She's not the type to go home with a guy from a bar. She likes her sex emotional, with meaning. But sometimes a girl just wants to get laid and there isn't a convenient male friend around with whom she has the kind of relationship that can include the occasional night of no strings attached sex. Damn, she misses Josh from college sometimes. It was never anything real but it was fun and now he’s married and Jessica is having all that fun and she doesn’t resent it at all, but still, he was a very useful friend to have.
And her current close male friends are the reason why she needs a night of no strings attached fun. Or they would be if she allowed herself to think like that.
So here she is accepting a second drink from Dan from Coast City. He's tall, which she likes, and he’s friendly, and she’s not getting any creepy, crazy vibes here. There’s no wedding ring and no dimple on his finger that suggests the wedding ring is in a pocket. And if his shoulders aren't as impressive as Oliver’s or his arms as large as John’s he’s still here, buying her drinks and paying her compliments and it’s not because she can hack into Interpol in under an hour.
It’s purely because he thinks she's pretty and that he might be about to get lucky. And you know what? She is perfectly okay with that.
She buys Dan from Coast City a drink and listens to his stories about his boss in the media agency he works in. He’s smooth, she'll give him that, full of amusing small talk and quips. Not quite as smooth as Oliver in full-on playboy mode but who is, really? Oliver’s playboy mode is a thin veneer - she doesn’t understand how more people don't see through it. Dan may be turning on the charm but it's only to get her into bed, not to hide a secret life shooting people full of arrows.
So she drinks the drinks and when he asks if she wants another she puts her hand on his and says that her apartment is only two blocks from here and she has a bottle of wine in the fridge and does he want to join her for a glass?
The wine stays in the fridge.
Dan kisses her in the elevator and she wraps her arms around him and holds on tight, letting her body make the choices instead of her head.
He’s not a bad kisser, but he has magic hands.
Her blouse is half unbuttoned before she manages to unlock the door to her apartment, and then she’s pressed up against the wall beside the door with her shirt open and his lips on her breasts.
She didn't plan on a one night stand this morning so she’s glad to see she's wearing underwear that mostly matches. This is one of her favourite bras - all colourful lace and non-digging in underwire - and Dan certainly seems to appreciate it.
She drops her bag on the floor and pushes his jacket back off his shoulders.
He doesn’t pick her up and she’s happy with that. That’s something that happens in her Oliver fantasies and right now she wants something real, something not him, and so the fact that Dan doesn’t pick her up is good.
Instead, she guides him down the corridor to her bedroom, shedding clothes as they go.
She slips off her skirt and almost trips over it on the floor and he catches her and both of them laugh.
She kisses him as she undoes his belt and he unbuttons his pants and then it’s his turn to almost trip.
They enter her bedroom with her in her open blouse over underwear and him in boxer shorts and socks.
The buttons on her cuffs are tiny and fiddly and she has to pause to undo them, and so Dan steps up behind her, kissing her neck and distracting her as she does so.
His hands come up under the shirt, one hand flat on her stomach and the other stroking over the top of her breast feather-light and teasing.
She catches sight of them in the mirror, sees his dark hair beside her own and he looks up to catch her looking and he grins, pushing the blouse down and out of the way so she can see his hands on her skin. See his hand slip down into her underwear, see her face as she reacts to his touch.
“You like to watch?” He whispers, and she doesn't, not really, but this is incredibly hot and so she nods.
After a while her eyes fall closed and she just experiences the sensations of him.
But she never for one second loses sight of who she is with.
Dan from Coast City.
Dan kisses her goodbye in the morning and offers her a phone number which she takes and knows she’ll never use.
It was a fun night, a great night, but it was one night and she has no need to make more of it than it was.
It’s a Saturday and he had suggested he could stay longer, but she made him coffee and dropped hints and he left without her having to move beyond hints.
It’s the end of Summer, there's a chill in the air but the sun is still shinning and so she pulls a sundress and little cardigan from her wardrobe, determined to enjoy what good weather there is left.
She promised John she’d stop by Verdant in the afternoon, but she’s got a few hours to kill and she feels like making something with her own two hands so she pulls out the mixer and make sure she has all the ingredients and before long there’s a batch of vanilla cupcakes browning in the oven and she’s curled in her favourite chair beside an open window, looking out over Starling City as she absently scrolls through news alerts and animated gifs on her tablet.
From here the city looks sunny and safe, the city Oliver strives for it to be.
She ices the cakes and feels not unlike a Disney heroine; enjoying the sunshine and making cakes and singing along with her iPod in a pretty summer dress.
She packs four cakes in a box and drives to Verdant. She'll take six in for the office on Monday and the others she'll keep for herself.
She wonders what Oliver’s reaction will be to her bringing cakes to his super secret hideout.
She’s sure it'll be worth seeing.
“I bring cake!” He hears and the sheer incongruity of it makes him pause and Diggle manages to slip one past his guard and the escrima stick comes down hard on his knuckles.
Oliver glares at Diggle, who looks incredibly smug.
“Easily distracted,” his bodyguard chides him, then looks past him and grins. “Felicity,” he greets, “did you say cake?”
“Cupcakes,” Felicity says happily and he turns to see her beaming at the pair of them and holding up a Tupperware box with four iced cakes inside it. “Want one?”
“I never say ’no’ to cake,” Diggle says, laying the escrima sticks down on a nearby table. “What's the occasion?”
“I felt like baking,” Felicity says, but there’s an edge to her voice that he can't quite identify. She sounds happy, satisfied, almost as smug as Diggle looked to get past Oliver’s guard.
“You made these? Damn, Felicity they look great.”
“Thanks!” She says brightly, “but maybe you should wait until you try one.”
Diggle doesn't need more prompting, reaching in to pick up one of the small cakes. He peels the paper case back and takes a bite, managing to smear icing all over his face.
Felicity giggles but Diggle obviously has no regrets.
“Oliver?” She says, holding the box out to him. “Do you want one?” It’s almost shy the way she holds the box out, looking at him over her glasses. It's adorable. He’s not really sure why he’s saying no. He likes cake.
“You’ve got to try these, Oliver,” Diggle says and Oliver sees that there is icing on the man’s nose. “They’re great.”
“Maybe later,” he says and he sees Felicity’s face fall just a little. “I'm all sweaty,” he offers as an excuse, “let me clean up.”
“Heh,” Diggle says, “move fast Queen, I can't promise there'll be any left for you.”
“That’s the chance I’ll take,” he says, walking past the two of them.
He pats his face dry with a towel and watches Felicity tease Diggle about the icing on his nose.
There’s something different about Felicity this morning and he’s not sure if he likes it. She seems more relaxed than normal. She’s certainly never brought cake to the basement before.
There's a flush to her cheeks and she’s smiling.
She seems happy.
All at once he wants a cupcake, wants to be part of her happiness. And so he walks back to them and she’s smiling and grinning and taking off her cardigan to hang it over the back of the chair and he sees it.
A hickey on the back of her neck, right where the line of her neck meets her shoulder.
It’s dark and red and he swears he can almost see teeth marks on her skin.
It's not the only mark on her shoulders. Now he’s looking and now the cardigan is gone he can see faint scratches, patches of red - the marks of someone’s mouth and hands on Felicity’s oh so pale and precious skin.
He feels his hands tighten into fists and he has to remind himself that she's not his, she's her own person and he doesn't want her like that.
And he sees her hand come up to rub at the back of her neck, sees her touch the sensitive mark that someone else’s lips left on her and sees the moment when she realises what she’s touching and the smile that plays on her lips and the flush it brings to her cheeks.
And he decides that no, he doesn't want a cupcake.
He’s going to go and murder tennis balls in peace instead.
And try very hard not to think about what and who she was with last night.