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Adventures First, Explanations Take Such A Dreadful Time

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The Caffeine Queen is the best coffee shop in town.

Just ask anybody. You can especially ask Felicity because whenever she’s having trouble with a client or a project isn’t going well, you can usually find her there. The barista, Sara, makes the most amazing chai lattes and Felicity’s there so much that on her breaks, Sara comes over and hangs out at her table and Felicity’s even helping Sara with some of her homework (Sara went back and got her GED and is doing really well at SCCC) sometimes. The other regulars are pretty great, too. John Diggle’s going to Starling City U on the GI Bill so between gigs at the security firm, he’s usually a couple of tables away, studying. Laurel Lance is in law school and visits her sister when she needs a “sanity break,” though Felicity can tell things are kind of weird between the sisters.

And then there’s Cute Coffee Guy.

He’s apparently a friend of Diggle’s because they do some kind of handshake/high-five hybrid thing. Felicity kind of thinks Diggle is secretly laughing at Cute Coffee Guy, but Cute Coffee Guy’s usually got a tiny smirk on his face, so he can take it. He always orders the same thing (so does she, actually, so that’s not a strike against him) and the first time he came in, he gave her a little smile as he walked by.

Felicity knows that Sara knows him, but she is absolutely not going to ask about him, not even after she sees him again and he says, “Hi” and she vaguely manages to stammer something back that’s close enough to English to count.

He comes in with a friend sometimes, a cute dark-haired guy that flirts outrageously with Laurel. Felicity can’t help but notice that Laurel doesn’t study quite so hard on those days.

She doesn’t usually come to the CQ to work on Thursdays because students have longer breaks on Thursdays and CQ is right by the Davenport campus, so it’s always crowded. But her client is driving her nuts and the quiet in her apartment is worse, so Felicity orders her chai latte and gives Sara and Roy (the new hire) a huge tip because they look frazzled and overworked, and then she sits down at her laptop for quiet.

An hour passes. People come and go, but she’s focused on this security problem, so she hunkers down…and out of the corner of her eye, she finally sees it.

Cute Coffee Guy is sitting at her table. He’s got an empty coffee cup beside him (wait, so does she, where did that second chai latte come from?) and a full one in his hand, and he’s ignoring both of them to focus on the Highlights magazine in front of him.

Frantic, she looks around. He must have bought her a chai latte, which she drank without even paying attention. Sara, who’s cleaning the steam wand, catches her eye and grins. ‛He’s been there an hour!’ her friend mouths, and Felicity feels all of the blood drain from her face.

When she looks back, Cute Coffee Guy has moved his attention away from the magazine. “Hi,” he says.

Felicity doesn’t really know what to do, so she takes a gulp of the chai latte. “You’re really hot,” she says, and every part of her freezes like a startled cat, ready to run out of the room. “Coffee! I mean, the coffee’s really hot and wow, I am not usually that much of a spaz. Hi.”

Cute Coffee Guy grins like he’s absolutely charmed and not ready to slowly back away in terror. “Sorry to be so forward,” he says, and he stands a little so he can hold his hand out for her to shake it. “I just thought it might be nice if we met officially. I’m Oliver.”

“Felicity…is my name,” Felicity said, blushing as she shakes his hand. “And I guess I should say thank you for the coffee. I totally would have earlier…if I had…noticed…”

“I have to admit, I’m really curious about what’s got you so absorbed. I mean, I was trying to match it with this,” and Oliver holds up the silly children’s magazine, “but I just don’t think it has the same power.”

“Oh. Just, uh, work. I come here because it beats my apartment and I might murder this client otherwise.”

“I was going to offer to buy you another one of those, but you might want to lay off the coffee if that’s a probability.”

“Yeah,” Felicity says, and she draws the word out like a complete dweeb and is confused when that only makes Cute Coffee Guy—Oliver, his name is Oliver—smile harder. “I mean, no, um, thanks, I’m good, and I really do appreciate it. And finding out your name so I don’t have to call you Cute Coffee Guy anymore and—oh, god, please let a sinkhole swallow me now. I should never drink this much coffee, ever.”

Oliver’s phone buzzes and he glances at it, frowning briefly. “Then how about we switch to wine?” he asks.

This isn’t happening. “What?”

“Maybe later? I also own a wine bar, down on Seventh. Guaranteed to be just as good as the Caffeine Queen.”

“You also…oh my god, you’re not just Oliver, you’re Oliver Queen, aren’t you? You own this place.”

“Guilty as charged. I’ve got to go, my sister’s ready for me to pick her up from class. See you at six, maybe? We’ve got a red that will blow your mind.”

“But why?” Felicity asks before she can stop herself.

Oliver actually gives her a grin as he rises to his feet. “Because you’re Cute Glasses Girl,” he says, and she’s fairly sure her jaw is hanging in the breeze as he walks away. In fact, it takes her twenty minutes of just pure shock to realize:

She just got asked out on a date.