Once again, Felicity is undercover. She doesn’t even think about the fact that it’s Purim until she happens to pass by a Jewish bakery and sees the hamentashen in the window. Then she laughs inwardly. She’s wearing cut off shorts and a halter top, dressed down to go infiltrate a carnival. She smiles at the irony, but then crosses the street to meet up with Oliver.
They’re playing the role of a happy couple, one that she finds pleasurable and painful at the same time. Every time his hand brushes the exposed skin of her lower back, it burns. She leans into his body as Oliver wraps his arm around her, putting on a big show of trying to win her the biggest stuffed animal possible. Felicity can’t quite remember why this role was necessary.
She gulps down another thin plastic cup of overpriced generic beer and tries not to think about the feeling of Oliver’s fingers playing with the tendrils of hair that are escaping her ponytail at the place where her head and the back of her neck meet.
“Is that really necessary?” She finally snaps, when Oliver is standing behind her, hands on her waist, and his lips graze the side of her neck, as if he has somehow read all of the fantasies Felicity has had about him out of her memories and is intent on torturing her with their details.
He looks like a wounded puppy when she pushes away from him.
“What did I…”
“Look, Oliver. I get that you’re just playing a role, but could you turn it down a notch? I don’t need you to want me like that, but I just need you to not pretend so well. For my sanity.”
She cuts him off, “Ignore that I said that. Let’s just finish this.”
She takes his hand and their eyes meet for a moment, before he gets back into character, but this time giving her a wide margin.
It turns of that Oliver was wrong about the carnival being a front for a smuggling ring.
Back at the lair, he apologizes for wasting her time and Felicity fights the urge to apologize for no particular reason.
“Let me buy you a drink.” Oliver says.
“Why not.” She says, “It is Purim after all.”
“Poor what?” Oliver looks confused.
“Purim. The celebration of the story of Esther… It’s like Jewish Mardi Gras.”
“So what does one do for this Jewish Mardi Gras?” Oliver asks.
“Well there are carnivals, and costumes” Felicity adds, gesturing to her clothing, “And hat cookies, noise making… the most important part, though, is that you are supposed to get so drunk that you can’t tell the good guys from the bad guys.”
Felicity already feels almost drunk, despite the fact that eight ounce light beer doesn’t have much kick.
“That sounds like my kind of party.” Oliver responds.
They go upstairs to the club and Felicity lets Oliver order her some ridiculous purple drink in a martini glass and drag her out onto the dance floor.
“So this Esther…” Oliver whispers into her ear against the din of the club.
“She’s a Jewish girl, obviously. The King, not Jewish, he has this beauty contest to pick a new wife and Esther wins.”
“Okay, so it is a holiday celebrating a sexy lady… again my kind of party.”
He presses her hips against his and Felicity looks at him quizzically.
“Go on.” He tells her, “What else is there to this story?”
“Okay. Unfortunately, the king has this evil vizier who wants to kill all the Jews and the king has no idea that his hot new wife is a Jewess so he is like… sure whatever.”
“Evil vizier?” Oliver asks, pulling her even closer against him, “Like Jafar?”
“Exactly like Jafar. Oliver, is there some reason…” She starts.
“I just want to… if you do. I promise, I won’t let any evil viziers try and murder you.”
“Want to what?” She asks, “And the king kills the vizier instead, once Esther risks her life by revealing herself to the king.”
She isn’t sure why she needs to finish the story. Maybe just to put off his explanation of what can’t be what it seems like.
“Dance with you, have some more drinks, hail a cab to take us home because we have had a few. I want you to invite me up to your apartment. I want you to invite me into your bed. Did you not get that with the flimsy excuses I came up with to get cozy with you today? I thought you’d see through those even faster than all those reasons I used to give you for why I needed your help before you knew I was the Arrow.”
Now its Felicity’s turn to be surprised.
“Oliver… Since when? I mean if you are looking for a one night stand I am sure there are plenty of women who…”
It takes everything Felicity has to try and be rational, to not just jump on this moment because there might not be another. But she is not drunk enough that she can’t tell a good idea from a bad one; even though, technically that would be a mitzvah today.
“I don’t want to go home with some random woman whose name I am not going to even remember tomorrow. I want you, Felicity.”
And that is all Felicity needs. She grabs the back of his head and pulls it towards hers, drowning in him as their bodies press together and they devour each other with their mouths.
Coming up for air, Felicity gasps, “Downstairs. Now.”