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Free Fall

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"I bet you I can," Felicity challenged.

Stana, her college roommate and oldest friend, raised an eyebrow. "You can't last a week without Mint-chip and you know it!"

Giving in to the childish urge, Felicity poked her tongue out and left the house laughing, when it happened. Right underneath the archway of the brick stone in the east side of the Glades, she felt it. For the first time in her twenty-three years on Earth, she understood what her old kook of a childhood neighbour had spoken about.

When Felicity Smoak was five years old, the house next to hers in the heart of Las Vegas had been bought by an old lady from New Orleans who used to say the most impossible things. To a young child with a scientific mind, it was equally irrational and fascinating. Mrs. Navarro became a fixture of Felicity's younger years when her mother was working and she was free. The lady's warmth and kindness allowed Felicity to let all her talks fly by over her head as she tinkered around the equipments in her house.

Mrs. Navarro used to tell Felicity of destiny and destined lovers. She used to speak on and on about how she could see in Felicity's juju that she had a destined lover, a man quite unlike any, a man different from the rest of the crowd. Felicity used to retort, witty even at such a tender age, with a "he might have two heads to accommodate two brains, if he wants to keep up with me, that's for sure". Mrs. Navarro would shake her head fondly at that and look at Felicity like she had a secret no one knew of, about Felicity. It used to annoy Felicity but then the lady would do something sweet like offer her food (which even today has the power to distract her from anything, well almost), and Felicity would forget all about it.

The day Felicity turned sixteen she got her acceptance letter from MIT. A month later, she had her bags packed on the threshold and an armful of teary-eyed Donna Smoak, repeating "My baby girl's grown up" over and over in her ear. To be honest, she had been a little scared herself, because she knew she would be the youngest person in her class in a university a state away from home. Yet, there had been excitement too- to become her own woman, to grow up the way she wanted to, to learn what she had never thought possible and also, to meet someone special.

Right before she had been about to leave, she had quickly run next door and knocked. She still remembered the conversation, which, up until this point of her life, had been the weirdest conversation she had ever had, and that is saying something given the amount of word vomit she inflicts on unsuspecting poor souls on a daily basis.

Mrs. Navarro had opened the door with her trademark warm smile cutting across her weathered face. "Thought you would leave without a good bye, chica?"

Felicity had hugged her warmly. "Without your daily dose of divine intervention of destiny?" She had paused, "That was a lot of D's just now."

Mrs. Navarro had smiled and pushed her hair back from her face with a loving hand. "You are going into a new world, chica. This world will be a stranger to you for a long time. It will be something between a home and an alien land. You will love and lose. You will excel and fail." Felicity's eyes had widened at this point. Mrs. Navarro had never quite sounded so poignant. She had always been dramatic but never this sombre. It had scared her but she continued. "I want you to remember this moment, chica. Your world will remain a stranger to you till that stranger finds you and you him. It is in your destiny. He will need you like you will need him. Then, the world you know will become dangerous, dirty but also divine."

Caught up in the moment, a believer for that second, Felicity had asked, eyes wide upon the woman who had practically become a second mother to her. "How will I know who he is?"

Mrs. Navarro had grinned. "Trust yourself, child. The moment you feel you are falling but you actually will not be, he will be around. You would just have to find him. And you will know what you have to do. Trust yourself. Now go."

With that, she had left Felicity standing stunned for a minute and gone back in her house. Felicity had shaken away the cloud in her brain and bid another farewell to her mother, driving away into a strange world. Over the years, that conversation had not been forgotten but put somewhere in the back of her mind. It came back to the forefront now, rushing.

Felicity stood in the street, the cold air stinging her eyes even behind the glasses, and the dark, moonless night only illuminated by a lone street lamp, the conversation that had happened ages ago coming to her. She could not explain it since she had never believed she was special that way, to have a destined mate, especially after the whole fiasco with Cooper. Yet, she felt it- the sensation of falling from somewhere high churning her stomach and weighing on her chest that made her breaths come out in short pants. Was it actually something that Mrs. Navarro had talked about or was she just coming down with some flu? Given her luck, she was willing to wager on the latter. It wasn't really possible that this was happening because her destined mate was in her proximity, was it? And even if it was, what distance actually triggered something like this? How close was too close? And how long did it last? Would the other person feel it too, or was it just another filter broken in her?

Piqued by her own curiosity and the urge to solve this mystery (she hated mysteries), she started walking to her left, deeper in to the darkness of the street, because something inside her told her that was the way to go. Shoving her hands deep in her pockets, she kept her pace even as the darkness started to creep her out a little. As the street ended, she turned to an alley to the right and stopped dead in her tracks.

Standing almost at the beginning of the alley were two brunettes- a man and a woman. She had seen them both on the television recently so she knew who they were. The gorgeous woman (how could anyone be that gorgeous?) was Laurel Lance, who had been on the news last night due to her role in the Adam Hunt case. Felicity had lived in Starling City long enough to know the rich scumbags like Hunt deserved to have a determined (and gorgeous) lawyer on his tail. The man opposite her was the resident Starling playboy, Tommy Merlyn, whose best friend and partner in crime had returned from the dead a week ago. Talk about coverage. The Presidential elections probably didn't get the airtime Oliver Queen's return had. Not that she blamed the media. Raising the dead was no easy feat.

The couple seemed to be bantering playfully. Wow, Felicity had no idea they were a couple, or were they? Their body language clearly indicated so. And if she was being critical, Tommy Merlyn looked shorter in real than he did in pictures. Damn paparazzi for making the beautiful more beautiful. Felicity sighed. She was getting nowhere. What was she even doing spying on an unsuspecting high profile couple from the darkened corner of an alley? She couldn't hide her disappointment. Her fuzzy feeling, the anticipation of meeting someone- well, this was a little anti-climactic unless her soul mate happened to be Tommy Merlyn (nuh-uh) or Laurel Lance (ew, no). Not that she wasn't gorgeous, in fact she looked gorgeouser, if that was even a word, in person, but Felicity didn't swing that way. Not that she was judging people who did. It was completely their decision and she supported it. Not that...

Shaking off her own internal ramble she could feel coming on, she turned to leave and stopped. On a fire escape high above the gorgeous couple, a man was perched, crouched in the darkness, watching the couple. But it was not that which caught her attention. No, it was his attire. He was dressed in green leather with a hood covering his face, holding a bow. A bow? She squinted her eyes to see better. Yup. A bow. Out of all the things! Rolling her eyes, she mumbled unconsciously, "Looks like someone is fangirling over Katniss."

Oh Lord! She really hated it when her mouth did that. As if on cue three things happened at once: she clamped a hand on her mouth; the sky started pouring cold water, drenching her; and Leather Guy swung his gaze to her.

Her heart stopped. She swore for one millisecond it did. And the free fall in her tummy came back with a vengeance. Even though she was cloaked by darkness, she just knew he could see her, and try as she might, she could not remove her gaze from his. She was too far to make out anything about him but she could feel his gaze on her and it was Intense. With a capital I. Intense. And it scared her. Because if, Mrs. Navarro was right, and if what she felt just now was in fact not a weird dream brought on by her overactive imagination, her life just got more dangerous, dirty and divine, God help her. And her destined mate was apparently a man who dressed in green leather and carried a bow while spying on gorgeous people. Huh, and she thought Joss Whedon was complicated.

Slowly backing out of the alley, still holding his gaze, she turned and ran towards her car. "Oh, Frack! Frack! Frack! Frack!"

She needed to consult. Tonight. On her couch. With Mint-chip. Damn the bet.