Felicity paces back and forth in front of the full length mirror hanging off the back of her bedroom door. Clothes and shoes of various styles litter the beige carpet, Java happily curled up in a pile of sweaters as he observes her anxious state. Tugging on what has to be her fifth or sixth ensemble, Felicity surveys herself through the mirror and huffs in annoyance. Oliver is supposed to be here in fifteen minutes and she has no clue what to wear. How exactly does one dress when going to see a super secret vigilante hideout for the first time? Is there a handbook somewhere on this?
A knock at her apartment door pulls Felicity from her spiral, then proceeds to make her heart rate pick up its pace even more. What she has on now will have to do. Smoothing out the flowy material of her tank top and slipping into her Army green jacket, Felicity grabs her purse and tablet off her bed as she quickly makes her way out of the bedroom. The pitter patter of tiny paws follows closely behind her.
She reaches the door just as he knocks again, and Felicity rolls her eyes at his impatience.
"Oh calm down I'm -" she yanks open the door, greeted with the sinfully delicious sight of Oliver Queen in dark wash jeans and a brown leather jacket. Holy. Crap. "Coming."
He smiles down at her, much more at ease than yesterday when he slipped out of her window in the wee hours of the morning.
He greets her casually, with a single word and a slowly widening grin. Even that salutation in all its simplicity makes her insides heat up. As someone who has sex with people for a living, Felicity has never come across someone as effortlessly attractive as Oliver. She's sure he had girls willing to do whatever, wherever with him in his days of wild abandon. If it were possible to harness that appeal and put it in a bottle, you would have one of the world's most dangerous weapons right there.
"Are you ready to go?"
"Oh! Yeah, just let me make sure Java has food and water before we leave. You can come in for a second. You know, instead of lurking in my doorway."
Felicity pivots on her feet and travels the five steps in between the front hallway and the kitchen, the ends of her bright blonde ponytail just grazing the side of her cheek as she goes. The sound of heavy footfalls behind her let her know that Oliver isn’t too far behind.
As if on cue, the fur ball pounces off the kitchen counter, landing at Felicity's feet and curling around her ankles protectively. Oliver freezes in his step, bright blue gaze bouncing from Felicity to the cat and back again in a silent question. She almosts doubles over right there in laughter at his reaction. Starling City’s big bad vigilante unsettled by a tabby cat. Amazing.
“Have you ever seen a cat before?”
Laughter colors her voice as Felicity lifts Java into her arms and travels over to the cabinet where she keeps his food. She places the cat on the counter next to her, giving him an affection scratch behind his ear and kiss on the nose before preparing his dinner.
“We weren’t allowed to have pets in the mansion growing up. Too many valuable items to be ruined and dark corners to get lost in.”
Felicity glances at Oliver as he edges closer to the cat, looking completely unsure of himself. It’s an expression she never expected to see on Oliver Queen.
“Hold your finger out for him to get familiar with your scent.”
He does as told, eyes focusing on Java as the cat slowly crosses the counter to where Oliver is standing. He sniffs once, twice, then pulls back in contemplation. Felicity watches in amusement as he assesses Oliver one last time, then nuzzles his extended finger. Oliver’s eyes widen as the cat comes closer and nudges at his gently fisted hand.
“Looks like you just made a friend.”
“Looks like it.”
Java meows in agreement, rubbing the top of his head against Oliver’s forearm. A small smile makes its way to Oliver’s face as he begins to lightly stroke the animal in response. It’s a picture that warms Felicity’s heart.
“You’re lucky. My landlord can’t even get through the front door without starting World War Three.”
“Nice to know you’ve got a full proof security system here.”
Oliver moves his gaze away from the cat to grin at her, showing that he’s teasing. She returns the smile with one of her own before moving to fill both water and food bowls. At the sound of Meow-Mix filling the bowl, Java comes to full attention and quickly scurries back to where Felicity set his food down on the floor. She observes as he begins to devour the food, marveling at the feline’s ability to scarf down every meal as if it was his last.
With a quick shake of her head, Felicity pivots back around to face Oliver.
“He’s set for the night. Ready to go?”
He nods once in confirmation, stepping out of the kitchen and indicating for her to take the lead. As she steps in front of him, Felicity is acutely aware of the hand Oliver raises to hover at her lower back, not quite touching but close enough that she can feel the heat radiating from his palm. She is trained to be aware of her surroundings but this… this is something else altogether. Not only does she take note of it, but her entire body seems to hum with energy from his almost-touch. She’s never been so aware of her proximity to another human being before.
That hum dies down as they exit her apartment, Oliver’s hand dropping to his side while she locks the door behind them. A sigh of disappointment nearly escapes her bright pink lips when he takes a step away from her and towards the stairs, but she catches herself and quickly follows him down to the main floor. Crisp autumn air greets them as they exit the apartment building, dusk beginning to fall over the city in hues of indigo and blood orange.
It’s a beautiful sight, one that keeps Felicity from noticing the vehicle Oliver strides toward until something large, shiny, and black is held out in front of her. She stares at the object for a moment in confusion. Then she glances behind Oliver’s large frame, eyes widening in realization.
“Oh no. No way, Mister.”
Oliver’s brow furrows in confusion as he lowers the hand that just a moment ago was offering her a sleek black motorcycle helmet.
That’s right, motorcycle helmet.
Felicity stares up at him incredulously, hand gesturing wildly to the bike behind him.
“I am not climbing onto that death trap. I happen to value my life, thank you very much.”
“It’s not a death trap, Felicity. It’s a Ducati.”
“Right. Thank you. I feel so much safer now that I know the brand of death trap that’s going to take my life tonight.”
Oliver looks equally parts amused and disbelieving at her outburst, eyes roaming her face in an attempt to discern just how serious she is in her refusal. Well, she’s serious as a heart attack on this one. No way is she going to put her life on the line because he was too cool to just drive a damn car with doors and seatbelts and airbags.
“It’s completely safe. I even brought you an extra helmet. See?”
He holds the helmet out for her again, shaking it gently at her. Felicity stares up at him blankly, arms crossed in front of her chest.
“What’s the address? I’ll walk.”
“In the Glades? At night? By yourself?”
He makes a good point, but she’s not about to let him know that.
One large, strong hand gently grasps the top of her right arm. Her skin warms beneath his touch, even though the soft material of her jacket prevents direct contact. His intense gaze locks onto hers as he speaks.
"I won't let anything happen to you. I promise."
She's caught off guard by the conviction in his tone, reflected in the icy blue depths of his eyes. The weight in his words makes her think that he's not just talking about this ride. And crazy enough, she believes him.
Taking one final glance filled with trepidation at the Ducati behind him, Felicity reaches out to accept the helmet from Oliver.
“Okay. But no speeding or sharp turns.”
“Something tells me you were never a Boy Scout.”
A mischievous grin spreads across Oliver’s face in response as he zips up the front of his jacket and straddles the bike in a move so smooth it would make Skippy peanut butter jealous. Felicity quickly tugs on the helmet to distract her thoughts from wandering to other things he could straddle - her - and steps closer to the bike. It’s a good thing she’s small because there’s very little room on the back of this thing for a second rider. That doesn’t help her nerves one bit.
Securing the crossbody purse holding her tablet to her person, Felicity cautiously climbs onto the motorcycle. As she swings her leg over the other side, the bike lists to the side, causing her to gasp and grab onto Oliver’s shoulders in panic. She can feel him laughing through the shaking of his body and frowns at the back of his head.
“It’s not funny.”
“You removed a bullet from my shoulder the other night and stitched it back up like a pro, but the slight rocking of my Ducati makes you nervous. It’s a little funny.”
Felicity resists the childish urge to stick her tongue out at him, instead choosing to snap the visor of her helmet down and grumble in reply.
“Just drive before I change my mind.”
The vehicle comes to life beneath her, humming with power waiting to be unleashed on the asphalt streets of Starling City. Felicity holds on to Oliver’s shoulders that much tighter. However, one of his hands grabs onto hers to pry her fingers away from his body. She’s confused for a moment, wondering what he’s doing, until he guides that arm around his waist. He glances back at her over his shoulder, the visor of his helmet raised to expose the mirth in his eyes as he revs the engine.
“Hold on to me tight.”
Then he throws her a wink, pushes the visor down, and peels out into the street.