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never saw you coming, i'll never be the same

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Being a dog owner can be a real test sometimes.

Okay, Oliver loves his dog. Artemis is his buddy, his companion, his best friend… but she’s so not aware of how much bigger she is than when Oliver adopted her a year ago and that can lead to some testing situations.

Namely his freshly made latte that she knocked all over his work laptop containing all the information on the collaborative project with Kord Industries that’s incredibly important for Queen Consolidated’s relationship with their competitors.

It’s not really Artemis’ fault, she’s not aware of her own size and was just bounding up to the couch to cuddle with Oliver. Oliver can still see the glass of hot liquid pouring over in tech in slow motion as his vision became blurred with Artemis’ fur as he makes his way into the office with his ruined laptop the next morning. It’s not even turning on and he stupidly didn’t make any backups of the files.

He sincerely hopes his IT team can help him out.

He’s a little embarrassed as he steps off the elevator 18 floors lower than usual. He’s the CEO of a technology company and he doesn’t have the first clue of what to do when his dog spills a drink over his laptop.

The department is rather empty, it not quite being the start of the working day, but his head of IT, a small, squirmy looking man called Jason, is sat at his desk, drinking a cup of coffee as he clearly prepares for the day ahead. 

“Mr Queen!”

The department head squeaks as he spots Oliver approaching, straightening in his seat and just stopping the coffee from sloshing out of his mug with the speed he puts it down. Oliver tries his best polite smile, still feeling entirely sheepish for the reason he’s here in the first place.

“Hi. I’m after some technical assistance,” He tells Jason with a small smile, lifting the laptop a little where it’s tucked underneath his arm. His employee nods his head, though he does regard him with a small frown.

“You know you could’ve called us from your office, Sir?” He reminds Oliver and the CEO frowns, honestly not having thought to call IT from his office. He wants to get this sorted as soon as possible and he finds that face to face interaction is often the best route to ensure efficiency.

“Yes, I just… It’s a little urgent,” He shifts a little awkward and the department head nods, straightening fully in his chair.

“Of course, what’s the issue?” Jason smooths and Oliver sighs thankfully, pulling the laptop to hold it out to the IT man with a sheepish expression.

“I’m having some problems with my laptop. I may have had an incident last night where a drink spilled over it and it’s not responding,” He explains and Jason frowns, tilting his head a little.

“We can get you a new one?” The department head tells him, gesturing to the tech room where Oliver knows spare parts and computers are kept.

“Is there any way to recover what’s on this? I don’t have a backup of the files and they’re incredibly important for a meeting I have this afternoon,” He explains further and understanding finally registers on the department head’s face.

“I see. I’ll take you over to Felicity, she’s the best at that sort of thing,” The man nods, standing from his seat and smiling warmly at Oliver.

“Thank you,” The CEO sighs gratefully, following the man as he begins to weave his way through the mostly empty department.

Nearly all of the cubicles are deserted, it too early in the day for everyone to have clocked in, but there, towards the back of the department, a blonde already has her head down and is typing away on a computer as she looks between two screens and her laptop.

Her head is down so Oliver cannot see her face well but she appears to be young, younger than Oliver himself, and dressed in a pink shirt and grey skirt. Her blonde hair is tugged back into a professional ponytail at the back of her head and she pushes two-toned glasses back onto her face when they slip a little.

“Felicity?” Jason questions and Oliver is surprised when the woman merely holds her hand up towards her boss in a gesture asking him to wait.

“Hang on, I’m just working on that project for R&D. You know, it’s a little ridiculous that they wouldn’t just ask one of us to transfer for the length of the project, I’ve spent the past month swimming through emails to deal with their technological incompetence,” The blonde groans and Oliver is immediately taken aback by her immediate candor. She’s clearly irritated as she huffs, looking between her screens, and Oliver frowns.

“The R&D team are some of the greatest minds,” He cannot resist commenting with a small frown and the sound of his voice has Felicity’s head flicking up in surprise at the unfamiliar voice to look at him.

Her eyes widen as she takes him in but Oliver is frozen. Felicity’s eyes are a shade of bright blue, somehow only illuminated by the frames that line her eyes, and her full lips are painted a bright red color. They match the red pen that she taps against her desk, her nails painted a bright turquoise in total contrast. Something about the cacophony of color intrigues Oliver and his stomach twists in a way he’s grown entirely unused to. She’s beautiful, her turning having revealed gorgeously tanned and toned legs that Oliver forces his eyes off of. They trail down to simple heels, simple and professional. There’s nothing out of the ordinary about this girl and yet Oliver is blown away.

She’s so gorgeous.

“In engineering, yes. For a lot of them, their coding and software work leaves something to be desired,” She counters to him immediately, her eyebrow rising as if to challenge him and Oliver’s own frown relaxes as he considers her words. Her voice is light but there’s a conviction to it that makes it clear she’s going to ensure she’s taken seriously.

“Felicity! You are aware who you’re talking to, right?” Jason gasps, looking between his employee and boss with a terrified expression and Oliver holds back from waving him off for a moment, wondering how Felicity will react.

“I know the CEO when I see him. Apologies for any offense, Mr. Queen,” The blonde states simply, but as she turns those bright blue eyes on him once more, Oliver knows she’s not really sorry at all.

It’s refreshing to hear someone so unafraid to speak their mind around him. Being CEO often means being danced around, people avoiding talking to you plainly in fear that speaking out against you will lose them their jobs. Felicity clearly is unafraid and there’s something about that which is just so incredibly endearing.

“None taken, it’s interesting to hear a different perspective,” Oliver assures her and he notices the way Jason’s shoulders slump in relief. Felicity just smiles, those perfectly red-painted lips curving up in the sweetest of ways and it makes Oliver smile too.

“Mr. Queen, this is Felicity Smoak. I’m sure she’ll be able to help you,” Jason informs, looking between them with a frown before he steps back and starts to make his way back to his own desk.

“Thank you,” Oliver calls after the department head politely, before he turns back to Felicity.

Felicity Smoak.

It’s an intriguing name. An intriguing name for an intriguing woman, he supposes.

It seems to fit her, though. Even as she shifts in her seat, she seems to exude this energy that Oliver finds infectious.

What is it about this woman?

“What can I help you with, Mr. Queen?” She questions, gesturing for him to tug a chair over from the cubicle next to her. Oliver does so, sinking down into the ergonomic seat with a sheepish expression.

Explaining what happened with his laptop to Jason was bad enough but to this beautiful woman?

“Please, Mr. Queen, was my father, call me Oliver,” Oliver finds himself telling her quickly and she freezes for a moment, tilting her head as she clearly attempts to discern him.

“Okay, Oliver, what brings you down to the IT department?” She corrects, smirking at him with a quirk of those perfectly painted lips and Oliver sheepishly hands over the laptop. She immediately grasps for it, gasping loudly as she takes in the state the piece of tech is in. “What did you do to this poor baby?”

She speaks as if she’s entirely offended for the laptop and her hands run over the tech reverently. It’s endearing and sweet, how much she clearly cares about tech and its proper care, but Oliver feels an instinctive need to defend himself. “I didn’t do anything, my dog, Artemis, however…”

Felicity looks up from the laptop at that, raising a disbelieving eyebrow at him as that darn smirk returns to her lips. “Is this the grown-up, CEO version of my dog ate my homework?” She questions in an unimpressed voice and Oliver laughs, knowing how ridiculously the story sounds. He reaches for his phone out of his pocket, turning the screen around so that Felicity can see the picture of Artemis that is set as his background.

“I swear it’s true. Artemis is a Newfoundland and she’s grown to be about ten times the size she was when I got her, not that she knows that. I was working last night after having just made a latte, she came bounding up the couch, thinking she was leaping over the coffee table, and sent my latte flying. It found a home here,” Oliver explains with a chuckle, shaking his head affectionate as he thinks of his pup. She completely is unaware of her size and she’s just a big teddy bear really but her size is problematic at times.

Felicity tilts her head, her expression softening as she takes him in. Her expression is unreadable and Oliver feels a little on display as she clearly reads him. Finally, a small smile spreads across her pretty face and she straightens, tugging the laptop properly onto her desk.

“I see. Well, rule number one, keep all hot drinks in safe containers when near tech,” She tells him with a chuckle, lifting her own secure travel mug as if to indicate it and Oliver smiles.

“Wouldn’t most IT people just recommend not having hot drinks near computers at all?” He questions with a teasing raise of his own eyebrow and Felicity laughs. It’s lilting and beautiful and ingrains itself in his brain immediately.

“Probably, but I know the importance of caffeine,” She grins with another laugh. Her eyes twitch in what he thinks is an attempt at a wink, though she clearly hasn’t mastered the art. What ensues is an endearing half-wink, half-blink that makes Oliver’s face almost split with the strength of his smile.

“I’m not worried about the laptop, it’s the files that were on it that I need. Is there anything you can do about that?” Oliver questions with a hopeful wince. He really does need those files if this meeting with Kord Industries is going to go smoothly.

Felicity looks over the laptop once more with a discerning frown before she nods. “I should be able to retrieve them, when do you need them by?”

“My meeting’s at three,” Oliver winces, knowing that it’s a short timeframe but Felicity seems unbothered as she nods her head.

“I’ll have them sent to your email by lunch,” She assures him and Oliver sinks in relief.

“You’re a lifesaver, thank you so much,” He tells her honestly and Felicity frowns for a moment before she shakes her head.

“It’s what you hired me for. Well not you specifically, I know you had nothing to do with my specific recruitment but you do own the company so you are my employer. Maybe, I should’ve said what you employ me for? And I’m rambling again, I am so sorry, I will stop in 3, 2, 1.”

Oliver’s face slowly morphs back into a grin as Felicity clearly loses control of what she’s saying. She’s babbling and it’s extremely sweet. She manages to stop herself, her fingers counting down the numbers in time with her speech and Oliver is biting the inside of his cheek to keep from grinning so as to not embarrass her.

“Sorry,” She winces as she finishes counting but Oliver just shakes his head, smiling at her warmly.

“No need for apologies. Thank you again, you’re really saving my skin here,” He reiterates, standing from the chair and scooting it back over to the cubicle next to her. A few more people are filtering into the department now and Oliver can tell exactly when they spot him by the way the sound of whispers rise in the room.

“They’ll be with you by lunchtime,” Felicity assures him with a smile as he starts to exit the department, leaving the image of her red lips curled into that beautiful smile ingrained in Oliver’s brain.

The files are in his inbox by 11 am, in an email from Felicity signed off with a smiley face. It puts a grin on his face, and by the time he makes it to lunch, his thoughts are consumed by a blonde ponytail, bright blue eyes sparkling behind two-toned glasses, and a nervous giggle that awakens something in Oliver he hasn’t felt in a long time.

 


 

He’s still thinking about her by the end of the day.

He knows it’s not appropriate, that he’s her boss and her fixing his tech is literally what he employs her for, but QC has no direct policy against employees dating and Oliver is just so overwhelmed by the way this woman has wiggled her way into his brain so quickly.

He hasn’t felt like this in such a long time.

He’s like a teenager with a crush.

Deciding that his pride and dignity are probably shot anyway, he makes his way down to the IT department after a successful meeting with Kord Industries. It’s around 6pm so Oliver’s not expecting her to still be there, but it makes him grin when he spots her. He’s clearly just caught her, she’s one of the last in the office and she’s in the process of tugging a red trench coat over her clothes as Oliver tracks over to her cubicle.

“Oh, Oliver! Hi! I’m sorry, I’m in a bit of a rush,” She jumps when she spots him, reaching to loop her bag over her shoulder and Oliver smiles.

“No worries, I won’t keep you long. I just wanted to thank you again for your help earlier,” He explains softly, trying to ignore the way his stomach flutters. Lord, he really needs to get some chill as Thea would say.

Felicity frowns for a moment, an expression that’s a mix of both appreciation and confusion. A light blush spreads across her cheeks prettily, but she also raises an eyebrow quizzically at him. “You’re welcome. You do know it’s my job though? I’m paid to deal with IT problems.”

“Including me being silly enough to allow my huge dog to knock my coffee all over my laptop?” Oliver questions with a sheepish shrug and Felicity laughs with a shake of her head.

“You’d be surprised the issues some people have with their tech. Plus, retrieving your files was far more enjoyable than having to report five separate employees to HR for watching porn at work which is what I did this afternoon,” Felicity babbles away before she realizes what she’s just said and her eyes widen, turning to look at Oliver with a wince and clenched teeth. “Sorry, you really didn’t need to know that.”

“People really do that at work?” Oliver questions with a disbelieving chuckle as Felicity’s shoulders slump in relief and she grins for a moment, the pure light exuding from her overwhelming him.

“Apparently so,” She shrugs and their eyes meet for a moment. Something stirs in Oliver as four blue eyes concentrate and melt a little. After a moment that feels like an hour, Felicity blinks and she looks away, scooping her phone off her desk as the final item she needs before she heads home. “I really do have to go, but I really appreciate you coming down here to thank me.”

“Of course, have a wonderful rest of your day, Felicity,” Oliver smiles, stepping aside so that she can get past him and head out to the elevator terminal.

“You too, Oliver,” She smiles warmly and a little more shyly than she has before. She glances back at him as she reaches the door of the department, waving tentatively before she shakes her head and walks off.

Oliver watches her go for a while before he realizes that he’s merely staring at the space she was just stood. He shakes his head, trying to rid his mind of thoughts of her and failing.

 


 

Felicity has never really considered who her boss is.

She works in IT, it’s very rare that the CEO of the company comes down and the few times that Felicity has glimpsed at Oliver Queen previously, he seemed to be very much the typical businessman.

Which is why it’s completely astounding to see him stood in front of her desk, holding a latte drenched laptop, and a sheepish expression.

Her small interaction with him, both when he brought her the laptop and his surprising reappearance to thank her, completely changes her opinion of him.

She’s no idiot, not with her IQ. She’s heard the gossiping around the office and she’s also a person with eyes. She knows Oliver Queen is an attractive man. He cuts an impressive shape in a suit and she can appreciate that. Seeing him in front of her, smiling that devastating smile with those deep blue eyes, is a whole other experience entirely.

Felicity has shut that aspect of her life down. Since she had Adaline three years ago, dating has been on the back burner. Everything she does, she does it for her tiny little munchkin, and that doesn’t leave much time for her dating life.

She hasn’t had a reaction like the one she has to Oliver in years. It’s instinctive and the way he matches her comebacks tit for tat only deepens that reaction. He’s charming, funny, and he clearly respects the work she’s doing which is something she rarely gets in this job.

Despite that, she forces herself to shake that reaction off after she says goodbye to him. She doesn’t have the time to be lingering on her interactions with an attractive man like she’s a teenager and she’s not delusional enough to think that it means anything more than Oliver Queen being a good boss and a kind human.

She forces the interaction to the back of her mind and picks Ada up from the QC day-care, shaking her head every time the image of his charming smile and sparkling eyes entered her mind.

She’s not doing a very good job of it, she’ll admit. It’s been three days and her stomach still flutters whenever she thinks of him coming down to thank her.

She’s trying to get it off her mind when her boss appears at her desk.

“Felicity?” Jason asks and she frowns, finishing up emailing someone in HR before turning to look up at her boss.

“Yes?”

“Got a call from the R&D floor, the big guy has requested your presence up there,” Jason tells her, gesturing up to the ceiling with his finger and Felicity frowns, struggling to understand what he’s saying.

“The big guy as in?” She questions, raising an eyebrow and Jason sighs, clearly disappointed she didn’t understand what she assumes was his attempt at a joke.

“Oliver Queen? The CEO?” He tells her simply and Felicity freezes, her mouth forming an ‘o’ as she processes the fact that the CEO of the company is apparently requesting her presence in R&D. “Well, you better get up there.”

“Right. Yes, I’m going. Do you know what it’s for?” Felicity questions as she stands, freezing for a moment before she reaches for her tablet, thinking that it can’t hurt to be prepared.

“No idea,” Jason shrugs and Felicity frowns.

“Okay,” She shakes her head, waiting for Jason to step back before she heads out of her home department. She thinks that she should probably send a message down to the daycare to let the workers know that she won’t be down to eat lunch with Ada today. Something tells her that this is going to take some time.

She feels guilty as she sends the message from the tablet but she tells herself that she’ll be sure to make it up to her daughter at the weekend. Maybe she’ll even take her to that café with the triple chocolate milkshake that Ada adores.

By the time she’s done, the elevator has made it to R&D’s floor and she exits, winding the familiar way through to the main lab. There’s a few of the engineers stood around a project on the main work area and Oliver is stood at the end of the table. All of them are frowning, staring at the project.

“Um hi?” She states softly as she pushes open the door to the lab with a small confused frown.

The room full of men turn to look at her and it’s Oliver that grins at her, gesturing her towards him.

“Felicity! There you are! Excellent, thank you for coming up so quickly,” He greets with a wide smile and she smiles despite her confusion, making her way over to stand a few feet away from the handsome CEO.

“Of course, what’s this about?” She asks, smiling nervously at the engineers who are watching her with slightly wary expressions.

“The R&D team is struggling with the coding on this project. I remembered what you said the other day and I knew you could help. I want to transfer you up here for this project if that’s okay with you?” Oliver explains and Felicity’s eyes widen as she freezes.

This… it’s everything she’s been wanting for so long. She’s been helping R&D with projects for years but without clearance from the CEO, she’s been stuck down in IT communicating with them through emails. None of the members of the R&D department had paid her suggestion of transferring her up for the duration of the projects they’ve been working on any heed.

“Yes! Of course!” She confirms, trying not to let her excitement show too much.

“Excellent. Curtis, I’m sure you can talk Felicity through the semantics of it all far better than I can,” Oliver smiles warmly, turning to the tall man he’s stood next to, and the man nods, his expression turning into a welcoming smile to Felicity.

“Yes, Mr. Queen,” He nods in confirmation and Oliver smiles. Felicity’s stomach flutters as his hand lands on her shoulder and she swallows thickly as she resists the urge to clench her eyes shut.

“Perfect. I hope this is a fruitful partnership,” The CEO smiles, squeezing her shoulder before he nods at the room and heads out the door. Felicity forces herself to ignore the way her shoulder suddenly feels cold.

“I suppose we better clue you in,” Curtis smiles warmly at her and Felicity blinks for a moment before she nods, excited to sink her teeth into something fulfilling.

 


 

Felicity has the best day at work she’s had in years.

The project is so interesting and it’s so fun to finally get to sink her teeth into some real coding. She works on her own projects, obviously, but getting to finally do what she’s so good at for her actual work is an indescribable feeling. She does work through lunch and there’s a guilty feeling that settles in her stomach at not getting to spend that time with Ada but she reminds herself that she can make it up to her later.

She finishes the day on a total high and that has her pressing the button to take her up to the executive floor instead of back to the IT department when she climbs into the elevator when they finish working. She’s not entirely sure what her plan is, but she’s just filled with such gratitude towards Oliver for the opportunity he’s just given her, and she feels the need to express that.

Plus, the idea of seeing his smile once more before she goes home is extremely tempting.

She steps out on the 18th floor, looking around the executive floor with a nervous flutter. She’s rarely invited up here and therefore, she doesn’t really know her way around but the glass walls make it easy.

Oliver’s EA seems to have gone home for the day, as have most people whose offices reside on this floor. In fact, it seems like Oliver’s office is the last one still occupied.

The CEO is stood by his desk, talking to a tall and well-built man stood next to him. Taking a deep breath and steeling herself, she taps on the door and gains the attention of the two men.

Oliver’s face morphs first into shock and then a warm, inviting smile.

“Oliver? I’m really sorry to intrude,” She tells him with a nervous smile but he smiles charmingly at her with a shake of his head. He gestures her inside and Felicity straightens, her heels clicking on the floor as she enters the office. 

“No, come in, come in. Felicity, this is my head of security, John Diggle. John, this is Felicity Smoak, one of our best employees,” Oliver introduces, gesturing between the two of them with a warm smile.

“Pleasure to meet you, Miss Smoak,” John Diggle smiles too, extending a very impressive arm towards her so that he can shake her hand.

“Please, it’s just Felicity. It’s lovely to meet you. You keep this guy out of trouble, huh?” Felicity asks with a smile, quirking an eyebrow towards Oliver and chuckling a little when he smirks at her.

“Something like that,” John responds with a chuckle of his own and Felicity smiles as he shakes her hand before stepping back.

“I can see how you’re fit for the job,” She finds herself saying before she winces as her filter fails yet again. “That sounded wrong. I just meant you have very large arms. They’re lovely, not like that, but you know, you seem like you’d be ready to fight someone if needed. For security reasons, of course. Okay, I’m going to stop talking now.”

She winces as she finally manages to stop herself from talking, though she does manage to spot that both Oliver and John are watching her with amused expressions, rather than judgemental ones. That eases her embarrassment a little, though not too much.

“Did you need something, Felicity?” Oliver questions with a smile that has almost an affectionate tone to it and Felicity is glad for the opportunity to move away from her embarrassment.

“Yes! I just wanted to thank you,” She explains with a small sheepish smile and Oliver tilts his head as his face contorts into a quizzical frown.

“Thank me?” He asks gently, a small smile spreading across his face as Felicity grins and nods her head.

“Yes, for calling me up to R&D today. I have had a more fulfilling workday than I have had in years, so I just wanted to thank you,” She explains and Oliver melts before he smiles warmly.

“I’m very glad. I actually just finished reading an email from Curtis singing your praises. If you would be up for it, he’s open to making it a permanent position,” He tells her and Felicity freezes, her eyes widening.

“Seriously?” She questions in disbelief, completely blown away that this could be happening.

“Yup. We could use this project as a test run but if it works, there’d be a pay rise and a permanent position for you on the R&D floor,” He tells her simply and Felicity feels her eyes blow even wider.

“That would be incredible!” She grins, bouncing on her toes in excitement before she collects herself and schools her expression into something more professional. “I mean, I would definitely be open to test running that. Thank you for the opportunity.”

“Your excitement is refreshing, please don’t try and hide it,” Oliver tells her with a warm smile and Felicity smiles too, sighing a little as her eyes lock with his bright blue ones. She can tell why he used to be known as the heartbreaker of Starling City, those eyes are devastating in the best way possible.

“I’ll be waiting downstairs, Oliver,” John suddenly states with a small smile and a nod to Felicity.

“Thank you, John,” Oliver smiles after him and Felicity watches the bodyguard go with a small frown.

“Oliver?” She questions as she looks back to the CEO, frowning as she seems him fidgeting a little where he’s stood.

“Please don’t take this to seem like it’s a caveat to your possible promotion, it really doesn’t have anything to do with that. I just… I haven’t been able to get you out my head since we met the other day.”

His voice is far more nervous than she’s heard it before and Felicity freezes at his words. They alarm her but she doesn’t want to presume so she takes a deep breath, schooling her expression as she tries to process exactly what he’s saying.

“What do you mean?”

“I mean that, and this is going to seem entirely unprofessional and I apologize for that, but you are the most engaging, intelligent, and beautiful woman I have had the pleasure of meeting in a long time,” He’s far clearer this time and Felicity’s stomach twists nervously.

Her shoulders slump as she realizes that she has to say no. Ada is still so small and inviting someone else into her life at the moment just feels wrong to her. She tells herself that it doesn’t matter that Oliver ignites something in her that she has long since buried and the thought of saying no to his request is devastating. She has to think of Ada first and disrupting the life that she’s built for her and her daughter cannot be worth it for her.

“Oh! I… I’m really flattered, Oliver…” She starts, trailing off and feeling her stomach sink as Oliver’s face falls.

“But you’re not interested?” He questions with a resigned smile and Felicity winces.

“It’s not… it’s very complicated, I’m sorry,” She tries to assure him but he just smiles a little sadly, shaking his head.

“I understand,” He tells her but Felicity can see the disappointment in his eyes and that makes her feel awful.

“It’s really nothing to do with you,” She reassures but Oliver just shakes his head with another sad smile.

“Felicity, please don’t worry. You’re not interested, it’s okay,” He tells her maturely and Felicity takes a deep breath. She doesn’t know why her heart is clenching so badly but it makes her feel awful even though he’s taking it extremely well.

“Please know that it really is a lot more nuanced than that, I just can’t explain it all,” She feels the need to say honestly. It’s really not that she doesn’t want to date him, he’s incredibly sweet and kind and extremely attractive… but Ada means that she can’t just indulge herself anymore. Not without thinking things through properly.

“I’ll talk to HR about drafting up a contract for your new role,” Oliver tells her with a small smile as he reaches for his coat to tug over his suit and Felicity takes a deep breath.

“Thank you,” She nods with a small smile, her heart clenching as his expression softens with a sad nod of his own.

“I suppose I’ll see you around? I’m sorry for presuming.”

“Please don’t apologize, and yes,” She tries her best smile and Oliver’s lips quirk ever so slightly as he nods and makes his way to the door.

“I look forward to it,” He tells her and she can hear the genuine tone to his voice as he smiles softly at her before he turns and makes his way to the elevator.

Felicity watches him go with a soft sigh, trying not to think about the feeling deep within her that’s screaming that she’s just made a huge mistake.

 


 

Oliver tries to not let the rejection affect him too much.

He’s been alone for a long time, he tries to tell himself that it’s fine, that Artemis is all he really needs. However, he can’t deny that his feelings for Felicity are something entirely different. They’re stronger than anything he’s felt in so long and he finds his mind drifting to the exact way her lips curl when she smiles.

It’s been a few days and he’s only seen Felicity in passing. The day is drawing to a close and he’s the only one left on the floor which is why the sound of the elevator arriving on the executive floor draws his attention.

His surprise is only doubled when a small child, a girl who cannot be older than four, appears from the elevator and runs across the executive floor to dive beneath Oliver’s executive assistant’s desk.

Oliver stands with an amused and baffled expression, undoing his suit jacket as he makes his way out of his office and rounds his assistant’s desk. He bends to sit on the floor, leaning back against the side of the desk and turns his head to see two bright blue eyes staring back at him in shock.

The little girl is all blonde curls and big blue eyes, her hair pulled back from her face with a carefully done braid and clipped in place with a fake flower. She’s dressed in jeans, sneakers, a t-shirt, and a hoodie which falls off of her shoulders and her eyes only widen as she realizes she’s been caught.

“Well hello there,” Oliver smiles in what he hopes is a warm manner but the little girl just shakes her head.

“Shush!” She hushes him, bringing her finger up to her lips and Oliver bites the inside of his cheek to stop him from smiling.

This kid is adorable.

“Oh, sorry,” He replies in a whisper despite the fact that they definitely have the whole floor to themselves and there’s no worry of anyone finding them.

“’M hiding,” The girl states and Oliver nods with a small smile.

“I can see that. Who are you hiding from?” He asks gently, forcing himself to ignore the way his knees are screaming for him to stand up.

“Miss Jessica,” The girl tells him simply and Oliver smiles at the childish innocence clearly on display. He doesn’t spend a lot of time around kids but he finds them hilariously sweet and this little nugget is no different.

“And who would Miss Jessica be?” He questions for clarification and the little girl heaves a long sigh as if very unimpressed at the fact that Oliver doesn’t just know who she’s talking about.

“She looks after me whilst Momma works,” She explains and that helps Oliver to understand the situation a little better.

“Oh, I see. You’re a runaway from the daycare, are you?” He asks with a soft smile but the little girl just frowns, tilting her head at him quizzically in a way that is for some reason familiar to Oliver.

“Run-a-way?” She sounds out, clearly unfamiliar with the word and Oliver shakes his head, remembering that he’s speaking to a toddler.

“Never mind. What’s your name, little miss?” He questions instead and that makes the tiny girl smile, straightening up in her hiding place.

“Adaline Donna Smoak. Everyone calls me Ada though,” She states her name proudly and Oliver freezes, her surname giving him pause.

“Ada, did you just say your last name is Smoak?” He presses and Ada nods enthusiastically with a toothy grin.

“Uh-huh! It’s Momma’s last name too!” She declares happily and Oliver freezes, taking a deep breath before he asks his next question.

“And your daddy’s?”

“I don’t have one of those, but it’s okay. Momma says we’re perfect just the two of us!” Ada frowns before grinning once more, throwing her arms out as she speaks before wincing as she accidentally whacks it against the desk. Oliver watches her for a moment, checking she’s not hurt, but the kid shakes it off as if it was nothing.

“What’s your momma’s name, Ada?”

“Momma, duh,” Ada responds with an unimpressed look and Oliver chuckles, nodding his head.

“Right, silly me,” He laughs, knowing that getting all the answers he’s looking for out of a toddler is an impossible task.

“What’s your name?” Ada asks suddenly, tilting her head again and Oliver suddenly realizes that it’s exactly the same way Felicity does it when she’s unsure about something. He has no confirmation that this is Felicity’s daughter but as he looks at the little girl, her eyes and smile seem suddenly very familiar.

“I’m Oliver,” He answers with an affectionate smile and Ada frowns for a moment.

“Ol-i-ver,” She sounds out slowly before a smile spreads over her face. “I like it!”

“I’m glad,” Oliver responds with a chuckle, wondering why it makes him so content to know that a toddler likes his name. His body screams at him for the position he’s still sat in and he knows he should try and figure out what has brought Ada up to his floor. “You want to tell me why you’re not where you’re supposed to me, Ada?”

The little girl’s expression changes in an instant. Her eyes narrow and her shoulders rise almost up to her ears. She looks angry, which is adorable on her tiny little face, but Oliver concentrates on what she says. “Evie was talking all about her daddy and she said it was weird that I don’t have one.”

“Well that’s not very nice of her,” Oliver answers with a deep frown. He knows that kids can be mean but he doesn’t remember that meanness starting in pre-K.

“No, it’s not. I told her that I don’t need a daddy because Momma says we’re perfect just the two of us but then she said that’s just something Momma tells me to stop me from being sad and then,” Ada stops halfway through speaking, drawing in a large breath as she runs out and Oliver has to bite the inside of his cheek to stop himself from grinning. She’s just so adorable and the rambling definitely reminds him of the charming IT girl who’s been consuming all his thoughts. “I may have called her a lying stinking nugget face and then she started crying and Miss Jessica told me off when Evie was the one being mean in the first place!”

“So you ran off?” Oliver questions for clarification and Ada nods.

“The door was open,” She shrugs simply and Oliver has to bite his cheek once more.

“And how did you get up here?”

“I’m three, I know how a ‘levator works,” Ada states with an unimpressed look at Oliver and he grins.

“Of course, silly me,” Oliver chuckles, shaking his head amusedly. This kid is hilarious. “Tell you what, Miss Ada. If I take you back down to the daycare and we explain to Miss Jessica what happened, you can explain to me all about how the elevator works. Sound like a plan?”

“Ugh, fine,” She huffs but stands from her hiding place. She’s just as tiny as she looked, not even reaching Oliver’s hip, and she tugs her hoodie back over her shoulder so that the blue material hides a little of the Wonder Woman print of her t-shirt.

Ada groans a little more but she takes his hand and leads him towards the elevator terminal. Once she’s pushed the button to call the car, she starts her description and Oliver freezes as she launches into a full explanation of elevator cars, electric motors, and counterweights. It seems that the tiny toddler in front of him is actually fully aware of the entire system that keeps an elevator running, even though ‘counterweight’ sounds like ‘countereight’ in her toddler talk and she has to pause to think of the word quite a few times.

By the time she’s done, they’re on the third floor where the daycare is based, and Oliver is blinking in amazement at just how intelligent the three-year-old runaway is.

She’s a tiny little genius.

His question as to Ada’s parentage is answered very quickly as they round the corner to the daycare door. Felicity is stood in the doorway, dressed today in a deep red dress that clings to her curves and black heels. Her hair is down, falling down her back like a golden curtain and Oliver has to blink, concentrating on the way her expression morphs from relief at the sight of Ada to surprise when she takes Oliver in.

“Momma!” Ada calls happily, letting go of Oliver’s hand and rushing over to Felicity. Oliver watches with a small smile as the mother scoops the little girl up as she reaches her, smothering her face with kisses and making Ada giggle loudly. She settles the tiny girl on her hip, extending a heeled foot out to counteract her weight. Oliver forces himself to look away from her long leg and instead smiles at mother and daughter.

“Oliver! Hi!” Felicity smiles with a blush painting her cheeks. She looks entirely caught out to be seeing him here and Oliver smiles at her in what he hopes is a reassuring way.

Of all the things Felicity meant by complicated… he certainly wasn’t expecting a toddler to be top of that list.

“Hi, I was just wrapping up for the day when this little one appeared in my office,” He explains gently, smiling at Ada who grins happily. Oliver feels a burst of pride shoot through him to know that the little girl seems to like him.

“Ada!” Felicity gasps, looking over at her daughter with a reprimanding expression.

“She has a very good explanation,” Oliver interrupts before the mother can chastise her daughter and Ada’s expression darkens again.

“Yeah, Evie’s a lying stinking nugget face,” She reiterates with a real bite to her small voice and Felicity’s eyebrows rise in surprise at the venom in her daughter’s voice.

“It seems one of the other children was making fun of Ada’s lack of a paternal figure. Ada got a little upset, lashed out, and was chastised before the whole situation could be explained to… Miss Jessica, was it?” Oliver continues to explain and he watches as Felicity’s expression softens, her hand rubbing over Ada’s back soothingly.

“Oliver, thank you for bringing her back down, but you really don’t need to worry about all this,” She tells him with a small smile, waving her hand around but Oliver shakes his head.

“No, I promised Miss Ada we’d speak to Miss Jessica together so I’d like to fulfill that promise if that’s okay with you?” He asks gently. He doesn’t know why it’s so important to him but he doesn’t want to leave without fulfilling all of his deal with Ada.

“I…” Felicity sighs, taking a deep breath. He can see the conflict playing out on her face and Oliver feels bad, he knows there’s a reason that he wasn’t aware of Ada’s existence before now.

“He listened to me explain how the ‘levators work, Momma!” Ada exclaims as she leans her head against her mother’s shoulder adorably and Felicity’s eyebrows rise in surprise.

“He did?” She questions, keeping her eyes on Oliver as she regards him with a baffled expression. All Oliver can do is smile and shrug a little sheepishly, even he can’t explain why he’s so endeared to the little girl in Felicity’s arm, other than the fact that she’s adorable.

“You’ve got a very smart kid on your hands there,” He tells her with an affectionate smile, and Felicity chuckles, turning to press a kiss to her daughter’s temple.

“Don’t I know it,” She laughs as she swings Ada back down to the floor just as a young woman appears from the door behind them.

“Ada! There you are! You can’t just run off like that! You know you’re supposed to stay inside the room,” The woman speaks to the small girl before she looks up, taking in Felicity and Oliver. Her expression morphs into shock as she spots the latter. “Oh! Mr. Queen!”

“Miss Jessica, is it?” Oliver asks with a charming smile as he steps to the side so that he can see the woman properly.

“Um yes, that’s me,” The daycare employee frowns, looking over to Felicity in confusion.

“Ada found her way up to my office,” Oliver explains and understanding registers over Jessica’s face. She sighs, looking down to Ada with a reprimanding frown.

“Ada!”

“It’s okay. She explained the whole situation to me which I understand she wasn’t allowed to explain to you before she was told off,” Oliver finds himself stating, perhaps slightly harsher than he was going for. The employee looks a little taken aback but Ada just takes that as her cue.

“Evie was making fun of me for not having a daddy!”

“I see,” Miss Jessica sighs, her shoulders slumping in understanding. She bends down in front of Ada so that’s she’s on her level and smiles softly at her. “I’m sorry for not listening, Ada, that wasn’t fair to you and it wasn’t nice. But it’s also not nice to call people names, is it?”

“No… but she deserved it…” Ada trails off, her lips pouting.

“Ada…” Felicity sighs, pinching the bridge of her nose and Oliver bites the inside of his cheek to make sure his amusement isn’t showing.

“I’m sorry for calling Evie a name,” The toddler relents and Miss Jessica nods with a small smile.

“Thank you for apologizing. Evie’s already gone home but I trust Momma can help you write her a ‘sorry’ as well? We’ll make sure Evie says sorry properly tomorrow as well,” The daycare employee asks, looking up to Felicity who nods.

“We’ll make it tonight’s homework,” She assures, running a hand over Ada’s hair. The toddler herself, however, seems far less okay with this plan, and she gasps loudly, whipping around to look up at her mother.

“But you said we were going to start looking at your old tablet tonight, Momma!” She moans, a small and entirely adorable pout covering her features.

“Well that was before we apparently started using dinner as insults for other little girls,” Felicity counters, raising an eyebrow and leveling Ada with a look that Oliver knows is something unique to mothers. His own was a total master of that look and Felicity has it down too.

“Fine,” Ada huffs, though she looks entirely unimpressed with the change of plans. “Would’ve used it on a boy too.”

She mutters the second part under her breath and Oliver smirks as Felicity sighs amusedly, shaking her head. “Alright, that’s enough, go and grab your backpack for me, babe.”

“Okay, Momma,” Ada nods, gaining a little bit of her happy energy back as she follows Miss Jessica back into the daycare room.

“Thank you,” Felicity sighs as she turns to look at Oliver, a nervous yet appreciative smile on her face.

“It’s the least I can do. She’s just as charming as her mother,” Oliver waves her off, chuckling as she thinks of the endearing girl.

Felicity blushes with a small smile, looking down at her shoes for a moment before she meets his eyes with a long sigh. “I suppose you know what I mean by complicated now…”

“Felicity, you don’t owe me an explanation,” Oliver shakes his head, his heart glowing with affection at the thought that she would want to though.

“I don’t, but I’d like to give you one anyway. Ever since I had Ada, my entire life has been concentrated on her. I haven’t allowed myself to even think about dating from the moment her father told me he didn’t want anything to do with either of us. Until you walked into my office the other day…”

“Felicity…” Oliver interrupts with a whisper, shaking his head.

“What Ada and I have going on, it works, and I would hate to disrupt that. She’s the most important thing and she always will be,” Felicity tells him with conviction and Oliver nods, a wistful smile on his face. She’s such an incredible mother and that just increases his admiration of her.

“I totally get that. She’s very lucky to have a mother as wonderful as you,” He tells her honestly with a small smile and Felicity shakes her head.

“I’m the lucky one, she’s the best kid a mother could ask for,” She states with such a proud smile, it’s so sweet.

“She seems like she keeps you on your toes,” Oliver comments with a small smirk and Felicity snorts at that, nodding her head.

“She sure does.”

“In the best way of course,” He amends and Felicity laughs.

“Of course,” She responds, her eyes sparkling as she teases. Their eyes meet and they both melt, an anticipation and feeling of almost hanging between them. “Thank you for understanding.”

“Of course,” Oliver smiles, wanting her to know that he understands why and that he respects her need to put her child first.

It’s then that Ada reappears, skipping back into the hallway with a backpack secured over her shoulders.

“Got my backpack, Momma!” She declares happily and Felicity chuckles.

“Well done, kiddo, you ready to go?” She questions, extending her hand out towards the toddler.

 “Ready to roll!” Ada snaps her fingers into a finger gun before she grasps her mother’s hand and Felicity and Oliver share an amused look. “Bye, Oliver! Thank you for bringing me back down.”

“You’re welcome, Miss Ada. Thank you for explaining elevators to me,” Oliver chuckles affectionately, smiling down at the little girl who nods.

“Any time,” She counters with a preening tilt of her little shoulder and Oliver laughs.

“Alright, my little charmer, let’s go,” Felicity snorts, shaking her head. “Goodbye, Oliver.”

“Goodbye, Felicity. I’ll see you both around,” He smiles warmly at her and Felicity nods, a small and bashful smile on her face. Oliver watches them go with a smile, chuckling as he overhears Ada’s question.

“Momma, what did Oliver just call you?”

“Felicity, that’s my name.”

“It is?”

“Yes.”

“I thought your name was Momma.”

“It is to you, silly.”

“So I can’t call you ‘Licity?”

“I’d prefer it if we stuck to Momma.”

Oliver chuckles as their voices trail off as they round the corner and smiles affectionately, feeling far more content than he did half an hour ago.

 


 

Oliver is at the park the next time he sees Felicity and Ada.

It’s been a couple of weeks and he’s heard through the grapevine that Felicity’s new position in the R&D lab is going extremely well. Her colleagues there are singing her praises and she’s adding her own spin to so many projects. He’s glad on both a professional and personal level. Despite respecting her explanation that things with Ada are too complicated for her to date right now, he still can’t deny the instinctive way she makes him feel and that means wanting to make her feel happy and fulfilled.

He’s walking Artemis in the park. The Newfoundland is not happy about staying on the lead but they’re in a very busy area and Oliver knows her friendly nature, lack of awareness of her own size, and the number of kids around them probably won’t end well. He’ll take her out to the trails by the seafront tomorrow and let her off the lead there but for now, he knows it’s best to keep her on the lead.

They’ve slowed their pace and Oliver is chuckling at the way Artemis is struggling to carry a stick large enough to probably be classified as a branch when he hears a familiar voice.

“Oliver!”

He cannot stop the smile that spreads across his face at the little voice and he spins to see Ada stood a few feet away. Artemis turns too, pulling against the lead in excitement at the sight of a possible new friend. Oliver holds her tight, smiling at the sight of the tiny toddler. Ada’s dressed in a bright pink coat and her blonde curls are up in two pigtails on the top of her head.

“Ada, babe, we’ve talked about running off like that. Momma’s too slow to keep up with you,” Felicity suddenly appears, a little out of breath as she catches up with her daughter. She smiles affectionately down at Ada before she turns her attention to Oliver and Artemis. Her smile widens and Oliver feels his stomach flutter in response, taking in the casual way she’s dressed in jeans, heeled boots, and a bright blue coat. “Hi, Oliver.”

“Good afternoon, Miss Ada, Felicity,” Oliver replies to them both with a bright smile, tapping Artemis’ to get her to sit. She’s well trained and follows the command, though Oliver can tell her curiosity about the two new people in front of her is piqued.

“Is that your dog?” Ada asks curiously, her pigtails swinging as she rises onto her toes as if it will allow her to see Artemis better.

“It is. Ada, would you like to meet Artemis?” Oliver smiles, looking at Felicity with a quirked eyebrow for permission. She smiles and nods, gesturing Ada forward with a light push to her back. Oliver feels a little nervous. He knows that Artemis is a teddy bear at heart but she is big and heavy and she stands taller than Ada even on four legs.

Ada smiles as she walks up to the dog and Oliver feels something clench in his chest as he watches the little girl lift her hand up to the dog. She’s gentle when she first strokes her, but when Artemis lets out a small happy yap and nuzzles into Ada’s hand, Ada giggles and strokes her with both her little hands.

“She’s so pretty!” The little girl declares with a happy giggle and Oliver smiles.

“She’s very friendly too,” Oliver reassures her, proud of his dog. He can see the way that Artemis is itching to pop up and play but she’s showing incredible restraint.

“Oh! Hi, Arty!” Ada giggles and Oliver’s heart clenches again as she wraps her little arms around the dog’s neck in a hug. She’s light in her grip and Artemis snuggles into her. “Momma! She’s so cute!”

“She is very sweet. May I?” Felicity asks as she approaches, looking to Oliver for permission and he smiles.

“Of course,” He tells her softly, watching with an affectionate smile as she bends down to pet the dog.

“Hello, Artemis,” She greets, laughing as Ada lets go of the dog and Artemis nuzzles into Felicity’s hand.

“Can I walk her?” Ada asks excitedly, looking between Oliver, Felicity, and Artemis with wide bright eyes that Oliver wonders how her mother ever says no to.

“Is that okay, Momma?” Oliver questions, looking to Felicity who smiles.

“We’ve got nowhere to be,” She comments with an affectionate smile as she pets Artemis once more before she stands.

“Excellent, c’mere then Ada,” Oliver grins as he stands and Ada whoops, wiggling between Oliver and Artemis to grab the lead with both her hands. Oliver holds on tightly, knowing that the Newfoundland is far too large for tiny Ada to walk on her own. He grips the lead tightly with his right hand and turns to Felicity with the other, offering her his arm with a raised eyebrow.

Felicity looks at him a little nervously, but she loops her arm through his, settling her gloved hand in the crook of his elbow. Oliver smiles contently, something within him settling peacefully, and he turns his attention back to Ada as they begin to walk.

There’s something so simply wonderful about walking around the park with Ada and Felicity. To anyone else, they could be just a normal family taking a walk in the park at the weekend. It’s so strange to Oliver to think that this is something he wants. This is only the second time he’s met Ada, but there’s something so sweet about the little girl. She’s wormed her way into his heart so significantly and her mother is exactly the same.

He feels complete, happy and content in a way he hasn’t since… in a way that he has never felt.

They loop the whole way around the park. Ada babbles away about her favorite places to play and why she thinks swings are far superior to slides. As they move around the lake, her conversation shifts to her opinions on Wonder Woman and why she loves her so much. Oliver listens with rapt attention, asking questions where he feels appropriate. It makes him smile to learn more about the toddler and the feeling of Felicity’s hand tucked into his arm as he listens to Ada is indescribably wonderful.

“Thank you for letting me walk Arty, Oliver,” Ada declares happily when they make it back to where they started their walk. Oliver has been able to loosen his grip on the lead a little as Artemis has learned to keep her pace slow for Ada’s small steps.

“You’re very welcome, Ada, I think she likes you better than me,” Oliver chuckles, watching the way that Artemis nudges Ada happily with her nose, making the little girl giggle.

“I get that, I’m very cool,” The toddler shrugs, making both Oliver and Felicity laugh.

“Yes, you are,” Oliver confirms with an affectionate smile. Ada asks if she can go play on the equipment a few feet away and Felicity nods, leaving the two of them with Artemis after the little girl rushes off.

“A handful, for sure,” Felicity hums affectionately, shaking her head and Oliver chuckles.

“She’s wonderful, just like her mother,” He tells her softly and Felicity blushes but she doesn’t look away which Oliver considers to be an improvement.

“You’re wonderful with her,” She comments with a small wistful sigh and Oliver frowns as her expression turns slightly more serious. She looks over to where Ada is playing, always keeping half an eye on the little girl.

“Are you okay?” Oliver questions, noting how Felicity has tensed a little.

“Yeah, I… I’m sorry, I’ve just… I’ve always kept Ada very separate from everything else,” She confirms in a small voice, barely audible over the fall wind that whips its way through the park. Oliver hears her, however, and he freezes, nodding as her words register.

“And this scares you,” He finishes for her, knowing that it must be scary for her to suddenly be letting someone else into the life that’s been just about her and Ada for so long.

“It terrifies me,” Felicity confirms, looking up at Oliver. He can tell that her guards are down and her bright blue eyes hold such vulnerability that Oliver just wants to wrap her in his arms and tell her that everything is going to be okay, that he would never hurt her or Ada.

“Felicity, I would never want you to be uncomfortable. If you want me to not interact with Ada, that’s totally fine, I respect that,” He finds himself saying instead, conscious of the fact that he wants to maintain Felicity’s boundaries.

“It’s not that I don’t want you to interact with her. it’s just that it scares me to be letting someone into our little duo,” Felicity shakes her head, her breath shaky and Oliver frowns.

“But you’re not opposed to it?” He can’t resist asking, watching as Felicity’s expression melts as she turns warm eyes onto him.

“I told you when I said no to the date that it wasn’t about you, Oliver. You’re… very attractive and sweet and kind and seeing you with Ada actually only amplifies all of that and good lord, how red am I right now?”

She trails off as her cheeks flame a bright red and Oliver chuckles affectionately. “You could be a red bauble on a Christmas tree.”

“I hope not, I’m Jewish,” Felicity counters with a laugh of her own and Oliver laughs even as he stores the information away for safekeeping.

“Well, it’s endearing no matter,” He tells her with a warm smile and Felicity takes a shaky breath, looking up at him with those same vulnerable eyes. This time, Oliver rushes to reassure her. “We can take this as slowly as you’d like, Felicity. I don’t know what happened but you’re on my mind almost every day. I have all the time in the world though.”

Felicity swallows thickly, nodding her head. She looks back over at Ada for a long moment before she turns back to Oliver and extends her hand. “Friends?”

“I can do friends,” Oliver nods, reaching out to grasp her gloved hand. He opts to squeeze it instead of shaking and Felicity’s expression melts, smiling gently at him with a nod. Their hands fall back to their sides and Oliver keeps his reassuring smile on his face, knowing that there’s very little he wouldn’t do for the woman stood in front of him.

He hasn’t known her very long but he’s fairly certain he’s falling in love with both her and her little munchkin.

“There’s a fantastic coffee shop down the road from QC that I sometimes like to frequent on my lunch break, I could show it to you on Monday?” Felicity asks, looking over at him with a hopeful expression and Oliver feels like a little kid in the way pure elation spreads through him at her request.

“I’d love that,” He tells her calmly instead, tempering his excitement well as he smiles softly at her.

“Excellent, it’s a not-date,” She comments before wincing but Oliver laughs, nodding his head.

“Sounds perfect,” He reassures her and she looks at him apologetically before glancing back to where Ada has started picking up the brightest leaves from the ground.

“I should get the munchkin home and get some food in her,” Felicity chuckles as she watches her and Oliver nods with a smile.

“I should do the same with my own little lady,” He comments endearingly, chuckling as Artemis bounds up from where she’d be sat patiently to delight in his rub to the top of her head.

“I’m looking forward to Monday,” Felicity smiles as she turns.

“Me too,” Oliver comments, meeting her eyes. They lock for another long moment and Oliver feels that pull in his stomach once again. It’s him who breaks the connection this time, bending to pretend to fiddle with Artemis’ collar to stop himself from doing something rash.

“Ada! Come say goodbye,” Felicity calls and the toddler drops her leaves, rushing back over to where they’re stood.

“Bye Oliver! Bye Arty! I hope I get to see you soon!” Ada waves happily from where she leans against Felicity’s leg and Oliver chuckles with a smile, nodding his head.

“I look forward to it, Miss Ada. You look after your momma for me, okay?”

“You got it!” Ada grins, giving him a big thumbs up. She gets one last cuddle in with Artemis before she and Felicity say their goodbyes, heading for the gate of the park. “Momma, can we get an Arty?”

“Not at the moment, no, sweetheart,” Felicity’s voice travels as they walk away slowly, Ada clearly tired from all the excitement.

“Ugh. But she’s so cute,” The toddler bemoans and Oliver chuckles at the same time as Felicity.

“I’m sure you’ll be seeing her very soon,” Felicity promises, ruffling Ada’s hair before she bends to scoop the tired toddler into her arms and carry her the rest of the way to the car.

“I better,” Ada states as she leans her head on Felicity’s shoulders and Oliver smiles when Felicity turns to look back at him just before they step through the gate, waving goodbye with the promise of Monday hanging in the air.

 


 

Oliver spends the rest of his weekend counting down the hours until Monday lunchtime. He takes Artemis out to the trails by the seafront on Sunday, both of them running until Oliver’s head is a little clearer but still very full of a beautiful blonde and her sweet little girl. He forces his way through his work on Monday morning, the overwhelming amount of emails to answer making for a good distraction as he tries to not start counting the minutes.

Finally, the clock starts to tick down the minutes until 1 o’clock.

“It’s around the corner, John, I’ll be fine,” Oliver attempts to reassure his head of security as he shuts down his laptop for his lunch break.

“And with respect, Oliver, keeping you safe is why you pay me. By not taking me, you’re not only putting yourself at risk, but Felicity too,” John states with his arms crossed over his chest and Oliver sighs, hating that his words strike a nerve.

“You just want to spy,” He counters with a raised eyebrow, a small smirk covering his lips as he looks at the man who has grown to become one of his best friends.

“I’m a bodyguard, Oliver, I don’t spy, I observe,” John corrects with a proud raise of his chin, and Oliver chuckles, shaking his head.

“Well, nonetheless, there’s nothing to observe, just two friends getting coffee,” He comments as he stands, grabbing his coat and pulling it on over his suit jacket.

“And I perform in the circus on my days off,” John counters completely deadpan, making Oliver smirk.

“Acrobat?” He questions with a grin and John smiles, shaking his head.

“Trapeze, actually,” He retorts with a chuckle before he shakes his head derisively. “It’s a date, Oliver.”

“She wants to call it a not-date, I’ll call it a not-date, John,” Oliver replies simply as he reaches for his phone and then heads out the door of his office.

“And that right there is why I know it’s totally a date,” His bodyguard counters with a smile as he follows him out and Oliver rolls his eyes, though he knows John is probably right.

They head down to R&D and Oliver pokes his head into Felicity’s new office to find her shutting down her laptop. She’s dressed today in a long-sleeved black dress that reveals a significant portion of her shapely back. Her usual colorful nature is represented in her red heels and lipstick, as well as her blue coat from Saturday that she reaches for with a smile when she spots Oliver.

“You ready?” He questions with a grin and Felicity nods.

“Ready to roll,” She comments before she freezes, shaking her head self-deprecatingly. “I spend too much of my time with a three-year-old.”

“You’re all good,” He laughs, smiling as she exits the office to join him and John.

“Hi, John!” Felicity greets enthusiastically when she spots the bodyguard and John smiles warmly at Felicity.

“Hi, Felicity.”

“He insisted on coming,” Oliver explains as they start making their way back towards the elevators.

“I’ll be keeping my distance,” John reminds him with an amused smile.

“I get it, it’s your job,” Felicity shrugs and Oliver groans when John gestures towards Felicity with a ‘see?’ expression.

“I’m glad someone understands,” He comments smugly and Oliver rolls his eyes.

“Hit a nerve?” Felicity questions with a grin and Oliver chuckles.

“Maybe,” He winks, delighting in the way it makes Felicity chuckle. He asks her how her day is going as they make their way down the street and by the time Felicity is down attempting to explain her latest coding project to him, they’re stepping into an incredible looking coffee shop Oliver had no idea was so close to his work.

It’s in keeping with the business district with its exposed pipes and simple furniture but the owners have dressed it beautifully, with plants and other greenery nearly everywhere you look. The counter is lined with cakes and sandwiches that have Oliver’s stomach rumbling and the smell of the coffee is only adding to the appeal.

“Oh wow, this place is amazing. How did I not know this was here?” Oliver questions as they approach the counter. There are a few patrons but the place is mostly empty, which is extremely rare for a coffee shop right in the heart of the business district.

“Everyone always hits up Starbucks and Big Belly but I learned at college that finding the hidden gems is always best,” Felicity smiles with a preening tilt of her shoulders and Oliver smiles, nodding his head.

“This is certainly a gem,” He agrees as they step up to order.

“What can I get for you?” The server asks with a smile and Oliver lets Felicity order as he looks over both the coffee menu and the sandwiches. Once she’s done, he orders a cappuccino and a pastrami sandwich, pulling his wallet out.

“I got it,” He reassures Felicity when he sees her reaching into her purse for her own wallet.

“You don’t have to do that,” She tells him with a small frown.

“I insist, retribution for your time on Saturday,” He smiles charmingly, handing his own card over to the server who smiles and puts the transaction through. She hands them a number and assures them someone will bring their order over to their table so they make their way over to a small booth near the back of the shop.

John is ordering his own coffee and he gives them a nod as he makes his way over to his own table once he’s done.

“Please, Ada and I both had a lot of fun. Though, I have been hounded non-stop about when we can get an Artemis,” Felicity comments with a chuckle as she eases into the seat and tugs her coat off. Oliver laughs as he removes the heavy layer as well, thinking of how sweet it had been to watch Ada and Artemis together.

“Well, you’re welcome to bring her around whenever to see her if that would help,” Oliver assures her, and Felicity smiles.

“Thank you, that’s very kind.”

“She’s a great kid and you’re an even greater mom,” Oliver presses, his words as honest as his expression. They make Felicity blush, looking down at her lap, and she shrugs.

“I do my best,” She comments simply and it takes Oliver back. It’s baffling to him that she cannot see just how incredible of a mother she is.

“Seriously, Felicity, you clearly such love and dedication to her. It’s incredibly admirable,” He cannot help but press, and Felicity smiles with a simple shrug.

“She’s my everything, the least I can do is give her everything back,” She states as if it’s the easiest thing in the world but Oliver is blown away by her dedication. Felicity shakes her head with a small chuckle, adjusting in her seat. “But anyway, enough about me. I know the tabloid and official QC statement versions but tell me about you.”

Oliver freezes.

He honestly doesn’t know what to tell her.

His life has been a whirlwind the past few years. Ever since his parents died in a tragic boating accident, he’s been all about work and looking out for his baby sister, Thea. Artemis and his apartment are his retreat from the world but apart from that, there’s not much to his personal life that isn’t in the official QC statements. “You know most of it. I work, I have a dog, I often see my little sister too.”

“Thea, right?” Felicity questions with a warm smile and Oliver softens too as he thinks of his baby sister. She’s not really a baby anymore, but at ten years younger than Oliver, she’ll always been that way to him.

“Yes, she’s the best. It’s just the two of us left now. I’m very grateful for her,” Oliver smiles, unable to hide it as he thinks about Thea and how far she’s come.

“What does she do?” Felicity questions politely and Oliver grins.

“She’s in design school. She’s ten years younger than me so she’s a sophomore,” He explains, chuckling as he remembers how Thea was at his apartment last night explaining her latest project for school to him. She has such creativity and he’s really glad she’s found a way to channel that into something productive.

“That’s so wonderful,” Felicity smiles genuinely and the honesty in her voice makes Oliver’s smile widen.

“I’m so proud of her. She went through a really rough patch when my parents passed but she’s gotten back on her feet and is truly thriving,” He nods, looking at Felicity to see her staring at him with a soft yet rather unreadable expression in her eyes.

“Much like her big brother,” She smirks and Oliver blushes with a small chuckle.

“I try,” He shrugs, worrying as his cheeks feel red hot under her compliments.

Luckily, their food and drinks are brought over at that moment and they shift into easier conversation. Oliver delights in all the new things he learns about Felicity; that she grew up in Vegas, she too was raised by a single mother, her days at MIT are some of her fondest and worst memories. He revels in the mundane details that she reveals as well; her fondness for chips, her fear of kangaroos and needles, the fact that she coerces Ada into chores disguised as dance parties. Every single detail is a part of the puzzle that makes up the incredible woman in front of him and Oliver knows that he wants to find every single piece.

He reveals just as much to her. He tells her of his childhood, his miscreant years with his best friend, Tommy, and all about how important it was to him to turn his life around so that he could continue his family legacy after his parents’ deaths. He tells her about adopting Artemis and how his dog makes his life far brighter than he could have imagined. He reveals things to her that he’s never told anyone outside of his family and delights in the smiles and laughs and gentle looks they earn him from the beautiful woman across from him.

By the time their lunch hour begins to draw to a close, Oliver knows that he’s very much falling in love with Felicity Smoak.

“So, do you and the munchkin have anything planned for Thanksgiving?” Oliver questions as they make their way back up the street to QC. The holiday is next week and it’s on his mind because he needs to sort out the details of what he’s doing with his sister.

“No actually. My mom was going to try and fly in but we decided it would be better for her to save her time off up and come for Passover instead. So it’ll just be Ada and I and I am a disaster in the kitchen, so I’ll probably just order in,” Felicity laughs, shaking her head and Oliver responds before he even really thinks about it.

“Well, how would you feel about spending the holiday with my sister and I? I dabble in the kitchen and I know she’d love for there to be more than just the two of us.” The nerves settle in as he speaks, realizing that he’s actually inviting the woman he’s falling in love with over to his house, but they settle a little when Felicity’s expression morphs into one of delighted surprise.

“Oh, you really don’t have to do that,” She waves him off, but the smile on her face says otherwise.

“I want to. It’ll be nice to celebrate with more people again, I’ve missed it,” He reassures her, not realizing how true his words are until he says them. He really does miss hanging out with people other than Thea and he knows that his sister would love for there to be more than just the two of them and Artemis at their thanksgiving table.

“If you’re sure…” Felicity trails off, clearly not wanting to inconvenience him but Oliver just nods, a bright smile on his face.  

“Very much so. Plus, it’d be rude of us to keep the new best friends away from each other,” He teases, his heart clenching a little as he remembers how sweet Ada and Artemis are together.  

“True, Ada would never forgive me if she found out I’d turn down an opportunity for her to hang with Artemis,” Felicity laughs, nodding her head. Oliver grins proudly at having made her smile.

“You’ll come then?” He questions to confirm and Felicity nods.

“We’d love to.”

“Perfect. Hang on, I’ll give you my number and we can work out the details a little clearer,” He tells her, really only thinking of convenience as he holds his hand out for her to place her phone in. He inputs his number and hands it back, excited as he starts to think of what he can cook that’s both Ada-friendly and still delicious.

“Excellent,” Felicity smiles and taps something into her, making Oliver’s own phone vibrate in his pocket. “There you go, now you have mine too.”

“Perfect,” Oliver grins, practically glowing as his excitement for next week grows.

 


 

Felicity doesn’t think she’s ever had a better thanksgiving.

She’d been a little apprehensive at first. For all Oliver’s excitement, she was worried he wouldn’t know how to handle actually having a toddler in his apartment all day but he called her last night, wanting to make sure that he’d set everything up perfectly.

And he really has.

She and Ada arrive at around 11 to find Oliver already very busy in the kitchen. He introduces them to Thea, who is a smart, sweet, and extremely funny girl that Ada immediately warms to. Oliver ushers them all out the kitchen, assuring them that he’s got it handled, and the three girls settle in front of the parade. Ada gets distracted playing with Artemis, her laughs blending with the dog’s yaps to fill the apartment with a happy atmosphere, and Felicity is grateful for the time to talk to and understand Thea, who is just a wonderful girl.

Oliver appears throughout the morning, making sure that they’re kept filled with drinks and other snacks, and the open plan nature of his apartment means that they can chat with him too as he cooks. Felicity delights in the banter Thea and Oliver engage in, the siblings clearly love each other very much but are masters at teasing one another and it’s incredibly endearing. Oliver always relents to his baby sister, resigning to her wins with a kiss to the top of her head or temple as he hands her another can of soda.

Felicity is grateful when dinner is served, the fabulous smells coming out of the kitchen all morning have been making her stomach rumble and she’s very excited to finally dig in. It seems that Oliver was grossly underestimating his own skills when he told her that he ‘dabbles’ in the kitchen because every single morsel of food is utterly delicious.

She insists on helping to clear up and she and Thea take the task of the dishes. When they finish, they enter the main living area of the apartment to see the entirely adorable sight of Oliver playing with both Ada and Artemis. All of them are clearly enjoying themselves immensely, Oliver and Ada laughing and Artemis letting out the occasional happy bark.

“I don’t think I need to eat for another week,” Thea huffs as she sinks into the couch on the other side of the room from the happy trio, and Felicity chuckles, settling down next to her.

“Tell me about it. Your brother doesn’t do things by half, does he?” Felicity chuckles, laying a hand across her very full stomach. She’s glad she went with the fit and flare dress and not the jeans she considered this morning. As comfortable as she feels around Oliver, she doesn’t think they’re quite at the unzipping clothes level of comfortable yet.

“Not when it comes to people he cares about,” Thea replies affectionately, chuckling as her attention is drawn back to the playful trio when Ada squeals particularly loudly. Felicity’s heart melts at the sight of them, Ada being held upside down securely in Oliver’s arms as Artemis runs around them happily.

“He’s a wonderful man and he speaks very highly of you,” Felicity smiles, turning her attention back to Thea. The younger woman shakes her head with an affectionate smile as she continues to watch her brother play with Ada and Artemis.

“I don’t deserve him. He looks out for me every single day and he sacrificed so much to help me get back on my feet. I’m glad to know that he’s making some more connections finally. He deserves to be a little selfish,” Thea smiles with a small shrug of her shoulders and Felicity freezes at her final sentence.

“That’s what my mom said to me on the phone the other night,” She tells the younger woman, blinking as she remembers the conversation she’d had with her mom. Her mother had been very vehement in her encouragement of Felicity ‘getting her hands on her man’.

“Sounds like your mother is a very wise woman,” Thea smiles, turning back to look at Felicity.

“She is.”

“Felicity? Can I ask you a question?” Thea asks after a beat, turning to face Felicity with a serious expression.

“Of course,” Felicity smiles, nodding her head as she turns her attention fully to the younger woman as well.

“Do you want to date my brother?” Thea asks plainly, tilting her head as she looks at Felicity.

“I…” The blonde freezes, totally taken aback by the straight-forward question. She blinks, looking between Oliver and Ada and then back to Thea, feeling her stomach twist uncomfortably. “It’s a very complicated situation.”

“Because of Ada?” Thea asks and Felicity swallows thickly.

“Among other things,” She answers quietly, closing her eyes for a moment. This still scares her, terrifies her really, but the way that Oliver makes her feel… she’s starting to think that maybe it would be worth it.

“Well, that doesn’t look all that complicated to me,” Thea comments, her gaze back on Oliver and Ada and Felicity follows her eyeline, her heart clenching almost painfully at the sight she sees.

Oliver is laying on the floor, Ada sandwiched between him and Artemis. He’s showing her something on his phone and whilst the toddler is totally concentrated on the tech, Oliver is completely focused on her daughter. He’s making sure that the phone is at the right level for her to see it and she can tell that he’s keeping half an eye on Artemis, even though the docile dog is clearly happy to just be laying calmly next to Ada. It’s so sweet and Felicity takes a shaky breath, her eyes filling with tears as she tries to make sense of the mess that is her mind.

“Felicity, I’m not going to tell you how to parent, whatever you think is best for that little girl is what is best for her. That being said, I think your mom is right, you deserve to be a little selfish after everything you’ve done and continue to do for Ada. And my brother? He would never hurt either of you. Everything he does, he does to care for those around him and he clearly cares about you and that little girl,” Thea continues to talk, her voice clearly emotional as she speaks about her brother. Felicity keeps her eyes on her daughter and Oliver, knowing from that image alone that what Thea is saying is true.

“I…” She tries to start talking but her voice clogs in her throat and she shakes her head.

“Just think about it, okay?” Thea whispers, her hand landing comfortingly on Felicity’s shoulder and the blonde takes a deep breath, nodding her head.

In fact, she’s incapable of thinking of anything else for the rest of the day. Her head spins as she tries to figure it all out and the fact that Oliver only continues to be so entirely sweet with Ada just makes it all the more complicated. She finds herself leaning into the arm Oliver places on the sofa behind her when they put a film on and wanting to inch closer without Thea’s knowing smirk.

At around seven, Thea heads out, going to spend the evening with a few of her friends from school and they wave her goodbye enthusiastically. Felicity knows that she should take the cue and head home with her and Ada as well but instead, she takes a deep breath and chooses to take the plunge.

“Hi,” She comments softly as she pads into the kitchen where Oliver is sorting out the leftovers that she and Thea left on the side at his request.

“Hey, have you had a good day?” Oliver smiles, stopping what he’s doing to turn and lean casually against the island. His arms flex as he does so and Felicity swallows thickly at the sight. Oliver in a Henley wasn’t something she ever thought she needed but it’s something she very much appreciates nonetheless.

“It’s been so wonderful, thank you again for having us. You’re an incredible cook and an even better host,” Felicity smiles, sinking into her hip and Oliver smiles sheepishly with a small shrug.

“Well, I’m just glad you guys had a good time,” He tells her and the honesty and simplicity in his expression make Felicity’s stomach flutter.

“I think Ada speaks for the both of us on that one,” Felicity snorts, looking over to where her daughter is curled up asleep on the couch with Artemis. Toddler and Newfoundland are wrapped around one another, both of them breathing heavily as they sleep off the excitement of the day.

Oliver’s eyes widen at the sight before he smiles, shaking his head. “You know that kid is perhaps the most adorable kid to ever exist, right?”

“I think you might be a little biased there,” Felicity snorts, shaking her head but Oliver just shrugs, keeping his affectionate expression trained on her.

“Maybe.”

“So, um… your sister said something to me earlier,” Felicity takes a deep breath as she speaks, shifting a little nervously where she’s stood. Her heart is beating so fast she thinks it might beat out of her chest but she strengthens her resolve, knowing that this is what she wants now.

“She did? What about?” Oliver frowns, tilting his head as he looks at her with concern. Felicity knows that he can sense her nervousness and she takes a deep breath, trying to get a handle on herself.

“You and me,” She states simply and Oliver freezes, looking at her in shock.

“Oh, Felicity, I am so sorry. Thea, she’s not the best when it comes to tact. I’ll talk to her,” Oliver tells her comfortingly, his jaw clenching as irritation towards his sister clearly sinks in.

Felicity shakes her head vehemently, jumping to Thea’s defense. “No, I… it’s okay. She made some excellent points, actually.”

Oliver freezes at that, his expression melting as he raises an eyebrow softly at her. “Yeah?”

Felicity swallows, taking a deep breath as she nods. Her stomach flutters but she steels herself, knowing that this is now or never.

“When I first said no to you, I hadn’t seen you with Ada, hadn’t seen the way that you are willing to do anything for the people that you care about. I was scared to let you in because I didn’t know you, I didn’t know how you would be with me or with her,” She starts and Oliver nods along in understanding, his eyes soft as he watches her.

“And now you do?”

“This is still very much something I’d like to take slowly, but it is something I’d like to take. Oliver… you’re an incredible man and I’ve seen your heart now. If you’d still like to, I’d love to go to dinner with you.” Felicity’s nerves threaten to eat through her stomach and she refuses to look at him until she makes the final request. She feels like a teenager all over again, talking to her crush in the school hallway.

Oliver, however, looks totally elated, his expression contorting into one of gleeful disbelief and it’s totally infectious. “Really?”

“Yeah,” Felicity grins back at him as he pushes off of the island. He stops himself from reaching for her, holding himself back with a wide grin still on his face.

“Do you think I could maybe kiss you?” He questions a little nervously but Felicity just smiles, biting her lip as she steps up to him herself, her front pressing against his. He lets out a small groan at the contact and Felicity’s smile turns into a grin as she places her hand gently on his very lovely bicep.

“I’d be leaving disappointed if you don’t,” She whispers as she rises onto her toes, her head coming level with his neck as she does so.

“Well we can’t have that,” Oliver whispers back with just as large of a grin, one of his hands lifting to tilt her chin towards him as the other coils tightly around her waist. He pulls her closer to him and Felicity breath hitches as he bends at the neck, their lips finally meeting in a kiss that is equal parts dizzying and perfect.

Oliver’s lips are soft against her own, the two of them moving in a fluid dance as if they’ve done this a thousand times before. Felicity is amazed at how perfectly they seem to fit together and how right it feels to be curled in his arms; she simply cannot believe she’s been denying herself of this for so long.

By the time they pull apart, both of them are gasping for air, and Felicity’s head is spinning in the best way. She feels like she could float and it’s an intoxicating feeling, one she knows she can quickly get addicted to.

They’re both wearing the cheesiest of grins and Felicity feels as excited and content as Oliver looks. He’s practically glowing as he smiles down at her, his hand moving to rest against her cheek and she nuzzles into it. “Just to clarify, the dinner is a date?”

“A not-not-date,” Felicity teases with a smirk as she looks up at him through her eyelashes.

“Sounds perfect,” Oliver grins and bends back down to kiss her again.

Felicity has absolutely no complaints.

 


 

Two years later…

Oliver grins as he finishes his coffee, placing the mug in the sink. He adjusts his suit, smirking as his hand brushes over the spot underneath his shirt where Felicity has left a rather prominent hickey.

This morning was very enjoyable.

But now they need to get to work and get a certain little girl to her first day of school.

“Alright, kiddo, come on. We got to move else you’re going to be late,” He comments as he turns around, frowning when he spots that Ada has disappeared from where she was sitting on one of the stools at the island. “Ada?”

He frowns as he makes his way through the apartment, looking around for Artemis, knowing that his daughter is properly with her furry best friend. He spots a tail sticking out from the dining room table and chuckles.

“Well, this takes me back,” He comments under his breath as he bends to crawl under the table. Sure enough, Ada is sat curled up near the leg of the table, Artemis’ head laying in her lap. “What are you doing under here, little munchkin?”

The five-year-old blinks, looking over at Oliver with wide, scared eyes that remind him immediately of the first time he met the little munchkin.

“’M scared, Daddy,” She tells him seriously, her voice still as adorable as the day he first met her. Despite him having been ‘Daddy’ to Ada for over a year, hearing her refer to him as such still sends a pang of affection through his heart for his daughter.

She’s his, through and through, and he loves her with everything in him.

“What are you scared for, Ads?” Oliver questions gently, his heart clenching at her fearful expression. He wishes he could just take it all away, to take her pain for her, but he knows that she’s growing up and there are some things she’s going to have to face on her own.

“What if I don’t make any friends?” Ada asks, her bottom lip starting to quiver and Oliver’s heart clenches painfully.

“Oh sweetie, c’mere,” He tells her softly, holding his arms out. Ada gently urges Artemis out the way and then flings herself into his arms. He holds her carefully as he slips out from under the table before standing up. Ada curls into him, leaning her perfectly braided hair against his shoulder. Oliver presses a kiss to her forehead, craning his head as he meets her eyes. “Adaline Donna Smoak-Queen, you are the funniest, cleverest, and the sweetest little girl I know. Everyone is going to want to be your friend.”

“You don’t know that!” Ada pouts and Oliver chuckles, shaking his head.

“I do, because I know you, Miss Ada, and I know that you have a way of making everyone smile,” He tells her truthfully, gently pinching her cheek with the hand that isn’t holding her. It makes her smile and she perks up after that with the face that Oliver knows means she has an idea.

“Maybe I can explain to them all about my computer!” She grins and Oliver smiles too, nodding his head and feeling proud that he’s successful cheered her up.

“I’m sure they’ll love that,” He reassures her, pressing another kiss to her temple before he places her back down on the floor. “Alright, go put your shoes on, little miss, we got to scram.”

Ada nods, a wide smile on her face, before she rushes off towards the door. “Arty! Come on!”

Oliver chuckles, turning around to spot that Felicity has made her way into the kitchen whilst he was talking to Ada. She’s leaning against the counter, draining the cup of coffee in her hand quickly. She’s smirking at him with a very appreciative smile and she traces Ada and Artemis’ movements, placing the mug down and pushing off the counter once they’re out of sight.

“Hmm, good morning,” She smirks, her hips swaying as she walks over to him. Oliver runs his eyes down her frame appreciatively, taking in the deep green dress that clings to all her perfect curves.

“Good morning to me,” He smirks, slipping his arms around her when she’s in reach.

“Watch it, mister,” She laughs as his hands slip down to cup her ass, nuzzling his nose into her neck. It’s one of his favorite things to do in the morning, her perfume so strong on her pale skin.

“That’s not what you were saying an hour ago,” He mumbles into her skin, pressing a kiss to her collarbone and Felicity laughs.

“Hmm, and that’s exactly what has us running late,” She reminds him with a smirk, pushing gently on his shoulder with a laugh. Oliver relents, chuckling too, resigning to grasp her hands instead.

“I’m sorry I can’t resist my beautiful wife,” He smirks, lifting her left hand to his lips and pressing a series of kisses to her wedding and engagement bands.

“Hmm, I love you,” Felicity hums as he continues his exploits, kissing his way up the back of her hand to her wrist.

“I love you too,” He replies just as softly, unable to resist leaning in to kiss her gently once more.

“Ready!” Ada calls as she comes skidding back into the room. Oliver and Felicity separate, Oliver hiding a small groan under his breath as Felicity spins to look at Ada who indeed is all ready to go.

“Look at you! My big girl! All ready for her first day of kindergarten! You’ll be off to college before I know it,” Felicity squeals, bending to scoop Ada into her arms, and their daughter giggles.

“Momma…” She groans as Felicity kisses her all over her face, before reaching out with her thumb to get rid of the lipstick.

“I’m so excited for you, munchkin,” Felicity laughs, pressing one last kiss to Ada’s forehead before she places her back down on the floor.

“You’re going to bring Arty to pick me up, yeah?” Ada questions, looking over at her best friend with a wistful glance.

“Of course, she wants to celebrate your first day of school too!” Oliver reassures her, the plan already being for him and Felicity to come home and grab Artemis before they head to the school to pick Ada up at the end of her day.

“Okay, we really do need to go,” Felicity comments as she glances over at the clock, and Oliver nods, scooping Ada up as they head for the door.

Oliver couldn’t have ever imagined two years ago that he’d be taking his daughter to her first day of school before making his way to work with his wife by his side. He thanks his lucky stars every single day that fate brought him, Felicity, and Ada together…

…and maybe he buys Artemis an extra special treat every now and again to thank her for knocking that latte over his laptop.