1: Pledging my Love
Forever my darling our love will be true
Always and forever I'll love only you
Just promise me darling your love in return
May this fire in my soul dear forever burn
“Speedy, I really couldn’t care less,” Oliver stated, shoving Thea out of the bathroom, quickly grabbing up his hair gel and pumping some onto his comb.
“Oliver, this is a big day, I need to look nice. Besides, you’re already late!” Thea exclaimed, and Oliver almost rolled his eyes, combing the gel through his hair, styling it in the direction all his friends said was the fashion now-a-days. He glanced to the clock, Thea’s statement of him being late confirmed. Crap, Laurel was gonna be pissed.
“Did you not hear me the first time? Don’t care,” Oliver repeated, moving from his hair to his clothes, smoothing out any wrinkles and adjusting his pants. “Besides, it’s not like this is the only bathroom in the house.”
Thea fake pouted and this time Oliver did roll his eyes, strolling out of the bathroom, feeling at least moderately nice looking for the day.
“I’m leaving!” Oliver hollered to his mom before grabbing the keys to his car plus his school bag and walking out to his Pontiac Chieftain Catalina Coupe, firing up the engine a few times to assure it would work before heading out onto the street. The car had been a late birthday gift, and he seemed that much cooler because of it.
Halfway to the school he pulled into Laurel’s driveway, where the girl was waiting for him to get her on the front porch of her well-sized house, her hair tightly done up in the fashion like a tightly woven birds nest atop her head, her poodle skirt flaring out around her, everything about her screaming high class modern fashion.
“You’re late,” she simply stated as she stepped into the car, closing the door a little too harshly for Oliver’s liking behind her. She seemed to have no respect for his new baby. Oliver sighed, pulling out of her driveway and heading towards the school once more, not in the mood to argue with her.
“Ya read the papers this morning?” Laurel asked, Oliver shrugging in response. He tried to avoid reading whenever he could, and he woke up so late in the morning that he only ever had time to get ready. “Well, aside from your utter ignorance to modern culture, they were hyping up the worlds trades fair, and how it’s gunna be in Starling this year. I was thinking we could go! It was in Naples, Italy last year, ya remember that?” Oliver nodded in response. Was this really what girls interested themselves in, or was it just soc girls like Laurel?
Oliver sighed to himself. Who was he to judge? Both the Queen’s and the Lance’s were two of the most rich anti-frantic families in Starling. Oliver was just so tired of being expected to go to things like the World's fair. He’d much rather be home, adjusting his car, or out on a jog of some sort. How could people care about stuff like that when just fourish years ago many people from all over Starling were drafted to go fight in Korea? People should be readying themselves for the worst, not going to some fair.
“Sounds like it could be fun,” Oliver replied with a forced amount of enthusiasm, Laurel falling for it. Finally, the two reached the school, Oliver parking the car, Laurel jumping out immediately, coming over to the other side and looping her arm through Oliver’s just after he got out of the car, looking her over once before turning away, locking the doors.
“Shall we enter the corral?” Laurel asked, and Oliver pulled his bag around the shoulder of the arm Laurel wasn’t on, walking towards the front of the school.
Just before they hit the front of the school, Oliver’s best friend, Tommy Merlyn came up on the other side of Oliver, that goofy grin of his wide along his face.
“Why if it ain’t Oliver Queen,” Tommy said in greeting, and Oliver nodded back to him. Laurel waved hi to Tommy, and the boy nodded politely back. With that, the three, most civilized, most bread owning, students at Starling high school entered the building.
“Bit of a boring day, no?” Laurel asked Oliver as she placed her lunch tray down next to his, her makeup obviously refreshed, her updo so tight Oliver almost cringed at how much it must hurt her head.
“Yeah, heard there’s a new student though,” Tommy commented on Oliver’s other side, and Oliver perked up, looking around as if they would be right there. “Naw, no big deal. She ain’t one of us,” Tommy said, Oliver trying to hide his disappointment. Since when did being ‘one of us’ depict who one could be friends with?
“Yeah, I know who you’re talking ‘bout,” Laurel jumped in, Oliver turning his head back to look at her, “she has no da, and she seems to be completely grody,” Laurel added. Oliver held back his snort at Laurel’s rude comment. Sometimes she was just so downright straightforward. It was one of the reasons Oliver could tolerate dating her.
“By the way she was dressed and the rumour going ‘round that she has no da, she’s a total oddball. Nothing interesting for us there,” Tommy cleared up and Oliver set his face to agreement. Right, social classes and all that junk.
“You okay Ollie? You seem pretty offset,” Laurel commented, an Oliver offered up a tight-lipped smile to her, hiding all his emotions behind it.
“I’m just righto,” Oliver said to Laurel, who shrugged, the answer pleasing her. “Oh, Laurel, I forgot to mention-” Oliver said, about to invite Laurel to a party his mom was forcing him into when his eyes caught on something bright blonde making its way towards the group’s usual table.
“Zorros, it’s her,” Laurel breathed out, Oliver barely registering her words.
Right off the bat, she was obviously new and not part of their crowd. Her blonde hair was down and granted lots of volume, not up in a tight nest like Laurel’s. Her threads were leather, her jacket hanging loose, tight leather pants wrapped snugly around her legs. Her eyes were an icy blue, and her lips were painted a dark colour.
She wore black leather boots with a slight heel, and walked in that way that all greasers walked in. She was the exact opposite of what the social norms were for a women of the time.
She was all Oliver was not, but was all Oliver felt he needed to learn since she was as far out as one got.
“What a complete closet case,” Laurel’s best friend, Nyssa commented, as she sat herself down next to Laurel, giving Tommy a quick wink. Oliver spared her a glance, noticing how she looked just the same as Laurel, before turning back to this new girl, just as she passed where he was sitting, their eyes meeting for a second before he was dismissed and she was ushered over to the table where all their kind were located by Ray Palmer.
“What was that you wanted to ask, Ollie?” Laurel asked, snapping Oliver out of his lust-like haze and back into the present with his friends.
“Oh, right. Well, my ma is throwing some party celebrating one of the new Machine’s my dad’s company is releasing, and I need a plus one. Tommy will be there too,” Oliver spilled out way too quickly. “Would you like to come?” Oliver asked, and Laurel looked to Nyssa, who gave her a look Oliver couldn’t read, before turning back to Oliver.
“Of course. It’ll be a blast,” Laurel said, and Oliver nodded back to her, turning down to his empty tray. He stood to go throw it out, grabbing Laurel’s as well.
Oliver moved toward the trash can, sparing the new girl another glance as he passed her table, once again struck by how stunning her face was, the slight blush on her cheeks. She seemed above those she dined with, whom Oliver had had much experience with before. The one who she sat next to, whose arm was slung ‘round her shoulder already, particularly.
His name was Ray Palmer, and he was their leader. Him and Oliver had never gotten along, since he was the King of the Slumful and Grease-folk, while Oliver ruled over the queen’s of bread and Soc-civilized peoples. Oliver had never particularly picked a fight with him, but whenever Ray wanted to settle a score, Oliver was not below a drag if necessary.
And Oliver hated how he had already pulled this girl under his beaten wing, as if they had known each other all their lives.
Oliver made his way back to his table, shaking his head. He was kidding himself. He had Laurel, and his own kingdom to rule. There was nothing more important than that. Was there?
The day had finished as much of a drag as it had begun. Oliver had driven Laurel home and then had come back to the school for his baseball practice.
Baseball, as usual, had been as interesting as a class with a moldy teacher. Oliver didn’t even like baseball, he was just forced into it, because everyone else played it so he was expected to as well. Image was everything, as his mom felt she needed to constantly remind him. It was his image that, among a few other things, was the reason he stayed with Laurel.
After practice ended, Oliver got into his car, firing it up once more, about to make his way home when he spotted that new girl sitting by herself underneath a tree near the edge of the baseball field, not even half a foot away from the bleachers. Had she been there the whole practice?
Oliver paused, finding himself in a dilemma. There was image, or there was instinct. Ignoring the image, he opened the door, getting out and making his way to where the girl was sat against the trunk, stopping when he was next to the bleachers, the girl looking down at some book in her hands.
“Hello,” He greeted as friendly as he could, the girl whipping her head up, obviously not having heard him approaching. “I’m Oliver, I heard you were new. Just wanted to welcome you,” He tried, leaning himself against the bleachers, wondering why his words weren’t flowing as charming as they normally did when he was around girls.
“I know who you are, you’re Mr. Queen,” She said, and Oliver almost snorted at how different this girl was from the ones he was normally stuck around.
“How about just Oliver?” He tried once more, and she cocked her head, continuing to sit and look up at him, her book snapping closed between her fingers.
“Alright, just Oliver, what made you choose to come talk to me?” She asked, raising an eyebrow. “Or, I guess, maybe you weren’t coming to talk to me since you were just playing baseball on that field, which you were magnificent at, by the way, but- I mean- I totally wasn’t watching- ugh-” She finally cut herself off, throwing her head into her hands, her book falling next to her, and this time, Oliver let out a short chuckle. She was, as Laurel had called her, and odd ball.
“I just thought maybe I could offer you a ride home, since you were sitting here by yourself,” Oliver said, seeing her surprised look and mirroring it in his emotions, totally shocked at how the offer had just slid out of his mouth like it was nothing. “Unless, you already have a ride home,” Oliver added, trying to save himself from sounding like a creep.
“Uhh, no, actually, I don’t have a ride home,” She said, standing up and dusting her legs off from the dirt on the ground, her tight leather pants doing beauties to her muscled legs, Oliver’s eyes drifting down her legs just as his thoughts were drifting down into the gutter.
“Would you like one, then?” Oliver asked, shaking off the familiar feeling he was starting to get, trying to assure himself he was doing this out of the goodness of his heart, not his pants.
“Well, since you asked so kindly,” She said, grabbing her small bag of things next to her, placing the book in it, and coming up next to Oliver as he began to walk towards his car with her beside him. “So, I have to ask, baseball. Is that the chosen sport of all forever, or do you think there will be a bigger one?”
Oliver raised an eyebrow. This was not what he had expected this girl to be like at all, but it was a nice surprise. “Well, baseball is really radioactive right now because of the world series and such, but nothing stays popular forever.”
“Well, I, for one, think that football will be huge one day. Don’t you?” She asked, and Oliver closed his mouth, stopping himself from letting out his immediate answer. Many of his not so friendly opponents in school like Ray Palmer were into football, and it was most of the non-bread owners, to narrow it down even further. Oliver had always wanted to play football, but, image.
“Couldn’t say. Had to actually try it,” Oliver ended up letting out, looking to her to see her nodding, actually thinking it over. They had reached his car, and Oliver opened the front door for her, before making his way over to the drivers side, getting in himself. “Now, where are we headed?” Oliver asked, looking to her, and she seemed to pause, her face looking as if she wasn’t going to tell him.
“The Glades,” She finally grit out, and Oliver just bobbed his head, trying to ignore his surprise. No nice girl like her should be living in the glades. Then again, really no one belonged in the garbage that was the glades.
Oliver revved up his car, pulling out of the school and making his way in the direction of the Glades.
“So, what caused you to move to a place like Starling?” Oliver asked, forcing his words into a casual way, trying to not make it sound like he was actually as interested as he was. Man, he was about ready to quit his life, just so he could stop following his image and start following his heart.
“Ma got a new job someplace around the Glades. Was better than where we had been, so we figured why not. ‘Tis just the two of us, so a job that pays fifteen cents more still pays fifteen cents more, you know,” Oliver nodded his head out of habit, taking all the information in. So, she wasn’t originally from here, and the rumours about her not having a father were true. And, even with that, it seemed her and her mom were struggling to make dues. Made sense, hit many people after the depression and never seemed to go away, especially with all the taxes thrown out ‘cuz of all the wars.
“If you don’t mind me asking, what happened to your da?” Oliver questioned just as she pointed for him to turn down another street, heading deep into some of the nastier segments of the Glades.
“He left us. He was still giving ma and I money, but then he entered the war and was shot or something. I didn’t really know him very well, he left when I was a real yoot. Never felt of didn’t feel his presence,” She said, and Oliver felt that when she spoke she just let her brain say what it wanted and never stopped it, as if there was no such thing as a filter. He liked it more than Laurel’s thoughtful and passive word choice.
Although Oliver couldn’t relate, Tommy had grown up without a mom and Oliver knew his parent’s relationship was not healthy, so he felt a bit of what parental issues held, and it was not a good time.
“Makes sense,” Oliver settled on, and Felicity pointed once more for him to turn before telling him to stop right in front of a building that had definitely seen better days.
“This is it, home sweet new home,” She said, and Oliver once more suppressed a snort, getting out quickly so he could open her door for her.
She grabbed her bag and headed for the door, Oliver following her to it. She turned to him, looking contemplative. Oliver stopped himself right below the beaten single step to get up to the door.
“Well, thanks for the ride, and for talking to me, and answering my question, I guess, although it wasn’t that hard of a question…” She drifted off, and then seemed to pull herself together. “Nonetheless, thanks. And, I hope to see you again, and maybe get another ride if need be, since you are quite nice to be ‘round, er- um. Bye,” She said, her cheeks reddening, Oliver unable to help himself from smiling back at her and now she’d accidentally called him nice without even meaning to. He wondered what else mistakes that mouth could make and then immediately stopped himself.
“You’re welcome. Anytime, and I mean it,” Oliver said, and she smiled once more, nodding to him before opening the door and disappearing inside, Oliver getting one more glance at the voluminous blonde hair and nice defined backside before the door slammed on his face, his gaping eyes cut off.
Oliver pivoted on his heel, walking off her porch and back into his car, quickly heading back home, trying to ignore how irritated his mom would be by how much later he would arrive than normal, telling him not to worry her like that, excuses already flowing through his brain.
Oliver sighed happily, rolling down his window and letting the wind whip against his face, the nasty glades disappearing as he headed to the nicer suburban area that his neighborhood was in, about halfway home before he realized one important detail.
He still didn’t know her name.