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The Unbearable Hotness of Being

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Unbearable Hotness of Being graphic by fe-li-ci-ty

July 2

Felicity, 5:17: Barry.
Felicity, 5:17: Barry.
Felicity, 5:17: BARRY.

Barry, 5:19: driving

Felicity, 5:19: STILL? You left like FOREVER ago.
Felicity, 5:19: Or maybe like 20 minutes. I don’t know. Don’t read this until you get home. But – HURRY.
Felicity, 5:19: Because I live in the same apartment building as the most unbearably gorgeous person I have ever seen in real life.
Felicity, 5:19: And I embarrassed myself irredeemably in front of his stupidly handsome face. UGH.
Felicity, 5:27: Are you home yet? DRIVE FASTER.

Barry, 5:32: what the hell, felicity?

Felicity, 5:32: HEY, REMEMBER how we lugged the charity stuff into the lobby and then you left?

Barry, 5:32: this feels accusatory

Felicity, 5:32: And remember how I told you that I didn’t need to label them?

Barry, 5:32: you mean when you argued aloud with yourself about labeling them and then declared yourself the winner? i remember

Felicity, 5:32: Shut up. Also I changed my mind.

Barry, 5:32: you labeled boxes? ………… that’s your important story???

Felicity, 5:33: It’s called SETTING THE SCENE. My story is obviously about UNBEARABLY HOT GUY. Keep up.

Barry, 5:33: what makes you want to tell me about some guy at your apt?

Felicity, 5:33: YOU were just giving me that annoying *I’m in a gooey new relationship and I’m in love with LOVE and all my friends must be paired off* pep talk.

Barry, 5:33: i just said that guys are into you, even if you don’t believe me. you’re missing the signs.

Felicity, 5:33: Oh, hush, I know all the signs and I am *not* getting them. Believe you me.
Felicity, 5:33: ALSO not the point. SO I AM LABELING BOXES with that red sharpie, and I paused to tape one up.

Barry, 5:33: wait, we taped them up – you undid them? Why?

Felicity, 5:33: Because I DON’T have x-ray vision? I was labeling boxes, Barry.

Barry, 5:33: riveting story

Felicity, 5:33: There’s a sound that startles me and I whirl around. AND THERE HE IS.
Felicity, 5:33: SO HANDSOME. All crazy blue eyes and this jawline that is just obscene and these SHOULDERS, GOD.
Felicity, 5:33: He was, I WOULD LEARN LATER, going for a run, so wearing a nice tight t-shirt, shorts, just the whole drool-worthy package.
Felicity, 5:33: Basically, he looks like a chorus of angels floats around behind him to sing and, like, bestow sunbeams upon him.
Felicity, 5:33: He’s THAT GORGEOUS. So much so that I just SMILED at him! Involuntarily!
Felicity, 5:34: Except then we made EYE CONTACT, and it was too much and somehow, I FELL OVER.

Barry, 5:34: you fell over? like, tripped over your boxes?

Felicity, 5:34: I don’t know how I fell down, Barry. I didn’t hack the lobby security cameras and study the footage or anything.

Barry, 5:34: you totally hacked the lobby security cameras.

Felicity, 5:34: SHUT UP. The footage was from a totally unhelpful angle STILL NOT THE POINT.

Barry, 5:34: are you gonna GET to the point, or…???

Felicity, 5:34: The point is I FELL DOWN FROM SHEER UNBEARABLE GORGEOUSNESS.
Felicity, 5:34: And when I hit the ground, I bit down a little too hard on the sharpie in my mouth, and got PERMANENT RED INK ALL OVER MY CHIN.

Barry, 5:35: oh, wow. does concealer work to cover that?

Felicity, 5:35: BARRY! FOCUS! THE UNBEARABLY HOT GUY WATCHED ME FALL DOWN, BITE THROUGH A PEN, AND STAIN MY OWN CHIN WITH INK.
Felicity, 5:35: AND HE SMILED AND HELPED ME UP AND SAID, “Everything okay” in this kind voice and I NEED THE GROUND TO SWALLOW ME.

Barry, 5:35: he helped you up? Doesn’t sound like he was repulsed or anything, felicity.

Felicity, 5:35: YOU DON’T UNDERSTAND. When I was back upright, he smiled all, like, GORGEOUS and gestured at his chin.
Felicity, 5:35: WHICH I PROMPTLY STARED AT, because he has this SCRUFF that is just like…………………

Barry, 5:35: you stared at his chin? that part’s a little weird.

Felicity, 5:35: You have not seen his chin, Barry. It’s…… and the SCRUFF......... I may have drooled.
Felicity, 5:35: Anyway he said “you’ve got a little ink on you.”
Felicity, 5:36: Which I assumed meant a LITTLE ink. So I tried to stop blushing and gave him the MOST idiotic, dorky little wave that the universe has EVER seen.
Felicity, 5:36: And I went back to labeling my boxes, and putting them in the trunk of my car, and drove them over to the shelter.

Barry, 5:36: oh, good, so they took everything? that’s awesome!

Felicity, 5:36: I got back to the building at the same time as UNBEARABLY HOT GUY finished his run, all sweaty and FUCKING IRRESISTIBLE.
Felicity, 5:36: And as soon as he saw me, he started grinning. I thought, wow, he’s SO friendly! What a nice guy!
Felicity, 5:36: So I waved back all cheerfully, and he held the elevator for me, and I asked him about his run.
Felicity, 5:36: And my voice was ALMOST normal! He was grinning at me the WHOLE TIME and it was like a heavenly SPOTLIGHT ON MY FACE.

Barry, 5:36: you’re very dramatic sometimes, felicity

Felicity, 5:37: I got off on my floor with what I hoped was a flirty little goodbye wave, and then I got in my apartment and
Felicity, 5:37: LOOK!!!!!! AT!!!!!!!!!! MY!!!!!!!!!!!!! FACE!!!!!!!!!!!! [download image]

Barry, 5:37: oh, wow. it looks like you dipped your chin in an inkwell

Felicity, 5:37: HE WAS LAUGHING AT ME, BARRY.
Felicity, 5:37: He saw me getting out of my car like 45 minutes later STILL WEARING RED INKSPOTS ON MY FACE.
Felicity, 5:37: OMG, I am so embarrassed.

Barry, 5:37: nothing from your story makes me think the guy’s a dick, felicity. he probably thought you were cute.

Felicity, 5:37: HE DID NOT THINK I WAS CUTE. He THOUGHT I was a CLUMSY MORON.

Barry, 5:37: i think you MIGHT be overreacting a bit.

Felicity, 5:37: I am reacting the exact appropriate amount when faced with the unbearABLE HOTNESS OF BEING.
Felicity, 5:38: WHICH IS WHAT I SHALL CALL HIM.

Barry, 5:38: you could always introduce yourself and get his ACTUAL name

Felicity, 5:38: I CAN NEVER SPEAK TO HIM AGAIN, Barry, don’t be ridiculous.

Barry, 5:38: yeah, it’s ME being ridiculous about this

Felicity, 5:38: You should be nicer to me. I have to go EXFOLIATE INK OFF OF MY CHIN.

Chapter Text

July 3

From: ojq@hotmail.com
To: thea.dearden@gmail.com
Subject: Tomorrow

Thea,

I’m about to go shopping for tomorrow. You still want me to bring sides, right? I know you have special requests, so hit me before I get to the grocery store, okay?

I mentioned your party to Mom and she said she and Walter weren’t invited. I thought you were trying to mend fences? Can I help?

Love,

-O

 

From: thea.dearden@gmail.com
To: ojq@hotmail.com
Subject: re: Tomorrow

Ollie. It’s called texting. Look into it.

Also, please make your potato salad. And bring chips. And bring that cute blonde you wouldn’t shut up about yesterday. ;)

I am trying with Mom. It’s hard.

 

From: ojq@hotmail.com
To: thea.dearden@gmail.com
Subject: re: Tomorrow

Thea,

I know it’s hard. She’s a difficult woman, Thea, but she loves us both. I don’t want to push you, but my offer stands.

And stop reading into things. I told one story about a woman in my building, and I never said she was cute.

As for texting – I’m a complicated man. My thoughts cannot be contained in 100 characters.

-O

 

From: thea.dearden@gmail.com
To: ojq@hotmail.com
Subject: re: Tomorrow

Let me uncomplicate things for you there, big brother – your dopey grin told me all I needed to know about the cute blonde. Ask her out!

 

From: ojq@hotmail.com
To: thea.dearden@gmail.com
Subject: re: Tomorrow

Brat.

 

From: thea.dearden@gmail.com
To: ojq@hotmail.com
Subject: re: Tomorrow

That doesn’t sound like a denial to me. ;)

 

-30-

Chapter Text

August 7

Felicity, 1:07: Who gets the flu in August? This is the worst.

Barry, 1:07: FELICITY. what did you DO to my phone?

Felicity, 1:07: I feel awful.

Barry, 1:07: it’s the middle of the night, felicity, and my phone is playing the.... what IS this??

Felicity, 1:07: You shouldn’t have ignored my texts last week.
Felicity, 1:07: I AM SICK. I feel like DEATH.

Barry, 1:08: i will turn this phone off and go back to sleep if you don’t tell me how to fix it.

Felicity, 1:08: I thought you liked the Jonas Brothers.

Barry, 1:08: not at brain-numbing volume in the middle of the night.
Barry, 1:08: i’m going to kill you when I’m back

Felicity, 1:08: IMPORTANT QUESTION: do pharmacies deliver? I feel like slightly reheated garbage right now.

Barry, 1:08: you realize it’s even LATER in my time zone, right? and that i’m here for business?

Felicity, 1:08: You’re flying home tomorrow. I’m not a monster.
Felicity, 1:08: Though I FEEL LIKE ONE.
Felicity, 1:08: Some sort of feverish, sweaty-but-also-chills, foggy brained monster.
Felicity, 1:09: I am going to buy All The Flu-Related Things from the pharmacy.

Barry, 1:09: HOW DO I MAKE THE JONAS BROTHERS STOP SINGING?

Felicity, 1:27: Wow, this fever is making things a little bit swirly. Pharmacy lighting plus dizziness plus general hazy brainspace is a bad combo.

Barry, 1:27: felicity, iris is around if you need help. please be careful.

Felicity, 1:34: I’m okay. Got drugs. Got orange juice.
Felicity, 1:34: Got a blanket because it’s purple and has paw prints all over it.
Felicity, 1:36: Wait, is this a dog blanket? I think I bought a dog blanket for myself.
Felicity, 1:36: Accidentally. I didn’t, like, do it on purpose.

Barry, 1:37: you’re concerning me a little bit, felicity.

Felicity, 1:59: OHMYGOD

Barry, 1:59: what?
Barry: 1:59: what’s wrong?
Barry, 2:00: FELICITY

Felicity, 2:00: That guy.

Barry, 2:00: what guy?
Barry, 2:01: are you home right now, felicity? are you safe?

Felicity, 2:01: Yes, home. Saw hotness. uNBEARABLE HOTNESS OF BEING.
Felicity, 2:01: Heh. That's funny.
Felicity, 2:01: You know, I am very clever when my brain is not on literal fire.

Barry, 2:01: your brain is not LITERALLY on fire

Felicity, 2:02: It’s called hyperbole.
Felicity, 2:02: I just walked into the lobby from my pharmacy run.
Felicity, 2:02: Feel terrible. Bright red nose from all the blowing.
Felicity, 2:03: [That sounds wrong, but you know what I mean.]

Barry, 2:03: have you taken the medication yet, felicity?

Felicity, 2:03: I’m wearing my purple cat face pajama pants, you know the ones.
Felicity, 2:03: I wrapped myself in a PAW PRINT DOG BLANKET that I thought was a person blanket.
Felicity, 2:03: And I’m wearing my slippers. I didn’t even put a bra on. Barry.

Barry, 2:04: felicity, you’re allowed to dress like a lunatic when you have the flu

Felicity, 2:04: I was washing meds down with orange juice right out of the bottle.
Felicity, 2:04: Real big bottle. Spilled a little on my DOG BLANKET.

Barry, 2:04: yay, meds. okay. lie down. try to sleep. you’ll feel better when the fever breaks.
Barry, 2:04: i’ll ask iris to check on you tmw.

Felicity, 2:05: ALLOW ME TO DESCRIBE FOR YOU WHAT THE UNBEARABLE HOTNESS OF BEING LOOKS LIKE STROLLING HOME AT 2 A.M.

Barry, 2:05: omg, i am so tired. is this really important to discuss RIGHT now?

Felicity, 2:05: He was wearing a light grey suit. Fitted. White dress shirt, no tie, open at the throat.
Felicity, 2:05: He looks like………………………………
Felicity, 2:07: MY BRAIN IS TOO FLOATY FOR SIMILES, BARRY. Fevers suck.

Barry, 2:07: i am totally fine with that. think about it and tell me tmw.

Felicity, 2:08: HE LOOKS LIKE A GOD, BASICALLY, AND I AM BRALESS AND WRAPPED IN A DOG BLANKET.
Felicity, 2:08: But it's okay, I told him it wasn't a dog blanket.

Barry, 2:08: felicity… you talked to him? now? tonight?

Felicity, 2:08: No, it's okay, 'cause I told him it was a cape.
Felicity, 2:08: And then I told him his jaw is very angular, but like in a good way.
Felicity, 2:08: His face.............. is so nice...............

Barry, 2:08: maybe if you try to go to sleep now with his face fresh in your mind you’ll have nice fever dreams about him.

Felicity, 2:09: Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh…...
Felicity, 2:09: That is an EXCELLENT idea, Barry!

Barry, 2:09; thank god. g’nite, f. feel better.

Felicity, 9:14: BARRY, DID I BUY A DOG BLANKET LAST NIGHT AND WALK AROUND WEARING IT LIKE A CAPE?
Felicity, 9:14: IN FRONT OF THE UNBEARABLE HOTNESS OF BEING????
Felicity, 9:14: IS THAT A THING I ACTUALLY DID?
Felicity, 9:15: I told him his jaw is ANGULAR??????????
Felicity, 9:16: BARRY.
Felicity, 9:18: ohmigod.

-30-

Chapter Text

 

August 9

 

From: thea.dearden@gmail.com
To: ojq@hotmail.com
Subject: Since you refuse to text…

...like a normal adult human. Fine, I’m emailing you.

I’m sorry, okay? She just really pushes my buttons, and you KNOW this. Everything is some sort of power play with her, and I just wanted this ONE NIGHT to be about our family. You’ve been back a year, Ollie, and it just would have been nice to celebrate that instead of her criticizing my life choices.

I’m helping you and Tommy with the club, and she needs to back off.

But none of it was your fault, Ollie, so I’m sorry I yelled at you.

 

From: ojq@hotmail.com
To: thea.dearden@gmail.com
Subject: re: Since you refuse to text…

I’m not mad that you yelled at me, or that you and mom are fighting, Thea. I’m upset that YOU were so upset.

Have you considered maybe living in such close quarters with mom isn’t doing either of you any favors? If you’re trying to convince her that you don’t need college, that you can handle yourself like an adult, maybe the job at Verdant is just the first step.

My apartment has two bedrooms, Speedy, and you are always welcome here.

 

From: thea.dearden@gmail.com
To: ojq@hotmail.com
Subject: re: Since you refuse to text…

Uhhhhhhhhhh, if you think I want to live in your sad little bachelor pad, you are crazy. You’re a grown-ass man who sleeps on a mattress on the floor.

Though you can cook……….

But I’d much rather be spared the parade of models and “actresses” you go through, dear brother.

 

From: ojq@hotmail.com
To: thea.dearden@gmail.com
Subject: re: Since you refuse to text…

Thea, I would obviously buy you a bed for the spare room. You can spruce up the place -- I don’t have much of an eye for decor.

And there’s no parade of women. I’m not that guy anymore.

 

From: thea.dearden@gmail.com
To: ojq@hotmail.com
Subject: re: Since you refuse to text…

CLEARLY you don’t have much of an eye. I’m still amazed you can appropriately dress yourself -- most of the time. ;)

No women, hmmm?? Is that, perhaps, because of a particular adorable blonde woman in your building?

 

From: ojq@hotmail.com
To: thea.dearden@gmail.com
Subject: re: Since you refuse to text…

This again? Are you sure YOU don’t have a crush on her?

 

From: thea.dearden@gmail.com
To: ojq@hotmail.com
Subject: re: Since you refuse to text…

Ollie, I’ve heard your “funny stories” about this girl like twelve times in a month, and you’ve only interacted with her twice. That’s a LITTLE bit of a crush.

 

From: ojq@hotmail.com
To: thea.dearden@gmail.com
Subject: re: Since you refuse to text…

1. It’s not a crush, and 2. I actually talked briefly to her last night when I got home. She’s sick. So that’s three interactions.

 

From: thea.dearden@gmail.com
To: ojq@hotmail.com
Subject: re: Since you refuse to text…

Are you… keeping track of how often you two pass each other in the hallway?

If you say she’s adorable when she’s sick, I’m gonna track her down, learn her name, and print up wedding invitations.

 

From: ojq@hotmail.com
To: thea.dearden@gmail.com
Subject: re: Since you refuse to text…

Thea.

 

From: thea.dearden@gmail.com
To: ojq@hotmail.com
Subject: re: Since you refuse to text…

This is the best thing that has ever happened to me, Ollie. You are GONE on this girl. Please tell me about your “interaction” last night when you got home. When she was sick and adorable.

 

From: ojq@hotmail.com
To: thea.dearden@gmail.com
Subject: re: Since you refuse to text…

She was sick. And adorable. We spoke briefly. The end.

 

From: thea.dearden@gmail.com
To: ojq@hotmail.com
Subject: re: Since you refuse to text…

Goddammit, I hate email -- I HAVE SO MANY EMOJI-RELATED FEELINGS ABOUT YOUR ENDLESS CRUSH ON THE CUTE BLONDE, OLLIE.

WHAT DID YOU SAY? WHAT DID SHE SAY?

 

From: ojq@hotmail.com
To: thea.dearden@gmail.com
Subject: re: Since you refuse to text…

She was feverish and possibly high on pain meds, so she wasn’t making a ton of sense, but she’s just…I don’t know. Refreshing? Even obviously feeling miserable, she was smiling and kind.

There’s just something about her that I can’t articulate, but that DOESN’T mean I have a crush on her. I like her as a person.

 

From: thea.dearden@gmail.com
To: ojq@hotmail.com
Subject: re: Since you refuse to text…

You like her as a person YOU’D LIKE TO DATE. ;)

Okay. She’s sick. You should bring her soup! Or orange juice.

 

From: ojq@hotmail.com
To: thea.dearden@gmail.com
Subject: re: Since you refuse to text…

Yeah, that’s not happening.

Plus, she had orange juice last night. Spilled some of it on her blanket cape, actually.

 

From: thea.dearden@gmail.com
To: ojq@hotmail.com
Subject: re: Since you refuse to text…

I’m sorry………… BLANKET CAPE?

 

From: ojq@hotmail.com
To: thea.dearden@gmail.com
Subject: re: Since you refuse to text…

She just -- she had this goofy fleece blanket wrapped around her shoulders, you know? Like a cape? It seemed like she’d rolled out of bed to stumble to the pharmacy and back.

I was a little concerned about her, because she was flushed and shivering and seemed a little out of it, so I made sure she got into her apartment. Like any decent NEIGHBOR would do.

 

From: thea.dearden@gmail.com
To: ojq@hotmail.com
Subject: re: Since you refuse to text…

Forget the soup -- go take a picture of her! I need to see what my future sister-in-law looks like.

 

From: ojq@hotmail.com
To: thea.dearden@gmail.com
Subject: re: Since you refuse to text…

Thea.

 

From: thea.dearden@gmail.com
To: ojq@hotmail.com
Subject: re: Since you refuse to text…

Oh, and I’m DEFINITELY moving in, now. I want a front row seat to WHATEVER this mating ritual ends up being.

 

-30- 

Chapter Text

August 21

Felicity, 2:17: WELP. I guess that was humiliating fun while it lasted!
Felicity, 2:17: I mean, OBVIOUSLY.
Felicity, 2:17: I don’t know what I was thinking.

Barry, 2:19: ???

Felicity, 2:20: THE UNBEARABLE HOTNESS OF BEING IS TAKEN.
Felicity, 2:20: Not, like, kidnapped.
Felicity, 2:20: Just to be clear.

Barry, 2:20: surprisingly, *kidnapped* was not my first assumption

Felicity, 2:21: Your lack of imagination saddens me, Barry.

Barry, 2:21: speaking of imagination -- is there a reason you think he’s “taken”?

Felicity, 2:21: Tiny, adorable sprite of a woman spotted three times with him in the lobby.
Felicity, 2:21: They were smiling at each other a lot. Very familiar.

Barry, 2:22: Local Man Knows Person Who Is Female, News at 11!

Felicity, 2:22: Your Iris impression sucks.
Felicity, 2:22: She writes way snappier headlines.

Barry, 2:23: she doesn’t write headlines, she writes features

Felicity, 2:23: Features that have headlines.

Barry, 2:23: which she doesn’t write

Felicity, 2:23: Wait -- who writes them? Is there a person whose actual job is writing snappy headlines?

Barry, 2:26: iris says yes, there is
Barry, 2:26: she also wants to know if the hot guy introduced you to this supposed gf

Felicity, 2:26: UGH. NO. I actively avoid THE UNBEARABLE HOTNESS OF BEING now.

Barry, 2:26: you know, i’m caught between terror and burning curiosity about what “actively avoid” means in this context

Felicity, 2:26: Jerk.

Barry, 2:27: iris guesses that you hide in the bushes, i say you hide behind that weird pillar in the lobby of your building.

Felicity, 2:27: I do not HIDE IN BUSHES. I’m not a squirrel.
Felicity, 2:27: Or... squirrels are more about trees, right?
Felicity, 2:27: I’m failing some sort of Disney-related woodland creature test right now, aren’t I?

Barry, 2:27: so how many times have you hidden behind the pillar?

Felicity, 2:28: I hate you.
Felicity, 2:28: And I didn’t HIDE. I simply paused on my way through the lobby to read an incoming text.
Felicity, 2:28: And leaned against a conveniently nearby pillar while doing so.
Felicity, 2:28: And it was ONE TIME, thank you very much.

Barry, 2:28: ………………………

Felicity, 2:29: FINE. I may have ALSO ducked into the mail alcove once.
Felicity, 2:29: But I got my mail, so I don't think that one counts.

Barry, 2:29: it counts
Barry, 2:29: felicity, until one of you moves, you’re gonna pass each other by every once in awhile.
Barry, 2:29: has he ever been rude or condescending to you?
Barry, 2:29: or done anything that would justify hiding behind a pillar to avoid him?

Felicity, 2:30: YES. He... SMILES at me with his STUPID FACE.

Barry, 2:31: god, what a monster.

Felicity, 2:31: BARRY. I have been me my whole life
Felicity, 2:31: I KNOW what that smile means!

Barry, 2:31: it conveys friendliness and warmth

Felicity, 2:32: It conveys his AMUSEMENT.
Felicity, 2:32: Do I need to RESEND THE RED-INK-CHIN-INCIDENT PICTURE?
Felicity, 2:32: Or just -- DOG BLANKET, BARRY. I wore a DOG BLANKET like a cape.
Felicity, 2:32: It’s perfectly normal to dislike being the butt of someone’s jokes.

Barry, 2:33: what jokes, though, felicity? why are you so sure he’s not just as into you as you are him?

Felicity, 2:33: I do not think you understand the scale of the problem, Barry.
Felicity, 2:33: I know you haven’t seen him, but this man is……… like…………
Felicity, 2:33: HOTTEST FIRE IN PERFECTLY SCULPTED HUMAN FORM.
Felicity, 2:33: I want to climb him like a tree.
Felicity, 2:33: I want to bang him like a screen door in a very windy tropical storm.

Barry, 2:34: first, STOP
Barry, 2:34: second, stop mixing your metaphors

Felicity, 2:34: Stop willfully misunderstanding me.
Felicity, 2:34: I’m the cute girl who embarrasses herself and turns red and speechless.
Felicity, 2:34: There’s no way a guy who looks LIKE THAT -- a guy with a brunette pixie girlfriend -- is anything other than amused by me.

Barry, 2:34: a. you’re wrong. b. did you see them kiss?

Felicity, 2:34: I'm enjoying your use of fake outline format to lend your thesis fake credibility.

Barry, 2:35: you're avoiding the question

Felicity, 2:35: I’m not wrong.
Felicity, 2:35: And I just saw her walk into the building by herself.
Felicity, 2:35: She has KEYS to his place. So. Yeah.

Barry, 2:36: i have keys to your apt.

Felicity, 2:36: Uh, IRIS has keys. You just borrow them sometimes.

Barry, 2:36: you told me i could let myself in! how is that any different from what may be happening with this woman?

Felicity, 2:37: Not important. Honestly. I'm being dumb about this.
Felicity, 2:37: Speaking of Iris and keys, I am stealing her for the rest of the day.
Felicity, 2:37: We’re going to drown my inappropriate, unearned sorrows!

Barry, 2:43: fair warning: iris just left with a bottle of cazadores

Felicity, 2:45: Iris is the best!

Barry, 2:26: agreed :)

Felicity, 4:53: I looooooooooooooooooooooooove your gf, Baryyyyyy!
Felicity, 4:54: ecxept shes making me drink in the courtyard.

Barry, 4:58: have fun, but drink some water, pls

Felicity, 5:01: iris says UNBERABLE HOTNES OF BEIGN IS GOOOOOOOOOORGOUS.

Barry, 5:02: wait, WHAT?

Felicity, 5:04: HIS ARMS. wowwwwwwwwwwwwww
Felicity, 5:05: wer're drooling into our teqilua

Barry, 5:05: i’m coming over

-30-

Chapter Text

August 21

 

From: thea.dearden@gmail.com
To: ojq@hotmail.com
Subject: party in the courtyard
Attachment: my_drunk_sisterinlaw.jpg

And you are missing out, brother dear. ;)

 

From: ojq@hotmail.com
To: thea.dearden@gmail.com
Subject: re: party in the courtyard

I’m at work, Thea. Why are you sending me blurry pictures of random strangers?

 

From: thea.dearden@gmail.com
To: ojq@hotmail.com
Subject: re: party in the courtyard

You work at a NIGHTCLUB. Corresponding with me just lends to that cool, untouchable *thing* you try for sometimes. (I mean, you still FAIL at being cool, but maybe less badly if you’re focused on emailing with me instead of actively TRYING to be cool.)

Also? That cute blonde of yours is only a stranger because you’re too much of a wuss to talk to her. I’m pretty sure I saw you lingering near the courtyard when you left for work, so I *know* you know the adorable, drunken blonde drinking tequila with her friends in that picture? Is HER.

I can’t tell you how happy I am to finally put a very cute face with your very cute stories.

My only regret is that I was too far away when you left earlier to capture your HEART-EYES as you stopped to gaze longingly at her from afar. And then left for work without talking to her.

Like a wuss. ;)

 

From: ojq@hotmail.com
To: thea.dearden@gmail.com
Subject: re: party in the courtyard

I am not a wuss, and there is no cute blonde ‘of mine.’

You know, this topic hasn’t gotten any LESS irritating since you moved in.

 

From: thea.dearden@gmail.com
To: ojq@hotmail.com
Subject: re: party in the courtyard

You are a wonderful brother, Ollie, but a terrible liar. Particularly about my future sister-in-law.

And I would stop pestering you about it if you would actually DO something. Hell, introduce me -- I’ll get the ball rolling!

 

From: ojq@hotmail.com
To: thea.dearden@gmail.com
Subject: re: party in the courtyard

I DO NOT need my little SISTER to talk to women for me.

 

From: thea.dearden@gmail.com
To: ojq@hotmail.com
Subject: re: party in the courtyard

Uh, clearly you do, since you’ve only ever spoken to my future sister-in-law when she was high on meds and probably doesn’t remember.

Do you even know her name, Ollie?

 

From: ojq@hotmail.com
To: thea.dearden@gmail.com
Subject: re: party in the courtyard

Yes. I know her name.

 

From: thea.dearden@gmail.com
To: ojq@hotmail.com
Subject: re: party in the courtyard

YOU DO???? WHAT IS IT??? HOW have you not told me??

Ugh, you are SO WEIRD about secrets, Ollie. Who’s it gonna hurt to tell me your crush object’s name?

 

From: ojq@hotmail.com
To: thea.dearden@gmail.com
Subject: re: party in the courtyard

She’s a sweet, adorable woman who lives in the building. Who I do NOT have a crush on. And telling you her name would only lead to more stalking behavior in some misguided attempt to help me.

I do NOT need help with women. I don’t think that’s a secret.

 

From: thea.dearden@gmail.com
To: ojq@hotmail.com
Subject: re: party in the courtyard

GROSS.

Ollie, no one with the last name Queen needs help to pick up starfuckers. That doesn’t mean you’ve got game. In fact, considering the weird thing your face does whenever I suggest you might want to actually DATE her, I’m confident you would have, like, NEGATIVE game with this particular woman.

WHICH IS WHY IT’S SO MUCH FUN FOR ME.

In case you were curious. ;)

 

From: ojq@hotmail.com
To: thea.dearden@gmail.com
Subject: re: party in the courtyard

THEA. Please never so much as suggest there are guys who--

Yeah.

NO.

 

From: thea.dearden@gmail.com
To: ojq@hotmail.com
Subject: re: party in the courtyard

Don’t look now, but your misogyny is showing.

 

From: ojq@hotmail.com
To: thea.dearden@gmail.com
Subject: re: party in the courtyard

You’re EIGHTEEN. It has nothing to do with you being female and everything to do with you being EIGHTEEN.

Remember how stupid I was at eighteen? Considering how much I got away with without mom or dad OR you knowing, TRIPLE what you remember and you might come close to how STUPID I actually was about dating and sex.

THAT’S why I worry about you and boys (or girls?). Not because I’m some dinosaur about women.

 

From: thea.dearden@gmail.com
To: ojq@hotmail.com
Subject: re: party in the courtyard

I am slightly less irritated with you. I remain miffed on behalf of my age cohort, though, GRAMPS.

You should really be careful about pissing me off when you are a solid 20 minutes away from me and your crush object. Do you have ANY IDEA the stories I could share in 20 minutes?

 

From: ojq@hotmail.com
To: thea.dearden@gmail.com
Subject: re: party in the courtyard

THEA.

 

From: thea.dearden@gmail.com
To: ojq@hotmail.com
Subject: re: party in the courtyard

Oh, come on, Ollie. You know I’m rooting for you. I would only ever tell her stories that would endear you to her.

You know, at first.

 

From: ojq@hotmail.com
To: thea.dearden@gmail.com
Subject: re: party in the courtyard

I’m considering taking the rest of the night off..

 

From: thea.dearden@gmail.com
To: ojq@hotmail.com
Subject: re: party in the courtyard

YOU SHOULD! Come home! Prime opportunity to get over your weird resistance to speaking to your crush object. She’s drunk! She won’t remember if you make an actual ass out of yourself!

Which -- I’m not gonna lie to you, Ollie -- is a possibility.

 

From: ojq@hotmail.com
To: thea.dearden@gmail.com
Subject: re: party in the courtyard

If I wanted to hit on drunk women, there are plenty here at Verdant.

 

From: thea.dearden@gmail.com
To: ojq@hotmail.com
Subject: re: party in the courtyard

Fine. You know what? I think I may wander down there in a bit myself. Get a little fresh air in the courtyard. Perhaps strike up a conversation with my brand new neighbors. Nice and friendly like.

 

From: ojq@hotmail.com
To: thea.dearden@gmail.com
Subject: re: party in the courtyard

Do not.

 

From: thea.dearden@gmail.com
To: ojq@hotmail.com
Subject: SEFLIE!!!
Attachment: felicity_and_me.jpg

I definitely approve, Ollie. Felicity is crush-worthy for sure. ;)

 

From: ojq@hotmail.com
To: thea.dearden@gmail.com
Subject: re: SEFLIE!!!

THEA. ANSWER YOUR GODDAMN PHONE.

-30-

Chapter Text

August 22

Felicity, 11:08: Did I dream you up last night?
Felicity, 11:08: Wait, I’m not hitting on you.
Felicity, 11:08: That wasn’t, like, *why are you the man of my dreams* or something.
Felicity, 11:08: It was a literal question because SOOOOOO hungover.
Felicity, 11:08: Last night gets very fuzzy, but I remember you being there? Maybe? Yes?

Barry, 11:09: there’s water and advil on your nightstand.

Felicity, 11:11: Can’t reach yet.
Felicity, 11:11: I am still under the covers.
Felicity, 11:11: I am not ready to let the stupid SUN sear my eyeballs with its fiery brightness.

Barry, 11:12: well, it *is* midmorning, so the sun’s gonna be there
Barry, 11:12: and, yes, i came by to pick up iris and stayed a couple hours
Barry, 11:13: you were in rare form

Felicity, 11:13: I figured that from the intensity of my headache. BLERGH.

Barry, 11: 13: advil

Felicity, 11:13: FINE. I will BRAVE THE SUNLIGHT.

Barry, 11:14: you’re not a vampire, you’ll be fine

Felicity, 11:15: Uh……… Barry? Who’s Thea?
Felicity, 11:15: Barry.
Felicity, 11:15: Oh, God, did I meet another neighbor while massively drunk?
Felicity, 11:15: BARRY. Why do I have a text from someone named Thea???

Barry, 11:15: she texted you?? What’d she say?

Felicity, 11:15: “Great meeting you last night! I’ll swing by for sugar later”?!?!?
Felicity, 11:15: More importantly: Who is THEA??

Barry, 11:16: oh, no, you really don’t remember?

Felicity, 11:17: BARRY, SHE JUST TEXTED ME A SELFIE WE TOOK TOGETHER?? THAT’S THEA??????
Felicity, 11:17: WHAT HAPPENED LAST NIGHT???
Felicity, 11:17: oh no oh no oh no oh no
Felicity, 11:17: I MET AND BEFRIENDED THE UNBEARABLE HOTNESS OF BEING’S GIRLFRIEND??
Felicity, 11:17: HOW MUCH TEQUILA DID YOU LET ME DRINK???????

Barry, 11:18: you threatened to shave my eyebrows if i took your tequila away. thea loved it.

Felicity, 11:18: This is unbelievable. Please please PLEASE tell me the words THE UNBEARABLE HOTNESS OF BEING didn’t leave my mouth last night.
Felicity, 11:18: PLEASE tell me I didn’t, like, congratulate her for hitting all of that.

Barry, 11:19: ewwww, you don’t remember much at all, huh?

Felicity, 11:19: UH, THAT STATEMENT IS MODERATELY TERRIFYING. WHAT HORRIBLY EMBARRASSING THING DID I DO???

Barry, 11:20: i really feel like i should draw this out
Barry, 11:20: as payback for messing with my ringtone
Barry, 11:20: and getting my girlfriend unbelievably hammered last night. did you know she snores when she’s drunk?

Felicity, 11:20: BARRY.

Barry, 11:21: is it weird that i can hear your tone of voice in my head when i read your text?

Felicity, 11:21: It’s only weird if you’re NOT SCARED OF ME RIGHT NOW.

Barry, 11:21: oh, i definitely am. but i’m also having quite a bit of fun with this
Barry, 11:21: and you’re probably too hungover to actually come over here and shave my eyebrows off
Barry, 11:21: also i’m considerably taller than you. so.

Felicity, 11:22: BARRY. DO NOT TEST MY TEQUILA-HANGOVER PATIENCE.

Barry, 11:22: look, you didn’t do anything embarrassing
Barry, 11:22: well, i mean, there was the singing, but all happy drunks sing

Felicity, 11:22: Maroon5?

Barry, 11:22: obviously

Felicity, 11:23: AND?

Barry, 11:23: and about a half hour before iris called it a night, thea showed up in the courtyard
Barry, 11:23: she’s really nice! friendly. introduced herself. said she just moved in.
Barry, 11:23: oh, and then you started crying

Felicity, 11:23: WHAT? I WHAT? I CRIED??? BARRY, WHAT???

Barry, 11:24: yes, your face did that crumply thing and you cried and thea hugged you. it was really cute.

Felicity, 11:24: I am an emotionally unstable drunk????
Felicity, 11:24: SINCE WHEN?? You and Iris always complain that I won’t stop laughing when I’m drunk!

Barry, 11:24: well, i might have left one thing out

Felicity, 11:25: BARRY, I SWEAR TO GOD…

Barry, 11:25: you only started crying when she said she’d just moved in with her brother

Felicity, 11:25: i cried when
Felicity, 11:25: WHAT? BROTHER! WHAT?
Felicity, 11:25: THAT ADORABLE PIXIE IS HIS SISTER????????????????

Barry, 11:25: yup

Felicity, 11:25: THEA. IS RELATED TO HIM???

Barry, 11:25: yes

Felicity, 11:25: AND BY HIM I MEAN THE UNBEARABLE HOTNESS OF BEING -- SHE’S HIS SISTER?????

Barry, 11:25: yup

Felicity, 11:26: OH THANK GOD

Barry, 11:26: that’s exactly what you said last night seconds before you burst out crying, hugged thea, and kept repeating “thank you” to her over and over

Felicity, 11:26: WHAT?????

Barry, 11:26: and you said she could borrow your sugar anytime

Felicity, 11:26: Oh, my God.

Barry, 11:26: and then clarified that you weren’t hitting on her with weird sugar euphemisms
Barry, 11:26: (took a few tries to get “euphemisms” out mostly right)

Felicity, 11:27: Noooooooooooooooooooooo.

Barry, 11:27: felicity, she genuinely thought you were adorable, as far as i could tell. don’t worry about it.
Barry, 11:27: you really didn’t say anything obviously embarrassing to thea

Felicity, 11:27: I find that very implausible.

Barry, 11:27: you didn’t, i promise
Barry, 11:28: iris, on the other hand……………………

Felicity, 11:28: BARRY!!

-30-

Chapter Text

August 22

 

From: thea.dearden@gmail.com
To: ojq@hotmail.com
Subject: why are you avoiding me?

Ollie, you’re being ridiculous.

 

From: ojq@hotmail.com
To: thea.dearden@gmail.com
Subject: re: why are you avoiding me?

I’m not avoiding you, Thea, I’m at work.

 

From: thea.dearden@gmail.com
To: ojq@hotmail.com
Subject: re: why are you avoiding me?

It is 5 o’clock in the afternoon and you work in a NIGHTCLUB. You are avoiding me.

What I can’t figure out is why.

 

From: ojq@hotmail.com
To: thea.dearden@gmail.com
Subject: re: why are you avoiding me?

We get liquor shipments during the day. I’m here to take delivery.

I’m not mad at you, and I’m not avoiding you. We’ll talk later, okay?

 

From: thea.dearden@gmail.com
To: ojq@hotmail.com
Subject: re: why are you avoiding me?

Ollie, you wouldn’t let me tell you ANYTHING about Felicity, despite the fact that I think she’s great. In fact, when I said I’m pretty sure she has a crush on you, your face got all sad and weird, and you just went to bed, which is the complete OPPOSITE of what I expected.

And you’ve been gone from the apartment since I woke up.

You’re avoiding me, and I don’t understand why. I’m sorry if I upset you, Ollie.

 

From: ojq@hotmail.com
To: thea.dearden@gmail.com
Subject: re: why are you avoiding me?

Look, Thea, I’m not upset. I just needed a little time, that’s all.

 

From: thea.dearden@gmail.com
To: ojq@hotmail.com
Subject: re: why are you avoiding me?

Time to work through all of your NOT being upset?

You like this girl, Ollie. You REALLY like her. And then when you find out she probably actually likes you back, it makes you sad? I don’t get it.

 

From: ojq@hotmail.com
To: thea.dearden@gmail.com
Subject: re: why are you avoiding me?

Felicity is this beautiful, kind, unattainable person in my life -- she’s not even *in* my life, because I barely know her. It’s just…

I don’t know exactly how to describe it. I know you want me to talk more about what happened to me while I was away, but I really don’t ever want you to have to know the kinds of things I had to do to survive. Some of them were bad.

Part of *me* is bad as a result.

And for as long as that’s true, I’m no good for anyone, particularly not someone as bright as Felicity.

 

From: thea.dearden@gmail.com
To: ojq@hotmail.com
Subject: re: why are you avoiding me?

Ollie, I love you, but you are so wrong about this.

I know you’re different than before and I’m sorry if it took me too long to accept that. I was so young when it happened, and I spent five years idolizing the best parts of the big brother I missed, so when you came back, I had some trouble reconciling who you are now with who I’d lost.

But, Ollie, it was NEVER because I thought you were bad. It’s because I could see how sad you were, and I hated that something happened to you -- or a whole bunch of things happened to you that made you sad. And that was before I even knew about the scars.

Ollie, all I want for you is some happiness to maybe balance out all the suck you had to live through. You deserve it.

 

From: ojq@hotmail.com
To: thea.dearden@gmail.com
Subject: re: why are you avoiding me?

You and I have different ideas of what I deserve after my time away.

But that doesn’t really matter, because the more important question is what Felicity deserves. Did you know the first time I spoke to her, she was boxing up items she’d collected around the building to donate to the domestic violence shelter in town? And every Wednesday night like clockwork, she helps Mr. Azlan in 402 bring his garbage down.

She is so kind and generous. The last thing she deserves as a reward for her big heart is a damaged man like me.

I'm content to admire her from afar.

 

From: thea.dearden@gmail.com
To: ojq@hotmail.com
Subject: re: why are you avoiding me?

Wow, Ollie, I think your feelings for Felicity are a little stronger than a crush.

I guess I understand why you would think that way, but you don’t give yourself enough credit. I’ll deny saying this later, but you’re a good man, Ollie, and you have a good heart just like what you see in Felicity.

Look, I’ll stop pushing, but I really like Felicity. I think you two getting to know each other a little better wouldn’t be the end of the world.

 

From: ojq@hotmail.com
To: thea.dearden@gmail.com
Subject: re: why are you avoiding me?

I’m not sure that’s such a good idea, Thea, but I’m glad you’re making friends.

 

From: thea.dearden@gmail.com
To: ojq@hotmail.com
Subject: re: why are you avoiding me?

Wait, so you’re okay if I become friends with Felicity, but you don’t want to get to know her any better yourself?

 

From: ojq@hotmail.com
To: thea.dearden@gmail.com
Subject: re: why are you avoiding me?

I just think it’s for the best if I keep my distance. It's safer for everyone involved.

 

From: thea.dearden@gmail.com
To: ojq@hotmail.com
Subject: re: why are you avoiding me?

But you're not gonna get all weird and keep your distance from me, right? You’re not going to avoid me forever if I befriend my future sister-in-law before you’re ready to actually wife her up, right?

 

From: ojq@hotmail.com
To: thea.dearden@gmail.com
Subject: re: why are you avoiding me?

Thea.

 

From: thea.dearden@gmail.com
To: ojq@hotmail.com
Subject: re: why are you avoiding me?

I said I wouldn’t push you to date her, Ollie, but teasing is never, ever off limits. :)

Because you have it so much worse for her than I could have imagined. It's amazing. You're CONTENT TO ADMIRE HER FROM AFAR.

ADMIRE HER.

FROM AFAR.

Oh, my God, you're freakin' Mr. Darcy. This is amazing.

 

From: ojq@hotmail.com
To: thea.dearden@gmail.com
Subject: re: why are you avoiding me?

You're such a brat sometimes.

 

From: thea.dearden@gmail.com
To: ojq@hotmail.com
Subject: re: why are you avoiding me?

You love me.

Oh, do you need anything at the bookstore? Because I'm so buying some Jane Austen so I can read the relevant parts aloud to you. ;)

 

-30-

Chapter Text

September 3

Felicity, 9:04: Do you think Thea’s gay?

Barry, 9:06: wait, what? did i miss an important step in this conversation?

Felicity, 9:06: No, I just... think I might’ve gone on a date with Thea?
Felicity, 9:06: ACCIDENTALLY gone on a date.
Felicity, 9:06: Maybe.
Felicity, 9:06: But it probably doesn’t count if I don’t KNOW it’s a date, right?

Barry, 9:07: felicity, you are the only person i’ve ever met who could go on a date ACCIDENTALLY
Barry, 9:07: while also completely missing the signs when people are hitting on you
Barry, 9:07: did thea wine and dine you, or...??

Felicity, 9:08: Okay, wait. Let me start over. I bumped into Thea earlier.
Felicity, 9:08: Like, LITERALLY.
Felicity, 9:08: Well, Thea was THERE, but the person who I ACTUALLY bumped into was... yeah...
Felicity, 9:08: Three guesses and the first two don’t count.
Felicity, 9:08: THE UNBEARABLE HOTNESS OF BEING.

Barry, 9:08: oh, god, pls stop calling him that
Barry, 9:08: you should call him OLIVER, which is his name.
Barry, 9:08: because he’s just a dude that lives in your building.

Felicity, 9:08: JUST A DUDE? He’s the most gorgeous person I’ve ever seen. Including Peak Hotness Chris Evans.

Barry, 9:09: you don’t tell thea that her BROTHER is peak hotness whatever, right?
Barry, 9:09: that would just make it weird

Felicity, 9:09: No, you don’t understand. I’m trying to be NOT weird.
Felicity, 9:09: I try to be extra normal around Thea, since I am not physically able to be normal around HIM.

Barry, 9:09: okay, i have a lot of questions. but first, i don’t think EXTRA normal is a thing.

Felicity, 9:10: YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN.
Felicity, 9:10: I don’t understand why Thea keeps texting me.
Felicity, 9:10: ARE WE FRIENDS OR ARE WE ACCIDENTALLY DATING?

Barry, 9:10: pls start over again -- you bumped into oliver and thea, and then SOMETHING, and then a possible date with thea??

Felicity, 9:10: I agreed to walk Mr. Patel’s dog again, and Murphy is TERRIBLE on leash, so I rewarded myself with coffee.

Barry, 9:10: you’re too nice to mr. patel -- he takes advantage of you.

Felicity, 9:10: He has a prosthetic leg, Barry. The least I can do is walk the man’s dog for him sometimes.
Felicity, 9:10: ANYWAY. I got a latte at Buzzzzz in one of those super thin compostable eco-friendly cups.
Felicity, 9:11: Got Murphy home, promised Mr. Patel I’d bring him some groceries tomorrow, and turned around RIGHT INTO THE UNBEARABLE HOTNESS OF BEING.

Barry, 9:11: and thea?

Felicity, 9:11: Yes, but more importantly, that eco-cup got crushed up against his BRICK WALL SOLID CHEST and cracked.
Felicity, 9:11: And then: COFFEE DOWN MY SHIRT. WHICH WAS WHITE. AND RENDERED SEE THROUGH.
Felicity, 9:11: WORSE: coffee all over THE UNBEARABLE HOTNESS OF BEING. Like, on his jeans, Barry.
Felicity, 9:11: The FRONT of his jeans. BARRY.

Barry, 9:11: iced latte?

Felicity, 9:11: Of course.

Barry, 9:11: thank god.

Felicity, 9:12: I POURED COFFEE AND ICE ON HIS UNMENTIONABLES.

Barry, 9:12: much better than hot coffee
Barry, 9:12: and i thought unmentionables were underwear?

Felicity, 9:12: Fine. Whatever. GENITALS.
Felicity, 9:12: Ugh, no, that’s all clinical and weird. So is penis.
Felicity, 9:12: And dick seems too familiar somehow for this situation?

Barry, 9:12: please stop texting me about oliver’s junk

Felicity, 9:12: YES, JUNK! Better!

Barry, 9:12: oh, my god.

Felicity, 9:12: I poured ICED COFFEE ON HIS JUNK.

Barry, 9:13: we have the weirdest conversations, felicity
Barry, 9:13: so you bumped into each other and both got coffee on your clothes. i don’t see how this is particularly embarrassing for you.

Felicity, 9:13: UGH, it was AWFUL. He disappeared, and Thea was looking through her bag for kleenex or something.
Felicity, 9:13: And then THE UNBEARABLE HOTNESS OF BEING reappeared with paper towels and handed them to me and smiled.
Felicity, 9:13: And he kept looking away from me, like he was trying not to laugh.
Felicity, 9:13: And then he left to go change and I basically ran away from Thea.

Barry, 9:14: still feels like i'm reading the underwear gnome meme, felicity.
Barry, 9:14: step 2 ????

Felicity, 9:14: I AM GETTING TO STEP TWO.
Felicity, 9:14: Thea texted me while I was changing my bra.
Felicity, 9:14: Thea, 6:37: Meet us in the lobby -- we’ll replace the coffee my big oaf of a brother spilled.

Barry, 9:14: whoa, whoa, whoa -- your date was with thea AND oliver?

Felicity, 9:14: Of course not! THE UNBEARABLE HOTNESS OF BEING was off somewhere changing his pants or whatever.
Felicity, 9:15: Thea and I went on a coffee date. Which may have accidentally been an actual date?
Felicity, 9:15: Really easy conversations, good company.
Felicity, 9:15: No sexual tension at least on my part, but it really felt kind of date-like.

Barry, 9:15: felicity. listen to me very carefully.
Barry, 9:15: thea is trying to SET YOU UP WITH OLIVER.

Felicity, 9:15: What? No, she’s not. He didn’t even end up coming.

Barry, 9:15: oh, yeah? why not?

Felicity, 9:15: Uh, I don’t know. Because he has better things to do? Like working out and being unfairly beautiful? I didn't ask her about it.
Felicity, 9:15: When I got to the lobby, she was waiting there and kind of glaring at her phone, and then we went for coffee.
Felicity, 9:15: And it was great! Excellent conversation, stayed there until Buzzzzz closed, and then stopped for ice cream on the walk back.
Felicity, 9:15: IT WAS BASICALLY A PERFECT DATE.
Felicity, 9:15: EXCEPT WITH HIS SISTER INSTEAD OF HIS STUPIDLY SYMMETRICAL FACE.

Barry, 9:16: what kinds of questions was she asking you?

Felicity, 9:16: I don’t know. Just normal getting to know you stuff.
Felicity, 9:16: LIKE YOU WOULD ASK SOMEONE ON A DATE.

Barry, 9:16: and did she talk about her brother?

Felicity, 9:16: Of course. They’re really close, obviously. So she told me some really great stories about him.
Felicity, 9:16: Apparently he’s kind of a dweeb? I don’t know. That’s what Thea said, but I find that hard to believe.
Felicity, 9:16: But, my God, Barry, if he's actually kind of dorky while wrapped in ALL OF THAT???? I would never recover.

Barry, 9:17: she told you endearing stories about her brother and asked about your background. Felicity.
Barry, 9:17: she's laying the groundwork for YOU AND OLIVER.

Felicity, 9:17: No, there’s no way, Barry.

Barry, 9:17: she absolutely wants to set you up with oliver

Felicity, 9:17: NO!

Barry, 9:17: you were too drunk to see the utter delight on her face when she realized why you were thanking her.

Felicity, 9:17: BARRY. NO. I just really think you’re wrong about this.

Barry, 9:17: I bet you fifty American dollars that I am correct.

Felicity, 9:17: CHALLENGE ACCEPTED.

Barry, 9:18: you mean BET accepted, though, right?

Felicity, 9:18: Yes. I am at least $50 confident you’re WRONG.

Barry, 9:18: k

Felicity, 10:43: BARRY.
Felicity, 10:43: Thea, 10:41: Hey, tonight was fun! We should hang out again soon. Movie night at my place?
Felicity, 10:43: BARRY!!!!

Barry, 10:44: you owe me $50, smoak.

-30-

Chapter Text

September 4

 

From: thea.dearden@gmail.com
To: ojq@hotmail.com
Subject: My Dearest FitzWilliam...

My dearest brother, I hope this email finds you well, since you’re too much of a loser to figure out texting.

Your beloved Miss Felicity and I passed several pleasant hours at the cafe, discussing everything under the sun, including your dumb self. She continues to delight and amaze, though what she sees in you is a complete mystery to me.

Seriously, you should’ve come out with us last night. Low stress, spontaneous conversation with the future Mrs. FitzWilliam Queen. ;)

 

From: ojq@hotmail.com
To: thea.dearden@gmail.com
Subject: re: My Dearest FitzWilliam...

Stop calling me FitzWilliam.

And stop kidnapping innocent people from our building.

And *definitely* stop talking to Felicity about me. This is not the fifth grade.

 

From: thea.dearden@gmail.com
To: ojq@hotmail.com
Subject: re: My Dearest FitzWilliam...

Sure thing, Fitz. ;)

Bet you’re regretting your stubborn insistence on calling me Speedy right now...

And I most certainly did not kidnap her! I suggested that we -- meaning YOU and me -- could replace the coffee that you spilled all over the poor girl. And then she said something to the effect of: Oh, no, I couldn’t. I mean, I could, obviously I am able, I just shouldn’t. Because you’re probably busy and I’m wearing leggings with cartoon dog faces on them, which is something I’m regretting right now, but, well, there’s coffee all over my normal clothes, and I would hate to end up on TMZ as Thea Queen’s fashion-challenged friend.

Or something like that. I don’t remember exactly, because your girl talks a LOT. But it turns out the only thing she loves more than cute cartoon dog faces on her leggings is coffee.

Would you believe she talks MORE and FASTER when she’s overcaffeinated?

All teasing aside, I really like her, Ollie.

 

From: ojq@hotmail.com
To: thea.dearden@gmail.com
Subject: re: My Dearest FitzWilliam...

Does she have a dog? It seems like she likes dogs -- dog leggings, dog blanket, she walks her neighbor’s dogs. I could picture her with a boxer or something.

 

From: thea.dearden@gmail.com
To: ojq@hotmail.com
Subject: re: My Dearest FitzWilliam...

Well, Fitz, that’s certainly a conversation you could have with her.

Maybe over dinner!

And how is it fair to say I can’t talk to her about you, and then ask me questions about her?? I thought this wasn’t fifth grade, Fitzy.

 

From: ojq@hotmail.com
To: thea.dearden@gmail.com
Subject: re: My Dearest FitzWilliam...

Thea.

 

From: thea.dearden@gmail.com
To: ojq@hotmail.com
Subject: re: My Dearest FitzWilliam...

Fitz. ;-p

 

From: ojq@hotmail.com
To: thea.dearden@gmail.com
Subject: re: My Dearest FitzWilliam...

Stop calling me Fitz.

 

From: thea.dearden@gmail.com
To: ojq@hotmail.com
Subject: re: My Dearest FitzWilliam...

I will consider a truce on the FITZ thing, my dear Fitzy, under the following conditions:

(a) You do not RUN AWAY AND HIDE the next time we (or you) talk to Felicity
(b) You agree to take a night off from the club this Friday to hang out with your favorite sister

 

From: ojq@hotmail.com
To: thea.dearden@gmail.com
Subject: re: My Dearest FitzWilliam...

I did not run away. I had to change my clothes. And then I had to go to work.

Let me make sure Tommy can cover Friday, and if he can, we can do a movie night or something.

 

From: thea.dearden@gmail.com
To: ojq@hotmail.com
Subject: re: My Dearest FitzWilliam...

K, I just texted Tommy -- you’re all set. (Meanwhile, your email meanders along on the internet, over-complicating your life with its slowness in comparison with the wonder that is texting. Or snapchat. You might like snapchat, actually -- it would appeal to your inner dork. Maybe you can woo Felicity with the DOG FILTERS! OMG, I am so putting it on your phone later.)

Now PROMISE me about Friday.

 

From: ojq@hotmail.com
To: thea.dearden@gmail.com
Subject: re: My Dearest FitzWilliam...

I promise, Speedy.

And I don’t know what the hell snapchat is, but I’m not interested.

 

From: thea.dearden@gmail.com
To: ojq@hotmail.com
Subject: re: My Dearest FitzWilliam...

Ugh, remember when you had an adventurous spirit, Ollie? Snapchat is just silly fun.

Which I guess doesn’t appeal to you at all. Fine.

But you’ll stop running away when you wander into the mere presence of your beloved, right?

 

From: ojq@hotmail.com
To: thea.dearden@gmail.com
Subject: re: My Dearest FitzWilliam...

Thea, I have talked to her before. I will talk to her again if the situation ever warrants.

 

From: thea.dearden@gmail.com
To: ojq@hotmail.com
Subject: re: My Dearest FitzWilliam...

Promise?

 

From: ojq@hotmail.com
To: thea.dearden@gmail.com
Subject: re: My Dearest FitzWilliam...

YES, Thea.

 

From: thea.dearden@gmail.com
To: ojq@hotmail.com
Subject: re: My Dearest FitzWilliam...

This is one of those unbreakable big brother promises, right? Not the kind of shit you always pull with mom where you PROMISE you’ll be at brunch and then something conveniently comes up EVERY TIME?

 

From: ojq@hotmail.com
To: thea.dearden@gmail.com
Subject: re: My Dearest FitzWilliam...

I swear, Thea. Unbreakable big brother promise.

 

From: thea.dearden@gmail.com
To: ojq@hotmail.com
Subject: re: My Dearest FitzWilliam...

Yay! I’m so pleased that I’ll even let you pick the movie.

I mean, you just cannot go wrong with 2005 Pride & Prejudice, but it’s completely your call. ;)

 

From: ojq@hotmail.com
To: thea.dearden@gmail.com
Subject: re: My Dearest FitzWilliam...

Somewhere Colin Firth is crying.

 

From: thea.dearden@gmail.com
To: ojq@hotmail.com
Subject: re: My Dearest FitzWilliam...

OHMYGOD, did you just make a Pride & Prejudice reference?

 

From: ojq@hotmail.com
To: thea.dearden@gmail.com
Subject: re: My Dearest FitzWilliam...

I told you, Speedy, I contain multitudes.

-30-

Chapter Text

September 9

 

Felicity, 6:12: I can’t do this. This is dumb. A terrible idea. Just... I should cancel.
Felicity, 6:12: What if THE UNBEARABLE HOTNESS OF BEING is actually THERE?
Felicity, 6:12: What if he ANSWERS THE DOOR and I can’t make WORDS HAPPEN?
Felicity, 6:12: WORSE! (maybe???) What if he’s NOT there because HE thinks his sister is trying to set us up and the very idea REVOLTS HIM TO HIS CORE?
Felicity, 6:12: MAYBE I SHOULD HAVE A HEADACHE???

Barry, 6:14: felicity, calm down. It’s just watching a movie with thea and maybe oliver
Barry, 6:15: iris says to wear the strappy black thing, whatever that means

Felicity, 6:15: I CAN’T WEAR A COCKTAIL DRESS TO MOVIE NIGHT!!!!

Barry, 6:16: so, yeah, iris is laughing pretty hard right now. sorry. guess that was a joke.
Barry, 6:16: she says wear the black jeans that make your ass look fantastic
Barry, 6:16: that was IRIS’S description, not mine. i have no opinion whatsoever on your ass
Barry, 6:16: i mean, i’m sure it’s great, but i really only have eyes for iris’s ass

Felicity, 6:17: If I weren’t FREAKING THE HELL OUT right now, I would be amused by your babbling. ALAS.
Felicity, 6:19: k, black jeans, and that pink shirt, you know, with the v-neck and the cleavage? But it’s still not really DRESSY?

Barry, 6:20: you’re giving my attention to your wardrobe far more credit than it deserves

Felicity, 6:20: UGH. I’m calling your girlfriend.

Barry, 6:21: great! enjoy your it’s-totally-a-set-up evening!

Felicity, 7:19: omg he’s here help send vodka send benzos send something

Barry, 7:19: are you... texting me FROM YOUR DATE?

Felicity, 7:46: BARRY, I NEED TO LEAVE. HE IS IMPOSSIBLE UP CLOSE.
Felicity, 7:46: His EYES are all blue and focused when he looks at you, and it makes your stomach do little loops and then words FLEE YOUR BRAIN.
Felicity, 7:46: Thea is being perfectly normal, maybe teasing him a little, but nothing obvious. AND HE STILL HAS BARELY SPOKEN TO ME.
Felicity, 7:46: He complimented my ponytail. Like... WHAT? And then he asked whether I’m friends with the cat in 11G. WHAT???

Barry, 7:46: please tell me you didn’t run away from your date.

Felicity, 7:46: IT’S NOT A DATE.
Felicity, 7:46: I am in the bathroom, like a totally normal human being, texting my BFF for support. SUPPORT ME, DAMMIT.

Barry, 7:46: FELICITY. do not hide out in the bathroom. aren’t you watching a movie? just... watch the movie!

Felicity, 7:47: Thea hasn’t started the movie yet. We ordered food. We’re making small talk waiting for it to arrive.
Felicity, 7:47: YOU KNOW HOW BAD I AM AT SMALL TALK.
Felicity, 7:47: I EXPLAINED HEDY LAMARR’S FREQUENCY HOPPING TECHNOLOGY HOW THAT EVENTUALLY LED US TO WIFI.
Felicity, 7:47: And then I either blacked out of embarrassment or MADE A MOTHER OF DRAGONS/MOTHER OF WIFI JOKE????? Oh, God.
Felicity, 7:47: HE LOOKED AT ME WITH THIS TINY SMILE LIKE HE WAS WONDERING HOW THE HELL ANYONE COULD BE SO STRANGE.
Felicity, 7:47: And he’s still so pretty I want to cry. Or run away.

Barry, 7:47: no running away.
Barry, 7:47: everything is fine, felicity
Barry, 7:47: take a deep breath. go back out there. talk to thea if it’s easier, but don’t run away

Felicity, 8:08: we’re watching pride and prejudice and he is mad about it and i don’t know why??????
Felicity, 8:08: i’m stealth texting btw. hope this is going to barry and not my mom.
Felicity, 8:08: thea keeps grinning at me.

Barry, 8:09: i don’t think subtlety is thea queen’s strong suit

Felicity, 8:31: he is so sweet to thea. he invited her to live with him because she isn’t getting along with their mother.
Felicity, 8:31: who, yes, is kind of a sociopath, or at least friends with one, so i’m team thea.
Felicity, 8:31: and team oliver
Felicity, 8:32: i am so team oliver that it is dangerous.
Felicity, 8:32: i need a life raft bc i’m drowning in lust and maybe also feelings?????????????????

Barry, 8:39: it’s really throwing me off, you texting without proper capitalization

Felicity, 8:42: IS THIS BETTER?? I AM TEXTING WITH THE PHONE SHOVED IN BETWEEN COUCH CUSHIONS OKAY?

Barry, 8:47: maybe turn the phone off and be fully present on your date?

Felicity, 8:53: oh god she called him fitz and i think he blushed
Felicity, 8:53: can’t stop thinking about him as darcy now and just leave me here to die of lust

Barry, 8:55: iris just made a weird squealing noise about your text
Barry, 8:57: goddamnit, she just pulled out pride & prejudice THANKS A LOT, SMOAK.

Felicity, 9:39: Wine helps. So much helping!
Felicity, 9:39: Thea has GOODD WINE. I am feeling much lesss sstressed

Barry, 9:39: oh, god, are you drunk?

Felicity, 9:39: NOPE!
Felicity, 9:40: Relaxed. In the bathroom so I can text you!
Felicity, 9:40: And pee. Because wine!
Felicity, 9:40: Was able to call Oliver by his name after my third glssa of wine so everything is good.

Barry, 9:40: third glass???

Felicity, 9:40: He’s unfari, you know? Stupid name, Stupdi face, STupid nice to his littl sister. UGH.

Barry, 9:41: so, yeah, that crush is sounding an awful lot like feelings, felicity

Felicity, 9:42: no, c’ause lust is feelings. Those feelings. Yes.

Barry, 9:42: i don’t think that’s english

Felicity, 9:42: I aksed Oliver about his arms and he said he works out and Thea laughd and said he’s a man of action and not words.
Felicity, 9:42: God, i want action wit hhim.

Barry, 9:43: okay, but you didn’t SAY THAT OUT LOUD, RIGHT?

Felicity, 9:43: Course not.
Felicity, 9:43: Oh, gotta go. Olivers’ gonna walk me home.
Felicity, 9:43: Remind me not to kiss him.

Barry, 9:43: oh, god.
Barry, 9:44: what happened?
Barry, 9:58: felicity? you home yet?
Barry, 10:03: felicity, i am considering driving over there.

Felicity, 10:04: Hi, this is Oliver, a friend of Felicity’s. I just helped her into bed, and she’s already asleep.
Felicity, 10:04: (Still Oliver.) Your text showed on the lockscreen and I didn’t want you to worry. She’s safe. :)

Barry, 10:04: uh, thanks.
Barry, 10:21: FELICITY, you better call me first thing!!

-30-

Chapter Text

September 10

From: thea.dearden@gmail.com
To: ojq@hotmail.com
Subject: FW: Thank you for your order!

Merry super-early Christmas, brother dear.

> From: orders@crateandbarrel.com
> To: thea.dearden@gmail.com
> Subject: Thank you for your order!
>
> Thank you for your order!
>
> ORDER SUMMARY
>
> ITEM SHIPPING
> SKU 344-015 Available
> Oliver Queen Bed In-home Delivery (September 22)
> http://www.crateandbarrel.com/oliver-bed/f60954

 

From: ojq@hotmail.com
To: thea.dearden@gmail.com
Subject: re: FW: Thank you for your order!

Thea, what the hell?

 

From: thea.dearden@gmail.com
To: ojq@hotmail.com
Subject: re: FW: Thank you for your order!

You said I could decorate!

And now that you’ve seen Felicity’s bed, it’s really only a matter of time until she sees yours. I love you, Fitzy, but you’re not winning anyone over with the self-sacrificing, I’ll just sleep on a mattress on the floor thing.

And don’t give me your “Back on the island I slept on a rock” dismissal, because you’ve been back a year, and you’re already sleeping on a mattress. An actual bedframe is just the logical next step for a grown-ass man.

 

From: ojq@hotmail.com
To: thea.dearden@gmail.com
Subject: re: FW: Thank you for your order!

I told you I just haven’t had the time or energy to put into shopping for more furniture. I’m sure this bed is fine, but... why is it named after me?? I’m confused.

And I didn’t see Felicity’s bed the way you mean. I just walked her home.

 

From: thea.dearden@gmail.com
To: ojq@hotmail.com
Subject: re: FW: Thank you for your order!

You put her to bed. That’s the exact phrase you used when you got home, and when you said it, you had your Fitzwilliam-iest heart-eyes in full effect AND you were blushing, Ollie. BLUSHING. You saw her boudoir and now you’re fantasizing about more than her hand in marriage.

(DO NOT TELL ME ANYTHING ABOUT YOUR SEX FANTASIES.)

And, no, Mr. Self Important, it’s a bedframe style named Oliver, and it’s QUEEN-SIZED.

By the way, now that I’m thinking about your unfortunate inability to hit on adorable women named Felicity, I feel like I need to tell you to AVOID all attempts at puns involving your bed being named Oliver Queen. DO NOT ask my future sister-in-law if she wants to SLEEP ON OLIVER QUEEN, or she will run away and never BECOME my future sister-in-law.

 

From: ojq@hotmail.com
To: thea.dearden@gmail.com
Subject: re: FW: Thank you for your order!

She has sheets with little pink elephants on them, Thea. It was hardly a den of iniquity. Plus she was just kind of giggling and leaning against me while we walked. It was all very sweet. I wasn’t fantasizing about her in the way that you mean.

Which is not to say she isn’t gorgeous and sexy, because she is. Very.

And, Speedy, for as much as I protested about your meddling, I wanted to thank you. After spending some time with Felicity, I think maybe we can be friends. That would be enough.

 

From: thea.dearden@gmail.com
To: ojq@hotmail.com
Subject: re: FW: Thank you for your order!

My dear, deluded Fitz -- you are ass over teakettle for her. You can be friends, sure, but I don’t think you’ll ever be just friends with her. I’ve honestly never seen you this... genuine in your affections for someone before. I mean, even with Laurel, I always knew that you loved her, but it was kind of... I don’t know how to say this nicely? It’s like your feelings for her were kind of an afterthought? Like when she was around, you were all about Laurel, but then when she left, your feelings went with her.

But now with Felicity, you’re satisfied to pine from afar, like you COULDN’T escape your feelings even if you wanted to. It’s quite something, Ollie. I disagree with your reasons for trying to just be friends with her, but I’m glad to see you so firm in how you feel.

 

From: ojq@hotmail.com
To: thea.dearden@gmail.com
Subject: re: FW: Thank you for your order!

I’m ashamed of how I treated Laurel, Thea. I’ve tried to make up for it, but I’m honestly not sure it’s possible. I’m just glad she and Tommy are working things out.

And you’re not wrong -- I did love her, but I was too selfish back then to respect her the way I should have.

Maybe keeping my distance from Felicity is penance for my terrible behavior. Even if it’s not, she definitely deserves better than me.

 

From: thea.dearden@gmail.com
To: ojq@hotmail.com
Subject: re: FW: Thank you for your order!

Ollie, look, I’m sorry for bringing up the distant past. I didn’t mean to reinforce your crazy idea that you can’t ever find love because you were a cheating jerk when you were 21.

I can be a jerk, too -- you know that. I hold grudges, and I get angry quick (especially with mom), and I’m trying to be less of that selfish little girl that I used to be. Does all of that mean I deserve to be alone and unhappy my whole life? I know you don’t believe that, because you have always been the best big brother, and you’ve always wanted the best for me.

Well, guess what, Ollie, that works both ways -- I want the best for you, because you’re a good guy with a good heart. You deserve the best. And I’m pretty sure Felicity is the actual best.

 

From: ojq@hotmail.com
To: thea.dearden@gmail.com
Subject: re: FW: Thank you for your order!

She is the best.

But I’m not. How can I ask her to settle for less than she deserves?

 

From: thea.dearden@gmail.com
To: ojq@hotmail.com
Subject: re: FW: Thank you for your order!

Hey, remember all those times I tell you that your overprotectiveness has more than a whiff of sexism in it?

Yeah. You know who gets to decide what Felicity deserves? FELICITY.

If you want to be friends with her, or if you want to be with her, you owe it to yourself AND TO HER to tell her that.

 

From: ojq@hotmail.com
To: thea.dearden@gmail.com
Subject: re: FW: Thank you for your order!

I’m not sure I can do that, Thea, but I appreciate what you’re saying.

And thanks for the bedframe. I think.

 

From: thea.dearden@gmail.com
To: ojq@hotmail.com
Subject: re: FW: Thank you for your order!

Just promise me you’ll think about it, my dear Fitzwilliam.

 

From: ojq@hotmail.com
To: thea.dearden@gmail.com
Subject: re: FW: Thank you for your order!

You’re never gonna stop with that, are you?

 

From: thea.dearden@gmail.com
To: ojq@hotmail.com
Subject: re: FW: Thank you for your order!

Nope!

My goal is to begin my inevitable maid of honor speech with the story of my dear brother, Fitzwilliam, and his undying love for Miss Felicity.

 

From: ojq@hotmail.com
To: thea.dearden@gmail.com
Subject: re: FW: Thank you for your order!

Thea.

 

-30-

Chapter Text

 

September 13

 

Felicity, 7:13: barry barry barry help.
Felicity, 7:13: i’m at buzzzzz with oliver.
Felicity, 7:13: may not survive direct exposure to HOTNESS

Barry, 7:14: wait, what? WHY?

Felicity, 7:17: He’s ordering. OMG OMG OMG. I don’t know what’s happening?
Felicity, 7:17: I got home and when I walked into the lobby, Oliver was there, just kind of... loitering HOTLY by the pillar -- you know the one?
Felicity, 7:17: And when he looked up and saw me he kind of startled? And put his phone away?
Felicity, 7:17: And then he came over and smiled and said my name and I think I blanked out for a bit.

Barry, 7:17: and... now you’re at buzzzzz? i’m gonna need more connected dots

Felicity, 7:17: Buzzzzz is I guess because he works nights???
Felicity, 7:17: He said he was just about to head out for coffee and asked me if I wanted to join him since he knows I drink a ridiculous amount?
Felicity, 7:17: Of coffee. Not liquor. I mean... HE said the thing about coffee. You know what I mean.
Felicity, 7:17: ANYWAY. He invited me to come along and I think I choked on my tongue.
Felicity, 7:17: This isn’t a date though. IT CANNOT BE ANYTH -- he’s coming back with coffee.

Barry, 7:18: i... think that might be a date, actually.
Barry, 7:21: iris agrees. related note: iris is “dying” for you to get home and call her.
Barry, 7:36: and now iris is running down my battery frantically checking to see if we’ve missed a text from you.
Barry, 8:01: just stopped iris from “just like a super subtle drive by” of buzzzzz. you owe me, smoak.

Felicity, 8:43: I DON’T KNOW WHAT JUST HAPPENED.
Felicity, 8:43: BUT IT WAS REAL GOOD.

Barry, 8:44: FELICITY, THIS IS IRIS. CALL ME RIGHT NOW OR I’M COMING OVER.
Barry, 9:07: okay, now can you tell ME what happened? iris seems a little lost for words?????

Felicity, 9:07: I don’t know how to explain it, but Oliver is just..........................
Felicity, 9:08: You know, obviously, that he’s UNBEARABLY HOT, right??? I think... he might be NICER than he is HOT and I just...........

Barry, 9:08: explain pls

Felicity, 9:08: I don’t know how to... I mean, he’s charming. Like, OBVIOUSLY, but not in a gross predatory kind of way.
Felicity, 9:09: He asked me to explain more about HEDY LAMARR and wifi and I don’t think he was making fun of me????

Barry, 9:09: felicity, this whole thing sounds a lot like he was waiting in the lobby to ask you out.

Felicity, 9:09: No, no, no, it wasn’t like that. He didn’t ASK ME OUT. He was already going to Buzzzzz and just invited me to tag along.
Felicity, 9:09: I mean, just no. That’s not a thing.
Felicity, 9:09: I’m wearing my laundry day bra, which makes my boobs look melancholy, so this CANNOT POSSIBLY be a date.
Felicity, 9:09: NO SAD BOOBS BRA FOR DATES.
Felicity, 9:10: ERGO: not a date. At all.
Felicity, 9:10: And that’s totally fine. I think I might... be getting past my mindless LUST for his (INCREDIBLE) body? I think maybe we’re friends a little bit?

Barry, 9:10: if he kissed you, would you kiss him back.
Barry, 9:12: felicity?

Felicity, 9:12: YES, SORRY. I just... that was an AGGRESSIVE question, Barry. I think my brain had to reboot. God. Wow.

Barry, 9:12: so that’s an emphatic yes on the kissing

Felicity, 9:12: YES.

Barry, 9:12: yeah, you two are totally just friends. super platonic.

Felicity, 9:12: I can be friends with people that I find attractive, Barry! I am quite good friends with IRIS, for example.
Felicity, 9:14: Barry?

Barry, 9:14: yeah Barry, 9:14: totally fine. what?

Felicity, 9:15: My God, you’re such a guy sometimes. ANYWAY.
Felicity, 9:15: I think Oliver and I might be friends now. Which is great. I’m hoping prolonged exposure will help me handle his face.
Felicity, 9:15: Not HANDLE like... touch and manipulate his face. (sigh)
Felicity, 9:15: Handle like be able to LOOK AT without wanting to smoosh my mouth with his mouth.

Barry, 9:15: yeah, the insane number of text messages on my phone about Oliver all just SCREAM platonic friendship

Felicity, 9:15: SARCASM IS UNBECOMING, BARRY.
Felicity, 9:16: Anyway, we had a pretty good conversation once the caffeine kickstarted my brain. I don’t think I even said anything hideously embarrassing for once???

Barry, 9:16: what’d you talk about? generally, i mean. what were your topics of conversation?

Felicity, 9:16: We talked a lot about Thea. They’re really close, and it’s kind of amazing how protective he is of her. AND supportive. Weird combo.
Felicity, 9:16: He asked me about my job, and I explained (in too much detail, I’m sure!) my love for computers.
Felicity, 9:16: Talked a bit about where we each grew up, and, WOW, is that a study in opposites.
Felicity, 9:16: Oh, and I fixed his phone -- it was glitching a little. And I DID NOT snoop!

Barry, 9:16: right

Felicity, 9:16: I didn’t! I mean, I NOTICED that his most used apps were the weather bug, Open Table, and the shitty factory-install browser.
Felicity, 9:16: (i am pretty sure his browser was at HOTMAIL, which I didn’t think EXISTED anymore??? No sign of MYSPACE, though, thank God!)
Felicity, 9:17: Also -- and this makes my stomach feel weird -- I DON’T THINK HE TEXTS?????
Felicity, 9:17: But that’s not snooping! That’s just being observant.

Barry, 9:17: if only your observational talents weren’t quite so limited to tech usage.

Felicity, 9:17: What does that mean?

Barry, 9:17: felicity. he was waiting in the lobby. FOR YOU.
Barry, 9:17: maybe THIS wasn’t a date, exactly, but he’s definitely interested.

Felicity, 9:17: You’re crazy.

Barry, 9:17: he just HAPPENED to be in the lobby around the time you get home from work, which is pretty routinely 7ish
Barry, 9:17: he just HAPPENED to be going for coffee, which he knows you adore and drink at any time of day
Barry, 9:17: so he just HAPPENED to say you should come along
Barry, 9:17: wow, what a stroke of luck, and not at all something a guy who’s into a girl but too shy to ask her out might do just so he could see her

Felicity, 9:17: Barry.

Barry, 9:17: ASK ME HOW I KNOW.
Barry, 9:17: better yet, ask iris.

Felicity, 9:18: You’re so wrong about this, Barry. First of all, he’s not SHY.
Felicity, 9:18: Whatever the opposite of shy is? That’s Oliver. He’s OLIVER QUEEN.

Barry, 9:18: being able to give speeches and charm strangers in a crowd has nothing to do with being able to ask a woman out

Felicity, 9:18: To which I say (AGAIN): He’s OLIVER QUEEN. Have you... I mean... TMZ! Just -- he has NO TROUBLE asking women out!

Barry, 9:18: you don’t know that, felicity. in fact, his earlier, uh, let’s call it SUCCESS with women may make it harder for him.

Felicity, 9:18: Barry, I love you, but you are an insane crazy person.

Barry, 9:19: just think about it. is his personality ANYTHING LIKE what you’ve read on TMZ from before?
Barry, 9:19: i mean, i have no idea what it’s like to survive alone on an island for five years, but i’m pretty sure it’s gotta be life-changing
Barry, 9:19: so what makes you think THIS guy is just like the douche with the awful hair who had women just hurling themselves at his last name?
Barry, 9:19: seems to me he might be the kind of guy to not know what to do when something’s real
Barry, 9:19: and you, felicity, are real

Felicity, 9:20: That’s very sweet, and you have some kind of point about whatever happened while he was away.
Felicity, 9:20: But I just don’t think you’re right about him.
Felicity, 9:20: I mean, with respect to me.
Felicity, 9:20: I have LITERALLY FALLEN ALL OVER HIM. There’s no way he’s been able to miss that I am, at the very least, attracted to him.
Felicity, 9:20: He’s not interested in me. And that's FINE.

Barry, 9:20: i wish you wouldn’t do that.

Felicity, 9:20: Do what?

Barry, 9:20: doubt yourself so much. you’re fantastic, felicity, and guys NOTICE that. but you never trust that it’s really happening

Felicity, 9:21: Name ONE time when I missed some mythical guy throwing himself at me.

Barry, 9:21: you mean aside from oliver? sure, what about ray?

Felicity, 9:21: RAY PALMER? Barry. You’re insane.
Felicity, 9:21: He’s like 6 foot A MILLION, looks like a freaking Ken doll, and is intensely smart.

Barry, 9:21: that’s exactly what i’m talking about. you rattle off facts about ray like they’re proof that he’s out of your league
Barry, 9:21: it’s really very much the other way around.
Barry, 9:21: ray was super into you for almost a year, and tried in his weird, fumbling, vaguely stalkerish way to see if you liked him back.

Felicity, 9:22: That never happened. That is pure fiction, Barry.

Barry, 9:22: you were in your head because of cooper, so you never noticed. but it happened.

Felicity, 9:22: Don’t.

Barry, 9:22: felicity, i’m sorry, i shouldn’t have brought him up. i just think a lot of this relates back to what happened with cooper

Felicity, 9:22: I said DON’T.

Barry, 9:22: i’m sorry.
Barry, 9:26: felicity?

Felicity, 9:38: You were wrong about Ray and you’re wrong about Oliver. That’s cool, though, you’re allowed to be wrong occasionally.

Barry, 9:38: are we okay?

Felicity, 9:39: It’s fine, Barry. I just don’t like to think about that.

Barry, 9:39: i know. i shouldn’t have pushed. i just think you’re missing the signs with oliver.

Felicity, 9:39: I’m not. I promise.
Felicity, 9:40: Here’s why you’re wrong: when we walked back, he glanced over at this crazy motorcycle (MORE ON THAT LATER).
Felicity, 9:40: And he hesitated, because he wanted to leave, but then said he’d walk me up. I told him I’d be fine and he should get to work.
Felicity, 9:40: And there was this MOMENT where I just looked up at him and I didn’t realize how close I’d gotten, and he was looking at me.
Felicity, 9:40: (his eyes make me want to recite poetry, by the way)
Felicity, 9:40: And he smiled and nodded and took a half-step back, then he kind of... put his hand on my shoulder lightly? But then kind of squeezed?
Felicity, 9:40: It was a very comforting, friendly touch. There is NOTHING sexual about a man touching my SHOULDER.
Felicity, 9:40: And there was definitely NO near-kissage, NO awkwardness from him. And then he got on his bike and rode off.
Felicity, 9:40: (BARRY, HIM RIDING THAT BIKE IS A LOT. IT’S TOO MUCH)
Felicity, 9:40: All of this lust is UNIDIRECTIONAL, and that’s fine!

Barry, 9:41: hmmmmm, what’d he say when he left?

Felicity, 9:41: You mean after the totally NON-SEXUAL SHOULDER SQUEEZE? Um, something like he’d had fun, and he’ll see me soon.
Felicity, 9:41: And I THINK I said thanks and be careful on that thing. Oh, and I made some joke about he’s just like a modern day Mr. Darcy on a horse.
Felicity, 9:41: (the horse being his motorcycle)
Felicity, 9:41: (and because Thea made us watch P&P. It wasn’t some weird attempt at a line from me.)
Felicity, 9:41: Anyway his face got kind of weird and he cleared his throat and nodded and then he left.
Felicity, 9:41: So. Yeah. REALLY GOOD evening with my probable new friend, Oliver.

Barry, 9:42: I've got $25 on you just HAPPENING to run into him again within the week

Felicity, 9:42: That’s a sucker’s bet since we live in the same building. No way.
Felicity, 9:42: Wait, unless you meant LITERALLY run into him? THAT I would bet on.

Barry, 9:43: no way -- THAT is a sucker's bet. -30-

-30-

Chapter Text

September 16

 

From: thea.dearden@gmail.com
To: ojq@hotmail.com
Subject: Uh…

Oliver Jonas Queen, this BETTER be gossipy wrongness.

starcitytelegram.com/local/page4/queen-lance-merlyn-triangle-back-on

I am about seven kinds of angry, pending your confirmation. You’re lucky you’re not answering your phone, but if this is true, you should listen to your voicemail with your volume turned all the way up to get the full effect of my wrath.

 

From: ojq@hotmail.com
To: thea.dearden@gmail.com
Subject: re: Uh…

That “article” is garbage.

 

From: ojq@hotmail.com
To: thea.dearden@gmail.com
Subject: re: Uh…

And I’m not happy that your first instinct was to believe the worst of me, Thea.

 

From: thea.dearden@gmail.com
To: ojq@hotmail.com
Subject: re: Uh…

It quotes like five different people about a “closed door meeting” with you and Laurel. Heavy implications about what all that privacy was needed for.

 

From: ojq@hotmail.com
To: thea.dearden@gmail.com
Subject: re: Uh…

Yes, we had a meeting at Queen Consolidated. And then we met Tommy for lunch.

Our meeting was about Mom’s legal situation and the walls at QC are made of glass. That story is mean-spirited and just plain wrong.

I’m never gonna be that guy again, Thea.

 

From: thea.dearden@gmail.com
To: ojq@hotmail.com
Subject: re: Uh…

Okay, you’re right, I’m sorry. I just really don’t want to see you regress, and I know you said you’re happy for Tommy and Laurel, but it’s still gotta be weird.

Question: so Tommy and Laurel know that story is garbage, but does Felicity?

 

From: ojq@hotmail.com
To: thea.dearden@gmail.com
Subject: re: Uh…

Don’t start with this again. Yes, I like her. Yes, we’re friends. But, NO, we’re not dating.

 

From: thea.dearden@gmail.com
To: ojq@hotmail.com
Subject: re: Uh…

You’ve had “accidental” coffee dates twice this week. I would be so proud of your progress if you would actually admit that they’re dates. And if you weren’t loitering in the lobby staring longingly out the window for your beloved to appear so you can “accidentally” run into her.

Anyway. Regardless of what you’re calling it, you need to talk to her about the Laurel situation.

 

From: ojq@hotmail.com
To: thea.dearden@gmail.com
Subject: re: Uh…

There’s no “Laurel situation,” Thea.

 

From: thea.dearden@gmail.com
To: ojq@hotmail.com
Subject: re: Uh…

Oh, my God, you are so frustrating sometimes, Ollie. Fine, there’s no Laurel situation because you are NOT cheating on Felicity and helping Laurel cheat on Tommy, your best friend. (Which, if you’re curious, were the TOP THREE reasons I was super pissed about this possibility, the other four or five reasons being that you would’ve been LYING to me about all of this. But you didn’t, so I’m not mad about the gossip.)

But this is in the papers, and online. Your name is on it, Oliver.

 

From: ojq@hotmail.com
To: thea.dearden@gmail.com
Subject: re: Uh…

I can’t imagine Felicity is one to read gossip sites.

 

From: thea.dearden@gmail.com
To: ojq@hotmail.com
Subject: re: Uh…

Ollie. She’s going to hear about it at work. It’s in the teasers for local news. She has FRIENDS who know about your little dating-but-not-calling-it-dating thing, and they will absolutely tell her. It doesn’t matter if she seeks it out -- she’ll hear about it.

And I’m sorry, Ollie, but at first blush, the story is at least plausible.

 

From: ojq@hotmail.com
To: thea.dearden@gmail.com
Subject: re: Uh…

Why would even want me to date Felicity if this is what you think of me?

 

From: thea.dearden@gmail.com
To: ojq@hotmail.com
Subject: re: Uh…

Ollie, I DON’T think that of you, which is why I was SO MAD about the possibility that this great guy you’ve become might’ve backslid a little.

More importantly, I’m saying that Felicity likes you. She LIKES YOU likes you. And you like her, but you haven’t actually TOLD her that yet, or ACTUALLY asked her out, so she’s probably in this weird, uncertain place.

Do you really want her to hear this unflattering (and, yes, UNTRUE) story out in the world with no context, and no reassurances from you that you’ve really only got heart-eyes for her?

 

From: ojq@hotmail.com
To: thea.dearden@gmail.com
Subject: re: Uh…

Please explain exactly how that conversation goes, Thea.

 

From: thea.dearden@gmail.com
To: ojq@hotmail.com
Subject: re: Uh…

Well, Fitzy, I’ve been TRYING to tell you for quite a while you could say something like, “Hi, Felicity. I’d like you to know that Tommy and Laurel are my close friends, and I couldn’t be happier for them. Nothing about the gossip circulating online is true, and I wanted you to hear that from me so you have no doubts about the following: I really like you, and I’m hoping you like me, too. Would you like to have dinner?”

Gee, that doesn’t seem outrageously hard to me.

 

From: ojq@hotmail.com
To: thea.dearden@gmail.com
Subject: re: Uh…

That’s not happening.

 

From: thea.dearden@gmail.com
To: ojq@hotmail.com
Subject: re: Uh…

You’re ALREADY dating her, Oliver, the two of you are just too stubborn and/or scared to say it out loud!

I should’ve taken a picture of your FACE after your first little “accidental” coffee date. I haven’t seen you smile like that since before the Gambit, Ollie. You’ve been so much lighter, so much happier, and I want you to be like that all the time.

 

From: ojq@hotmail.com
To: thea.dearden@gmail.com
Subject: re: Uh…

I had a good time because Felicity is fun and a good conversationalist, despite her protestations to the contrary.

 

From: thea.dearden@gmail.com
To: ojq@hotmail.com
Subject: re: Uh…

You talked about your childhoods, your jobs, your aspirations. Come on, Oliver, you wanted to write songs about her that night. AND last night. Whatever weird, glacial pace this courting ritual is on, at least there’s been progress.

I just don’t want to see everything grind to a halt over something so stupid.

 

From: ojq@hotmail.com
To: thea.dearden@gmail.com
Subject: re: Uh…

What am I supposed to do, go knock on her door?

 

From: thea.dearden@gmail.com
To: ojq@hotmail.com
Subject: re: Uh…

YES!

PLEASE, GOD, GO KNOCK ON HER DOOR, AND WHEN SHE ANSWERS, SAY THE STUFF, AND THEN KISS HER.

DO ALL OF THAT. RIGHT NOW.

 

From: ojq@hotmail.com
To: thea.dearden@gmail.com
Subject: re: Uh…

That seems very forward.

 

From: thea.dearden@gmail.com
To: ojq@hotmail.com
Subject: re: Uh…

Okay, your FITZWILLIAM DARCY IMPRESSION IS NO LONGER CHARMING.

Now you’re just being a wuss. If you’re FRIENDS with her, how is stopping by her place FORWARD?

 

From: ojq@hotmail.com
To: thea.dearden@gmail.com
Subject: re: Uh…

Because the second I start reassuring her that I’m NOT actually a dirtbag who’s sleeping with my ex-girlfriend who’s currently my best friend’s girlfriend, then she’s going to wonder WHY I’m telling her this. And the only logical answer is that I like her.

 

From: thea.dearden@gmail.com
To: ojq@hotmail.com
Subject: re: Uh…

YOU DO LIKE HER.

 

From: ojq@hotmail.com
To: thea.dearden@gmail.com
Subject: re: Uh…

Okay, let me say this a different way: Felicity and I are friends, and I don’t want her to think poorly of me, so I’m willing to consider talking to her about this gossip. But only if there’s a way to do it that doesn’t make me sound like I’m pining for her.

 

From: thea.dearden@gmail.com
To: ojq@hotmail.com
Subject: re: Uh…

YOU ARE PINING FOR HER!

Oh, my God, Ollie, this is like talking to a brick wall. A big, dumb brick wall.

Just -- okay, wait. Do this: tomorrow night, instead of skulking around in the lobby waiting for her, go to Buzzzz and get her a coffee, and then knock on her door. And say the stuff. Say it the way you explained it above -- you and she are getting to know each other, and you don’t want her to think badly of you, so you wanted to mention that you’re not that guy. You can make it work, Ollie.

Just PLEASE, PLEASE avoid the dread phrase “we’re friends” or any variation on that theme, okay? DO NOT ACCIDENTALLY FRIENDZONE MY FUTURE SISTER-IN-LAW.

 

From: ojq@hotmail.com
To: thea.dearden@gmail.com
Subject: re: Uh…

You’re such a brat, Speedy.

 

From: thea.dearden@gmail.com
To: ojq@hotmail.com
Subject: re: Uh…

You would be lost and still sleeping on the freaking floor without me, Fitzy..

 

From: ojq@hotmail.com
To: thea.dearden@gmail.com
Subject: re: Uh…

True.

 

From: thea.dearden@gmail.com
To: ojq@hotmail.com
Subject: re: Uh…

So you’ll talk to her?????

 

From: ojq@hotmail.com
To: thea.dearden@gmail.com
Subject: re: Uh…

Maybe. Probably. I’ll try.

-30-

Chapter Text

September 17, part one

Felicity, 8:03: I can’t even talk about it.
Felicity, 8:03: I just
Felicity, 8:03: CANNOT

Barry, 8:04: wait, what? did i miss a text or…?

Felicity, 8:06: THE UNBEARABLE HOTNESS OF BEING WAS JUST IN MY APARTMENT.

Barry, 8:06: felicity, i thought we were past the nickname since you’re basically DATING him without the sex part
Barry, 8:06: which is a really good part, felicity

Felicity, 8:06: Ugh, stop it.
Felicity, 8:06: WE ARE NOT DATING.
Felicity, 8:06: Clearly not.

Barry, 8:06: the only time you use all caps is about oliver and mcafee antivirus

Felicity, 8:06: RUDE.
Felicity, 8:06: Seriously, though, McAfee is TERRIBLE and they deserve ALL THE CAPS OF RIGHTEOUS INDIGNATION.

Barry, 8:06: not exactly my point
Barry, 8:06: the nickname reappearing seems like regression

Felicity, 8:07: HE WAS IN MY APARTMENT!!
Felicity, 8:07: That deserves appropriate EMPHASIS!

Barry, 8:07: your phrasing makes it sound like you got home, walked in, and found oliver sitting on your couch like a stalker

Felicity, 8:07: NO, I got home, walked in, settled in for a bit, answered a knock on my door, and OLIVER WAS STANDING THERE
Felicity, 8:07: UNEXPECTED.
Felicity, 8:07: Also with coffee.
Felicity, 8:07: STILL WEIRD.

Barry, 8:07: felicity, he’s been there before. he brought you home and tucked you into bed

Felicity, 8:08: What did I say about that? WE DO NOT SPEAK OF THE BEDROOM INCIDENT.
Felicity, 8:08: (Because, seriously, THERE WAS A FIRE ENGINE RED BRA HANGING FROM THE CLOSET DOORKNOB WHEN I WOKE UP)

Barry, 8:08: why was it hanging from the doorknob?

Felicity, 8:08: WE DO NOT SPEAK OF IT. I’m sure I took it off AFTER he left.
Felicity, 8:08: I’m SURE. I’m really pretty sure.
Felicity, 8:08: ANYWAY.

Barry, 8:08: so your boyfriend showed up tonight with coffee…
Barry, 8:08: are you moving from coffee shop dates to staying home dates? those are fun dates

Felicity, 8:09: STOP. He’s not my boyfriend. But more on that later.
Felicity, 8:09: So I got home, and what do I do first thing when I get home?

Barry, 8:09: pajamas. what do you mean by more on that later?

Felicity, 8:09: Yeah. Pajamas. PANDA BEAR PAJAMAS.

Barry, 8:09: well, you love pandas

Felicity, 8:09: I DO LOVE PANDAS!
Felicity, 8:09: I would prefer that aggressively attractive men don’t SEE me in faded, comfy pajamas with PANDA FACES on my ass though.

Barry, 8:09: leaving aside your sartorial regret, what happened? tell me the *later* stuff now

Felicity, 8:10: Hmmm. Well, I guess the short version is I WOULD have been horrified for him to see my like that, but he showed up to talk.
Felicity, 8:10: You know. TALK.

Barry, 8:10: TALK? about what?

Felicity, 8:10: Well, the talk consisted of him basically emphasizing how we’re such good FRIENDS or maybe not yet but we could be such good FRIENDS.
Felicity, 8:10: He said the word FRIENDS like fifteen times, and every time he said it, he did this weird crinkly thing with his forehead.
Felicity, 8:10: Because the whole conversation CLEARLY made him uncomfortable.
Felicity, 8:10: BECAUSE OBVIOUSLY HE IS FULLY AWARE OF MY RIDICULOUS FEELINGS AND IS TRYING TO LET ME DOWN GENTLY.
Felicity, 8:10: With coffee, which I actually did appreciate. Ugh, why is he so considerate?
Felicity, 8:10: “Hey, I’m not into you, but have some caffeine!” I mean... that’s definitely a kind gesture.

Barry, 8:11: okay, but i have a lot of questions. how did he start the conversation?

Felicity, 8:11: It doesn’t MATTER, Barry. The key takeaway is all the FRIENDS-iness.

Barry, 8:11: so he knocked on your door and said let’s just be friends? really?
Barry, 8:11: that doesn’t seem right

Felicity, 8:11: No, he didn’t just -- there was something about his ex-girlfriend, and something about his best friend, and how he’s not that guy.
Felicity, 8:11: He didn’t want me to think he’s a jerk? I think?
Felicity, 8:11: I didn’t totally follow that part, but it was basically just the setup for FRIENDS FRIENDS FRIENDS I’LL BE THERE FOR YOU.
Felicity, 8:11: But not in a Monica/Chandler way, more of a Joey and Ross kind of thing.

Barry, 8:12: wait, wait, wait, he stopped by to talk to you about him trying to get back with laurel lance??

Felicity, 8:12: Great. Yes. That phrasing makes me feel MUCH better.

Barry 8:12: no, no -- there’s some stupid story online. iris read it and called it baseless speculation
Barry, 8:14: felicity?
Barry, 8:16: iris says that writer is a lazy jerk who prints rumors because she can’t be bothered to go find actual sources
Barry, 8:16: that story is almost definitely nonsense
Barry, 8:16: but you’re totally reading it anyway, aren’t you?

Felicity, 8:16: Obviously. I’m not sure how I missed that story, but okay. That’s a lot of tortured history there.
Felicity, 8:16: No wonder he’s hung up on her.
Felicity, 8:17: I guess maybe he thinks this thing with Laurel might work out and he wanted to be clear with me?
Felicity, 8:17: Which is kindly intended. And I’m trying hard to wish him well.
Felicity, 8:17: Though you’d think he’d be more worried about preparing his best friend (former best friend? That was a little unclear?) for this.

Barry, 8:17: felicity. what EXACTLY did he say about laurel?

Felicity, 8:17: I don’t remember EXACTLY! I was still processing that OLIVER was standing in my living room.
Felicity, 8:17: My messy living room. And I was trying to decide if it would be weird to go CHANGE INTO REAL CLOTHES.
Felicity, 8:17: BECAUSE PANDA FACE JAMMYS.
Felicity, 8:17: But he sort of shoved the coffee into my hand and then was doing that weird nervous twitchy thing with his hand?
Felicity, 8:17: And he said something like, I wanted to let you know that the story about Laurel and Tommy, it’s not true. I’m not that guy.

Barry, 8:17: hmmmmmmm

Felicity, 8:17: I’m pretty sure I blinked stupidly at him, because I didn’t know what he was talking about, and he laughed a little awkwardly.
Felicity, 8:17: WHICH I DIDN’T UNDERSTAND AT THE TIME.
Felicity, 8:17: And he said he didn’t want me to think badly of him because WE’RE FRIENDS.
Felicity, 8:17: He repeated himself a little bit -- rephrasing stuff, almost like babbling. But the word that kept coming back was FRIENDS.
Felicity, 8:17: I mostly stood there with the coffee cup in my hand and stared at his stupid, attractive, unattainable face.

Barry, 8:18: wow, okay. where to start?
Barry, 8:18: that story says he’s still after his ex, regardless of her current relationship, right? and he wanted YOU to know it isn’t true.

Felicity, 8:18: Yes, he wants to make sure we can still be friends now that he’s been super clear with all the not-wanting-me-back.
Felicity, 8:18: And I must need to work on my poker face if he felt the need to TELL me this.
Felicity, 8:18: Ugh.

Barry, 8:18: FELICITY. The only reason he would want you -- YOU SPECIFICALLY -- to know it’s not true is so that you WOULDN’T write him off.

Felicity, 8:18: As friends. I know. Got it. And I wouldn’t write him off. It’s not his fault that I’m freaking half in love with him.
Felicity, 8:18: That was just exaggeration for effect, okay? I’m not really.
Felicity, 8:18: In love with him, I mean. I’m not.
Felicity, 8:19: OBVIOUSLY. I barely know him. That would be crazy.

Barry, 8:19: felicity
Barry, 8:19: i promise you, there is no reason for him to make sure to talk to you about this if he only wanted to be your friend
Barry, 8:19: he’s telling you he likes you without saying it out loud

Felicity, 8:19: You’re wrong. It’s okay, I know you mean well, and you’re trying to buck me up. But you’re wrong.

Barry, 8:20: felicity, the last thing i’d do is encourage you to keep lusting after him if i thought he didn’t lust after you right back
Barry, 8:20: the story came out yesterday, and he CAME TO YOUR APARTMENT so he could be SURE you know it’s not true
Barry, 8:20: why else would he do that?

Felicity, 8:20: Barry, I don’t think I want to talk about this anymore.
Felicity, 8:20: I don’t actually want to THINK about it anymore right now. The PANDA PJs shock is wearing off and I’m just…
Felicity, 8:20: Sad.
Felicity, 8:20: Which is dumb, I know, but I can’t seem to help it.

Barry, 8:22: felicity, answer the phone

Felicity, 8:23: I need a little time, Barry. I’m gonna have a glass of wine and take a bubblebath and I’ll call you later, okay?

Barry, 8:23: do you want me and iris to come by? or me? or iris?

Felicity, 8:24: Everything’s fine, Barry. This isn’t my first crushed crush.
Felicity, 8:24: I’m really good at getting over it. Got a whole routine. See prior text re: bubblebath + wine.

Barry, 8:24: felicity

Felicity, 8:29: I’ll be fine, Barry.

-30-

Chapter Text

September 17, part two

From: ojq@hotmail.com
To: thea.dearden@gmail.com
Subject: I think I screwed up

Thea, I tried to explain things to Felicity but I think I messed it up.

 

From: thea.dearden@gmail.com
To: ojq@hotmail.com
Subject: re: I think I screwed up

Oh, Ollie. You said “friend” a lot, didn’t you?

 

From: ojq@hotmail.com
To: thea.dearden@gmail.com
Subject: re: I think I screwed up

I didn’t say it a lot.

I just... I said it by accident. Then I kept trying to explain that part away without saying too much and I think I confused her. When I left, she looked confused, but she also looked sad.

 

From: thea.dearden@gmail.com
To: ojq@hotmail.com
Subject: re: I think I screwed up

You know what would un-confuse her and make her happy?

GO BACK AND KISS HER.

 

From: ojq@hotmail.com
To: thea.dearden@gmail.com
Subject: re: I think I screwed up

Thea.

 

From: thea.dearden@gmail.com
To: ojq@hotmail.com
Subject: re: I think I screwed up

I am so dead serious. Go knock on her door again, tell her you think you were maybe unclear before, and then KISS HER.

Confusion: solved! Your total wussiness: ALSO SOLVED!

I am a genius. Now go.

 

From: ojq@hotmail.com
To: thea.dearden@gmail.com
Subject: re: I think I screwed up

I’m at work.

 

From: thea.dearden@gmail.com
To: ojq@hotmail.com
Subject: re: I think I screwed up

I just squealed so loudly. IS THAT THE ONLY REASON?

Because I will call Diggle and tell him to drive your ass back here! Or I will come GET you and bring you back. YOU CHOOSE.

 

From: ojq@hotmail.com
To: thea.dearden@gmail.com
Subject: re: I think I screwed up

You don’t even know Diggle.

And that’s not the point. I’m not going to go kiss her.

 

From: thea.dearden@gmail.com
To: ojq@hotmail.com
Subject: re: I think I screwed up

The bodyguard you’ve had for a year? Yeah, I do know him a little actually. And I bet if I asked him if you should get your ass back here and kiss Felicity, he’d agree with me.

 

From: ojq@hotmail.com
To: thea.dearden@gmail.com
Subject: re: I think I screwed up

He doesn’t have the same rooting interest in my romantic prospects as you do, Speedy. I don’t think anyone does, actually.

And Felicity was already in her pajamas when I talked to her two hours ago. I’m not waking her up.

Her pajama pants had panda bear faces on them. I think she was embarrassed about them, but they were so very Felicity.

 

From: thea.dearden@gmail.com
To: ojq@hotmail.com
Subject: re: I think I screwed up

Your devotion to thinking she’s the cutest thing in the world is truly amazing, FItzy.

And you’re wrong about your friends. I’m happy to say both Tommy and Diggle are firmly on Team Felicity. We’ve discussed it.

I’m texting Dig to bring the car around for you.

 

From: ojq@hotmail.com
To: thea.dearden@gmail.com
Subject: re: I think I screwed up

Please tell me you’re kidding. And don’t text Dig.

 

From: thea.dearden@gmail.com
To: ojq@hotmail.com
Subject: re: I think I screwed up

I believe Diggle’s exact quote was, “Oh, the bubbly blonde fueling Oliver’s sudden coffee shop habit? Yeah, I like her.”

But Tommy and I have had extensive text conversations about it -- he hasn’t met her, so I’ve had to do a lot of filling in the blanks. I’d add you to the group text, but you’re a dumbass who can’t work your phone properly, so. ;)

 

From: ojq@hotmail.com
To: thea.dearden@gmail.com
Subject: re: I think I screwed up

Stop talking to people about this.

 

From: thea.dearden@gmail.com
To: ojq@hotmail.com
Subject: re: I think I screwed up

If you’re embarrassed by your own wussiness, you can go get in the damn car and come back here for Felicity. You don’t even have to kiss her -- just TALK TO HER. And ask her out to dinner.

 

From: ojq@hotmail.com
To: thea.dearden@gmail.com
Subject: re: I think I screwed up

Thea, it’s not that simple and you know it.

Plus, the last time I took your advice I screwed it up.

 

From: thea.dearden@gmail.com
To: ojq@hotmail.com
Subject: re: I think I screwed up

No, my advice has always been to ask her out, NOT to try to say you like her and not Laurel but without actually saying it. And I very explicitly told you not to use the word FRIENDS. At all.

So this screwup is all yours, big brother.

 

From: ojq@hotmail.com
To: thea.dearden@gmail.com
Subject: re: I think I screwed up

I’m asking seriously: How do I fix this?

And don’t say to ask her out or kiss her.

I just don’t ever want to be the reason she’s sad.

 

From: thea.dearden@gmail.com
To: ojq@hotmail.com
Subject: re: I think I screwed up

All joking aside, Ollie, you need to talk to her.

You don’t have to ask her out or kiss her, but you HAVE to tell her that you like her.

It’s okay to tell her you’re not ready for anything. It’s fine to say you don’t think you can be in a relationship right now, but you can’t lie to her. She’ll know, and you’ll just make it worse.

 

From: ojq@hotmail.com
To: thea.dearden@gmail.com
Subject: re: I think I screwed up

I don’t know if I can do that.

 

From: thea.dearden@gmail.com
To: ojq@hotmail.com
Subject: re: I think I screwed up

You can, Ollie. I believe in you.

 

From: ojq@hotmail.com
To: thea.dearden@gmail.com
Subject: re: I think I screwed up

I’ll think about it.

 

-30-

Chapter Text

September 19, part one

Felicity, 7:26: oh no oh no oh no oh no i need to move immediately
Felicity, 7:26: I am sitting in my bathtub.
Felicity, 7:26: KLAXON

Barry, 7:26: oh, god, the bathtub? what happened?
Barry, 7:26: do you want me to come over?

Felicity, 7:27: i kissed oliver oh no oh no oh no oh no

Barry, 7:27: WHAT?
Barry, 7:27: EXPLAIN

Felicity, 7:27: i can’t explain i have to pack all my belongings and move to Denmark!

Barry, 7:27: unimportant, but why denmark?
Barry, 7:27: (iris just whacked me and yelled ASK HER ABOUT THE KISSING)

Felicity, 7:28: omg the kissing was so good.
Felicity, 7:28: SO. GOOD.
Felicity, 7:28: Best twenty seconds of my life, maybe?
Felicity, 7:28: BUT NOW EVERYTHING IS TERRIBLE.

Barry, 7:28: chronological order, pls

Felicity, 7:28: MY BRAIN IS STILL VERY KISS-ADDLED. I AM TRYING.
Felicity, 7:28: I bumped into Oliver in the lobby. But like actually bumped into him.
Felicity, 7:28: Because I’m so awesome at avoiding people that I physically WALK INTO THEM.
Felicity, 7:28: Nearly fell down, but he grabbed my arms.

Barry, 7:29: grabbed?

Felicity, 7:29: I was at like a 45 degree angle and going down.
Felicity, 7:29: Uh, FALLING down.
Felicity, 7:29: Not GOING down.
Felicity, 7:29: Obviously. We were in the LOBBY.

Barry, 7:29: THIS IS IRIS, WHAT DOES HE SMELL LIKE?

Felicity, 7:29: HEAVENLY DELIGHT. But also maybe a hint of pine tree?

Barry, 7:30: okay, that’s enough of that. so he caught you before you fell on your ass....??

Felicity, 7:30: Yes, he had those satisfyingly large hands on me, and he smiled, and his face is STUPIDLY UNFAIR WHEN HE SMILES.
Felicity, 7:30: And I’ve spent two days obsessively thinking about trying NOT to think about him like that, and then he was just RIGHT THERE.
Felicity, 7:30: My hands were on his really just… so pleasingly HARD chest, and my brain was so fried by ALL OF THAT that I said YOU’RE WELCOME.
Felicity, 7:30: And he laughed, but not AT me, more like he was delighted? By me? Which........!!!!?????
Felicity, 7:30: And then he said he’s glad he ran into me because he wanted to talk to me.
Felicity, 7:30: And I just -- I don’t know. Panicked? Reacted to his STUPID FACE being RIGHT THERE?
Felicity, 7:30: I don’t KNOW, but I just kissed him.

Barry, 7:30: wow.

Felicity, 7:30: TELL ME ABOUT IT.
Felicity, 7:30: It was WOW for like seventeen separate reasons!!!!????
Felicity, 7:31: ALLOW ME TO LIST THEM: (1) his lips are so soft, omg, but then (2) the stubble adds this perfect bit of roughness?

Barry, 7:31: please PLEASE save these kinds of “reasons” for iris

Felicity, 7:31: (3) his hands on my back -- his fingers got kind of GRABBY when I kissed him, and he pulled me closer into that (4) ROCK HARD BODY
Felicity, 7:31: and (5) HE KISSED ME BACK A LOT.
Felicity, 7:31: A LOT a lot. So much. Sooooooooooooo much.

Barry, 7:31: FELICITY. it was a good kiss. got it. then what?

Felicity, 7:31: Fine, for Iris: excellent tongue, biceps under my hands - amazing, he did the face-cupping thing, he was breathing as heavily as me.
Felicity, 7:31: (ugh, it was SO GOOD.)

Barry, 7:31: AND THEN WHAT?

Felicity, 7:32: Then I realized that I was KISSING OLIVER QUEEN.
Felicity, 7:32: So I left.

Barry, 7:32: you ran away???

Felicity, 7:32: NO! I did not RUN AWAY.
Felicity, 7:32: I continued on to my apartment. Where I was headed before the bumping-into-a-kiss incident.

Barry, 7:32: THIS IS IRIS, GO BACK AND TALK TO HIM RIGHT NOW FELICITY RIGHT NOW RIGHT NOW

Felicity, 7:32: That is NOT happening. I’m moving to Denmark becau OH NO
Felicity, 7:32: OH NO SOMEONE IS AT THE DOOR. OH NO OH NO

Barry, 7:32: CALL ME AND PUT IT ON SPEAKER AND GO ANSWER!!
Barry, 7:33: Barry again, and really DON’T do that. But answer the door.

Felicity, 7:33: oh no oh no oh no it’s totally him

Barry, 7:33: ANSWER THE DOOR
Barry, 7:35: well??
Barry, 7:38: felicity, what’s going on? what’d he want?
Barry, 7:44: this is torture. i had to hide iris’s keys.
Barry, 7:44: i’m taking this excessively long silence as a really good sign.
Barry, 7:48: THIS IS IRIS, GET IT GIRL.

Felicity, 7:52: um.
Felicity, 7:52: I think he likes me back.

Barry, 7:52: !!!!!!!!!!

Felicity, 7:52: Because he said that he did.
Felicity, 7:52: And he said he wants to kiss me again, but he wants to take me out first.
Felicity, 7:52: Well, not necessarily OUT?
Felicity, 7:52: He asked if he could make me dinner.
Felicity, 7:52: Now. Tonight. In like a half hour.

Barry, 7:52: YES. FINALLY.
Barry, 7:52: iris is nonverbal
Barry, 7:52: wait, you said YES right????

Felicity, 7:52: Yeah, I said yes.
Felicity, 7:53: Of course I said yes, it’s OLIVER.
Felicity, 7:53: OHMYGOD, IT'S OLIVER.
Felicity, 7:53: WHY DID I SAY YES? TONIGHT, I CAN’T DO THIS TONIGHT I NEED TIME TO PREPARE

Barry, 7:53: iris is gonna call you in a minute about what to wear
Barry, 7:53: i’m really happy for you, felicity

Felicity, 7:53: Barry, I’m really scared?
Felicity, 7:53: I... I have a lot of feelings.
Felicity, 7:53: For Oliver, I mean. And this… it feels scary big.

Barry, 7:53: why do you think it took me so long to work up the courage to ask iris out?
Barry, 7:53: it’s scary when it matters, felicity, but that just makes everything so much better

Felicity, 7:54: Really? You think Iris is it for you?

Barry, 7:54: i know she is. and working up the courage to take that risk with her was hard, but so, so worth it.

Felicity, 7:54: So you’re saying this storm of panic in my chest is a good sign?

Barry, 7:54: well, yeah, but don’t get me wrong -- it totally sucks to be right in the middle of that free fall
Barry, 7:54: but you gotta just let go, felicity, and see where you land

Felicity, 7:54: That sounds VERY DANGEROUS.
Felicity, 7:54: You know I don’t like heights.

Barry, 7:54: felicity, he’s right there with you with the panic and the shaking hands. trust me

Felicity, 7:54: Well, you’re right about the shaky hands. I don’t know how I’m gonna put on eyeliner.
Felicity, 7:55: Iris is calling.

Barry, 7:57: have an awesome date tonight, felicity

Felicity, 8:23: I’m totally ready to go, and it’ll take me a couple minutes to get up to Oliver’s place, so I have to leave now.
Felicity, 8:23: But I’m just standing here. Is there such a thing as a freeze instinct?
Felicity, 8:23: Like fight, flight, or FREEZE? ‘Cause I’m pretty sure I’m frozen.
Felicity, 8:23: This little entryway is great. Maybe I should live right here forever.

Barry, 8:24: felicity, GO

Felicity, 8:24: I’m scared.

Barry, 8:24: i know, and that’s okay.
Barry, 8:24: you’re one of the bravest people i know, felicity. you got this.

Felicity, 8:24: Yes. Okay. I can do this.
Felicity, 8:24: Thanks, Barry.

 

-30-

Chapter Text

September 19, part two

Oliver, 10:39: Thea. I’m sorry that this is awkward, but can you stay at Roy’s tonight? -Oliver

Thea, 10:40: OH MY GOD YOU’RE TEXTING WHAT HAPPENED???
Thea, 10:40: And you’re asking me to stay at MY BOYFRIEND’S PLACE!?!!!
Thea, 10:40: please please please tell me why (IT BETTER BE FELICITY-RELATED)

Oliver, 10:41: Felicity is here. -Oliver

Thea, 10:41: YASSSSSSSS!

Oliver, 10:41: She's at our apartment and I want to spend some time with her. -Oliver
Oliver, 10:41: I mean we want to spend some time together. -Oliver

Thea, 10:41:
Thea, 10:41: IMPORTANT: Are either of you wearing clothes right now?

Oliver, 10:42: Thea.

Thea, 10:42: I have her number, I WILL CALL HER DIRECTLY.

Oliver, 10:42: NO, don’t call her, she’s napping.

Thea, 10:42: NAPPING?????????? IN YOUR BED????!!!!!!
Thea, 10:42:

Oliver, 10:42: Thea, would you please stop it with the weird pictures? -Oliver

Thea, 10:43:

Oliver, 10:44: I have no idea what any of that means. -Oliver

Thea, 10:44: Well, Fitzy, why don’t you roll over and ask your future wife to explain emojis.
Thea, 10:44: Also texting. ‘Cause you suck at it. Stop signing your texts.
Thea, 10:44: NOW TELL ME EVERYTHING EXCEPT FOR ANYTHING AT ALL ABOUT THE SEX.
Thea, 10:44: WAIT -- GROUND RULE: No sex in the public areas of the apartment, right?

Oliver, 10:44: Speedy, I'm not talking about sex with my innocent baby sister.

Thea, 10:44: (I'm not even going to tell you what Roy just said, but I LOL'd. Oh, Ollie...)

Oliver, 10:44: Thea. Will you please just let us have the apartment tonight?

Thea, 10:44: I WILL CONSIDER YOUR REQUEST if you confirm that you've at LEAST kissed her.

Oliver, 10:45: When I went to talk to her earlier, she kissed me.

Thea, 10:45: WHO RUN THE WORLD?

Oliver, 10:45: ...what?

Thea, 10:45: You are HOPELESS at pop culture, but that is a problem for another day. THEN WHAT??

Oliver, 10:45: I invited her over for dinner and it's going really well. REALLY well.
Oliver, 10:45: I need you out of the apartment because it's going so well. Okay?

Thea, 10:45:

Oliver, 10:45: Now will you please stay at Roy’s?

Thea, 10:45: DUH.
Thea, 10:45: Ollie, I love you and I really like Felicity, but there is basically nothing in the entire world that could make me set foot in your sex palace tonight.

Oliver, 10:46: Thea.

Thea, 10:46: I am literally jumping up and down right now. Roy is making faces at me. I DON’T CARE, BECAUSE I AM SO HAPPY ABOUT THIS.
Thea, 10:46: I'm so proud of you, even if you waited until AFTER SHE KISSED YOU TO ASK HER OUT. Oh, Fitzy.
Thea, 10:46: Serious question: are you scared or are you happy?

Oliver, 10:48: A little scared still, because this feels important.
Oliver, 10:48: But definitely happy.

Thea, 10:48:

Oliver, 10:49: I still don’t know what that means.

Thea, 10:49: I am confident you will learn, big brother. You and your

Oliver, 10:49: Hi, Thea, it's Felicity. Your brother just asked me what an emoji is so I confiscated his phone.
Oliver, 10:49: I can't believe he's been roaming the earth with a perfectly good smartphone and NO IDEA how to use it.
Oliver, 10:49: Is it okay if I borrow him for the rest of the evening? I promise to teach him emojis when I'm done.
Oliver, 10:49: WAIT, no, that wasn't an allusion to DONE like AFTER I SEX HIM UP REAL GOOD kind of done.
Oliver, 10:49: Totally not what I meant to say. (Or type.) Just... metaphorically done.
Oliver, 10:49: I'm not making this any better am I? Oliver's laughing pretty hard.

Thea, 10:50: I adore you, future sister-in-law, but please NEVER so much as mention sex with my brother. UGH. GROSS.
Thea, 10:50: Oh, you should totally ask him why his nickname is Fitzy.

Oliver, 10:50: Wow, he turned bright red. I think he wants his phone back.
Oliver, 10:50: He seems kind of terrified of you and I becoming friends. We should totally get brunch this weekend.
Oliver, 10:50: Your brother's getting grabby about his phone. Bye, Thea!

Thea, 10:50: Bye, dorks!

Oliver, 12:39: Sincerely, Thea, thanks for pushing me. She's worth it.
Oliver, 12:40: Oh, and don't be surprised if Felicity's still here when you get home tomorrow. I'm not eager to let her go.
Oliver, 12:40: (Did I do that emoji thing right?)

THE END