that her favorite Verdant cook was behind the scenes in the kitchen. "Yummy."


She leaned forward as if to reach for him, then glanced over his shoulder at the eyes looking their way, the cameras ready to snap an unflattering picture at any moment. This wasn't the private VIP section she usually hung out at with Thea and Roy, and the last thing she wanted was someone to send a picture to TMZ. That is not how she wanted her first New Year's Eve with Oliver chronicled for all the Internet to see.

"I really want to kiss you right now, but..."

This time, Oliver was the one who bit his lip, his jaw clenching against the wave of desire coursing through him. Felicity recognized that tic in his muscle immediately, and knew he was fighting to keep control even if he couldn't resist glancing at her lips one more time. "I know. I'm sorry." His fingers tightened around hers in apology for the baggage that came with dating Oliver Queen.

But she simply smiled at him softly in reassurance. "Thank you, Oliver. Tell Stefan I said hi."

"I will. Eat, drink, be merry."

"I think that's for Christmas, not New Year's," she said with a laugh.

He heard the sound of her laughter echoing in the air distinctly over the music, bright and pure, hovering like a song he wished he could carry in his pocket and listen to all night long instead of whatever this god forsaken music was that the band was playing.

"I'm going to have Paul go with you-"

"Oliver," she interrupted with a groan at the thought of a security guard following her every move over the course of the night. Yes, every move, because they even stood guard outside the bathroom until she exited safely. Talk about embarrassing. "That is not necessary."


"Oliver, please. I promise I'll be right here. I'll text you every hour with my location. Every half hour," she amended at his look, and he finally nodded in appeasement before guiding her down the stairs to the VIP table in the dining area. "Hey, Oliver? Find me before midnight."

He nodded, eyes twinkling as he smiled at her in the crowded room. "Of course," he vowed as his hand brushed over her bare shoulder one last time before he helped her into her seat.

December 31st, 8:37 PM

Did you eat?

Yes. Stefan's tortellini was sooo good and the cheesecake? OMG

Omg is good right?

This time, yes. Did you eat?

Oliver, I take it that's a no.


You know you can't lie to me. :) Tell Stefan I told him to make you some of the lasagna, two servings. You'll love it.

Yes ma'am

Don't call me ma'am. And if you don't eat, I won't kiss you at midnight.

I'm on my way to the kitchen now

Good billionaire.

Meet you at the bar in 20?

Yes, Mr. Queen.

December 31st, 9:13 PM

He's late, but she knew that was to be expected. So she ordered her drink and pulled out her phone, conquering another level in Candy Crush and only containing her fist bump when she remembered where she was. Last thing she needed was a gif of that floating on tumblr.

"Oh, wow, you're really up there. I haven't gotten to that level yet."

She jumped at the comment, and narrowed her eyes at the stranger who took a seat next to her at the crowded bar. A very good-looking stranger, yes, but looking at other people's phone screens? Rude.

"Sorry." He raised his hands in apology as he was met with the force of her powerful glare. "I swear I wasn't looking. Your brightness just looks really high considering the lighting in this place."

Felicity looked down at her screen and realized he's right before she adjusted the setting. "Yeah, well, that's true."

He chuckled at her quick forgiveness and nodded at her phone. "What do you think of the new upgrade?" Not exactly the kind of random question you'd expect from a guy at a bar, especially not at a party like this. She looked puzzled at his question so he elaborated. "Just curious. I work in IT at Wayne Enterprises."

Felicity's mouth dropped at the news and she leaned forward in excitement. "Oh my god, do you really? I've never met anyone who actually works there. You're like a myth or something!"

He grinned charmingly at her comment, his eyes brightening with interest as he looked at Felicity, gaze lingering on her long legs. "No, we do exist. Overworked and overtired, but we exist."

"Tell me about it," Felicity muttered. She ignored the man's curious stare and questioned him further about his research instead of giving any detail about where she worked.

Fifteen minutes into their discussion about the latest upgrade feature flaws and possible designs to make them better, Felicity felt goosebumps on her skin as a sense of awareness traveled down her spine. Oliver was in the vicinity. She looked behind her and saw him making his way through another crowd of girls, looking much more uncomfortable at the attention than any playboy should. He'd be kicked out of the club for sure, she thought in amusement. No one seemed to realize how effortlessly he managed his different identities throughout the day. Well, Thea slowly was, but she ascribed the change to his budding new relationship with Felicity rather than realizing her old brother's transformation into a good man happened many years ago, on an island far, far away, long before he physically returned home.

"What an ass, huh?"

Yes, indeed, Felicity said to herself with a sigh as her thoughts flashed to this morning when Oliver stepped out of her shower and wrapped a towel around his waist. Then she frowned, noticing the other man's tone was not at all appreciative in the same way Felicity's thoughts were; instead, he sounded condescending and bitter. "I mean, what?"

"Oliver Queen. Five years on an island and they think that counts as an actual business degree," the man scoffed as he tossed back another shot. "Anyway, wanna dance?"


"Sorry I'm late," Oliver apologized as he approached her. "One of the bouncers had a situation and- who's this?" He frowned at Felicity's companion, not liking the way the man's chair was so close to hers or the way he was leaning towards her as if the two were having a very private conversation.

"No one," Felicity answered, rising from her stool and grabbing his hand. "Let's dance." She turned back to the man at the bar and ignored his flabbergasted stare, not giving him the introduction he was itching for. "Sorry you had to work Christmas Eve, buddy. At QC, the boss was generous enough to give us the holidays off. And QC's profit dividends rose 1.6% in the month of December alone compared to what, Wayne Enterprise's 0.8%. No business degree necessary. Happy New Year!"

"Did you just call him buddy?" Oliver asked in amusement as he let her drag him to the VIP dance floor where cameras weren't allowed. "Who was that?"

"I told you, no one," she answered when she turned to face Oliver, her body swinging to the music easily as his hands drifted down to hold her waist. "He was just... he was saying mean things about you."

Oliver's lips quirked up in amusement. "So you defended my honor?"

"Damn right I did."

"My hero," is all he said before claiming her lips with his.

December 31st, 10:43 PM

She was still laughing over Roy's re-telling of Thea fighting over handbags at a department store sale when Oliver returned to her side with another drink. She smiled at him in thanks, moving further down the booth to allow him room to slide in next to her. His hand slid automatically around her, resting at the nape of her neck to play with her hair. His fingertips were warm and she shivered at the jolt of pleasure, unconsciously tilting her head back to allow him further access.

"I mean, she was vicious," Roy said. "You should have seen her face. It was like eat or be eaten."

"Shut up!" Thea shoved her boyfriend playfully at the comment, but even she grinned along at the animated recap. "You're being dramatic."

"No, I'm not. You meant business," he told her with a fond smile before turning back to Felicity. "I told her all I need to teach her self-defense is toss her in a store and tell her she'll only get the Prada handbag if she gets everyone else down first."

"Please," Thea huffed as she rolled her eyes, "like I'd be caught dead with a Prada handbag this year after their lackluster spring show."

"We all have our weaknesses," Felicity told them. "You should see me when QC gets their new tech catalog. I drove Oliver crazy with the budget this year to make sure every department got a new toy, didn't I, Oliver?" She turned her head to look at her boyfriend, only to find him already looking her way. Her breath quickened and she tried not to lick her lips; by the way his eyes darkened with a flare of lust, she knew she failed. She wasn't doing it on purpose! She just couldn't help herself when it came to this man and thinking of kissing.

"Did she drive you crazy with the budget, Ollie? Hey, Ollie?" Thea snapped her fingers to get her brother's attention.

"Hmm?" Oliver's fingers stopped their movement along the back of Felicity's neck. He shook his head slightly as if to get rid of his impure thoughts before facing his younger sister. "Sorry, what were we talking about?"

Roy chuckled. "Whipped," he said under his breath in a fake cough, smiling innocently when Oliver scowled at him from across the booth.

Thea, on the other hand, had no reason to be discreet with her comments. "Ugh, Ollie, you weren't even listening, you were staring at Felicity the whole time. Gross. I mean, not that I think you're gross," she said to Felicity quickly to explain. "You look super hot tonight."

"Yeah, you do," Roy added, only to smirk when receiving another Arrow-like glare from Oliver.

"I hope we weren't this lovesick and obvious during our younger days, Roy." Thea shook her head in mock disappointment at her brother. "How the mighty fall." She checked her wristwatch and met Roy's eyes to silently gesture toward the front of the club. "Okay, we have to go check on the bar again. Bye! Try not to have such sizzling eye sex that you melt the place down."

Oliver watched them leave to make sure Thea was safe entering the crowd of party-goers. With Roy at her side and protecting her every step along the way, he saw her reach the bar unharmed. Only then did he turn back to Felicity. "Sorry, what were we talking about?"

"Forget it," she told him with a grin.

December 31st, 11:49 PM

"Barely ten minutes left until midnight! Hurry, hurry!" Thea grinned into the crowd from onstage and watched as the guests worked their way up the spiral staircase to the roof of Verdant. "Single file, nice and orderly, we don't need anyone breaking their ankle, or worse, breaking a heel on those stairs. So grab somebody to kiss at midnight and head upstairs for the fireworks show."

Felicity shifted back as the buzzing crowd pulsed forward towards the direction of the stairs. She brushed into Oliver, grabbing at his sleeve so she wouldn't be separated from him in the madness. She smelled the mix of cologne and body spray as people rushed by her, and tried not to shudder in fear at the feel of the crowd pushing to get to the roof before midnight. John was so right about his choice in footwear, Felicity thought to herself as she turned to look for Oliver. He was right next to her, his body shielding her from the crowd as best as he could.

"Nice and orderly, people!" Thea repeated over the crowd. "There's room up there for everyone. Eight minutes left!"


"Felicity, hold on to me tight."

"Seven minutes! Hurry, hurry!"

He grabbed her hand, fingers entwining as he pulled her in the opposite direction of the crowd. It was easy for him to avoid Thea's eye as she was too busy encouraging the crowd to head upstairs in between giggling with Roy by the microphone over the success of her New Year's bash. He headed toward the back hallway, around the service elevator and down the stairs to the lair, breathing in relief when they were away from the energy of the dance floor. After the island, it felt like he can't couldn't stand to be lost in open spaces, or lost in a crowd; he'd much rather be with Felicity than anywhere else.

"Oh, thank goodness," she said from behind him as she followed him down the stairs to their private Team Arrow clubhouse. "I'd much rather go down than up anyway."

Oliver nearly stumbled at the words, his mind going into overdrive at the innuendo. She bumped into him, grabbing his shoulders for balance and thankful that she wasn't one of those unlucky people to twist an ankle like Thea was talking about. That would be a crappy way to bring in the new year.

"Oliver, what are you-" She caught the look on his face and paused to think over her words. "What did I say now? Oh! I didn't- I meant- 'cause I don't like heights! I meant because I don't like heights!"

He merely smirked at her reddening face, knowing without a doubt that she's thinking of the same memories that flashed through his mind. Without saying a word, he continued down the stairs, flicked on a light, and watched Felicity hurry to her computer chair.

"Ah, home away from home," she sighed as she twirled in her chair, hair flying all around her as she spun, eyes closed in complete content. He marveled at how she looked so at peace, how she felt completely safe in that chair knowing Oliver was there with her. Her loyalty and faith in him humbled him; it took his breath away every time. He cleared his throat of emotion and she opened her eyes at the sound, smiling at him softly before looking to the clock on the back wall. "Five minutes left."

He took a step toward her, so close that their noses brushed, so close that he could feel the inhale of her breath as her eyes widened. He scooped her up, fingers caressing the back of her knees as he fixed the hem of her dress before he took a seat in the chair with her in his lap. She sighed in delight, wriggling into a more comfortable position in his lap. Her arms wrapped around his neck as she met his gaze with a grin.

"Four minutes now," he told her since he could now see the clock clearly.

"You did a great job with the party."

He shrugged at the praise. "It was all Thea."

She rolled her eyes at the dismissal. "Right, that's why you've been here all day working your ass off. You did a great job, Oliver. It'll be great press for the club, and the Children's Hospital will be so happy with the proceeds."

He nodded at her words as he took in every detail in front of him - the glitter of her eye shadow, the blush on her cheeks, the blue of her eyes, the blonde of her hair, the way her lips curved into a smile every time she looked his way. Despite the media frenzy of the night, the press and his fan club always around the corner, she still looked at him with a smile as if she couldn't imagine being anywhere by here with him on New Year's Eve.

"Why'd you bring me down here?"

"I don't know... I guess we're both more comfortable down here than upstairs." She chuckled because it was the truth and he enjoyed the melody of the sound, the feel of the curves of her chest rising and falling against his torso. "Three minutes."

"Okay." She whispered the word even though they are the only ones in the room. But the mood seemed like that; they're all alone down here in their secret place, a secret world that they're a part of, a world they understood with each other even after they stepped outside the walls of Verdant. They left the foundry for home at night, but their home had become each other.

"Besides, this is where we fell in love, I think."

Her eyes widened at the admission, and her fingers tightened on his broad shoulder. "I... I think it was while you were doing the salmon ladder."

Oliver laughed in delight, not wanting to take his eyes off her for a second to glance at the clock again. But he did because for once, tonight was a night where time mattered in the foundry - because the ticking of the clock mattered everywhere around the world as people rushed to toss out the old, and ring in the new. Other nights, time at Team Arrow headquarters was inconsequential; the hours were lost in background searches and self-defense lessons, in take-out runs and exercise sessions, in catching a short nap and grabbing a quick shower while the world continued to exist outside of their crusade.

But not tonight. Tonight, the clock mattered.

"Happy New Year, Felicity," Oliver said.

"Happy New Year." She smiled back at him, closing the distance between them so her lips were on his and there was not an inch of space separating them.

There was still a minute left before midnight but Oliver didn't mind.

January 1st, 12:32 AM

"Felicity! Come dance with me." Thea grabbed her before she could answer, pulling her onto the dance floor and pushing a drink into her hand. Felicity downed the shot, wincing at the sting of alcohol. Definitely different than the red wine she was used to, but not necessarily a bad different. It's one she had gotten used to after spending so much time with Thea Queen over the last few months.

"That's good."

"Of course it is, I invented it," Thea yelled over the loud music. Then she threw her arms around Felicity, wrapping the woman in a fierce hug all while bouncing with excitement in tune to the music. "Happy New Year!"

"Happy New Year, Thea," Felicity replied with a grin. "Great party."

"I know! And if I did the math right, we have almost eight thousand dollars going to the hospital!"

"So, that's why you charged an arm and a leg at the door." Felicity nodded in understanding.

"Duh. I aced my business classes for a reason, baby! And, don't tell Oliver I told you," Thea leaned in closer to whisper in Felicity's ear, "but I saw he snuck a personal check of his own in too." Then she suddenly glared over Felicity's shoulder, and pulled her further into the crowd. "Ew, some guy was drooling over your ass, let's move further up."

"Oh, I-"

"I told you have a great butt, Felicity."

January 1st, 2:12 AM

"And you locked the safe?" Oliver asked his sister for the fifth time after he watched her put money away in the club's office. "Did you lock it?"

"Oh my god, Ollie, I locked it! Chill." Thea growled at him in exasperation. "You act like this is my first day on the job or something-"

"No, I don't. I'm just asking-"

"Hey, hey, no fighting, keep it civil!" Felicity commanded from the couch. She meant to sound authoritative and firm like she usually did when interrupting the Queen siblings' banter, but the order came out meek since she's almost half asleep on this very comfortable couch. Only the best that money can buy for the Queens. Unlike her lumpy couch. Maybe she should get a new couch. Splurge on herself next payday. On a couch. Who buys a couch as a New Year's present to themselves anyway? It's so lame, but proper curvature for the back is important and considering how much time she spent-

"Felicity, you tired?" Oliver's voice was laced with amusement as he nudged her shoulder gently, watching her struggle to process his simple question.

"Noooo, I'm fine."

He let out a short laugh and even Thea giggled from where she was arranging bills in a briefcase to take to the Queen mansion for safekeeping overnight. "Aw, Felicity, it's past your bedtime."

"I don't have a bedtime," Felicity murmured. If only Thea knew how many all-nighters she's pulled for Team Arrow when it came to breaking into encrypted hard drives and tracing offshore accounts and hacking into federal databases. "Oliver, I'm sleepy," she whined to him and him alone, nodding drowsily into his chest as he dropped a kiss on her cheek.

"Okay, come on, let's go. Good night, Speedy, Happy New Year. Text me when you get home." Oliver stopped to kiss his sister on the cheek, holding her tight for a minute, so thankful for another year of her in his life. "Say goodnight to that kid you hang out with, Roy whoever."

Thea grinned. "Will do, Ollie."

"I don't know where my wrap is," Felicity admitted as she felt his hand wrap around her waist and lead her down the back stairs. The next thing she felt was a weight on her shoulders, something feeling like silk and smelling like leather and the cologne Oliver used, the one that she couldn't get enough of and loved to search for in the hollow of his throat. She smiled at him in thanks for the blazer, although lamenting at the loss of his hand touching her bare shoulder as he guided her to the back parking lot where the car was waiting.

"Come on, get in." He ushered her into the car, nodding at the driver to return to the front.

Felicity settled into the seat, shivering at the feel of her bare legs against the leather. Only an overhead light was on, the compartment dark, but suddenly she felt wide awake. The early morning air had been cold against her bare legs, startling her awake; now, all traces of sleep disappeared as she met Oliver's eyes. "Hi."

"Hi." Oliver ran a hand through her hair, and she scowled at the mess it must be. But he gazed at her as if she looked as beautiful as she did when she first entered the club, so she resisted the temptation to run her hands through her hair and fix the rat's nest it must look like. "Thought you were tired."

"I'm not anymore. Who's driving?"

"Not Diggle."

She chuckled. "Yes, that much I figured. Diggle is much cuter." Oliver began to scowl, and she leaned closer into him, her side pressed against his as she brushed her lips against his. He quickly forgot any comment about Diggle's attractiveness and kissed her back, his mouth passionate as his hands wrapped around her back to pull her closer. She surprised him by straddling his lap, grinning wickedly at his shocked expression and the way his hands tightened at her waist in anticipation. "I've been very clear about my no friskiness in the limo rule when Diggle is driving."

"Yes, you have." He nodded in agreement, knowing the rule she was very strict about any time he tried to get handsy in the limo. She'd tell him to keep his charm contained until they reached her apartment because she was not doing anything in the backseat that meant she couldn't look Diggle in the eye the next morning. At the mention of her rule, he sat absolutely still, following orders and watching to see what she'd do next.

Felicity bent to drop a kiss at the curve of his jaw, watching the movement of his throat as he swallowed; she kissed him there too. Her hands ran up and down his chest, and she could imagine the muscles underneath his dress shirt clearly. She has had the map of his chest memorized long before she'd care to admit. Being able to finally touch the planes of his muscles and the ink of his tattoos was merely a final exam to test her memory on a subject she'd spent years studying in the lair.

She hadn't been completely lying about falling in love at the salmon ladder. At least, a definite physical part of her had.

Her hand dropped to his belt, and she felt him shudder at the contact, his body so tense she could bounce a quarter off of it. Her fingers trailed underneath the waistband of his pants and she heard him curse under his breath. She held back a laugh as she bent to nip at his throat, her lips moving up the underside of his jaw, stopping to tug at his earlobe.

"Felicity..." He groaned loudly, the sound reminding her more of the Arrow than Oliver Queen. But it was all Oliver, her Oliver.

"Diggle's not driving," she whispered in his ear.

Then she proceeded to make good on her going down comment.

January 1st, 8:18 AM

Oliver reached for Felicity in bed only to find her bare leg instead. He opened his eyes to see her sitting up against the headboard, tablet in hand, brows furrowed as she stared at something intently.

"Felicity, what are you doing up?"

She jumped at the noise, but quickly grabbed her tablet before it could fall out of her grip. "Oliver! I found it. The trail of money about the mayor's kidnapping, well, the attempted kidnapping of his daughter."


"Yes, I know, day off, but I found it!"

"Good work." He couldn't resist her excitement when she became exhilarated when searching for truth and justice. It's a peaceful adrenaline rush brought on by the search for peace, she explained to him once. "Did you fist pump yet?"

She blushed and stuck her tongue out at him. "Shut up. I had to resist because someone was sleeping like a log. You'd think you owned a nightclub or something, jeez."

He reached out a hand and grabbed her leg, grinning as she shrieked at the contact when he yanked to pull her back under the blanket. She landed flat on her back and glared at him for the sneaky move, but he only smirked at her. "You woke me up. You have to make the coffee."

"Never." This morning, she had managed to sneak out of bed to brush her teeth first, so she leaned in to kiss him good morning without pause. Her lips brushing against his softly as her hand ran through his scruff. He wrapped an arm around her and pulled her close and she settled comfortably against his bare chest, dropping another kiss to the muscles she was so fond of. "You woke up on your own. That doesn't count."

"Rules are rules. I'm big on rules."

She snorted at him even as she ran her fingers through his morning beard. He tilted his head back, enjoying her lazy touch and the feel of her hair brushing across his chest. "Yeah, sure you are, you perfectly law-abiding vigilante, you." She raised an eyebrow and dared him to argue.

"I'm big on our rules," he corrected as his hand reached for the hem of her tank top. "And one of our rules is you shouldn't get dressed this early in the morning."

"We did not vote on that rule, Mr. Queen," she responded, but she raised her arms and allowed him to slide the tank top off. Her arms wrapped around his waist, legs tangling with his own as she sighed in delight at the contact of bare skin. His scruff tickled as he dropped kisses along the curve of her throat. "But I'll think about it."

He kissed her then, his lips moving so passionately against her own that she hurried to keep up with the relentless pace, until she finally just submitted and gave in; this kiss wasn't about her, it was about him reminding himself that she was here with him and this moment was their very own to live. He rested his head at the curve of her shoulder and met her eyes as he gently brushed aside a wayward strand of hair. "Felicity, we haven't had sex since last year."

She laughed loudly, her voice echoing in the quiet corners of her bedroom, but she couldn't help it. Oliver grinned proudly at the sound, and she dropped a kiss on his cheek as a reward. "Oliver Queen, did you just make a lame New Year's joke?"


"I believe you did." Felicity kissed him again, hands trailing down his back, attempting to pull him closer though there's no space left between them under the covers. "Wait here, I have to alert the press."

"Felicity." He chuckled as he flipped her over, smirking at her loss of breath before he dived in for another kiss. His hands were nimble as they flew over her body at lightning speed, touching her hands and caressing her curves, dropping kisses on her shoulder and along the line of her throat. "You still owe me coffee."

"Or we can ring in the new year with sex and you can make your own coffee," she suggested with a grin. He paused to consider the offer, and she did a fist pump of success. "Ha! Bartering and negotiating. Assessing the other party's weakness and pouncing on it for your own gain. Didn't they teach you that in business class? Thea needs to tutor you."

He growled as he moved his hands to tickle her sides, keeping his arms wrapped tightly around her even as she squirmed with laughter. "Deal."

the end ~