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empty gold (if the morning light don't steal our souls)

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There is nothing hanging at her throat. There is no bomb pressed against her collar bone, no collar wrapped around her neck. Nothing but the cold press of her own fingertips, short nails scraping against skin as she searches for something she won’t find, assures herself of her continued breathing – sharp and quick but there nonetheless.

 

“You alright, Felicity?”

 

It’s John’s voice that pulls her attention from across the round bartop table. Three bowl-shaped margarita glasses sit on the table, barely touched. Drinks had been Felicity’s idea but then, suddenly, no tequila had seemed like more than enough tequila.

 

“Yeah,” she says. It’s pointless, she can tell. She hasn’t known John Diggle long, but he raises an eyebrow and dips his head towards her and she just knows he’s reading her like a book.

 

She fidgets under the scrutiny, reaching for her glass and sipping lightly at it. The salt on the rim is sharp against her tongue as the blended drink makes her head hurt. All Felicity can do is be glad that John had waited until Oliver had slipped away from the table for a moment to ask her the question.

 

She’s a terrible liar.

 

“You know, it’s okay,” he starts gently, shifting in his seat so he’s turned a little more towards her from his side of the rounded table, “To not be okay. After a night like tonight, I’d be more worried about you if you were handling this all fine.”

 

“Well, you know,” she shrugs, setting the glass back down and wishing she hadn’t checked her coat on their way in as a chill runs through her. “What’s a little near-decapitation between friends?”

 

There’s a low whistle from behind her and Oliver rejoins them, settling back into his seat. “If you’re gonna be sticking around, Felicity, we really need to work on your sense of humor.”

 

The comment earns him a disbelieving look from both her and John. Looks which he, predictably, ignores. He shifts in his chair instead, looking somehow casual and uncomfortable in his suit now that he’s ditched the jacket and tie. John is in a similar state, black suspenders looped over his shoulders.

 

Felicity tugs nervously at the hem of her skirt, if only to give her hands something to do.

 

“I’m trying to remember why I thought tequila was a good idea,” she sighs. The comment hadn’t meant to be aloud, but it’s there so she presses on, offering what she’s sure looks like a false smile, “I know I must have had some logic behind it.”

 

John’s mouth twitches upward in amusement, but Oliver’s focus narrows in on her. Studying her. She shifts under it, not having really intended to bring his attention to herself. Maybe if her heart would stop hammering, or if she weren’t still feeling the weight of a bomb pressed to her throat, she wouldn’t be having such trouble with words.

 

Then again, she’s never really needed help when it comes to fumbling through sentences and accidental innuendos.

 

“Let me drive you home,” he offers and she stiffens.

 

It’s a bad idea, probably. Because she’d been hoping to keep her breakdown contained until she got to her car. And, really, she’s barely had anything to drink and she’s not so worked up that she can’t drive a car.

 

“You barely fit in my car,” is what comes out instead.

 

Which is true, at least. When he’d broken into her backseat a little over a week ago, he’d been stuffed into it so poorly he may as well have been hanging halfway out. It was a miracle he hadn’t made his injury worse just by cramming himself into her backseat.

 

“I think I’ll manage,” he says anyway.

 

“You want me to follow behind?” John offers as Oliver lifts a hand and waves down one of the roving waiters for their bill. He catches someone’s eye, makes the generic ‘cheque’ motion Felicity didn’t think people in real life did, and lowers his arm.

 

“No, I can manage to get back on my own,” he says. Neither of them protest when Oliver signs the cheque because, well. Why should they?

 

Felicity lets John lead her back through the bar, out into the main area of the hotel where the auction has long since finished. The capture of the Dodger hadn’t stalled the festivities, especially since no one knew that Felicity had been a few rooms away, desperately trying to keep her head.

 

Her fingers move to her throat again, stroking over the dip in her clavicle. Maybe if she’d thought to wear some kind of necklace tonight, the movement would seem natural. Instead, as they reach the valet out front and John breaks away from them with a gentle ‘goodnight’ call, the placement of her hand pulls Oliver’s attention.

 

It takes her a moment to realize why he’s staring at her throat so intently and another to stop the fully body flush threatening to burn her alive.

 

“You really don’t have to drive me home,” she tries, knowing the effort is in vain, as they wait for the valet to return with her car. Almost forcefully, she pulls her hand away from her throat, working to fasten the buttons on her jacket instead.

 

She recognizes the sight of her Mini Cooper as it rumbles to a stop in front of them. Oliver reaches for the door to the passenger side with a meaningful look in her direction.

 

“Get in the car, Felicity,” he says gently and she’s tired of fighting tonight anyway.

 

“Do you even know where I live?” She asks as she slides into the passenger seat.

 

“Yes,” he says shortly, without further explanation, before pushing the door closed. Sighing, she decides that tonight is not the night to try to figure out Oliver Queen. As he rounds the car, she reaches down towards the floor, searching for the strap holding her shoes to her ankles.

 

She hears the driver’s side door open and shut as she struggles with the straps, unable to see them at the angle she’s bent into. The car begins to move and she finally manages to slide her feet free from the ornately strapped heels. When she sits up, she glances over at Oliver, who is also shooting her an odd look.

 

She supposes it must have seemed odd to find her fumbling around with something on the floor. Rather than explaining herself, she lets out an unintentional snort at the sight of him. He glances round at her again, looking away from where he’s waiting for an opening to pull out of the hotel’s parking lot.

 

“What?” He asks.

 

“You look ridiculous,” she giggles, a little hysterically. It earns her a dark look from him, but if he could see himself, she doubts he’d blame her. Oliver is probably twice as tall as her car and if he’d adjusted her seat when he got in, it doesn’t show.

 

He looks like a salmon stuffed into a sardine can.

 

“Nice,” he breathes and she realizes she must have made the observation aloud. Rather than apologizing, she shrugs her shoulders and settles further into her seat.

 

“I’m right,” she offers instead. Oliver shakes his head at her, but she sees the corner of his mouth quirk upwards. She’ll call it a win.

 

There’s something nice about Oliver’s silence. Usually, Felicity is the first to fill a quiet moment, uncomfortable with the lack of conversation. She fills it with observations, fun facts, the occasional unintentional sexual comment. She does it around Oliver and John, too, she knows.

 

But sometimes, when it’s just her and Oliver - an occurrence that, admittedly, hasn’t happened terribly often over her short time with the team - she doesn’t feel the need to do that. Maybe it’s because she knows he appreciates the silence, or because she learned early on that any conversation with him almost inevitably leads her to unintentionally reveal her attraction to him.

 

Tonight, though, it’s especially nice. Her mind has been so busy since the auction, since she thought it might actually be her last night alive. Buzzing with the tension of the brush with her own mortality, her own undeniable humanness.

 

God, is this what it’s like to be him? How does he handle it? How can he stand with the weight of it, the constant reminder that any time he steps out of the foundry, any time he puts on that hood it could be his last night?

 

Her chest tightens and a buzzing begins in the tips of her fingers. Squeezing her eyes shut, she wills the panic away. One hand clutches the door handle while the other bunches in the thick wool material of her coat. She counts backwards from ten and begs whatever deity might be willing to take pity on her that she can at least hold it together until Oliver drops her at her home.

 

He’s calling her name softly, but it sounds like it’s coming through water. Her brain moves sluggishly, trying to process the soft, concerned way he’s saying it. Has he ever said her name like that before?

 

“Sorry, sorry,” she says quickly, her instinct to detract from her own fear. She hates it, the way tonight has affected her. Oliver and John, they’ve seen so much worse and they’re still standing. How can she let one brush with death tumble her?

 

The words are still falling from her lips, “I’m fine, really. I’m totally fine, I just need a minute.”

 

“No, you’re not,” he argues and god dammit, does he always have to do that? Does it always have to be an argument between them? How are they supposed to work together if they have a counter for everything the other says?

 

“I’m not trying to argue,” he says and she bites down on her lip, hard, wishing for once she could keep her traitorous thoughts inside her own mind. “No one expects you to just be fine.”

 

She lets out a small laugh, shaking her head. “John said something similar.”

 

“He’s a smart guy,” he admits on a soft laugh. Finally opening her eyes, Felicity looks over at Oliver. He doesn’t give her a placating smile, instead glancing at her to study her seriously for a second before retraining his attention on the road.

 

She pulls in another slow breath and looks out her own window. She recognizes the neighborhood they’re in, only a few streets over from her own, and Oliver takes the turns with an expert ease. The houses they past mostly still have soft yellow light spilling from the windows and she glances at the time on the dashboard, realizing it’s not as late as she had expected it to be.

 

Letting her head fall back against the headrest behind her, she watches the familiar houses and trees pass by. A comfort washes over her at the usual. Oliver takes a slow turn onto her street and she sits up a little, prepared to run from the car and pretend none of this strange encounter ever happened. Prepared to run from him.

 

“Let me walk you inside,” he says once the car stops in her driveway and she goes tense.

 

“Look, I know I didn’t really just give the impression a moment ago, but I really can handle this on my own,” she says, looking through the windshield at her house rather than at him. “You don’t have to go to all the extra trouble just for me.”

 

“Felicity,” he says, pulling her attention to him. There it is again. How does he make something as simple of her name sound like it really means something? “This is for me. I need to make sure you’re safe. Please.”

 

Unsure how to respond to that, Felicity stares at him for a moment, processing the genuine concern in his voice. Finally, she nods, “Yeah, okay.”

 

“Thank you,” he says quietly and she’s already grabbing her shoes by their wayward straps and pushing the door open, suddenly claustrophobic in the tiny space with him and his indecipherable looks and heavy words.

 

He follows her up to the front door as she fumbles with the chain of her jeweled handbag, trying to get a grip on it with one hand while her abandoned heels dangle from the other.

 

“Could you-” she starts, shoving her shoes into his hands before he has a chance to answer. Triumphantly, she pulls her house keys from the small box purse, separated from her car’s key fob when she handed it over to the valet, and jingles them. It earns her a look from Oliver, but she can see the way he’s fighting his amusement.

 

He gaze moves over her shoulder, eyes narrowing at something behind her. Nervously, Felicity glances over her shoulder.

 

“Did you leave that light on?” He asks and she frowns at the warm yellow light coming through the curtains on her front windows.

 

“Probably?” She offers, unsure.

 

“You don’t remember?” He asks and she rolls her eyes at him.

 

“It’s been kind of an eventful night,” she reminds him, a little snappishly. “Hard to remember much before having a bomb strapped around my neck.”

 

He lets out a sigh that reminds her that, interest in her continued breathing or not, it’s almost too easy to get on his nerves. Before he can even ask, she holds her keys out, jingling them at him. He takes them from her, handing her heels back to her and sliding the only key that isn’t her backup car key – one too many times locking yourself out of your car will do that – into the door lock.

 

Sighing at his overprotective instincts, she waits for him to slip into the otherwise dark dwelling and decide it’s safe enough for her to get some well deserved sleep. The cold of the cement begins to seep into her bare feet and she bounces from foot to foot, trying to relieve the painful chill building in the soles of her feet.

 

Impatient, she lets out a quiet groan and steps over the threshold into her entryway. Quietly pushing the door shut behind her, she deposits her shoes next to it and moves for the kitchen, stripping out of her coat on the way. Oliver is so quiet he could be anywhere in her house right now and she wouldn’t know it, so she doesn’t bother trying to guess.

 

He comes searching for her a few moments later, finding her filling a glass with water from the tap in her brightly lit kitchen. Felicity only knows he’s there because she hears the tired sigh he gives at the sight of her.

 

“I thought you were going to wait outside,” he says and she shrugs because, well, they’d never agreed on that. And her feet were cold.

 

“Find anyone lurking in my closets?” She asks, turning to face him and leaning back against the counter behind her. Her counselor in high school always said it was important to hydrate after a panic attack, even if she’d mostly staved this one off.

 

“No,” he huffs, clearly realizing she’s mocking him.

 

“Guess I left the light on then,” she offers.

 

“You can’t be too careful,” he insists crossing into the kitchen. He stalls a few feet in front of her.

 

“Can’t you?” She argues because, well, it’s sort of becoming her brand when it comes to Oliver. He sighs again, offering her a pleading look and she has enough self awareness to feel a little bad about it.

 

“I thought you didn’t like that we always feel the need to argue with each other,” he says quietly and it’s the most either of them have addressed the animosity between them. She frowns to herself, because she doesn’t. She doesn’t want this to be the… tepid relationship they have with each other.

 

But she hasn’t really questioned why they’ve made it that way either.

 

“I don’t,” she sighs, setting the glass on the counter. It clinks against the marble countertop, louder than either of their voices. “I don’t know why we’re always arguing.”

 

Except, maybe she does. Maybe she knows exactly why she’s been so angry at him, but it’s so irrational and unfair that she doesn’t really want to try to put it into words. She turns away from him, setting her glass down on the counter and pulling open the cabinet to reach for a second one for him. If only to give herself a moment.

 

The truth, a truth she’s been fighting against, is that she’s so unbelievably mad at him for not being who she thought he was. How can she be mad that a man she barely knew in the first place turned out to be something else?

 

He’d played her so well, though. Even through all the obvious lies and half-truths, she’d wanted to trust him. She’d wanted this slightly awkward, sometimes flirty, cute, tech-illiterate guy who just happened to be her boss’ son to be real. That maybe that guy came around with strange favors and terrible lies because he had a crush on her.

 

And, really, how immature is that? So, the gorgeous Oliver Queen doesn’t have a crush on her? So what?! She should be mature enough to get over herself and move on. Especially since the guy she’d had a crush on, that smiley stranger who called her things like ‘remarkable’, never even existed in the first place.

 

When she turns back to him, a second glass of water nearly filled to the brim in her hand, Oliver’s advanced into the room further. He lingers next to the island, his fingers stretched out and tented over the counter top, tapping restlessly, but silently, against it.

 

“Here,” she offers quietly, holding the glass out to him. Hoping he sees it as the olive branch it is. Something in his gaze softens as he takes it from her and she thinks he does.

 

It’s more than a little startling how easily they’ve fallen into understanding each other. To an extent. There are still things she can’t fathom – like his body count and his definition of justice – but she understands a little better after tonight.

 

The Dodger had been his own attempt at an olive branch after all.

 

“Thanks,” he responds, matching her volume.

 

He steps a little further into her space, but not quite close enough it could be considered her personal space. It reminds her of two nights ago nonetheless. The way he’d towered over her, buzzing with adrenaline and anger, growling into her ear about rebooting his system. Her blood warms uncomfortably at the memory, a reminder of her simmering embarrassment at being called out and anger at being spoken down to. He’s lucky she hadn’t crashed his system just to watch him try to reboot it.

 

“Can we call a truce?” He asks, startling her with the accuracy of the statement. As if he knew where his proximity had taken her. “At least for tonight.”

 

“I think we can manage that,” she all but whispers, giving him a small nod. Her curls roll off her shoulder and she’s reminded of the firm ringlets she’d spent over an hour creating that evening. She wishes she had a hair tie.

 

Oliver takes a drink from his glass before setting it down on the island next to him. Felicity figures this will be it. They’ve called their truce, there are no big bads lurking in the shadows of her apartment, she’s safe for tonight. He’ll call a car and tomorrow they’ll go back to sniping at each other and arguing over methods. But she won’t walk out again, not on this mission.

 

Not until they’ve sated whatever it is that tonight seems to have started in her.

 

Instead, Oliver takes another step towards her. Then another. Careful, hesitant movements, testing the waters as he reaches her. She’s not quite boxed in between him and the counter behind her, but she’s feeling a little claustrophobic nonetheless. They’re going to have to set personal space boundaries if they’re going to continue to be around each other. Her nervous system has to get used to the closeness of him in small doses.

 

His hands come up, cupping her jaw and tilting her head carefully to the side. She frowns at him, confused by the way his eyes are moving over her throat, until one of his hands slides downwards. His fingers graze gently over the place where the collar had laid against the side of her neck and her whole body tenses up.

 

“I’m fine,” she chokes out, hoping he’ll let go. The pads of his fingers are warm and soft, but her mind is conjuring up the feeling of cold metal and hard plastic, the glare of a red blinking light from beneath her chin and a quiet beeping.

 

“You don’t have to do that,” he says, blessedly moving his hand back up to her jaw instead, angling her face now so that she has nowhere to look but him. She frowns, and he clarifies, “Pretend.”

 

“Isn’t that all you do?” She asks before she can stop herself, thinking again of easy smiles and compliments and the warm feeling of budding interest. She hadn’t really allowed herself the time for things like crushes in years. At least, not until Oliver.

 

He frowns, still not releasing her jaw.

 

“Maybe,” he admits, looking like he’s really considering it. “But less with you.”

 

“Why?” She frowns, confused by the statement. Oliver searches her face and she watches as his eyes move between hers, rove over her nose, her cheeks, her lips. Unthinkingly, she darts her tongue out, wetting her lower lip. She doesn’t miss the way his eyes stay there for a long moment.

 

“I don’t know,” he says. And then his mouth is covering hers, pressing and urgent, like he has to kiss her now, right this moment, before it passes them by. She can relate to the feeling, pressing up on her bare toes to meet him, to push back against him.

 

His hands, still settled against her jaw, tilt her face to allow for a better angle. She feels his tongue against her lower lip, tasting the spot she had licked a moment earlier, and she opens up to him. Her fingers find the lapels of his suit jacket, tugging him further against her. The edge of the counter digs painfully into her back, but she can’t bring herself to let something so trivial break the moment.

 

Until Oliver’s hands move, skimming down her neck and finding the spot where the collar’s hinges had settled against her throat and she’s pulling back with a pained gasp, pushing him away from her. He doesn’t go far, mostly because as she pushes him, her fingers are still clenched in his jacket.

 

“Don’t,” she gasps, too embarrassed and shaken to open her eyes. Oliver finally kissed her, after months of hoping he’d work up the courage to admit his feelings before she’d known why he really kept stopping by her office. And she’d ruined it with some ridiculous fear. She looks up at him, “Don’t touch me there, okay?”

 

“Okay,” he nods and she can feel him retreating even as his feet don’t move. His hands are still in the air, hovering in front of him where he’d been holding her. “I’m sorry, Felicity. I shouldn’t have-”

 

“No, just,” she says, cutting him off and huffing a little bit. Feeling a little bolder by the sight of her lip gloss smeared over his mouth, she tugs at his lapels. “Just not there . Not right now.”

 

“I wanted to make sure you felt better before I left,” he says quietly, allowing her to pull him back towards her a step.

 

“So, make sure,” she says, willing to wait on him. Willing to make sure he isn’t going to retreat right now. Tomorrow might be another story, but this? Tonight? Maybe it could be enough.

 

He kisses her again, more hesitant this time, but his hands are on the sides of her face instead of her jaw or neck. Felicity is tired of being hesitant and unsure, she wants certainty for just one night. She buries her fingers in his hair, curving her body up against his as he bends to meet her. A small part of her wishes she still had her shoes on if only for better access.

 

When she hurries things along, Oliver responds in kind. His hands move from her face to her waist, fingers digging into her hips through the rough material of her dress. She yelps when he lifts her suddenly, depositing her on the counter. Her side bumps against something and she hears the sound of breaking glass.

 

She looks over to find her forgotten glass turned over into the sink, the lip of the glass shattered against the metal edge of her sink. Oliver’s mouth descends on the space below her ear, avoiding dipping too low on her throat.

 

“I’ll clean that up,” he growls. “Later.”

 

“Definitely later,” she sighs out, tilting her head to give him better access as his teeth scrape over her skin. His slows his movements until all he’s leaving are feather light kisses and she lets out a quiet noise of disapproval.

 

“Felicity,” he breathes slowly against her ear and her whole body reacts to the way he says it. Her back arches to press herself further against him, her head tilting back as her fingers clench in his hair, holding his mouth against her ear.

 

She is not proud of the quiet sound that falls from her lips. Oliver moves his head purposefully, the course hair of his beard scraping against her earlobe and turning the heat pooling in her belly to a raging fire.

 

“Tell me what you need from me tonight,” he instructs and maybe he means something kinky. Maybe Oliver Queen likes to hear his women say dirty things and give instructions on how he should handle them. But Felicity can’t help but think of the night she’s had, how terrified and helpless she’d felt, sure the Dodger was going to press his magic button and then suddenly…

 

No more Felicity Smoak.

 

“Control,” she breathes. “I need control.”

 

His tongue darts out, dragging over her earlobe and tasting the skin of her neck.

 

“Then, take it,” he says. Her fingers flex in his hair again before tugging sharply to pull his mouth away from her ear and back to her own. She slides her tongue against his, tilting his head back from her newfound height with the help of the kitchen counter. He makes a noise, low in the back of his throat, and she swallows it.

 

Her hands move, sliding over his broad shoulders and down his arms until she reaches his wrists. Wrapping her fingers around them, she directs them away from her hips and down to her bare thighs, upwards towards the hem of her skirt where it’s already begun to bunch due to her position on the counter.

 

Oliver doesn’t require much more prompting. Her hands move up over his chest while he continues his exploration of the skin revealed by her dress. His thumbs dip in between her legs, stroking the sensitive flesh of her inner thighs. She squirms on the counter, moving forward under his palms until his hands are almost fully lost under the gold material.

 

When his thumb finds the soft material of her underwear and presses against her clit through them, she bites down on his lip. Oliver kisses her harder, his thumb moving in achingly slow circles over her. Felicity’s fingers move to the buttons of his dress shirt, forgetting the suit jacket over top of it, and fumble to undo them.

 

He teases her with his fingers, gliding over her through her underwear and refusing her any real friction, building her up until she’s sure he can feel how wet she’s become through the material. Her hands dip into his shirt once it’s open, moving over scar tissue and abs she’s been dying to taste for days.

 

She pulls her mouth from his, complimenting her hands exploration with that of her mouth. She tastes the skin of his neck, drags her teeth over his earlobe, delights in the way he pants against her. So this is what it takes to work him up. She files the knowledge away, the sound catalogued in her mind.

 

“Off,” she commands, spreading her hands out wide against his chest to push his shirt and jacket back against his shoulders. It means he has to pull his hands away from her and she immediately misses them, squirming on the counter and rubbing her thighs together to compensate.

 

He isn’t even undressed yet and she’s this far gone.

 

Oliver strips the dress shirt and jacket off, the clothing landing in a heap on her kitchen floor, but he doesn’t immediately return to her. Instead, he takes a step back, letting himself look her over from head to toe. She resists her own self conscious instinct, aware that she must be an arousal-flushed mess with mussed curls and her skirt bunched nearly all the way up her thighs.

 

“Do you have any idea what seeing you in that dress tonight did to me?” He asks, voice low and rough from his arousal. She’s seen him coated in grease paint and fresh from a fight, but she’s never seen his eyes so dark.

 

“I wanted you to notice me,” she admits, willing to meet his candor with some of her own, regardless of her embarrassment at the truth of the statement. She’d still been so irritated with him, but she’d wanted to make him see her, make him react to her the way she so easily reacts to him.

 

“I notice you,” he tells her, stepping forward again. He places his hands on her knees, spreading her legs so he can step in between them. “So much it’s dangerous.”

 

“Dangerous?” She echoes, her hands seeking out the planes of his chest again, moving over skin she’s only had the opportunity to look at up until now. She studies his scars in a new way, dragging her fingers over them and watching the goosebumps her touch creates. “Why dangerous?”

 

“You know why,” he says, dipping his head forward and nibbling at her jaw. Felicity lets her head fall backwards to give him better access as his hands skim back up her thighs. Yeah, she knows why.

 

“Felicity,” he growls out and she swears she’s never thought of someone’s voice as an aphrodisiac until this moment. “If you want control, you have to take it.”

 

“Touch me,” she instructs and his fingers flex against her thighs.

 

“Where?” He presses, distracting her with the feeling of his mouth against her jaw, the way his tongue punctuates the question by tasting her.

 

“Everywhere,” she breathes deliriously, unhelpfully. She pulls her hands from between them and places them on his shoulders instead, putting pressure on him until he gives in, falling to his knees in front of her. She shifts further towards the edge of the counter and Oliver’s fingers loop through the edge of her underwear.

 

He yanks them down to her calves swiftly and she figures he doesn’t require any more input from her. Still, he takes his time, meticulous and patient in a way she wouldn’t have expected. First, his hands move back up her thighs, sliding feather light over sensitive flesh and parting her legs further. Deft, long fingers move over her, barely touching her where she needs almost desperately to be touched.

 

It isn’t until she whines his name and tugs at his hair again, pulling him towards her and forcing him to speed things along, that his tongue makes an appearance. She’s squirming against him, fingers scratching lightly, encouragingly at his scalp. He sucks lightly on her clit and she worries, momentarily, that her nails have dug painfully into his skin. Oliver doesn’t complain.

 

When he flicks his tongue over her as he slips a finger inside of her, she nearly knocks her head against the cabinet behind her.

 

She’s seen him beat up on training dummies and John and bad guys and had, somehow, thought his lovemaking techniques would be similar. Quick and vicious, but effective, going on and on while barely breaking a sweat. She forgets, sometimes, how terribly, awfully human he is.

 

Instead, he works her like how he handles his equipment. Meticulously and with care, slow and sure movements as he twists arrow heads into place and sharpens their edges. He curls two fingers inside of her in just the right spot and she writhes against him. When he smiles against her thigh, she feels it in the pull of his cheek muscles, in the soft kiss he presses to her thigh.

 

He moves her so carefully to the edge, has her wanting and panting and aching for it, she barely notices how close she is before she’s falling over it. When she cries out his name, she nearly suppresses it, certain she shouldn’t be doing so. She holds him between her thighs while she comes down and he helps her, soft licks and slow movements to prolong her orgasm as she murmurs his name like a prayer.

 

When he does stand back up, still pressed in between her legs, she can feel how her own orgasm has affected him. The leather doesn’t leave much to the imagination so when she slides her hand down to his trousers and grips him through the material, she’s not necessarily surprised by what she finds.

 

Instead, she watches his face as she works him through the suit pants, eyes darkening before he shuts them completely, mouth opening with a whisper of her name. It dies halfway through as she squeezes him gently.

 

“What were you saying about taking control?” She asks, too turned on by the sight of him reacting her to even sound as smug as she’d like.

 

“Tell me what you want,” he rasps and she looks down towards her hand, still palming him through the fitted pants. His stomach muscles move as he reacts to her and she feels the way his cock moves with the tightening of his muscles. She shifts a little on the counter, eager to have him inside her but wanting to draw this encounter out a little longer.

 

“I want to taste you,” she says and Oliver groans with the words, his hands falling from her legs to fumble with the buckle of his belt.

 

While he does so, Felicity pushes him a step back to allow her to drop from the counter. She starts with his chest as he works to free himself, her fingers trailing over his pecs, followed by the swipe of her tongue. She traces the general shape of the tattoo over his heart with the tip of her tongue and he sucks in a breath. She slides down his body, her mouth moving over the ridges of his abs, where she spends far too much time. She can feel his hand caught between their bodies, working himself until she decides to show him the attention he craves.

 

When she replaces his hand with her own, gliding her tongue up the length of him, she delights in the way his breathing quickens. That control she’d been craving finds some level of satisfaction in knowing how she can affect him. Sure, most men would react this way to anyone sucking their dick. But there’s something gratifying about knowing that Felicity Smoak can have Oliver Queen grunting out her name with her technique.

 

His hand bunches in her hair, holding it back away from her face and she can feel him watching her as she takes him into her mouth, sucking in a calculated way that she knows is almost enough, but not quiet.

 

“Felicity,” he growls out, his fingers tightening in her curls, and she can feel his practiced control slipping. Good.

 

She releases him with a pop, pushing at his thighs and returning to her feet. His posture is ridgid from holding himself together and she’s dying to watch him fall apart under her. He’s only half out of his pants, so she pushes at the waist band of them.

 

“Strip,” she directs, surprised at her own boldness tonight. He’d given her the chance to take control and she hadn’t hesitated. She’s tired of being hesitant anyway.

 

She steps around him, heading away from him and out of the room. She can hear the jingling sound of him ridding himself of the rest of his clothes and his shoes from behind her, delighting in the idea of a naked Oliver standing in her kitchen waiting for her to return.

 

There’s a box of condoms in her bedside drawer and she snags one of the square foil packets before heading back to the kitchen. Oliver raises an eyebrow at her when she comes back through the archway and she stalls at the sight of him. She knew he was beautiful but…, fuck.

 

“Your turn,” he says and it takes her a moment to understand, mouth dry with want. He’s still coiled tight, breathing heavily, and at attention. She realizes, suddenly, that he’s down to nothing but what the good lord gave him and she’s nearly fully dressed but for the discarded black lace thong.

 

She lifts the condom, biting down on the corner of the foil to hold it while she searches for the closure on her dress. Oliver moves forward to meet her and it only makes her fumbling worse. All of her previously held confidence is waning. She’d just had his cock in her mouth, for fuck’s sake, she can’t be this nervous now !

 

He chuckles at her and the flush burning her skin now has nothing to do with her orgasm.

 

“Let me,” he offers quietly and she turns away from him – to offer him the zipper and avoid his eyes all together. She takes the condom from her mouth, fiddling with it as his fingers drag the zipper down easily, slowly. His knuckles glide against her spine, trailing after the zipper as he pulls it down with his other hand, and she shivers with the intimate touch.

 

“I was trying to be sexy and graceful,” she groans. “It’s not my strong suit, clearly.”

 

“You didn’t see me nearly trip over my own pants after you left,” he tells her and she’s pretty sure he’s lying to her again, but at least this one she can appreciate the effort of. The dress slackens and she lets it slide from her shoulders and pool at her feet. Oliver presses himself against her back, his mouth seeking out the juncture of her shoulder and throat as he sucks lightly on the spot.

 

“Besides,” he says, kisses moving across her shoulder. “You’re always sexy.”

 

She lets out a laugh, pulling away from him to face him again. His eyes rove over her, all the newly exposed skin, and her stomach twists with excitement.

 

“You’re still a terrible liar, Oliver,” she tells him, tugging on his arm to encourage him back down for a kiss before he can argue with her. She thinks he tries to argue with the way he kisses her, hot and needy as his hands come around her, seeking out her ass and kneading gently.

 

She moves slowly, guiding him backwards and hoping she doesn’t run them into anything in the process. She’s pretty good at navigating her apartment in the dark, but she doesn’t usually have such an incredible distraction.

 

Eventually, she finds the couch in her living room and pushes at Oliver’s chest until he falls back onto it. He looks up at her as she lifts the condom to her mouth again, tearing the packaging open with her teeth. She straddles him on the couch, knees on either side of his as she sits back far enough on his lap that she can roll the condom onto him. His fingers dig into her hips as she does so.

 

“I like to be on top,” she says, tossing him a wicked grin as she lifts up onto her knees and adjusts over him. One of his hands moves from her hip to dip between her thighs, stroking her before they move things along.

 

“Of course you do,” he bites out, eyes squeezing shut when she wraps her hand around him again and squeezes gently. He says something else, but it’s lost to a groan as she pumps him a few times. She’d swear it was something like ‘you’ll be the death of me’.

 

Aligning herself with him, Felicity slides down onto him, letting out a quiet moan as he sinks home. She thinks she’ll have bruises on her thighs tomorrow from the way his fingers are digging into her skin. She goes to begin moving, but Oliver stops her.

 

“Hold on,” he grunts, looking up at her as she hovers over him. One of his hands move from her hip, coming up to stroke over the side of her face, down her side. His thumb drags along the underside of her breast. “Just stay like this. For a moment.”

 

Her chest constricts, but she gives him the moment. And then she’s rocking against him and words are a distant memory anyway. Felicity, counterintuitive to the rest of her life, has never been much of a talker during sex. Oliver it turns out, to both her delight and dismay, is.

 

She’s never heard her name strung together with so many ‘fuck’s, ‘beautiful’s, and ‘feel so fucking good’s in her life. She doesn’t hate it. Eventually, she just wants to taste him, dropping down for a sloppy kiss as she rides him into the cushions of her couch. She holds onto the back of it for leverage, but Oliver’s hands roam her body, spending adequate time everywhere but always moving on to the next place he can explore.

 

She can feel his stomach muscles tensing up against her own stomach and his hand moves down between them, thumb moving erratically over her clit and encouraging her back towards the edge. She pants, burying her hands in his hair and whining against his mouth.

 

She calls out his name again when she comes and it feels suddenly too natural to do so. He follows not long after her, pulling her mouth back to his for a kiss as his hips jerk upwards into hers. Felicity holds onto him for a few moments, foreheads pressed together as their panting breaths fill the otherwise silent home.

 

“Well, I definitely feel better now,” she sighs and when Oliver laughs at her it rumbles through both of their bodies.

 

---

 

He eats her out a second time in her bedroom and she’s pretty sure every room in her little home is going to smell like him for days. She can’t decide if that’s a blessing or a curse.

 

When she wakes up the next morning to find him scribbling her a note at her bedside, she knows it’s a curse.

 

“You could have just woken me up,” she says, stretching her arms over her head. There’s an ache in her thighs from last night and he could have at least let her have the opportunity to enjoy that before he ruined this. “I prefer my rejection to be verbal. No papertrail.”

 

“Felicity,” he sighs, clearly unimpressed with her deflective humor. She sits up in the bed, holding the comforter fast to her chest, suddenly uncomfortable at the reminder that she is so very, very naked and he is so very, very familiar with her being so.

 

“You don’t have to,” she starts, shaking her head. “I knew what this was last night.”

 

He’s quiet for a moment before he looks away from the useless note and towards her.

 

“I thought I could do the whole normal relationship thing,” he admits. “I tried .”

 

Felicity’s stomach sinks in a whole new, dreadful way. “Lady cop.”

 

It’s not that she doesn’t know her name, it’s just that she’s not particularly interested in using it right now. How could she have been so stupid and forgetful? She’d been so caught up last night, she’d forgotten all about Oliver’s date from the night before and the woman he actually should have been with last night.

 

“That’s not-,” he tries before shaking his head at himself and rethinking whatever he’s trying to say. He moves on the edge of the bed a little bit, moving a few inches towards her but still keeping his distance. “There are parts of me that are missing. And I don’t know how to get them back. There are things that I can’t tell McKenna, things I can’t even tell you.”

 

“Why?” She asks quietly, more confused than anything else. McKenna doesn’t know about his double life, but she does. And, even if he doesn’t want to be with her the way he wanted to try to be with McKenna, he should be able to tell her things.

 

“Because if I did,” he starts slowly and she realizes suddenly he’s not looking at her, but just behind her head, towards the windows. The light from them reflects off of his bright blue eyes and she swears for a moment, she sees the ghosts he keeps buried there in that graveyard mind of his. “I don’t know what you would think of me.”

 

She doesn’t know what to say to him, mostly because she doesn’t know what she thinks of him most of the time anyway. Any reassurances she would give would be a lie. And they’re both terrible liars.

 

“I just can’t be with anyone I could really care about right now,” he says, his eyes cutting to hers so suddenly she startles with it. “I want to be deserving of them.”

 

Her mouth is dry and she wishes it was due to a hangover, but they’d both barely had more than a few sips of their margaritas last night. She wonders vaguely if John knows Oliver never returned to the mansion last night, if he’ll even entertain the unthinkable idea that he’d spent the night with her.

 

When she doesn’t say anything, Oliver stands gently from the bed. He crosses the room to the door to her bedroom and Felicity watches him.

 

“Oliver,” she calls out at the last minute and he turns back, halfway out the door already. “You stayed last night because you wanted to make me feel safer. You did.”

 

He blinks at her and she knows she’s surprised him. Offering him a small smile, she concludes with, “Thank you.”

 

He nods once before disappearing into the hallway, pulling the door shut behind him. Felicity falls back into the bed and closes her eyes, trying to come up with a battle plan for the next few days. She’ll head to the foundry regardless. She’ll keep going with what they’ve been doing and, most likely, they’ll never discuss last night again.

 

Maybe when Oliver inevitably starts seeing someone it won’t even hurt.

 

Felicity isn’t keeping score, but, for what little it’s worth, he doesn’t seem to go out with McKenna again.