Oliver handed Felicity the phone again, too overwhelmed to say anything else.
Felicity gave Walter her hotel's phone and room number and they rang off. She sat next to Oliver and pulled him into a hug. He pulled her tight to him, holding on as if for life.
"I'm going home," he said into her neck, over and over.
Felicity squeezed him tighter, knowing she had no way of understanding what he was going through right now.
They were still wrapped around each other when the phone rang.
Felicity reached to answer it since it was still, technically, her room. "Hello?"
"This is Moira Queen, is this Felicity Smoak?"
Felicity squeaked, pushing away from Oliver. "Mrs. Queen, hello. Yes, this is Felicity. I assume you want to talk to Oliver?"
"Yes, may I please speak with my son?"
"Of course," she said. She covered the mouthpiece and whispered, "She called you her son."
"Mom? You spoke with Walter?"
"Yes, Mr. Steele confirmed your story. The jet is being fueled and we are on our way to the airport as soon as I hang up. We should arrive in Hong Kong around 6pm local time, tomorrow."
"I think I'll go to work with Felicity tomorrow, so come to the QC Manufacturing plant when you get in. Walter can tell you where it is."
"Walter will be coming with me. He feels terrible that Felicity has gone through so much because of him."
"I look forward to seeing him again," Oliver said, formally. "I've missed you, Mom."
"I've missed you, too. I'll see you soon."
Oliver hung up. "They're on their way. They'll be here tomorrow."
"And you're coming to work with me?" Felicity asked, quirking her eyebrow.
"I hope that's okay. I kind of don't want to let you out of my sight."
Felicity flushed with warmth. "It's fine with me, but you'll have to convince my team leader to let you past security. Now what did you do with the food?"
Oliver gestured towards the table near the window. "Over there."
Felicity grabbed his hand. "Come on, you need to eat too."
"I don't know if I could keep anything down. I'm too excited."
"Well, you have almost a full day before you're going anywhere, so you may as well eat," Felicity pointed out.
Oliver had ordered simple sandwiches and sodas, which they ate in relative quiet. He was once again lost in his thoughts.
Felicity finished eating and moved to sit on the bed, leaning against the headboard.
"So, what do you think you'll do when you get home?" she asked, breaking the silence.
"I imagine my mom will insist I see a doctor first, and then I want to see Speedy," Oliver said. At Felicity's confused look, he clarified, "My sister, Thea. I used to call her Speedy because she used to run around following me and Tommy when she was little. Tommy was, is, my best friend."
"I'm sure she can't wait to see you either," Felicity grinned. "But why don't you want to see a doctor?"
"What makes you think that?" Oliver bristled.
"The look on your face when you said it," Felicity said, shrugging one shoulder.
Oliver looked almost nervous as he said, "My body has taken a lot of abuse over the past few years. I don't know if I'm ready for my family to know the extent of what I've been through."
Felicity thought about it and realized that she had only seen him fully covered, aside from his face.
"Things like what, if you don't mind me asking?"
Silently, Oliver stood and removed his shirt, bracing himself for her reaction.
Felicity gasped. She was on her feet before she even knew what was happening, one hand extended before her, reaching for him, but stopping before she could actually touch him.
His right shoulder was a mass of scars and there was a row of what looked like puncture marks along the left side of his torso. He had some other scars she couldn't even guess what they were from. Moving around him, her eyes were drawn to the dragon tattoo on his back.
Finishing her circle, she met his eyes and asked, "How did you survive all of this?"
Oliver was surprised to see only wonder in her eyes, not the pity he expected. "There were times when I didn't think that I would," he admitted. Felicity's hands were hovering over his chest, the heat of them setting his skin on fire. He swallowed thickly and whispered, "It's okay to touch them." He silently added, 'To touch me.'
Felicity's eyes bounced up to meet his briefly before returning to his chest. He'd acquired some impressive muscle definition along with the scars. Unconsciously, she licked her lips as she brushed her fingertips over the massive scar near his shoulder.
Oliver inhaled sharply, his fingers curling into fists so that he wouldn't push Felicity away. So that he wouldn't pull her closer and do something stupid.
"Is this okay?" she asked quietly, her breath puffing against his skin.
Her fingers gently traced the scar.
"That was from an arrow. I was shot from behind my first day on the island," Oliver told her.
"And this?" she asked, using her other hand to trace the scars on his torso.
"Tortured with a sword," he gruffly told her. The torture her light touches were inflicting on him was something else altogether.
"By the men in the camp?" Felicity guessed.
He nodded. It had been a long time since he'd been touched so gently. Even when he'd been with Sara or Shado, there were never soft touches like this. It was always quick and often rough, stealing pleasure when they could before some bad guy - or Slade - found them.
Finally, Oliver brought his hands up to cover hers. "Felicity," he groaned. She met his eyes and he was relieved to find them just as darkened by lust as his own must have been.
"Yes," she said to his unasked question and before she could blink his lips were on hers.
This kiss was nothing like the pecks on the beach. This was rough, and wet, and needy. Oliver's hands moved to cup her face, pulling her closer as she slid one hand up to the nape of his neck, the other sliding around his back.
Oliver walked them the two paces it took to get to a bed and Felicity fell onto it. She giggled, sliding back on it, reaching for Oliver who was already crawling up the bed and over her.
He trailed kisses up her cloth-covered belly and chest until he was hovering over her.
"Hi," Felicity said, smiling shyly up at him.
Oliver smiled widely. "Hi." He rested on one arm, brushing the hair away from her face with his other hand. "Is this okay?"
Felicity undulated under him, causing him to groan as she brushed against his growing hardness.
"More than," she purred, running her fingers up and down his back. A moment later she paused and turned her head to the side, "Crap!"
Oliver frowned. "What?"
"I don't have...anything," she said, blushing. "I came here for business and I wasn't expecting to meet anyone. I'm guessing they didn't sell condoms on that island of yours. I know I'm clean, but who knows where you've been. No offense."
Oliver buried his face in her neck with a whimper of disappointment, shaking his head. "No, you're right, we should use one." He kissed her behind the ear and felt the shiver that went through her body as her nails bit into his back.
"I think we can find ways to get around that," he told her, kissing his way towards her chest. He sat back so that he was straddling her thighs and slid his hands under her tank top. He waited for her nod of consent before sliding it up her body. She sat up enough for him to lift it over her head. She laughed when he pouted upon seeing her bra.
"Did you really expect me to not be wearing one?" she asked. "We barely know each other and I didn't have seduction in mind for tonight."
"You didn't need to," Oliver said, mesmerized as she reached behind her to remove the offending garment. "You're sexy as hell all on your own."
Felicity's blush extended all the way down her chest, he noted as he bent to take one of her breasts in his mouth. She arched up into him as his teeth and tongue teased her nipples to hardness. Her fingers slid into his long hair, holding him to her. When he switched his attention to her other breast, she made a keening noise she wasn't sure she'd ever made before.
Far too soon, Oliver left her breasts and began to kiss his way down her body. When he reached her shorts, he glanced up at her for permission, which he got in the form of Felicity raising her hips, and pulled them down her smooth legs. He parted her thighs with his hands and settled himself between her legs.
"Don't you want me to touch you?" Felicity offered.
"Later," Oliver grunted. "First I need to taste you."
"Please," Felicity whimpered, feeling the wetness grow between her thighs.
He bent his head and ran his tongue slowly along the full length of her slit before focusing on her clit. "You're so wet," he mumbled against her skin, sending pleasurable sparks along her skin. "I wish I could be inside you."
"Another. Time," Felicity panted. "For now. Just keep. Doing. That." Her voice rose several octaves on the last word as Oliver slid one long finger inside her, stealing her ability to speak.
Her fingers were once again buried in his hair. Needing to touch him. Needing to hold on to something. To him.
His talented tongue already had her close to the edge, and when he added a second finger inside her and grazed his teeth against her clit, she fell right over it, his name on her lips. Her body writhed as pleasure spread through her entire body, leaving her languid and sated.
Oliver crawled back up the bed, lying next to her. Felicity rolled against his side, propping her head on his chest as he stroked her back. "That was incredible," she purred, pressing into his side. "You're really good at that."
Oliver tried not to look smug as he said, "Thank you."
He slowly brought his mouth to hers, waiting to see if she'd be repulsed by her own taste, but she surged up to meet him, kissing him thoroughly.
He rolled so they were both on their sides, lips still devouring each other's. It wasn't long before he felt Felicity's hands sliding down his chest to his pants. She had the button open and zipper down before he'd even realized what she was doing and helped her to shove his pants and boxers down his legs. He broke the kiss to kick them off, but those few seconds felt like an eternity to be separated.
She ran a hand over his hip before sliding it towards her goal. He bucked as she wrapped her hand around his erection, biting her bottom lip. She whimpered in answer to his groan and began to stroke him with firm, even strokes.
He pressed into her hand, marveling at how she seemed to know how to touch him just right. When she broke the kiss and started to move down his body, he stopped her.
"Don't you want me to…" she nodded her head towards where she was still stroking him, "return the favor?"
"Maybe some other time," Oliver managed to say, although he wasn't sure how he was able to form words. "Right now I just really need to keep kissing you."
Her lips recaptured his and he moaned into her mouth, one hand cupping her cheek as the other reached for a breast.
She alternated her strokes, sometimes focusing on the head before moving down to the base, and then back up again. She slid her other hand between his thighs and began to gently massage his balls.
That seemed to be too much for Oliver and without warning he began to come. She continued to stroke him through his orgasm until he had to push her hand away from his over-sensitized flesh.
He flopped onto his back. Felicity gave him a quick peck on his lips before rising from the bed. He could hear water running in the bathroom and then Felicity was back with a damp washcloth, wiping his spend from his belly. He was vaguely aware of her tossing the cloth towards the bathroom.
"Up, you," Felicity instructed. "We need to get under the covers."
Oliver groaned, but did as she asked. He had a feeling that he would always do what she asked. Under normal circumstances a thought like that would scare him, but he felt too good and too tired to worry about it now.
Felicity set the alarm on the bedside clock since she still hadn't tested her phone and turned off the lights in the room before joining Oliver in bed. She lay on her side and soon felt Oliver mold himself to her back, one arm draped across her belly. Minutes later she was asleep.
Felicity had never hated an alarm clock as much as she did the one waking her the next morning. She was comfortable and snuggled against a warm male body; one that was emitting a pained groan from behind her.
"What is that?" Oliver grumbled against her shoulder.
"It's just the alarm clock. Time to get up to get ready for work," she answered, reaching to shut it off.
"Do you have to?" he asked, pulling her back so she was on her back beneath him.
"I'm afraid that I do. I promised my team leader I'd bring in the tablet so we can figure out why the Triad is after it."
"Can't you stay here with me?" he whined. "I'll make it worth your while." He kissed her then, slow and deep.
"Tempting," Felicity whimpered when they parted. "Really tempting. But this is my job. Besides, don't you want to know what they were after?"
"Not more than I want to spend the day in bed with you," Oliver countered, nipping at her flesh.
"When we're back in Starling City, if you still want that, then you just name the day. So long as it's a weekend and I don't have to be at work," Felicity promised.
"Oh, I'll want to," Oliver confidently told her.
"We'll see," Felicity said; unsure that Oliver would want this with her once he saw his old flame again. She wasn't about to get her hopes up that this billionaire-back-from-the-dead was going to fall head over heels in love with her after this little adventure.
Before Oliver could try to reassure her that he wanted to pursue a relationship with her when they got home she had pushed him off of her and was out of the bed and in the bathroom. Moments later the shower could be heard.
He didn't fully understand this sudden, deep, attraction he felt for Felicity. He wasn't one to have feelings for every pretty face. Sure, he used to be willing to fuck any pretty girl he met, but he knew that wasn't him anymore. This was something different.
In the short time he'd known her, Felicity had already become someone he felt he could trust. He felt protective of her in a way he wasn't used to experiencing. She was funny, and caring, and yes, beautiful. She could look at him and see past the scars to what he'd been through to have them. He may not know that much about her yet, but he wanted to. He wanted to know everything about her.
He pulled on the clothes he'd worn last night since he hadn't been in them for very long. It wasn't like he had much of an assortment to choose from anyway.
He was reading The Odyssey, which Felicity had left out while she was reclaiming the room the night before, when Felicity emerged from the bathroom wrapped in a white towel.
His eyes darkened upon seeing her.
"I, um, didn't think to take any clothes in with me," she said, holding the towel tight to her chest. Even though he had seen her naked, that was under a different context.
"It's," he had to clear his throat, "it's fine. I'll just go use the facilities while you dress." It took him a minute to put action to words, but eventually he forced himself to do as he'd said.
As soon as the bathroom door closed, Felicity rushed to find some underwear. She found herself wishing she'd brought some of the cute sets she had back home, but all she'd brought was boring white. Oh well. Oliver hadn't seemed to mind the boring white last night, she reminded herself.
Once her undergarments were on, she moved to the closet. She was almost relieved to slip into the polka dot blouse and black pencil skirt. It was like donning armor for the workday. She set aside a pair of black heels and waited for Oliver to come out so she could finish her make-up and hair in the bathroom.
She didn't have long to wait. Rather than returning to the bedroom, Oliver stayed leaning in the bathroom doorway while Felicity finished preparing for the day.
"You don't have to watch me, you know," she said when she finished drying her hair. She thought about wearing it down, but she was going to be working on the tablet today and didn't want it in her face. Instead, she pulled it into a low ponytail, making sure her hair covered the tops of her ears so that her industrial piercing wouldn't be on display.
"I know you," Oliver said, wonder in his voice as he stood up straight.
"Uh, yeah, we've spent the past few days together," Felicity pointed out.
"No," Oliver shook his head, coming into the bathroom, "from before."
"What are you talking about? We never met before. I would definitely have remembered that."
"We didn't meet, but I saw you." Felicity turned from the mirror to look at him, the question clear on her face. "Remember I told you that we captured Chien Na Wei a few months ago?" Felicity nodded and Oliver huffed out a breath. "That happened in Starling City. I had to break into my mother's office to get some information and had to hide when someone came in. A woman. You." Oliver cupped her face. "You were talking to yourself."
"That does sound like something I would do," she said, leaning into his touch. "And you didn't recognize me until now?"
"I couldn't see your face very well that night. I was also kind of focused on my mission. But this is what you were wearing that night," he told her, running a hand down her side and over her hip. "Seeing you just now looking like you did then triggered my memory."
"Too bad you didn't remember sooner." Felicity leaned up to kiss him before pushing him away. "Now let me finish so we can get going."
Oliver returned to his spot leaning against the door frame and Felicity turned back to her make-up bag. She pulled out her favorite fuchsia lipstick and began to apply it. She spun around when Oliver made a strange noise as she'd rubbed her lips together to make sure the color was even.
"What's wrong?" she asked, concerned.
"Nothing," Oliver choked out. One of his arms was hanging down across his body, trying to hide the sudden evidence of his arousal. "I just really like that color on you."
Felicity grinned and gestured for him to back away from the door. She slipped into her heels and went about preparing her bag for what she'd need for the day, making sure to take the tablet and her phone with them.
She turned to find Oliver standing by the door, his shoes on, waiting for her.
They grabbed a quick breakfast in the hotel dining room before heading for Queen Consolidated's manufacturing facilities.
Getting Oliver into the building proved easier than she'd expected. Apparently Walter had called ahead and informed security that Oliver would be joining her, so a security pass was waiting for him.
Felicity entered the lab she was working in and immediately found her team leader. "Dr. Zhang, this is Oliver Queen, he'll be joining us today, if that's alright. Oliver, this is my team leader, Dr. Zhang."
"It is an honor to meet you, Mr. Queen," Zhang said with a slight bow. "I was glad to hear you were not dead, after all."
Oliver returned the bow. "Thank you, Dr. Zhang. Please forgive the intrusion of my presence here today. After everything that Felicity has been through, I wanted to make sure she arrived here with the tablet intact."
Felicity blinked at Oliver, surprised that he could be so formal. Although she supposed that he had been groomed to take over the family business.
"Ah, yes, the tablet," Zhang said. "Have you been able to get it working yet?"
"I haven't had a chance to test it yet," Felicity admitted, pulling it from her bag. "I took it apart to dry when I arrived on the island, but there hasn't been time to see if it works since we got back to Hong Kong."
She set it on a counter and pressed the power button, holding her breath. A smile lit her face when it turned on. She immediately entered her password and relaxed even more when the home page opened before her.
"It appears you took the correct course of action," Zhang said. "Did your captors say why this tablet was so important?"
"That certainly would have been nice, but no. She just kept demanding that I give it to her, but I don't understand why. I've been over the specs dozens of times and there's nothing about how it was built to make it different from any other tablet on the market. Could it be the software?"
"It must be," Zhang agreed. "As this one is one of the test models, we added some additional security coding. Nothing out of the ordinary, though."
Felicity took a seat at one of the computers and hooked the tablet up to it. "I don't recall seeing any additional security on the tablet. Do you know what it was for?"
"I was told that it was a secondary password in case someone tried to hack into it," Zhang said.
"You were told?" Oliver asked. "You didn't make that call? I thought you were the leader on this project."
"I am, but even I must answer to those above me," he said.
"Do you know the secondary password?" Felicity asked, logging out.
"2-0-0-7," Zhang recited.
Oliver made a choking sound behind her.
"Oliver, what's wrong?" she asked, turning to face him.
"That's the year the Gambit went down," he grimly reminded her.
Their eyes met briefly before Felicity turned to Zhang. "That can't be a coincidence."
She entered the password into the tablet and marveled at the code that streamed in front of her.
"What's it say?" Oliver asked; the numbers and letters scrolling across the screen meaning nothing to him.
"It's a backdoor into Queen Consolidated's mainframe," Felicity said, quietly. She looked up at Zhang, who wore an equal expression of horror.
"If this tablet got into the wrong hands, they'd have access to everything. Not just the specs for the new line of tablets but everything Applied Sciences is developing. All of our financial records. Just, everything," Felicity said, clutching the tablet to her chest.
"Do you know who gave the order to install this...back door?" Oliver asked Zhang.
"I do not. Someone was brought in to handle that part of the coding," Zhang admitted.
"Who?" Oliver growled.
Zhang looked around and pointed to an unassuming man on the other side of the room. "Him," he said, pointing.
Oliver rushed towards the man, who dropped what he'd been doing to pull out a gun, aiming for the man running towards him. Oliver barreled into him before he had time to get a shot off, slamming him into a wall. He grabbed the hand holding the gun and banged it into the wall until the man dropped his gun. He pulled back enough to land a solid punch, knocking him out. He bent to pick up the gun and then lifted the unconscious man in a fireman carry.
"I'm going to need a soundproof room," he said to Zhang, ignoring the screams of the other techs in the office, and avoiding Felicity's eyes.
"Wh-what are you going to do with him?" Felicity asked, not wanting to hear the answer.
"I'm going to get some answers," Oliver said.
"You're going to torture him?" Felicity clarified.
"Yes," he simply stated. Turning to Zhang he asked, "Where?"
Zhang pointed to a small room off of the one they were in. Oliver nodded and headed for it, dropping the man into a chair. He found some duct tape in a box in one corner and began to secure the man to the chair.
Felicity had followed him into the room and she shivered at the methodical way Oliver was tying up the traitor. "Oliver--"
"Not now," he coldly interrupted. "You should go back in the other room. This isn't going to be pretty."
"How do you even know what you're doing?" she asked. The man before her hardly seemed anything like the man she'd shared her bed with the night before.
He decided to give her at least that much. "The people who had me last year? This is what they trained me to do," he said.
"They trained you to be a torturer?"
"They trained me how to get answers out of people, by any means necessary," he confirmed.
"You don't have to do this," she tried to protest.
"Do you have a better idea of how to get answers quickly?" Oliver growled, turning to face her, his eyes cold.
She shook her head.
"I won't hurt him any more than I have to," Oliver promised. "I don't enjoy this, but I've learned that it's effective."
Felicity nodded, sadly, and left the room, closing the door behind her. The last she saw of Oliver was him pulling the shade down over the window.
"I need to get some air," she told Zhang, hurrying from the lab, needing to be as far from what Oliver was doing as possible.
Oliver found Felicity some time later in the courtyard, nursing a cup of coffee.
"Hey," he said quietly.
Despite his slow approach, Felicity still jumped in her seat.
"Sorry, guess I was lost in thought," she apologized. "Join me?"
Oliver gratefully sat next to her on the bench. "I was afraid you wouldn't want to speak to me again," he admitted.
"So was I," she said, turning towards him. She still couldn't meet his eyes as she asked, "Did you get what you needed?"
He nodded. "It was Frank Chen."
"I don't know who that is," Felicity stated.
"He was a business associate of my father's. I know they were working on some big project before we left. Apparently he has ties to the Triad," Oliver told her, his hands clenched into fists on his thighs.
"A-and that man," Felicity hesitantly asked. "Is he still alive?"
"Of course he is," Oliver told her. "Like I told you, I don't enjoy hurting people to get information. I barely needed to hurt him at all, in fact. He folded pretty quickly."
"Really?" Felicity perked up.
"I promise. I left him tied to the chair until my mom gets here and we can figure out what to do with him together. You can see for yourself that he's okay."
"Oh, thank goodness," Felicity said in a rush. "I've been sitting out here trying to reconcile the feelings I was having for you last night with the feelings I was having for you this afternoon."
"You have feelings?" Oliver teased her, butterflies suddenly taking flight in his belly.
"Some," she admitted, blushing deeply.
"I have feelings, too," Oliver whispered, trying to catch her eye.
She looked up at him, surprised. She had assumed that what she was feeling was mostly one sided.
Oliver closed the distance between them, kissing her slowly and with intent.
"I like your feelings," Felicity said against his lips.
Oliver chuckled. Oh yes, he most definitely had feelings for this girl.
Sobering, Felicity asked, "Is that the last time you're going to have to torture someone?"
Oliver quickly had a mental debate with himself, but after watching Felicity in the lab, he decided to take the risk.
"Probably not," he told her, honestly.
"The people who had you last year?" she guessed.
"No." He looked around to make sure they were alone before he pulled his father's notebook from a pocket and handed it to her. "My father didn't die when the Gambit went down. We both made it to the life raft. He gave me this and told me that he had failed the city and he needed me to right his wrongs and then he shot himself."
"Oh, God, Oliver," Felicity gasped, holding his hand.
"At first I thought it was just a blank notebook, but one day I was holding it over the fire and a bunch of names appeared. The whole thing filled up with names as I turned the pages over the fire. These are the names of the people who are ruining my city. I need to honor my father by eliminating them."
"So you're going to, what? Become some kind of vigilante?" Felicity asked, scoffing at the idea.
"Precisely," Oliver told her.
"You can't be serious," she said, flipping through the notebook. "There have to be hundreds of names in here. You can't plan on killing all of these people."
"I don't plan on killing anyone," Oliver said. "I will, however, make them pay in whatever manner best fits their individual crimes. These people are slumlords, cost-cutters; selfish people only out to make a profit at the expense of everyone else. They've gotten away with it for too long. They need to be made to pay."
"So dig up dirt on them and give it to the cops," Felicity suggested. "Let the legal system deal with them."
"Most of these people have judges and cops in their pockets. It's how they've gotten away with this for so long. The law won't help, so it's up to us."
He looked into her eyes as he finished speaking.
"Us?" Felicity squeaked. "As in you and me?"
"I need your help with this," Oliver implored. "I don't doubt that I can find these guys and dole out their punishment, but I could really use a partner. You're smart. Watching you today, I know you'll be able to help me catch these guys better and faster than I could on my own. Possibly even without having to harm them physically."
"I'm going to have to think about this," Felicity told him. "I don't know if this is something that I want to be involved in."
"I know it's a lot to drop on you at once, but we can do some real good together," Oliver said. "And just think of all the time we'll get to spend together while fighting crime." He bumped her shoulder with his.
"Where would we even do this?"
"I have a plan." When she looked at him incredulously, he added, "What? I've had a lot of time to think over the past three years. We used to have a steel factory in the Glades that was shut down years before I got on that damned boat. If it's still abandoned, I want to build a base of operations on one of the lower levels and open a nightclub above it. It'll be the perfect cover for playboy Oliver Queen. That way no one will question where I spend my nights because nightclub owners are expected to be out late."
"Wow, you really have thought this through," Felicity said, impressed. "If, and that's a big, IF, I agree to join on, I would get to be in charge of the tech that goes into the...lair."
Oliver grinned. "You've got a deal," he said. He sealed his promise with a kiss.
Felicity was handing the notebook back to Oliver when they heard a woman yelling from the other side of the courtyard, "Where is my son? Where is Oliver Queen?"
Oliver jumped to his feet, calling out, "Mom?"
Moira spun to face him and nearly collapsed when she saw him running towards her. He pulled her into a hug, taking her weight.
"It's really you, my darling boy," she said through her tears. She stood back, taking a look at him, keeping hold of one of his hands. She noticed he'd filled out since she'd seen him last, and his hair… She ran her hand over it and said, "We'll get you cleaned up when you get home."
Oliver smiled, knowing that she wouldn't like the hair. He saw Felicity standing back and he gestured her over, wrapping an arm around her waist.
"Mom, I'd like you to meet Felicity Smoak. Felicity, this is my mom, Moira Queen. And you already know Walter Steele. It's good to see you again."
"It's wonderful to see you again, too, Oliver," Walter said. "Ms. Smoak, you're looking well after your ordeal."
"Thanks to Oliver, I came through relatively unscathed," she agreed. "Thank you for coming all this way to make sure I was alright."
"Think nothing of it," he said. "Have you been able to learn who was behind this?"
Felicity glanced up at Oliver before saying, "Perhaps we should move this conversation to my lab where we'll have a bit more privacy."
All parties agreed and they made their way into the building. Oliver reluctantly let her take Walter's proffered arm as he escorted his mother up to the lab.
Dr. Zhang was still in the lab and met them at the door. "I'm glad you're back, he's starting to complain, loudly."
Before Felicity or Oliver could respond, Walter asked, "Who is starting to complain?"
Oliver glared at Zhang before crossing to the closed door of the room he'd used for his interrogation. He opened the door for Walter.
"This is the man who put code onto Felicity's test tablet with a backdoor to the Queen Consolidated mainframe," Oliver informed everyone. "He is a member of the Chinese Triad and did this on the orders of Frank Chen."
"That can't be right," Moira objected. "Frank's been a friend of the family for years."
"Apparently that friendship is over," Felicity said from the doorway. The man looked relatively unharmed, if a lot angry.
"Thank you, my dear, but this is hardly any of your concern," Moira said, dismissively.
"I beg to differ," Felicity said at the same time that Oliver said, "How can you say that?"
Felicity slowly walked up to Moira, all but pointing a finger into her chest. "I was kidnapped and almost died, a couple of times, because of that tablet. I very much think this concerns me."
Oliver had moved to stand behind her, radiating pride that this girl, woman, was standing up to his mother. Not many people could do that.
Moira watched as Oliver stood beside the girl. She saw the way he looked at her. She also couldn't help but be impressed that this girl had the nerve to stand up to her.
"Of course, it does," Walter said, trying to head off a confrontation between the women in the room.
"I wasn't sure what you wanted to do with him," Oliver said, changing the topic and nodding at the man bound to the chair.
"Hand him over to the local authorities," Moira said decisively. "I'm sure the Triad will take care of him once they learn that he has opened his mouth."
"Mom," Oliver gasped. "That's basically setting him up to be killed."
"So? He was the instrument to what could have been something extremely dangerous to our company. He could have been the gateway to our ruin. Let them have him."
Oliver had never seen this side of his mother before and he was starting to wonder if he knew as little about her as he had about his father.
"The important thing," Moira said, stepping up to Oliver, "is to get you home."
"About that?" Felicity piped up. "I was wondering; how do you plan on getting him home without a passport? Wasn't he officially declared dead?"
"I suppose a quick stop at the Embassy is in order," Walter said with a sigh.
"We know people there who should be able to assist us," Moira added. "If nothing else, a fingerprint match should help prove his identity. Oliver's been arrested often enough for there to be records of his fingerprints."
"You've been arrested?" Felicity repeated. Oliver just shrugged.
"Ms. Smoak, perhaps you should join us. Our security team will be able to keep watch over you in case the Triad is still after you."
Felicity shivered, unconsciously leaning closer to Oliver. "Thank you. What do you want to do with the tablet?"
"What do you suggest?" Walter countered.
"I think I should keep it. Once I have time to dig into the code I can take it apart. Make this just a regular old tablet," Felicity suggested. "Although we should probably also take any other test tablets that have been manufactured so I can check those over too."
"Agreed." Walter turned to Zhang. "Please recover all of the tablets and make sure they are delivered to our plane in the next three hours." He handed Zhang a business card with the airfield's address.
"Of course," Zhang agreed. "Ms. Smoak, it has been a pleasure to work with you."
"You too," she replied, gathering her belongings and following the Queens out.
The visit to the Embassy went pretty much how Moira described it would. They took Oliver's fingerprints and verified that he was who he claimed to be through a police database. A temporary passport was created and they were on their way. Felicity guessed some money changed hands, too, but she didn't witness it and she wasn't going to ask.
The next stop was Felicity's hotel. Moira and Walter waited in the lobby while she and Oliver went up to the room to pack, accompanied by one of the bodyguards who waited in the hall.
"You hanging in there alright?" Oliver asked when they were alone.
Felicity wrapped her arms around his waist. "Yeah. It's just been a surreal few days, ya know?"
"Make that a few years and yeah, I know," Oliver said, grinning down at her.
"I guess I should have been the one to ask you that question, then," she said. "How are you handling all of this?"
"Better than I'd thought I would," Oliver admitted. "It's strange seeing my mom again. I'm not the same person that I was when I left, and today I learned that she's not the person I remember, either."
"I don't think we ever know everything about our parents," Felicity said.
"You're probably right," Oliver agreed. He kissed her forehead and forced himself to step back from her. "We should probably hurry up before they come looking for us."
"Yeah, you're right." Felicity retrieved her suitcase from the closet and opened it on her bed before returning for her clothes, she left one dress out and folded the rest away.
Oliver sat on a bed and watched her move around the room. "Why'd you leave that one out?" he asked.
"I'm going to change into it before we go. It'll be more comfortable for the plane ride."
"You don't want to wear slacks?"
"I didn't bring any with me," she told him, nonchalantly. "I generally prefer to wear skirts."
She was still moving around the room and missed the way Oliver's eyes darkened with her admission. He suddenly wondered how difficult it would be to get Felicity to join the Mile High Club with him. Probably very difficult given the fact that his mother and Walter would be on the plane with them.
Felicity picked up the dress and went to change in the bathroom. It wasn't because she was still shy around Oliver, per se, but she knew that if she removed her clothes around him they probably wouldn't be leaving that room anytime soon. She changed quickly and then brought her toiletries with her when she emerged and packed them away.
"You look nice," Oliver said, coming to stand behind her. He wrapped his arms around her waist, holding her to him.
"Thank you." Felicity turned in his arms and rested her palms on his chest. "I'm almost done and then we can get out of here."
"Just, wait a minute," Oliver requested. Felicity tilted her head in question. His answer was to lean down and kiss her and she eagerly kissed him back.
"It feels like I've been waiting to do that for hours," he groaned when they separated.
Felicity licked her lips and then glanced up at Oliver and giggled. She reached up and wiped away the traces of her lipstick from his mouth.
"I may need to look into a colorstay lipstick," she commented. "I don't know how well they work when it comes to kissing, but it's worth checking out."
"I'd make that a top priority," he agreed, kissing her again. "I just hope it comes in this color."
There was a knock at the door, causing them to pull apart. It opened and the bodyguard asked, "Just about done in here, Sir?"
Keeping his back to the door, Oliver answered, "Just about. We'll be out soon."
"Very good, Sir." The door closed again.
"You go clean that off and I'll finish up here," Felicity suggested, pushing Oliver towards the bathroom. With one more stolen kiss, he went.
She removed a sweater she'd accidentally packed that she wanted to take on the airplane with her before adding the remaining few items and zipping the suitcase closed.
She was touching up her lipstick in the mirror in the room when Oliver returned.
"That's just not fair," he groaned.
Felicity smirked at him. "I guess you'll have to get used to it."
She grabbed her bag and the sweater with one hand, the suitcase with the other, and headed for the door, Oliver right behind her with his trunk.
The bodyguard relieved her of her suitcase as soon as they stepped into the hall, but Oliver insisted on carrying his own luggage.
The limo ride to the private airfield went smoothly, Felicity fidgeting only slightly while making small talk with her bosses.
She'd never been on a private airplane before, and she knew her mouth was hanging slightly open when she stepped inside. There were several rows of extremely comfortable looking seats, two on either side of the aisle, some facing each other with a table between them. Towards the back of the plane was a sofa and what looked like a bar. Oliver took her hand and led her to one set of seats. When he offered her the window, she politely declined, explaining she had a fear of heights.
"You'd never know that from your behavior on the mountain," he told her, sliding in to sit by the window.
"That was different," she said, settling into her seat. "I knew exactly where the ground was under my feet. I'm guessing you didn't notice how I kept well away from the edge of that precipice," she pointed out.
"You're right, I didn't notice that. I was too busy watching you enjoy the view."
A man in a uniform followed Walter onto the plane, carrying a small storage crate.
"Are those all the tablets?" Felicity asked.
"I certainly hope so," Walter said.
"It looks like I'm going to have my work cut out for me," Felicity muttered.
Walter squeezed her shoulder as he moved past her. He and Moira took a couple of seats farther back on the plane.
Moira pressed an intercom button and said, "Captain, take us home."
The plane began to taxi down the runway and a few minutes later the pilot's voice came over the intercom.
"We've been cleared for takeoff."
They were the sweetest words Oliver had heard in years.
Life had been a whirlwind for Felicity since her return from China. When she returned to work, she was hailed as the one who had rescued the long lost heir of the company. Her face was being splashed across every media outlet and tabloid as the savior and new girlfriend of the playboy castaway Oliver Queen.
They found that their attraction and easiness around each other only grew once they were home and they were officially recognized as a couple now.
She had freaked out, just a bit, over all of the media attention, but Oliver managed to calm her down. He was well used to being in the center of the public's eye and helped her adjust to her sudden local fame.
Only it wasn't so local.
Her mother called her, multiple times, when she saw Felicity's photo on TMZ and demanded to know a) how she'd become involved with a billionaire and b) was she okay after being kidnapped?
In that order.
Felicity gave her the real story, not the one they'd given to the press, and swore her to secrecy. Company secrets and all that. Donna promised to keep the secret, just glad her baby was alright.
She may not have a lot in common with her mother, but Felicity knew that she loved her.
Once he had settled back into life at the mansion and spent some time reconnecting with Thea and his best friend, Tommy Merlyn, Oliver followed through with the plan he'd invited Felicity in on.
While he worked on clearing a place in the factory's sub-basement and brought in generators and other equipment, Oliver continued to work on getting Felicity to agree to help him.
She finally agreed to help him out, provisionally, and immediately started to order state-of-the-art computer equipment for them to use, with Oliver's credit card. If this operation was going to work, she was going to have to design her own encrypted server. That would be a breeze for the new Assistant Director of IT at Queen Consolidated.
Walter created the position for her upon their return to Starling City. This would give her the time to work on the dozen or so tablets they'd brought back with them from China, without having to deal with the menial duties she'd been performing in IT prior to her trip. Once that was done, she'd work on other special projects.
Felicity quickly learned that one of the perks of working in the lair with Oliver was that he liked to work out shirtless. And he worked out a lot. She found herself often losing track of what she was doing while watching Oliver on the salmon ladder, one of their favorite pieces of exercise equipment - his to use, hers to watch him on.
The first person they went after was Frank Chen. Felicity attacked him electronically, liquidating his company's assets before going after his personal finances. Once his leverage was taken away, Oliver paid him a visit. The injuries weren't life threatening, but would be a constant reminder of how Chen had failed his city.
Oliver's bodyguard, John Diggle, was brought in on their mission after Diggle was shot by Oliver's target, Deadshot. Felicity liked Diggle, so she was glad to not have to keep their secret from him anymore. When he'd at first refused to join them - going so far as to quit being Oliver's bodyguard, not that he really needed one - she was the one who convinced him that what they were doing was a good thing.
On the nights when Oliver spent the night at her place, which was most nights, they continued to read The Odyssey to each other before bed; if they weren't too exhausted to do so.
Which they often were.
Felicity often wondered if she'd ever find out how the book ended.
But it didn't really matter. It was Oliver's story anyway, and he'd made it home.
That was all she could ask for.
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Copyright© April 2015