Felicity was right.
Vegas wasn’t all it was cracked up to be. He honestly can’t remember why he loved it so much before the island, finding it now to be so overplayed, overdone.
Oliver presses a finger to his temple, the sound of slot machines dinging only making his headache worse.
Fourteen hours. He can make it fourteen more hours.
Sighing, he skirts around a Blackjack table into a side hallway that contains private elevators to the penthouse floors. But before he can reach out to press the call button he is met with another ding, the doors already sliding open.
“Ray,” Oliver says, his head throbbing.
“Oliver,” the man says, brushing past him. It takes Oliver back, the blunt tone and lack of a smile from the usually jovial man.
“Everything okay?” He asks, not because he cares if Ray is okay, but because he cares if it’s going to affect Felicity.
“Fine.” Ray turns to look at Oliver, anger written in every line of his face. “Since we wrapped up things early with the developers, I’m going to head back tonight.”
“Is Felicity going with you?”
“No,” Ray all but spits out, turning to stomp down the hallway.
“Great.” Oliver jams the call button, knowing already that his headache is only going to get worse.
If it was up to him, he wouldn’t even be here. He’d made it clear to both Palmer and Felicity that he trusted them to do this deal on their own. He was still in the middle of unearthing all of Moira’s holdings with the estate lawyers, something that was taking a surprisingly long time.
As it turns out, Moira Queen liked to invest in land and lots of it. Most of it Oliver was putting up for sale, but there were some properties that took a little more work. A campground on a lake several hours outside Starling, for example, was giving Oliver the most trouble. All the cabins had been booked with ironclad contracts and Oliver was in the middle of finding someone to run the place for the summer until he could sell it.
But Palmer had insisted, saying it would look better for the company if they stood as a united front. Privately he’d asked Felicity to talk to Ray, but she hadn’t budged either.
Which led to Oliver grinding his teeth and rubbing his thumb for the last two days, watching the perfectly happy couple be sickeningly sweet. Ray opened the doors for her. He fed her from his plate when they weren’t at business meetings. Oliver had tried to get out of these little dinners, but once again Ray had been adamant about wanting to get to know Oliver.
“You’re such a big part of Felicity’s life,” Ray had explained.
So he endured, because it seemed to be important to Felicity, too. Which, if he was being honest with himself, pissed him off.
Because Felicity knew. He’d told her every little thought and feeling he’d had for her since ‘I know who you are, you’re Oliver Queen.’ Had confessed how she made him feel, how because of that, because of how important she is, he couldn’t be with her.
How could she not know watching her with another man was torture? How could she miss the tension he had around them.
Shaking his head, trying to suppress his anger, he turns right instead of left when the elevator opens on his floor. He does three quick knocks on her door, listening for signs of life on the other side.
“Oliver, I don’t feel like talking right now. I'd rather be alone,” comes her muffled voice through the door.
“Tough, open up,” he says, because they’re partners and they don’t lock each other out.
Partners. Maybe that’s why she was so interested in Ray and him getting along. He sighs again, not wanting to dwell on what that would mean for either of their futures.
“Oliver,” she says, the sound of the deadbolt clicking before the door opens a crack. He pushes it open even further when he sees her tear-stained face.
His voice softens, all anger and headaches gone as he focuses on her. “Hey, what happened?”
“Ray.” She shakes her head, fresh tears filling her eyes as she turns away from him to walk back into her room. He follows, scanning the room for clues. The bed is unmade, but only one side looks slept in. There are two tiny empty bottles of vodka and a half eaten gourmet chocolate bar that Oliver knows are from the minibar on the bedside table.
“Felicity?” He can’t help until he knows what the problem is.
“He broke up with me,” she states, crawling back into bed, rolling over so her back is to him as she pulls the covers up to her chin. “Now can you please leave me to wallow?"
“Nope.” Oliver bounces on his toes a little, smiling. “That’s not what friends do.”
He moves to the desk on the far side of the room, picking up the phone and pressing the button for room service. He can see her face now, her glasses are askew, staring up at him from the bed as he orders a bottle of tequila, promising a $50 tip if they have it there in the next five minutes.
“Okay,” he says once the tequila arrives, grabbing shot glasses from the bar and making himself cozy on the other side of the bed. Not like Ray would mind, he thinks with glee.
He unscrews the bottle. “Tommy and I used to play this drinking game when either of us got dumped.”
She sits up a little, resting her back against the headboard next to him. “Yeah, I’m sure that happened a lot.”
“Oh believe me,” he says. “For a while there it felt like the women of Starling City’s favorite hobby.”
She laughs a little, taking the full shot glass he offers her.
“How do we play?”
“Well I’m glad you asked, Felicity,” he feels more playful than he has been in over a year, “I tell you one of my bad date or relationship stories, then you try to one up me. We drink every time someone finishes a a story.”
“I don’t understand.” She frowns, her eyebrows creasing together. “How do you win?”
“It’s a drinking game, Felicity,” he says with a cock of his head and a smile. “Everybody wins and everybody loses.”
She’s smiling at him again.
“I’ll go first,” he says. “When I was a freshman in high school, the hottest girl in the Senior class asked me to a Sadie Hawkins dance. Turns out she had a bet with her friends about taking my virginity.”
“Ouch,” Felicity says. “How very ‘Sixteen Candles’ of them.”
“Yep,” he nudges her knee with his. “Drink. Then it’s your turn.”
She downs the shot with a grimace. “Okay,” she says. “We need limes.”
He’s already off the bed, making his way to the phone again. “Bad date story. Go.”
She pauses, waits for him to make the call before she starts speaking. “Junior year I dated this guy for two weeks before I realized he only wanted me to do his math homework.”
“Want me to put an arrow in him?” Oliver asks as he climbs back onto the bed, moving closer to her so their shoulders bump when they move their arms.
“Already took care of it,” she smiles back. “Made it so he had to redo the eleventh grade.”
Oliver laughs out loud, relaxing into the headboard, confident he can have her totally cheered up by the end of the night.
He’s not really sure when he loses control of the evening, probably sometime after they finish three-fourths of the bottle of tequila.
It should bug him more than it does, this lack of control, but Felicity’s arm is looped through his and she’s laughing, pulling him from the room to wander the strip.
“My mom always told me I’d end up just like her,” Felicity says when they pass a couple of newlyweds. The groom is wearing a shirt with a tuxedo printed on the front, the bride a veil and a glassy eyed face of joy. “Vegas wedding. Knocked up. Abandoned.”
“But you didn’t,” Oliver says, pulling her out of the way of a group of elderly tourists.
“You want to hear the silly part,” Felicity giggles. “I always thought the idea of getting married in Vegas was romantic. Even though it ended bad for my mom. In the movies...in the movies, it was always so sweet.”
They’re just passing Harrah’s, Oliver pulls her toward the valet area, pushing her into a waiting cab. His brain has the most pleasant of buzzes, everything slightly blurry and out of focus.
“Little White Chapel,” he tells the cab driver, because this is something he can do. Make one of her dreams come true. The idea pushes his buzz over into sublime territory. Making Felicity happy always does that to him.
“Oliver, we can’t,” but she is giggling, leaning into him again, practically sitting on his lap.
“Who says?” He has a wide grin on his face.
“You said. We said.” She is still laughing, moving so she is fully sitting in his lap now, her arms wrapped around his neck.
“I want to make all your dreams come true.” He smiles warmly back at her, the overly sentimental phrase he’d never say sober sounding so right as he wraps his arms around her waist and nuzzles her nose with his, bumping her glasses.
“My hero,” she says, closing the gap between them to press her mouth towards his, all concerns about why they shouldn’t, why this was the worst idea of their lives, gone.
The champagne they’re handed when they enter the chapel puts everything in a haze after that. There is an Elvis impersonator, a woman who acts as their witness, and Felicity in a white baseball cap that says ‘bride.’ Felicity explains it will act as her veil, then goes off on what their vows should be.
He agrees to everything she says. This is her dream after all.
When they stumble into his suite, he can’t remember why he ever hated Vegas, not when it leads to him holding the love of his life in his arms to carry her over the threshold.
“Tradition,” he says when it looks like she’ll protest. He drops her onto the bed, happy to see the champagne he’d asked for at the front desk is already there. With a pop and an ‘oh’ from Felicity, he opens it, filling both flutes to the brim.
“To dreams,” he says, lifting his glass aloft in a toast. Felicity mirrors his gesture. Her goals and dreams are all he can think about. He’s already wondering what else he can give her to make her happy. She’d mentioned something last week about equipment ARGUS has, maybe he could call in a favor with Waller.
A buzz and chirp interrupt his thoughts.
“Let’s text Dig,” Felicity says as she reaches for her purse to see who had texted. He watches her, so blissfully happy at the idea of sharing this news with their team.
Her face falls when she reads the text waiting for her.
He sets his flute down so he can sit next to her on the bed, throwing an arm around her shoulders. “What’s wrong?”
“Don’t,” she says, standing up abruptly as she rubs at her eyes, pushing her glasses on top of her head.
“Felicity,” he says a little desperately, his head spinning from how fast her tone has changed. His brain is lumpish as it tries to figure out what happened from one second to the next. He stands, wanting to reach for her again.
“You’re the one that pushed me away, remember?” She whirls on him, her cheeks flushed, her eyes flashing. “You told me you love me. Then you walked away.”
She is jabbing her finger toward his chest, punctuating each word. She isn’t actually touching him, but it feels like he’s been punched in the kidney.
“This is your fault,” she says, holding up her phone, her hand shaking. “He loved me. Ray loved me. But you couldn’t be happy for me.”
“That’s not fair,” he says, his jaw clenching. It isn’t. Oliver’s anger from the last two days of seeing them together returns with gusto. He’s had to endure two days of them hanging on each other, of them smiling dumbly at one another, acting like he wasn’t even there half the time and he had done it all because she had asked him to. But now she’s blaming him for the failure of her relationship?
“Don’t think I don’t see those grimaces and eye rolls, Oliver,” she says, her voice raising a level. “Don’t think Ray didn’t.”
“I have been nothing but supportive of your relationship.” He keeps his voice even as anger builds in his chest. He’d encouraged her to go on the date with Ray, had even been a little relieved she was moving on so she would no longer be a temptation for him. He’d gone out of his way to be cordial to Ray, all because he wanted her to be happy.
“Transferring to the Gotham branch,” Felicity pointedly reads from her phone. “I hope he realizes how lucky he is. You deserve the best.”
“What is he talking about?” Oliver asks, knowing the text is from Ray.
“You, Oliver,” she says, throwing her hands up a little. “He thinks you love me. He thinks I love you. So he bowed out, took the high road.”
“I do love you.” A statement, the truth. It’s all he can get out, the anger so close to the surface. He’d sacrificed his happiness for her, given her up, all because he loves her. Here she was standing before him questioning it, after everything they’ve been through. Does she honestly have no idea how fucking hard that was for him?
“No, you don’t,” she says, her voice dropping to a little above a whisper as she pins him with her eyes. “This isn’t love. You left. When people love you? They don’t leave.”
“I’m right here,” he says, barely opening his mouth as he steps forward until they are toe-to-toe. “I fucking married you.”
They are both breathing hard, his lips are pressed together, trying to prevent himself from rising to the bait, their eyes never leaving each other.
He gives in, his hands moving to hold her head in place, pressing forward to kiss her, the farthest thing from gentle.
“I love you,” he repeats against her mouth. They are both shaking, their skin almost vibrating as they take in labored breaths together.
They move at the same time, her hands unbuttoning his shirt, his pulling up her dress, their mouths meeting in the middle, only separating long enough to divest each other of their clothes.
He’s pictured them together a thousand different times, in a thousand different ways. But never like this. Never with anger running through their veins. Never as Felicity’s rebound. They’re rough, ruthless. Felicity scratches down his back, digging her nails into his skin. He bites her shoulder, his hands gripping her waist with all his strength as he moves inside her.
It was never supposed to be like this, not between them, he thinks when she comes with a low groan. Never like this.
In all the years she spent in Vegas, Felicity never considered it dangerous. Until now.
She should have seen this coming. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that coming out of a break-up combined with copious amounts of alcohol, a hotel suite at Caesar's Palace, and Oliver Queen equaled trouble.
Or mindblowing sex, as the case may be.
Not that she remembers the sex, exactly, or much that happened in the last--she glances at the clock--ten hours. But she does remember that time he kissed her in the middle of a hospital corridor, so she has some basis for her assumption.
The light is filtering in through the crack in the drapes. She squints, well aware that she has the very definition of a killer hangover.
Her head is pounding, like Metallica decided to hold a private concert inside her cranium. Despite her genius-level IQ, she can't quite figure out the best way to get out from under Oliver’s arm. Even worse, she kind of likes it here beside him. She’s fighting the urge to snuggle up closer, maybe even nuzzle her nose into his neck, wake him up with--
She squeezes her eyes shut and groans softly as she pushes that last thought out of her mind. She needs to get out and as far away from him as possible. Fast.
Gently, she nudges his arm off of her, holding her breath when he stirs. But he doesn’t wake up, which gives her the perfect opportunity to slip out from under the covers, her back shivering as the cold air hits her bare skin. Her eyes scan the room, relief filling her when she catches sight of the red heap on the floor a few feet away. She makes a dash for it, throwing her dress over her head and pulling it down in one swift motion, her eyes sweeping the room again, this time for her underwear. Oliver shifts, a low contented moan escaping as his arm reaches out towards the now empty expanse of the bed where she lay earlier, and she has never known herself to move faster than she does at that moment, grabbing her shoes on the way to the door and snatching her purse off the floor at the last second before the door shuts quietly behind her.
By the time Oliver wakes up, she’s gone.