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Flying by Night

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Felicity stood in the spot where she and Sara trained the day before. Sara moved to her stop in front of Felicity. But instead of putting her arms up for Felicity to rest her arms again, Sara stood still and said, “I wanted to apologize for yesterday. I didn’t mean you’re cute in a condescending way. I’m sorry it came off like that.”

Felicity took a moment to realize what that meant. It meant that Sara thought she was cute. Not like puppy cute, but like cute girl at a bar cute. Felicity looked down at the ground, not really feeling deserving of the compliment from the assassin in front of her. Felicity had never had this problem before. She knew she was cute. She could be downright drop-dead gorgeous when she wanted to be. It just felt like such an immense thing from the woman in front of her.

She finally regained her speech and nodded, “It’s fine. I was frustrated. I might have overreacted.”

“But you’re right though,” Sara put her arms up so that she and Felicity could started training. “You’re more capable than we all give you credit for.”

Felicity decided to just leave the statement at that. She knew that. She knew that she was under appraised by most members of Team Arrow. But she wasn’t in it for the glory. She was in it to do some good for Starling.

When Felicity’s eyes met Sara’s their joined hands started moving. This time instead of the same pattern repeating over and over, Sara would change it up and Felicity would easily adjust. Then Sara would speed up or slow down, tying to throw Felicity off, but the other blonde was unshakeable. She kept Sara’s eyes locked in a solid gaze and adjusted to the variations as they came.

This time Felicity didn’t slip. She kept up with Sara. They were getting comfortable with each other. After half an hour Felicity’s arms were burning. “Can we take a break? My arms are killing me.”

Sara let out an amused smile, “Ten more minutes.”

Felicity gritted her teeth and got through three more minutes before her arms dropped. “I can’t.”

“That’s okay,” Sara put her hands on her hips. She walked over to her stash of water and got a bottle for Felicity. She handed it over and Felicity gulped the water down. “We’ll move on to something else.” She walked over to the salmon ladder and easily moved the bar up before swinging around to sit on it. “What do you think you need to work on?”

Felicity thought it over and smoothed out her hair. “Just like…everything. I feel like I need to be able to jump away from someone that grabs me.” Felicity paused and looked up at Sara, “I get grabbed a lot.”

Sara smiled and nodded, “Alright.” She leaned backwards with her hands on the bar and flipped, landing on her feet. “Do you need a break or would you like to keep going?”

“As soon as I can lift my arms, I’m good to go,” Felicity joked and sat down in her computer chair. “I just need to check on that meeting that Oliver is supposed to be at.” Felicity made her way through the computer to the security cameras as Queen Consolidated. She found the one to the boardroom and made it full screen. Sara walked up behind her and they both saw Oliver sitting at the table, checking his phone.

“He’s waiting for you to call him,” Sara chuckled.

Felicity let a smile play on her lips. It was nice to know that someone was waiting on her to call them, if only to tell them that there was a bomb/fire/hostage situation. Felicity did pick up her phone, but instead of calling Oliver away, she told him to pay attention. She watched on the camera as Oliver smiled at his phone and threw a casual glance at the security camera.

Sara walked over to the arrow table and leaned back on it with her arms crossed. She watched Felicity check the rest of whatever she checked. She watched Felicity’s eyebrows furrow in concentration. She watched her bite her lip in confusion then saw a self-satisfied grin when Felicity fixed whatever hitch she ran into. Sara wasn’t lying when she told Felicity she was cute. She found Felicity adorable.

Cute and adorable weren’t things that she saw much when she was an assassin. She saw sexy and dangerous. Nyssa was sexy and dangerous. Sometimes she could be sweet, but Felicity was completely different, perhaps the complete opposite of Nyssa. Oliver was nice, but sometimes he just seemed like more of the same. Felicity was openly sweet and caring. She never hid her emotions and even when she tried she wasn’t good at it. She was of pure heart. That was something that Sara had lost faith in during her time away. She stopped believing in pure hearts.

“Okay,” Felicity stood up and stretched her arms, “I think I’m ready again.”

Sara kept her position on the table, “Anything specific you wanted to try?”

“I know that there is a reason that we’re doing the hand thing,” Felicity threaded her fingers together in front of her. “But can you kinda show me, like a practical application.”

Sara stood up and walked over to Felicity, “Sure.” Suddenly Sara threw a punch at Felicity. Felicity squealed, but used her arm to deflect Sara’s fist while using her other hand to push Sara away. Sara stopped her attack and took a step back waiting for the realization that was about to wash over Felicity.

Felicity looked at her hands that were still in the position they were in when she was fending off an attack. She smiled up at Sara, partially in elation and partially in disbelief. “I did it.”

“You did,” Sara couldn’t stop her smile.

“And it’s that motion,” Felicity exclaimed and waved her arms around in a more generic version of the movements they’d been doing. She excitedly bounced in front of Sara and put her arms up, “Let’s keep doing it.”

Sara stepped up to Felicity, loving her enthusiasm. When their arms touched, Sara stepped up the pace. They moved with an intensity that was new to Felicity, but she was willing to try her best. She wanted to impress Sara and prove that she could hang with all of the trained people on their team.

Sara slowed it down a little and then sped up. She wanted to see if Felicity to keep her focus on what they were doing instead of what was going on at her computer terminal. Felicity’s eyes never wavered. She continued to push against Felicity’s arms and wrists, manipulating them into doing what they needed to and then let Felicity take the lead. Felicity was up to the challenge, even changing the motions to things they’d done previously.

Finally, Sara was actively trying to trip Felicity up, but Felicity’s movements were solid. So she figured out a way to do it without interrupting the pattern. She let out a sly smile and said, “You have pretty eyes.”

It only took one slip and Felicity’s hands got tangled up in Sara’s. Sara immediately untangled them and watched Felicity’s hand move up to where her glasses usually were only to drop when she realized she wasn’t wearing her glasses. “I – I…sorry.”

Sara picked up her training stick and twirled it around, “You don’t have to say sorry.”

“I just wasn’t – wasn’t expecting that,” Felicity tried to explain.

“You weren’t completely in the fight,” Sara stated, moving the stick around and switching hands.

Felicity nodded, “Yeah. I’m not really an in the moment kind of person.”

Sara rested the end of her stick on the ground and looked at Felicity, “What does it take for you to forget everything?”

“Usually an attractive person really close to my face,” Felicity mumbled, not entirely sure if Sara heard her.

“I guess I’m not attractive enough to get you to focus,” Sara teased.

Felicity immediately backtracked, “No you’re really attractive. Super attractive. I mean have you seen your abs when you do the salmon ladder thing. And you have…” Suddenly Felicity noticed that her mouth was blurting out everything that her brain had brought up to counter Sara’s statement. Of course she lowered her voice to finish her last sentence, “Pretty eyes too.”

That wasn’t quite the reaction Sara expected. She thought there would be some gentle reassurances, instead she got a panicked ramble. She smiled softly at Felicity, “Still cute.”

Felicity blushed and looked at the ground. “So, how do I, um, focus?”

“It’s easier when you’re actually in real danger,” Sara shrugged and kicked the end of her stick. She let the end arc into the air and land softly across her back. “We’ll work in it later.”

The door opened to the downstairs area and Felicity didn’t look up, but on instinct, Sara watched to make sure that they weren’t being ambushed. She let out a sigh of relief when she saw Oliver walk down the stairs in his suit. “How’s it going?”

“Great,” Sara rested the stick across her shoulders. She used it to stretch her core. “If she keeps working like this, we’ll have to find her a mask and a motorcycle.”

“I’m glad it’s working out so well,” Oliver smiled. He looked to Felicity, “Anything new today?”

Felicity shook her head. “All’s quiet on the western front.”

“Good,” Oliver turned back to Sara, “I came back to see if you wanted to have lunch.”

Sara noticed Felicity’s demeanor fall. She turned to the computer and sat down, slipping her glasses on. Sara frowned. Felicity’s behavior was a little perplexing and Sara wasn’t going to let it go without finding out why. “I was actually going to take Felicity on a run.”

Felicity turned around in her chair and looked at Sara over Oliver’s shoulder. She was a little confused. She was really, a lot confused. She wondered what it was about their previous encounters that led Sara to believe she was any kind of runner.

Oliver nodded understandingly, “I’ll ask Thea. Diggle is going to come by later today and I’ll be back at three to help Roy.” He kissed Sara, “I’ll see you ladies later.” Oliver stopped by Felicity’s station to kiss the crown of her head and leave.

“A run?” Felicity asked after Oliver left, “I don’t really run, unless it’s for my life.”

Sara chuckled, “It’s okay. We’re not going far.”

They didn’t actually run or even jog. Felicity held on for dear life on the back of Sara’s motorcycle. What was in reality only a few blocks, to Felicity felt like they sped all the way across town.

“Um, Felicity?” Sara asked when they stopped in front of the Chinese restaurant that she usually met her dad at. “We’re here.”

Felicity slowly lifted her head from its place, buried in Sara’s back. “I um, I’m…okay.” She let out a breath and sat up a little more not removing her arms from Sara’s waist. She took a moment to compose herself before peeling her arms away and removing her helmet.

They walked in and Sara greeted the people behind the counter in perfect Chinese. They seemed to recognize her and smiled when she conversed with them. Sara looked over at Felicity and added something else that Felicity didn’t understand.

“Did you just order for me?” Felicity asked, “Because I’m allergic to nuts.”

“I know,” Sara nodded and sat down at the counter. “I promise I won’t have to perform an emergency tracheotomy on you.”

Felicity chuckled, taking a seat next to Sara, “Something makes me think that you actually could.”

The other blonde just smiled coyly. The person behind the counter set two glasses in front of them and poured a clear liquid into them out of a decanter.

“What is this?” Felicity asked, picking up the glass.

“Baiju,” Sara explained and picked up her glass. She offered her glass up in a toast.

“Isn’t this usually used in celebration,” Felicity looked at her drink and looked over at Sara, “What are we celebrating?”

“You,” Sara tapped her glass to Felicity’s and took a sip.

Felicity just went with it and took a sip of her drink. She almost choked on it, not expecting it to be so strong. Sara smiled as she downed the entire contents of her glass. Then she set it down and observed that Felicity was trying to do the same thing. Felicity did manage to down the rest of hers, but she made a less than graceful face when she set her glass down.

Sara put her hand in the middle of Felicity’s shoulders, gently rubbing in a circular motion, “Are you okay? Was that too much?”

Felicity started laughing, “No, no. I’m good. I’m just not a big drinker.”

The food appeared in front of them next to a pile of chopsticks. Sara picked up the chopsticks and handed a set to Felicity. “That’s why I never see you at Verdant?”

“That’s usually because I’m under Verdant,” Felicity shrugged. She dug into her food. “This is really good.”

“You have an alarm right?” Sara asked, bumping her shoulder with Felicity. “Take the night off. Come get a drink.”

“Is this part of my training?” Felicity asked as she chewed, “You’re getting me to relax?”

Sara smiled, “Partially.”

Felicity raised an eyebrow in question, but didn’t ask. The alcohol was getting to her, but not enough for her to ask outright. She was still overthinking Sara’s every move. She decided to move the focus of this excursion away from her and asked Sara, “Did you eat a lot of this while you were….away?”

Sara looked down at the food. She nodded and looked back at Felicity, “Yeah. Part of the time.”

“Where were you?” Felicity watched Sara’s eyes get lost in thought. “If you don’t mind me asking…I mean Oliver doesn’t like to talk about it so you don’t have to…” She got cut off by a gentle smile from the former assassin.

Sara asked the person behind the counter for another round of drinks and when she had hers, she took a sip. “Well I started out on the island. From there I have been on every continent except for Antarctica.”

“I can’t imagine there being anyone to kill on Antarctica,” Felicity quipped and then immediately regretted it. She saw the shame in Sara’s blue eyes as she looked away. “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean it -”

“No, it’s fine,” Sara nodded and put her arms on the counter in front of them. “I did what I did and I have to deal with it.” She saw that Felicity felt truly terrible for what she said so Sara turned her body toward Felicity and leaned sideways on the counter. “So the first League headquarters I went to was in North Africa.”

“The first one?” Felicity asked, immediately interested.

“Yeah, there are more than one and they change all the time,” Sara explained patiently because Felicity seemed enchanted.

They spent two more hours at the restaurant. They had moved to a more intimate booth in the back and Sara continued to order food for the two of them to try. Felicity resisted drinking anymore and Sara followed her lead. Sara answered every question Felicity asked as honestly as she could while still keeping Felicity safe. She knew that Felicity was curious enough to look up some things on her own and looking into certain things would bring the League back to Starling City and possibly down on Felicity herself.

When they finally decided to leave, it was because Sara had to get the bar ready for Verdant to open later. Her phone rang as they were standing next to her motorcycle and Felicity was putting on the helmet. Sara saw that it was her dad and decided to take it before she got onto her bike.

Felicity wondered how ridiculous she looked in the helmet when she noticed Sara on the phone. “Yeah… yeah…. I understand….no…Dad, no. I’ll find somewhere else to stay…I don’t know with Oliver or something…alright bye.” Sara hung up and put her phone in her pocket. She looked up and saw Felicity looking at her. She put on a fake smile and gestured to the bike. “Ready?”

“What happened?” Felicity asked, immediately concerned.

Sara looked down at the keys in her hand and shook her head, “Nothing. Laurel is just having a little problem and she’s going to stay with my dad this weekend. It’s not a big deal. I just have to stay away because Laurel hates me.”

Felicity softened and took a step toward Sara, “I’m sure she doesn’t-“

“She does,” Sara stated and moved to her motorcycle. She swung her leg over it, ignoring Felicity’s approach. She wasn’t used to having someone care about her or comfort her physically. She didn’t know how to handle it and she didn’t want to upset Felicity by not reacting like a normal person should.

They rode back to Verdant and Felicity thanked Sara for lunch at one of the secret entrances. Sara nodded, “No problem.”

Felicity just nodded awkwardly before disappearing underground while Sara walked in the front door of Verdant to start her day job.