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Chapter Text

 

 

Back to the Start

 

 

 

Ten Years Ago…

“You’re really going to leave things between us like this?”

The way his voice quivered as she slowly padded to his bedroom door nearly shattered her soul to pieces. “Oliver, I told you a year ago that I was going to leave. I told you that it was something I had to do for both of us,” Felicity whispered as she slowly ran her fingers along her sweat slicked arms.

Oliver mumbled contritely towards the rug along his aging floors. “But we just….” 

“Had sex, and it was wonderful but, that changes nothing,” Felicity breathed as the shadows from the tree’s outside his bedroom window hid the heartbreak upon his face. She continued to search for the dress that she’d shed just hours before.  

Oliver's sharp, “We made love Felicity, we didn't just have some shitty one-night stand,” made her heart thud like a drum as her feet froze along the boards beneath her chilled feet.

“You've never said that before…” she whispered lowly towards the suddenly very interesting floor.

Oliver's guttural, “Then you clearly weren't paying attention.” Felicity’s body froze. She was forced to face him until she could see past the shadows along the lines of his face. Felicity for the first time stood before him naked as his words brushed along her cooling skin. He raised his bloodshot eyes until they were focused along her sorrow filled face. She gulped as he murmured, “I love you...and I have since before I can even remember.”  Felicity's heart fell to the floor as his soulful gaze began to memorize every inch of her bare form. She shivered as the tenor of his voice eased along her skin like a lover’s caress. “I've told you with every single touch of my skin upon yours. I've screamed it with every embrace; hell, Felicity I've been devoted to you since the first day you entwined our fingers together so don't you dare tell me I haven't said it. I've said it every day since we knew what being in love meant.”

Felicity pushed a few strands of her brunette hair away from her face. Oliver wiped his brow before his palms came to rest along his bare knees as a shuttered sounding, “I even gave you that damn promise ring when you were sixteen,” left his swollen lips. Felicity pulled her red dress up along her hips. Oliver in response bent down to pick up his discarded jeans. Felicity's eyes raked over his lanky yet muscular form as he pulled the denim up along his hips. Despite everything Felicity let herself be weak. She memorized how his stomach rippled a bit when his fingers drifted over the button for his jeans. She bit at her lip slightly as she remembered how he felt as he strummed a scared finger down the line of her face. His touch wasn’t skilled it was nervous and, almost shy. Their first kiss was timid, but slow and, languid. They each took turns learning how to please the other as they slowly fell into dance that was both familiar and new. It wasn’t until she heard his feet shuffling along the floor that she realized she still owed him the truth.  

Swallowing the lump that was lodged in her throat Felicity whispered, “You know this was never one sided, don’t you?”

Oliver’s head tilted. The shadows that once hid his face now shifted so she could see the full effect of what she’d done to him. The bloodshot eyes gave way to a pair of parted, slightly swollen lips. The circles beneath his eyes were wet as another lone tear fell from the corner of his left eye. His labored breathing fell quiet as an almost angry sounding, “How could I? I’ve shown you that I want you and, all you’ve ever done is remind me that you’re going to run away.”

Felicity’s forehead crinkled as her chest fell in defeat. Her own tears began to fall when she let out her own painful truth. “Oliver I’m completely in love with you.”

“Then why the hell are you running away?” he blurted out angrily.

Felicity simply stood there with her nervous fingers strumming along her bare, upper arms. “You really don’t see it do you?” she realized as the skies outside began to shift.

She felt the world around her beginning to spin as the wind moved through the building storm clouds with anger and malice. Oliver’s face became pale as the trees along his windows began to scratch along the dust covered glass. “Felicity being in love doesn’t mean you can’t achieve your dreams. It doesn’t mean you can’t grow as person while we…” she saw his hands moving between their very still bodies. “Can’t grow as a couple while you do.”

Felicity wanted to agree. Hell, she nearly did when he came to her door with a single red rose, a picnic basket and, her favorite blanket. Knowing her as he did Oliver didn’t bring his pickup truck; instead he brought two horses named Saddie and Max. Felicity could remember pecking his lips as he took her hands into his own. They rode out into the approaching sunset until they were at the base of the Sapphire mountain range. From there well things had advanced rather quickly. Before she knew it, they were in his bedroom in a mess of tangled limbs and slow kisses. Oliver cleared his throat shattering her memory as the winds began to howl. “Baby just talk to me…” he pleaded with pain striking through every word.

“Tonight, was supposed to be about two people saying goodbye,” she finally breathed as lighting split through the sky.  She felt him nodding in silent agreement as her next words began to float around them like a rain filled cloud. “I was going to tell you that I loved you and that’s why I had to go. I had this big damn speech about how consuming our relationship had become and, then you showed up with Saddie and Max…”

“And you lost your nerve…” he whispered as the moment around them began to reflect the weather outside.

His soft eyes were brimming with tears as he took a timid step forward. Felicity stood there frozen as she shook like a leaf before it falls towards the autumn ground. The smell of lavender and mint danced along her skin. She could feel the heat of his chest along her own. Their breaths mingled as Oliver traced his index finger along the edge of her shoulders. She felt an involuntary shudder rushing through her stomach as his touch began to shift down her upper arms. Her lips quivered when he trailed his fingers along the sides of abdomen. Felicity felt her knees beginning to buckle as he tugged at the fabric of her sundress. “So, what you figured you’d bookend our relationship by sleeping with me?” He asked while keeping his endlessly blue eyes hidden from her view.  

“No, of course not,” she rasped as Oliver slowly began to pull the dress up to her sunken shoulders.

“Then why did you?” he asked sadly.

Felicity not knowing what to say began to strum her fingers along his navel. She felt him twitch at her touch but, he didn’t back away. He instead inched closer as she took a deep breath. “I’ve been in love with you since I was fourteen Oliver.” She felt his fingers moving in slow concentric circles along her waist. Felicity kept her touch along his skin light as her words continued to pour from her heart and hopefully into his thick skull. “My life has revolved around my feelings towards you since we met. I’ve gone from having a best friend, to having a crush on said friend, to then being in love with my best friend. I know every part of you because whether I like or not we fit…” She felt another stray tear fall. Oliver’s index finger wiped the tear away before he cupped her cheek. Felicity leaned into the offer of comfort then said, “I know who I am with you and, I love her but, I want to know who I am without you as well. I need to know who I am when I’m faced with a challenge that I’m not sure I can conquer. I need to see what’s beyond Hamilton, Montana and, I know for you that’s not a possibility.”

“Felicity, I can leave, I’m not tied to the land the way my father is,” he lied as his thumb stroked along her cheek.

She smiled in sadness as she took a fleeting glance towards his face. “This land owns you the way that I do,” she admitted. She felt his hand fall away. “The bond between us isn’t healthy for either you or for me and, I know you can see that,” she murmured as her eyes once more fell back to the ground.  

He took a few beats to process what she’d just said. She could almost feel his heart shattering when he said, “I think actually acting on our feelings made it worse; because now I know how it feels to be complete.”

Felicity felt her forehead crashing along his lips. She wrapped her arms around his waist and, he did the same. They held each other for what seemed like forever before she dared to speak. “I love you and, I’ll always love you,” she breathed as she placed her lips along his cheek.

“I can’t say it back Felicity, I can’t say I love you for the hundredth time only to have you once again run away,”

She nodded then pecked his lips. His hold weakened as she began to pull away. “In time you’ll see I did the right thing,” she whispered as the thunder roared outside.

He nodded slowly, “Maybe but, right now you’ve just broken my heart so let me take you home before we both say something we’ll never be able to take back.

She offered her own silent nod as he reached for his discarded shirt. Moments later she was sitting in his pickup truck holding what she thought was the end of their story… She sat there with a red rose and, a promise ring around her neck.

 


 

 

Sara chased after as she ran toward the barn. “You can't do this to him Felicity! You can't do this yourself! How can you leave like this? How can you even breathe without feeling his pain along with your own?”

Felicity groaned at the question but knew it was coming. She’d known it was coming since last night when she came running through the front door with bloodshot eyes and, a single red rose. She kept her clear blue eyes on the rolling grasses before her. As a child she’d always felt that the land was more than just dirt and soil. She believed that the land had a soul and, she often wondered if she shared that same soul. She felt the winds around her change. The storm over the mountains was beginning to grow. Her brown hair whipped around her brow like a twister as it drives through the fields. Felicity shivered while she bit at her bottom lip. Her sad eyes fell to ground, her toes curled within the toes of her boots. Her small hands remained hidden in her jean pockets while her heart remained in her throat. Felicity felt the small skipped beat in her voice when she croaked, “I can’t just give up my opportunity to grow just because some boy loves me.”

Felicity risked a glance over her shoulder. Sara stood behind her with a forlorn look covering the lines of her youthful face.  Felicity’s blue eyes glistened with un-shed tears as Sara took a solemn step forward. Her strawberry, blonde hair flowed around her slender shoulders like a shawl. Her soft eyes lingered over her step-sisters heartbroken face. Her form shook when she breathed, “He’s not just some boy Felicity, and you’re lying if you’re going to claim you don’t love him too.”

Thunder roared as lightning split the sky. The world around her was waging the battle her soul refused to acknowledge since she left Oliver’s embrace. Felicity lifted her eyes toward the mountain filled skyline. Her heart now felt like it was lodged in her throat as she whispered, “Of course I love him and, that’s why I have to go…”

The rain began to pelt her skin as Sara replied, “If you loved him you wouldn’t leave him…”

Felicity let the rain pelt her skin as she breathed, “You’re wrong Sara… You’ve never been more wrong…”  

 


 

 

Present day

“Okay so you’re going to be in Missoula by four, right?”

Felicity looked down at the ticket in her hand.  She adjusted her glasses along the bridge of her nose and scanned over the small print. Her arrival time said 3:30 but, Felicity would rather be early than have her ride be late. “Yeah mom,” she breathed softly, “I’ll be in Missoula by four.”

“Perfect,” Donna breathed a bit too lowly for Felicity’s liking.

Felicity clicked her tongue almost knowingly, “Mom, what are you up to?”

“Nothing,” came her rehearsed tone before a small, “but you have at least told him that you’re moving back to Hamilton, haven’t you?”

Felicity’s scowls could be heard across state lines. “We haven't seen, spoken to, or even exchanged a handwritten letter in ten years Mom. I would love to see Oliver but, I doubt the feeling is mutual.”

The small hint of amusement in Donna’s voice didn't go unnoticed when she replied almost joyfully, “Trust me baby his feelings for you haven’t changed,”

Felicity was about to push for an explanation when she heard a gasp of excitement coming from the background. Felicity’s frustration faded away when she heard a shouted, “She’s finally coming home!” flowing through the phone and into her ear.

Donna’s almost angelic laughter filled Felicity’s heart with contentment as she replied, “Yeah baby our Felicity is finally coming home.”

“Oh, wait when does Laurel come home? I can't wait to meet my nephew!” Felicity asked before she ran out of time.

Sara shouted back as Donna mumbled in annoyance, “She's coming in next week after Tommy’s case with the DA is wrapped up.”

“Oh, I completely forgot! Did the case end well?”

Sara chuckled back before Donna could stop her, “Yeah, with our brother-in law the detective’s testimony the dirt bag is getting 25 years at the very least but, that's also coming from his wife, and our sister the DA.”

“Laurel has to be thrilled,” Felicity chirped out quickly.

“She's elated and, based on your tone you have to go, don't you?”

Felicity whispered, “Yeah the flight attendant is glaring at me,”

“Okay but, before you go remember our actions were out of love,”

Before Felicity could pry for more information both Donna and Sara bid Felicity a quick goodbye as the cabin door closed and the rest of the passengers took their seats. She smiled ruefully knowing that her mother and sister were up to no good. Felicity then swept her now blonde hair up into a ponytail before she leaned back along the never comfortable airplane seats.  She opted to put her purse on the seat beside her since it was empty rather than stowing it on the floor. She smoothed out her faded blue jeans as she surveyed the nearly empty cabin. She didn't see any locals but, she also didn't see any tourists either. She mumbled softly, “I really hope the Smoak-Lance B&B is doing well,” before she let her eyes settle upon the soon to be distant memory of the New York skyline.

As the plane began to taxi down the runway Felicity’s mind began to wander. Sara, she figured was going to try and push her back towards Oliver but, she never guessed that Donna would be in on the ruse. Felicity lifted her right hand off her lap. She then pulled out the buried silver chain that she wore everyday whether she should or not. A sense of peace flowed through her the moment she had her fingers wrapped around the small silver band that was always resting along her heart. As she began to move her fingers along the warm, faded metal her thoughts once again wandered towards a certain boy and, of course a certain town…

 


 

 

Growing up in a small town was equal parts easy and, hard. The easy part was everyone knew everyone else but; that was also the hard part. It’s hard to grow when everyone around you can only remember how you used to walk down main street with two braids and, a somewhat awkwardly tall looking boy. The Felicity that resided in New York was a slender but, toned blonde haired woman who opted for black pumps over cowboy boots. She had a loft in Soho and, a wardrobe that any small-town girl would kill for. The Felicity that lived in Hamilton, Montana was a thin, pale faced girl with long, brown hair and, a pair of rounds, black rimmed glasses. Her favorite outfit was her cowboy boots that she’d gotten for five dollars at some flea market two towns over; her worn out jeans that had more patches then denim and, a faded, red plaid shirt that her best friend had given to her when she was ten. Her hair was also in two braids that fell to her shoulders. Her face was plain but, you could see she was beautiful when she bothered to wash off the dirt. She always had a smile and, her right hand was always entwined with that lanky boy. That lanky boy’s name was Oliver.

Felicity’s heart ached at even the slight thought of his name. Leaving Oliver was the hardest choice she’d ever had to make but; it had to be done. Felicity had to find out what the world had in store for her and, Oliver had to decide what he really wanted instead of just doing what he thought he was obligated to do. Felicity had done what she thought was right and, that choice had left her without her best friend for ten years. A few weeks after their fight Felicity sent him a letter with her new contact information and, an explanation for why she’d run away from him that night. Oliver of course didn’t write back nor; did she honestly expect him to. Felicity had done the unthinkable she’d broken his heart right along with her own. She let out small laugh, “It’s been ten years and I’m still hung up on the same awkward guy.” She was shaking her head in disbelief when her phone suddenly buzzed. She inwardly scolded herself for not putting her phone into airplane mode but, checked the message just in case it was her mother. She pulled up the message and, her heart for the first time in almost ten years skipped a beat…

“I heard a rumor you were going to be in town. Maybe I can convince “mom” to let me drive you home. I’ll see you soon pigtails…

Pigtails… The only person who ever called her pigtails was Oliver. “Those two meddlers are going to get it when I get home,” Felicity mumbled as her heart finally began to slow. She was shocked. Oliver Queen hadn’t said a word to her in almost ten years. He didn’t even say goodbye before she left for New York, hell he barely said good-bye the night she… Felicity let that last thought drop. She knew why he didn’t say good-bye that night and, she still after all these years couldn’t blame him. Her fingers hovered over the small keyboard before her. She was torn but, before common sense and logic could stop her Felicity tapped out a short reply.

“Good luck with “mom” and, for whatever it’s worth I missed you beanstalk.”

Feeling foolish she swore lowly beneath her breath, “Dammit, if Sara did what I think she did I’ll have no choice but to face him before I’m ready.” Then again Felicity mused if Oliver was a willing participant than maybe she could mend the piece of her heart that had been broken since that stormy night. Before she could ruminate herself into a panic attack she felt her heart skip another beat for the second time in almost ten years…

“I’m counting on it…”

Moments later Felicity was engulfed with memories of the home that along with Oliver still owned her heart. Hamilton, Montana the town that she’d run away from was composed of nearly 5,000 people. The small, yet idyllic town was located between the Bitterroot and Sapphire mountain ranges. This allowed for nature to truly take center stage. During the summer, fall and, even the winter months tourists who knew about the small gem would flow into the town. They came to fish, hunt, ski, hike, bike, and the list went on. There were no hotels nearby so the residents who were smart enough converted their homes into B&B’s. Felicity’s family had done so when she was around 12 years old. They had one main drag ironically called Main Street. The town held about ten different restaurants, a post office, the hardware store that was also the grocery store and, about 20 tourist shops that focused on the art scene. Hamilton unlike most small towns had a top-rated high school and to most tourist’s surprise had not one but, two microbiological research facilities. One lab even had a level four Bio-safety aspect that was used in the study of highly pathogenic organisms. Hamilton was a small town with a lot of potential.

Felicity felt the plane around her beginning to tilt. As the landing gear began to disappear into the undercarriage of the plane Felicity continued her walk down memory lane.

Felicity was born on a small ranch just outside of Hamilton’s city limits. When she was born they had a modest two-story farmhouse with the classic white picket fence. At the time her father Noah, was a rancher and, her mother Donna was an artist who had a small shop in town. Noah had about 50 cattle and a modest farming business on the side. Donna made jewelry of all varieties but her most popular item had to be her unique take on the promise ring. Felicity could still remember watching her mother shape the small silver band into the names of the people who’d purchased the item. It was like watching a ballet as she moved her delicate fingers around the hardening metal. Once she was done each piece was not only unique but, it was also truly one of a kind. Felicity was just three years old when Noah was killed in a car accident just outside of town. Five years after that tragic day she was thrown into a new family and, a new way of life.

When Donna met Quentin, Felicity had just turned five. Her father had left them a bankrupt farm, a mortgage and, no money to get them through the lean months that were common in tourist-based towns. Donna’s business was thriving but, when tourists weren’t around she struggled to make ends meet. Donna first hired Robert Queen, their neighbor and a rancher to handle the day to day operations that owning a cattle ranch entailed. Of course, that meant that his son and Felicity’s best friend since birth Oliver, was around to keep Felicity entertained. With the farm in good hands Donna decided to take a part time job as a receptionist. The only catch was working for the local Sheriff, Quentin Lance.  Looking back Felicity had to admit that the relationship between her “parents” wasn’t exactly love at first sight.  At first, they appeared to hate each other. Donna was a free spirit who believed that every day was an adventure into the unknown. Quentin well he enjoyed rules and, Donna wasn’t always good when it came to following the rules. It took nearly two years but, one day something changed and before Felicity knew it she was the Sheriff’s daughter and, she had two sisters.

Felicity felt herself chuckle when she began to recall the relationships she had with her sisters. The first time she met Laurel she was nervous but, as it turned it out she had no reason to be. Felicity was almost six years old. Oliver of course was with her. They sat side by side with their hands entwined. Donna had insisted she wear a dress. Felicity did as she was told but, she only agreed if Oliver could come with her. So, there she sat in a sunflower dress and her signature pigtails. Oliver kept tugging at her hand. He was bored and, wanted to explore Main Street. Felicity was about to agree when the doors to her mother's shop opened. Laurel was about two years older. She was a slender girl with chestnut colored hair, dark brown eyes, and features that Felicity would envy as she aged. Felicity could still remember how shy she seemed when she let a timid, “Hi…”

Felicity being the bold girl she was slid off her chair with Oliver dragging along behind her. The two girls smiled shyly at first. Laurel tucked a piece of hair behind her ear. Felicity in turn held out her free hand. She let her smile grow as she brightly said, “So here's the deal. Oliver and I want to go exploring. Would you like to come?” Two minutes later all three of them strode through the front doors of her mother's shop. Five minutes later the three became fast friends. Laurel became Felicity’s big sister that very afternoon and, still held a very special place in Felicity's heart.

Felicity and Sara didn't need a private meeting. They were already two peas in a pod. Oliver was her best friend but, Sara was the peanut to her butter. They weren't sisters by blood but, they were in their hearts. The two had met at some local fair when they were about four. Laurel was there but, she preferred to be with her friends rather than with her sister. Felicity was flying solo that day since Oliver was home with the flu. The two met when their hands collided over the last hotdog. Felicity suggested they should share and, within seconds they were trading secrets all while sharing an overcooked hot dog.  

Felicity was snapped back to reality when she heard a small ping coming from the overhead speakers. She glanced away from the window and, down the aisle before her. The Pilot’s soft voice crackled like a blazing fire as he said, “Folks we’re about 30 minutes out from Missoula International airport. The temperature right now is 75 degrees with low hanging clouds. If you have a connecting flight, make sure to check for any changes once you’ve entered the terminal. For everyone else welcome home.”

Felicity lowly remarked, “Home is actually a 52-mile drive from here but, hey who's counting…” With that thought freely expressed Felicity pushed away her daydreams and, turned her thoughts to a certain blonde-haired boy nicknamed Beanstalk.

 


 

 

Felicity looked over the landscape as the plane began its final descent. Missoula, Montana was the largest city near Hamilton with a working airport. The city itself wasn’t anything to write home about but, to a ten-year-old who’d never seen a building that was higher than three stories; it was like a fairy-tale. Felicity laughed at the that because suddenly seeing those same buildings didn’t feel as life changing.

Now the buildings were just small, rundown structures that didn’t hold a candle to the steel and glass of New York’s opulent skyline. Once the plane had come to a full and complete stop Felicity undid her seat belt and stood to stretch her very cramped legs. The other passengers were already moving down the aisle before she’d even retrieved her suitcase from the overhead bin. After saying goodbye to the flight attendants and moving down the nearly empty terminal Felicity pulled out her phone. She was greeted with seven texts messages and one missed call.

Felicity checked her watch. Her ride whoever it might be wouldn’t be there until 4. It was now just 3:30. Feeling a bit peckish she strolled down the long airport hallway until she found a small gift shop. She moved past the welcome to Montana gag gifts, and away from the tee-shirts and stuffed animals until she was standing before the candy display. Felicity grabbed two snickers bars, a pack of Twizzlers and, just in case she was right about Sara’s plan she picked up two packs of M&M’s. She then managed to pick up two bottles of water before heading to the cash register to pay.

Once she’d paid the bill she glanced upward at the clock that hung above the entrance of the gift shop. Instead of it being 3:30 it was now 3:35. Felicity’s stomach growled so instead of mulling over how to spend the next 25 minutes she opted to open one of her Snickers bars while she read through her missed text messages. The first one was from Laurel. Felicity pressed her thumb over the tab and, smiled brightly. She could almost hear her sister’s sage words of wisdom as she read through her words.

“Hey Lissy! So, by now you’ve learned about the plot to get you and a certain boy back to at least speaking terms.” Felicity grinned as she continued to read.

“Remember Sara, Mom and, even our poor father love you more than what should be considered legal. They also know what I’ve known since the day we first met. You belong with Oliver. So please just do us all a favor and tell him that you’re in love with him before those two come up with a plan to get you two drunk and married in Vegas. I love you Lissy and, I can’t wait to see you!”  

Knowing Laurel would be in court until at least 5 Felicity decided to reply when she’d be around to talk before she moved onto the second which was from Tommy. Tommy himself was once upon a time Oliver’s other best friend and, not exactly Felicity’s biggest fan. He blamed her for “destroying” his best friend and, frankly she for a while agreed. When she left home Tommy and, Laurel had just begun to date which made the holidays awkward. Laurel was at UCLA and so was Tommy. His course of study was criminology and, Laurel was working her way towards her lifelong goal of becoming a District Attorney. Once the couple were engaged she decided that enough was enough. She and Tommy buried the hatchet and now had a relationship that most in-laws would envy. When she opened the text, she hoped for words filled with sage wisdom or even words of sound council. Tommy however he’d gone for the more direct approach.

“When you see him just say the words, find a motel and have sex. Also, can’t wait to see you next week!”  

Felicity rolled her eyes but managed to direct some of her frustrations into her very snippy reply, “If I see him I won’t say something that I’ve never admitted was true and, secondly who says we’ve never had sex before? I’ll await your witty reply.” With that she snickered and moved onto the next message which was from her dad. Felicity smiled at his few words.

“Can’t wait to see my youngest lawyer. I missed you kiddo.”

Felicity typed out a quick, “Ha-ha well someone has to offer legal advice to all those people you don’t arrest! Also, I missed you too!”  

Before she looked over the ones from Sara she checked the time. It was about 3:45. Felicity should have headed for the door but, a text from Tommy halted her movements completely. She pressed open the tab and, nearly choked on her Snickers bar. “I’m guessing that means you two slept together the night you came home with that single red rose?”

Felicity swallowed roughly as she typed out an annoyed, “Does Laurel tell you everything?”

Tommy must have been near his phone because seconds later her phone buzzed along the table. Felicity opened the tab and growled inwardly. “She does but, are you forgetting that I was Oliver’s other best friend?”

Felicity smacked her palm along her forehead as she texted back, “You helped Sara, didn’t you?”

Seconds later she was reading a very cocky, “Who do you think convinced your beanstalk to text you?”

Feeling no need to endure anymore public embarrassment Felicity moved onto the next three which, were from a very guilty Sara.

“Okay ummm I love you, I adore you and, I’m really doing what’s best for you!”

Felicity chuckled at the first one as she rubbed her fingers over her forehead. Tommy had sent her an emoji with a smile and wink. He knew she was ignoring him and, she knew on some level he was enjoying that very fact. Sara’s second text just like the first made her beam with inner laughter.

“Alright so the plane must be in the air because you’re not responding. So uhm I love you and, I just want you to be happy. Also, please don’t send any blood sniffing dogs to our front door!”

Felicity was about to send her very uneasy sister a relax I’m not mad text but, that all ended when she read the last one…

“So ummmm… Oliver’s going to be there by 3:45…”

Felicity glanced at the top of her cellphone. Her heart thudded almost angrily as she shoved her phone back in her purse as she mumbled, “Sara those dogs will be at the front door before I am…”

Before she could even stand up from her seat her motions were once again stopped by the a few simple words…

“I see things between you and Sara haven’t changed, have they?”

Felicity’s stomach dropped. “This is so not my day,” she muttered as her blue eyes flew up to the sound of a voice she hadn’t heard in almost ten years.

He cocked his very handsome head and smirked, “I was just about to say the opposite.”

“Hi Oliverrrrrrr,” she groaned before she gulped in complete and utter shock. She squinted through her glasses at the Adonis that stood before her. “When? How?” she took a breath before she squeaked, “So uhm I guess calling you beanstalk is out of the question now?”

His soft eyes turned almost turquoise as he said, “And I can see that pigtails might need to be reworked.”

Felicity’s baffled, “This should be an interesting ride home,” led to Oliver’s smug sounding,

“Interesting indeed…”

Chapter Text

Truth Heals

 

 

“Did it ever occur to you to mention that Oliver had changed in the past ten years!” Felicity spat into the receiver of her phone.

The sound of Felicity’s voice seemed to vibrate along the eight small stalls in the ladies’ room of the airport terminal. Felicity continued to check every stall in the small space while Sara’s giggles overtook her right ear.

“Well where’s the fun in that?”

Felicity scoffed once she’d concluded that she was truly alone with all the white… Felicity took a moment to take in her surroundings. The floors beneath her new leather boots were as white as freshly fallen snow. The bathroom stalls were a bit darker, maybe eggshell she decided as her blue eyes drifted back over the row of four countertop sinks. “You’re a sadist that deserves to die,” Felicity finally breathed as she stepped toward the white and black speckled granite. She glanced into the mirror and, frowned as Sara’s voice vibrated along her spine.

“You don’t mean that and, seriously Felicity he’s not that different.”

“Ummm yes I did,” Felicity argued as she moved her free hand over the stray hairs near her forehead, “and you see him weekly. I haven’t seen him in almost ten years! He’s like a totally different, extremely hot guy who is making me regret not wearing makeup!”

Felicity pushed the speaker button on her phone then placed it beside the sink. She then turned the silver knobs for both hot and cold water. As the lukewarm water began to flow down into the large white bowl Felicity grabbed a towel from the stack in front of her and began to wet down her face. “Umm Felicity you still with me?”

Felicity pulled at the elastic in her hair, “Yes you meddler I’m trying to make myself look presentable,” Felicity screeched as she ran her damp hands through her wavy, blonde locks.

Sara’s laughter filled the room as Felicity undid the top button of her navy colored blouse. “Oh my god you’re trying to make yourself look attractive for him, aren’t you?”

Felicity pictured Sara’s face in the mirror as she glared at her own reflection. “Well I wouldn’t have to if you and, Tommy hadn’t decided to play matchmaker oh, and he’s breathtaking or has that escaped your attention?”

She heard something splatter in the background. Sara’s low, “dammit,” made her chuckle as she adjusted the lines of her shirt along her chest. “Sounds like someone’s attempting to bake after the Christmas disaster of 2015,” Felicity poked as she moved her fingers through her loose locks one more time.

“Number one shut up!” Felicity chuckled but, remained mum. “Second I needed help with Oliver so yeah I recruited my very sweet brother. Thirdly yeah, he’s hot but, he’s also not available,” Sara moaned as the sound of crashing plates filled the background.

Donna’s, “Sara I swear if you destroy my kitchen again I’ll have your father put you in one of his jail cells!” Left Felicity shaking with laughter as she giggled, “What do you mean unavailable?”  

Felicity readjusted her black leather jacket and flipped out the ends of her hair. She took another glance in the oval shaped mirror. Bad lighting aside Felicity found that her reflection surprised even her. “Oh, like you don’t know what that means…” Sara crowed as Felicity continued to inspect her reflected image.

Felicity trailed her fingers down the delicate lines of her jawbones. Her blue eyes looked wild and, almost untamed. Her skin wasn’t deathly pale like she’d imagined. Instead she found her complexion was clear. Her skin felt soft and looked like ivory against her pale pink lips. She felt her lips along her thumbs as murmured, “I really have no idea what you’re talking about Sara…”

Her blonde hair fell in perfect waves along her slender shoulders as she moved her fingers to brush a few strands away from her cheekbones. “Felicity he’s unavailable because he’s still in love with you.”

Felicity saw her small smile in the mirror when she whispered, “There’s no way that’s true.”

“Well you have over 52 miles to prove me wrong,” Sara snarked back before she ended the call leaving Felicity to ponder if her sister was right.


 

“I thought you got lost in there,” Oliver commented as Felicity approached the table she’d so hastily retreated from almost 20 minutes before.

While she was gone he’d taken the seat next to the one she’d vacated. He had also decided to help himself to one of her M&M bags. Felicity gave him a slightly curious look which made him shrug innocently. “What I figured you bought one for me.”

She shook her head slowly, “I did it's just funny that you knew that's all,” she smiled quietly.

Oliver just smiled brightly while Felicity's eyes wandered over his entire body. She began to absentmindedly chew at her bottom lip while she discovered the changes her best friend had gone through. Ten years had changed the lanky, awkward farm boy that she’d left behind. He’d always been tall and judging by the way her neck cracked when she glanced up Felicity guessed he was somewhere around 6’1 or 6’2 if he was wearing his signature cowboy boots. She glanced down at his parted feet and smirked. “I see your footwear hasn’t changed since I’ve been gone.”

Felicity’s eyes moved slowly up his well-shaped calves that were hidden by the dark, blue denim. Her breath hitched in her throat as her gaze moved up towards his hips. “And it looks like I’m not the only one whose stuck in the past,” he remarked as Felicity swallowed hard.  

“Caught that hitch did you,” she croaked.

Oliver leaned back along the uncomfortable metal chair. Felicity swallowed another audible gulp as she carefully took in the way his blue, plaid shirt moved with him. Oliver had always been handsome in her very humble opinion. He always had tanned skin with a few slightly toned muscles around his arms and core but, that wasn’t what Felicity fell for. What made Oliver attractive was the way he caressed her face when she was scared or, how he brushed the hair away from her eyes before he kissed her forehead as he bid her goodnight. Oliver’s kind heart and sweet gestures were what she’d fallen for, his looks were just the bonus. Now it appeared that Oliver’s outside appearance had finally caught up with his inner, breathtaking soul.  Oliver’s skin still glowed like wheat beneath the hot summer sun but, now those few toned muscles had grown… Felicity’s stomach began to twitch. Oliver’s smile grew by a fraction as he said, “Baby if you keep staring at me like that I’m going to start thinking about things that I shouldn’t.”

“Don’t call me baby,” she coughed as the muscles around his abdomen tightened. She nearly became a puddle on the floor when she was able to make out the many defined panes that seemed to draw out the teenage girl within her soul.

His laughter sounded like thunder after a summer storm as he chuckled, “Then stop giving me a reason to.”

Felicity’s low growl made his sapphire eyes glimmer. “You’re enjoying this aren’t you?”

Oliver tilted his head. Felicity crossed her arms over her chest and tapped the toe of her shoe along the floors beneath her feet. “Yeah just a little,” he admitted as his eyes began to twinkle.

Felicity’s heart began to thump along her chest as she drank in the way his full lips curved into a soft knowing smile. Felicity’s heart fluttered when she found the small mole that was now hidden beneath a few days of scruff. His sharp angles now looked more chiseled instead of looking sharp and, almost angular. His blue eyes had grown deeper with more color and, definition and, Felicity was beginning to see something familiar as his eyes crinkled in hidden amusement. Swallowing roughly Felicity attempted to form one coherent word. “You’re…” she took another gulp as her chest began to rise and fall quickly. “You’re just…” Felicity felt a bit dizzy as her lungs began to scream within her chest. She gulped again then exhaled, “Dammit when did you become so…” again she continued to struggle with her words as Oliver leaned forward.

“Felicity relax I’m the same guy I’ve always been,” he soothed as he placed his broad palms along his knees.

She stammered out a grateful, “Thank you,” before she took another gulp of air.

His amused, “Would you may be like to continue this conversation in the truck or would you rather continue to undress me with your eyes?” made Felicity’s cheeks flush.

“Ummmm I’d like to go for the truck option,” she gasped as she reached for the purse she’d discarded the moment she’d seen his face.

“Good,” Oliver agreed as he grabbed the handle of her suitcase. They walked side by side until they reached the double glass doors. Oliver moved forward first. Felicity slowed her steps and waited as Oliver began to open the door.

“Well this is certainly familiar,” Felicity remarked before she moved quickly through the now opened door.

Oliver’s soft, “Old habits die hard,” left her smiling as they each approached the black pickup truck with the Queen family farm logo printed in white letters along the side.

“I see you’ve updated the truck since I last saw you,” Felicity breathed once she got a closer look at the truck. When she left they had a dust colored Ford F-150 that was built in what had to be the early 90’s. This truck was brand new and, black with hints of red embedded within the paint. Felicity ran her fingers along the hood while Oliver put her suitcase in the backseat. “What year is this by the way?” she quired once he once again came into view.

Oliver’s quiet smile grew slightly when he moved to open her door. “It’s a Ford-250 and its brand new as in 2018 brand new. “

“So, I take it business has been good recently?”

Oliver shrugged like he always did when it came to business matters and gave her a simple, “It’s been good a year I guess but, as you know…”

Felicity laughed, “Yeah the business aspect of working the land has never really interested you”

“So ummm are you ready to go?”

Felicity nodded briskly as she stepped up into the cabin of the truck. Oliver shut the door once she’d begun to pull the seat belt towards it’s lock. Oliver was in the driver’s seat moments later with an almost shy smile plastered over his face.

Felicity folded her hands in her lap and, crossed her legs at her ankles. Oliver started the truck and, began to pull out. What stuck her first was the faint smell of leather and pine. Felicity glanced around the interior of the vehicle. The entire cab from the mats to the dashboard was black. Even the seats were covered in black leather with red stitching along the seams. “So….” Felicity breathed as the air around the two of them began shifting towards the awkward reunion she was completely expecting.

“It’s a nice truck,” she remarked. “It’s even got a backup camera with all the latest safety features doesn’t it?” she asked when he didn’t offer up a response.

Oliver kept his piercing gaze on the road before them as he stretched his fingers around the steering wheel. Felicity pursed her lips then let out a nervous breath before she felt her teeth pulling along her bottom lip. “Okay seriously?” she finally exhaled once they’d been silent for nearly five minutes. “You were acting all annoying and, charming back at the airport but, what put us in a confined space with no people and…”

Felicity fell quiet when she answered her own question.

“I told Tommy you wouldn't fall for that act,” Oliver mumbled.

“I knew that wasn't you,” Felicity mumbled back. “My Oliver wouldn't be that cocky,” she added before she could stop herself.

“Well your Oliver has been through a lot in the past decade,” he asserted with veiled anger. His shoulders tightened before he fell deadly silent.

Felicity nodded in stubborn silence before her mouth once again got the best of her. Before she knew it, she was waving her hands around her face while she mockingly chanted, “Yeah because everything is my fault. Hell, I’m the one that made you decide to ignore all my calls and even the letter I sent you a few weeks after I went to New York, right?”

The truck shifted as Oliver merged onto the freeway. Felicity saw the sun beginning to dip as the cabin around her began to grow cold and dark. “I think I should have just kept us in the airport,” Oliver groaned as the road before them stretched out like a never-ending prison sentence.

“Yeah because there you were Tommy Jr. and had the upper hand,” Felicity mused before she felt her body beginning to relax along the back of the passenger seat.

Her words must have stuck a cord because seconds later Felicity saw Oliver's shoulders beginning to relax. “Yeah that was a good half an hour for me wasn’t it?”

Felicity laughed despite herself, “Yeah that was just amazing for me as you can imagine,” she replied once her laughter began to subside.

“So how about I'll be your Oliver and you can be my Felicity?” he offered once the air around them began to slightly warm.

Felicity nodded before she let out a soft, “I think I would like that.”

Oliver’s head fell back along the driver’s seat headrest as he sighed, “So to actually answer your question business has been good. Dad has acquired two more farms so if you add your family’s land and our own he’s running four farms under one name.”

Felicity shifted in her seat until she could rest her temple along the headrest while she kept her quizzical eyes on his striking profile. “So how does that work?” she asked once she was in a comfortable position.

Oliver’s eye glinted with frustration. “Oh, it doesn’t work at least not in my opinion. He’s focused on the cattle and, well since I’m no longer around to handle the business aspects he’s had to rely on a third party to do all the book work that comes when you’re running four different farms.”

Felicity’s brow narrowed in confusion as she said, “Whoa wait a minute you left? As in you left, left? Like you left the state kind of left?”

She saw Oliver’s knuckles beginning to go white as he pursed his lips. “I was hoping we’d be a bit closer to home before we had this conversation,” he mumbled as Felicity began to pry.

“Well we’re not and, I’m curious so….”

“So…” he sighed as his entire chest deflated. “After you left I decided to take the scholarship offer from Yale.”

Felicity’s ears perked up as did her posture when she heard the words scholarship and Yale. “Yale? You don’t talk to me for ten damn years because I wanted to spread my wings and you were just a train ride away in New Haven, Connecticut?” she squeaked in a very unflattering tone.

Oliver gave her a sideways glance then chuckled, “Ummm babe could you not squeak at quite that decibel level?”

“Yeah but, you have to admit that’s quite the admission,” she insisted as she attempted to moderate her voice.

His head tilt indicated that he agreed. “Yeah you should have seen my mother’s face when I called her from the plane.”

“Oh, Oliver you didn’t,” Felicity almost begged as Oliver’s head fell to his chest.

“She would have freaked out Fel, she would have chained me to the damn truck until I relented and agreed to stay,” he argued with a tinge of regret in his voice. “So, I made the call and, well let’s just say it was a painful chat.”  

“When did she finally calm down?” Felicity sighed as she shifted her temple along the back of the seat.

“When I came home with a bachelor's in wildlife biology with a minor in business from an Ivy League college,” he offered with amusement littering his voice.

“So ummm why aren’t you working on the business aspects for your father if you have the fancy degree?”

Oliver chuckled at her curious nature before he answered. “I wanted to expand the scope of what we did as a family business. However, while I was at Yale I discovered that I could still be a part of the land without having to be a ranch hand.”

Felicity felt like she was on pins and needles as she playfully smacked Oliver’s shoulder. He pretended it hurt as she giggled, “Oh come on you can’t leave me in suspense!”

Oliver’s laughter filled her heart with joy as he replied, “One of my professor’s had contacts with the EPA and one thing led to another and…”

Felicity nearly squealed with unchained pride, “Oh bean are you telling me that you’re working with the EPA to help with the conservation of the Bitterroot and Sapphire mountains?”

With a shy head tilt Oliver let his admission flow. “I’m termed as a nature and wildlife conservation expert that finds ways to protect our national parks and preserves.”

Felicity nearly told him to pull the car over but, opted instead to lightly grip his shoulder in pride. “OJ I’m so proud of you!” she beamed with a smile that she hadn’t used since she was eighteen.

Felicity rubbed his shoulder gently while he kept his bright eyes on the road. “Not to erase that smile but since I've opened Pandora's box do you want to talk about how close we were?”

Felicity dropped her fingers to Oliver's elbow then sighed, “So you were a train ride away huh?”

“Yeah and how did you never find out?”

Felicity mulled over the answer before she muttered, “Because I couldn't bring myself to even utter your name for almost three years. I couldn't imagine you with someone nor could I imagine you being unhappy so…”

“Ignorance was bliss?” He suggested as Felicity silently agreed.

“Yeah but, moving past that why didn't you ever take the plunge or the train as it were?”

Oliver shrugged but, dodged the question with a light sounding, “Believe it or not once I got over what happened that night I realized why you really left.”

Felicity felt the small pieces of her heart beginning to spark back to life. “Was that before or after you read my letter?”

Oliver's lips fell into a small frown when he let out a tight sounding, “It was your letter that pushed me into making a choice that impacted my life for the better.”  

“Why does that sound like a bad thing?”

Oliver took her question and attempted to give Felicity an answer that she would hopefully understand. “Felicity when you left I thought you were saying I wasn't enough. I thought you were saying that this life wasn't enough and, it hurt.”

“Oliver you were always enough but, I was 18 and I wanted to experience things that I'd only ever read about in books.” Felicity mumbled softly.

“Yeah, I realized that while I was reading your letter in my dorm room.”

“So, if you understood then why didn't you return even one of my calls? Why didn't you come and visit me? Hell, why didn't I? “she muttered under her breath when she once again realized she'd chosen to seal off the part of herself that loved and needed him.

Felicity dropped her fingers to his knee. He gave her a sideways glance as she softly said, “If I could do it all over again I would still leave but, not without forcing you to come with me. I would have pushed you towards Yale while I stayed in New York. I just didn't know how to grow as person while I was still so connected to my past.”

Oliver dropped a hand from the steering wheel. Felicity's skin burned with a denied hunger the moment she felt his touch upon her skin. He gently grazed his thumb over her knuckles. Felicity savored the moment by closing her eyes. “It was about a year after you left…”

Felicity's eyes began to flood with tears when she realized what he was about to say. “You came to New York, didn't you?”

He laced their fingers but, kept his eyes on the road. “You'd become a blonde by then. It was late maybe 1:30 in the morning and, you were wearing a silk dress.”

Felicity opened her eyes as she spoke, “I was coming home from a party with a guy whose name I've completely forgotten.”

“And that's when I knew,” he breathed. “That's when I realized what you'd been searching for.”

Felicity whispered out a delicate, “and what was I searching for?”

She felt the pressure along her fingers increase as he exhaled and then sighed, “You weren't looking for a different life. You were debating if you’d chosen the right one.’  

“I forgot how well you knew me,” she laughed sadly.

“Well it's my gift or have you forgotten how I saved you from every pimple faced boy in school?”

Felicity smiled at the memory but, knew they were far from healed since Oliver was still refusing to truly look at her. In the airport he'd been careful to avoid even grazing her skin and, she was the one that had to initiate the first touch in almost ten years. She’d spent plenty of time examining him but, he was being oddly shy about looking or even touching her. Felicity couldn’t pinpoint the reason until she felt “his” promise ring bouncing back and forth along her chest. It was a slow punch to the gut but, the pain from the jab was soon felt throughout her entire core. So, with steel in her veins she took the path that she was hoping to avoid.  “Are you going to ask or are you simply going to avoid anything beyond a simple touch of my hand?” she wondered aloud while the space around them once again began to grow cold.

Oliver kept his fingers laced with her own. Yet his eyes remained fixated on the empty road ahead. The way his voice trembled told her she'd hit the right nerve. “Why do you still wear the promise ring around your neck?”

Felicity slumped in her seat but, she'd pushed for the question, so she had to give him an answer. “Why do you think?” she sighed as they each kept their hands locked.

“Felicity, just say it,” he urged with nothing but exhaustion in his voice.

“Okay then I will,” she agreed as she too kept her eyes on the road. “I wear the ring because I belong with the person who gave it to me.”

She felt his fingers squeezing along her own as her heart rate finally began to slow. “Are we really going to do this,” Oliver asked as the light around them finally died out.

Felicity grumbled lowly, “Yeah baby we are…”


 

The conversation started off slow as in the melting of a glacier slow. The idea was for each of them to air their dirty laundry so the other knew exactly what obstacles they were about to face. 
Felicity wanting to build up some good will started small with questions about his family and, how they’d been over the past ten years. Oliver hated to talk about himself much less his family but, they’d agreed to being open and honest, so he was obligated to reply.

When they’d met as children Oliver was the only child of Robert and Moira Queen. Robert was born to the land. His heart and soul were owned by the very dirt and, Earth that gave him not only work but, life. His wife Moira wasn’t in the same boat. She moved to Hamilton when she was almost 19 years old. Her father was a bio-pathogens expert. He theorized that nature would provide the cure for anything that ranged from curing cancer to ending the common cold. Moira thought they’d be there for a year maybe two at best. She never expected to fall for the ranch hand who offered to take her father up into the mountains, so he could procure testing samples. Robert and Moira were married a year after they met and Oliver, was born about five years after that. By then Robert had the largest cattle ranch in the state and, Moira was attempting to run for Mayor. Oliver was born into a family that most considered to be Hamilton royalty. So, it wasn’t a surprise to hear that Robert had decided to branch out.

Knowing how Robert was Felicity had decided to ask about Moria. Their relationship had always been a strained one to say the least.  Moria wanted Oliver to be worldly but, not if it meant leaving the state. Oliver as a boy belonged to the land. He was beholden to it much like his father and, of course that was a bond that Moria could never understand. “So how is Mayor Queen these days?” Felicity asked as she shot a glance towards their still joined hands. 

Oliver’s tight, “She’s Moira Queen.” made Felicity chuckle.

“Still not seeing eye to eye, are we?” she poked as a few drops of rain began to splatter along the windshield.

“You could say that,” Oliver offered but, his tone made Felicity push for more.

“Oh no you don’t Bean, you’re hiding something from me and, if it’s pissed of Moira then it has to be something monumental.”

Oliver’s tone dropped until Felicity swore his vocal cords were in his feet, “Don’t overreact…” he begged as Felicity’s spine began to tingle.

“Okay,” she agreed knowing full well she’d never keep her word.

“Well she and I aren’t exactly on speaking terms since I brokeoffmyengagement…”

Felicity’s blood ran cold. “Your what now?”

She could feel Oliver’s fingers slipping away from the webbing of her own. The air between them went from hot, to cold, to charged with the heat of a volcano as he mumbled, “My engagement, I was engaged to McKenna…”

At that Felicity saw red. “You can’t be serious…” she deadpanned as she slowly began to withdraw her hand from his knee.

Oliver spat back, “Right because you’ve been celibate for ten years!”

“Oh, we’re not going there,” Felicity asserted as she brought her arms across her chest.

“Oh no you don’t,” Oliver fired back. “We agreed to be open and honest Felicity that was the deal.”

Felicity glared, “That was before I found out that you were engaged to McKenna the high school cheerleader who was my high school nightmare!”

Oliver fired back loudly, “Felicity for the last time you left me and, do you see a wedding ring?”

Felicity gave him an angry sideways glare. He huffed as he gave her his own. “For the last time I didn't leave you I went to college!

“Yeah right after we had sex, or have you forgotten that part?” Oliver inquired almost darkly

And that was the breaking point. Felicity saw red as her voice began to spill over them both in rage. “You know what I don't know how to say I'm sorry anymore okay? I was 18 and scared by what I felt for you. I woke up one morning with a future that included college and a career and, then I fell for you, do you understand that I fell so in love with you that I couldn't see that future anymore.”

“You could have told me,” he argued instantly. “I was scared too but, I didn't run away,” he asserted.

At that Felicity raised her hands and screamed until her throat ached. “I MESSED UP OKAY! I messed up because I was scared that I wouldn't have a choice. My entire life was being planned without my consent and I wanted to take it back. I wanted to take my life back, so I did and, I was dumb enough to think that you, Oliver would understand that I wasn't running from you I was running from everyone else.”

Felicity then shrugged in defeat as she let her hands fall over her lap. Her voice sounded lost when she let out her last confession. “You know what's sad?”

Oliver's voice echoed through the marrow of her bones. “That I keep saying I understand when I so clearly don't?”

She half laughed when she replied, “The only reason I haven't been in a long-term relationship is because I’m still completely in love with you.”

“Felicity,” Oliver tried to interject but Felicity simply raised her hand and he fell silent.

“No, “She breathed “You wanted to know why I came back right?”

His voice sounded broken when he mumbled, “More than anything.”

“I didn’t come back to Hamilton just because I missed my family and the land that seems to change depending on my moods,” she spat sadly. “I stupidly came back thinking I could be with you.” She felt herself laughing at her own girlish fantasy then added, “Dammit Oliver I came back for you!  She finally yelled as the fire in her belly began to grow

For a moment they both just sat there panting heavily as the rain continued to lightly fall. She felt stupid and, Oliver looked bewildered as they both yelled, “WHY DIDN'T YOU TELL ME!” That then led to another bout of silence that led to the move that surprised them both.  Oliver suddenly veered off the highway. Felicity was about to scream at him when he growled almost darkly, “Trust me.”

“Fine,” was the only curt reply she gave him as he moved them off the road beneath a nearby overpass. The rain had begun to subside but, the thunder rolling through the air indicated another cell was approaching. Felicity was about to launch into another tirade when the lightning interrupted her. She was suddenly left winded and, searching for words when Oliver's lips were spontaneously hovering over hers. He quickly moved his palms roughly along her hips as the fabric of his shirt brushed along the fabric of her blouse. She was caged between the passenger door and his arms and, all she wanted was his lips against hers.

The electricity from the sky flew through her veins like water as the light removed the darkness that had allowed Oliver’s emotions to remain unseen. Felicity shook as the lines of his face came into view. Her pulse raced as her heart pounded. Her chest rose and fell rapidly as the air between them shifted. A drop of rain slid off the overpass and onto the hood of the truck. The thunder roared and, the wind wailed as Felicity gently reached up to cup Oliver’s face. His scruff brushed over her palms gently as she moved her fingers along the edges of his cheek bones. She felt him lean into her touch as she tilted her head and, slowly licked her lips. Oliver brushed his bottom lip along her tongue which caused her to gasp. His eyes fell shut as he exhaled. Her heart thumped loudly until she thought it might burst. His voice sounded like the very storms she seemed to create once he said...

“Why didn't you say all that in the damn letter?”

Felicity moved the pads of her thumbs along his trembling bottom lip. Their noses bumped as their foreheads brushed. His soft breaths fell along the lines of her skin when he repeated, “Dammit Felicity why didn't you just tell me that night what was really bothering you?”

She rubbed her fingers along his upper cheeks. She couldn’t see his eyes, but she could feel the storm within him growing as she remained silent. The wind crashed through the trees like Oliver had once again crashed through her heart. She felt her touch along his skin weaken as she struggled to find the words. She felt her fingers trembling as she rasped, “I was afraid of you not understanding…”

Oliver’s entire body shook as his voice coiled around her like a snake before it launches at its prey. “Don’t lie to me,” he demanded. “Don’t act like I'm everyone else,” he rasped harshly as she swallowed a shallow cry.

She shook her head in foolish pride. “Why not? You pushed me away when you refused to return even one call.”

“And that's when I messed up but, I'm here and I'm still in love with you,” he admitted carefully against her parted lips.

Felicity felt her pulse in her ears as she whispered against his touch, “You almost married someone else.”

Oliver’s eyes flew open. Felicity felt his mouth teasing her own. The blue in his eyes was like the churning sea during a hurricane. She could almost see the waves moving along his irises as his lips moved across her skin. “But I didn't because whenever I was with her I wanted to be with you.” Oliver teased her further by kissing her gently between each admission. “I wanted to kiss you,” Felicity shivered as he kissed her again. “I wanted to hold you.”

Felicity began to beg “Oliver please don’t do this to me…”

He chastely kissed her bottom lip “I wanted to…”

“If you say have sex, I might actually implode,” Felicity mumbled as her stomach burned.

Oliver chucked against her smile. “Well the thought has crossed my mind.”

Felicity bumped her nose against his. “I take it your engagement was short?”

Oliver's chest rattled her own with his low, “All of two drunken days almost seven years ago…”

Her exhale was a low, dark, sensual scream as Oliver moved his fingers along the curve of her waist. “You should have started with that minor detail,” she moaned as his fingers moved along the outer aspect of her hip.

He chuckled darkly, “What if I was looking for a reaction?” he asked as Felicity’s skin began to dampen with unspoken arousal.

Felicity snickered coyly as she traced her tongue along his upper lip. “Well you got one so what reaction are you looking for now?

“Well I'd prefer a bit more space but…”  Oliver's chest was rising and falling rapidly as he spoke. His pulse raced along her skin like water as it fell from the sky. She brought her fingers down to his chin then tilted his head upward until she was able to softly place her hot mouth along his racing pulse. “Are you telling me you want to have sex right here and right now?” She teased as her tongue danced along his flesh.

His frantic heart raced as a muffled sounding, “God yes,” escaped his lips.

Felicity without thinking moved her fingers down to his shirt collar. Oliver's Adams apple bobbed along her lips as she whispered, “Then let's see what ten years has taught you…” Seconds later Felicity was undoing the buttons of his shirt while he was skillfully striping off her coat.

Chapter Text

 

 

Past, Present and, Future 

 

 

It was now a little past 7. The skyline had gone dark. The mountains that framed the doorway we're once again immovable structures of Earth and stone. Sara glanced down at her phone as she giggled wildly. “I knew it! I knew she wouldn't be to keep her hands off him!”

Donna moved in the background. Sara shot her mother a questioning look. The slender, 5’4 woman whose hair was still unnaturally blonde smiled sadly. “They could be fighting sweetie.” she breathed slowly. “They could be sitting in silence or even just sitting in traffic. We don't know what's caused the delay,” she finished quietly while she tapped fingers along her forearm.

Sara pushed herself away from the window ledge. She moved around the kitchen island until she was able to place a soothing hand along her mother's shoulder. Donna placed her temple along Sara's knuckles and sighed, “I really hope we did the right thing,”

Sara laughed gently, “Mom I'm telling you our precious Felicity is having car sex as we speak.”

Donna scoffed uncomfortably, “Oh she's not that kind of girl!” Sara raised her brows when Donna added, “We both are but, she's not the type.”

Sara squeezed her mother's shoulder and replied softly, “Oh please they've done it before.” Donna gave her daughter a horrified look. Sara groaned while she smacked herself mentally once for the words that had left her mouth.  

“Felicity and Oliver didn't have that type of relationship,” Donna asserted almost angrily.

Sara balked at the expression with in her mother's eyes. “Well they didn't always that would be accurate yes…” she rambled in hopes of keeping at least one member of her family on her side when Felicity came to kill her.

Donna's eyes almost glowed with shock, “Not before she left?”

Sara simply nodded slowly as she bit her bottom lip.

“But they were only together that one time?” Donna asked with a hint of pleading in her voice.

Sara suddenly prayed for the hordes of blood sniffing dogs. Her hand slid down to Donna's elbow before she let out a tight lipped, “Yeah that I think was the first time in an actual bed. “

Donna’s lips went pale. “What do you mean in a bed?” Sara felt herself burying her way to China Donna’s face fell.

Sara's brows knotted in sorrow and a smidge of guilt when she mumbled “She used protection?” after that the room went silent.

Donna didn't pace, hell Donna didn't move as she stood there and pieced the entire equation together. “So, all the trips they took for Oliver's father were…”

Sara felt the cool marble of the countertop as her forehead fell at her mother's conclusion. “Yeah mom, that was a cover,” she mumbled shamefully. “Why do you think I suggested this plan?” She added without ever lifting her head. “I knew if they were trapped together in that damn truck one thing would lead to another…”

Donna's lips began to curve while Sara kept her forehead along the counter. “So, by the time she gets here….” Donna nearly beamed, “That means…”

“They should be back together yes,” Sara grumbled as she slowly lifted her head. “I would also assume that Felicity will be opting to stay with Oliver since the inn as we call it is full until next week.”

Donna smiled almost cunningly. Sara's brow shifted as a look of wonder crossed her face. “What's that smile for?”

Donna patted Sara's arm gently as she said, “How would you feel about meddling just one more time?”

Sara cocked her eyebrow as she chuckled, “Are you thinking about a proposal perhaps?”

“I think you read my mind,” Donna laughed as she grabbed her car keys and headed towards the front door.


 

Some moments become memories before they've even begun and, some take you by surprise and become memorable while they're happening. For Felicity this was a moment that had become a memory the second she began to unbutton Oliver's shirt.

They were stretched out...well they were cuddling together in the backseat of Oliver's truck. They’d started in the passenger seat and, for some odd reason that wasn't enough to satisfy either one of them. Their first encounter was hard, fast and, almost clumsy. Felicity had managed to unbutton Oliver's shirt. He'd managed to get to her bra before they both began to grow anxious. While they were trying to strip the other they crudely switched places. Felicity could already feel the bruises along her bottom from where the seat belt buckle had been during the switch. She'd unzipped Oliver's fly while he quickly undid her jeans. Felicity managed to push the offending fabric to her knees while Oliver's fingers nearly shredded her underwear. Seconds later she felt him surging beneath her until she felt him moving within her.

The second time wasn't any more comfortable, but the pace was a bit slower. They were no longer two horny teenagers at a drive-in movie. Now they wanted to tease and test the other. The back seat allowed Felicity to stretch her fingers out along Oliver's abdomen as he roughly moved beneath her. Oliver in turn undid her bra and began to explore the curvature of her breasts until his thumbs we're moving along her nipples rapidly. Felicity felt the newly harnessed strength of Oliver's body pushing along her core until the heat in her belly began to swim throughout her limbs. She used her fingers to move along every inch of his chest until she could feel every change she'd missed.

Felicity felt limp as she fell atop his chest in completely satisfied exhaustion. “Well you certainly don’t disappoint, do you?” she panted once her heart wasn't slamming roughly against her chest

Oliver's rough, “Well you were kind enough to oblige my request…” left Felicity making a mental note to send God a fruit basket for this experience alone.

Now they were snuggled along the backseat of his truck. Oliver had managed to shrug off his pants before they'd gone for round two. Felicity was smiling as she ran her toes up and down the length of Oliver's calf while he softly trailed his fingers along the back of her spine. She was lying beside him with her temple along his chest. She was lazily moving her fingers along the panes of his lower abdomen when Oliver let out an amusing shout.

“I still can't believe we just did that!” he panted rapidly while Felicity giggled against his chest.

“Well believe it cowboy. Just be thankful I'm on the pill,” she laughed as she nudged her nose along the underside of his jaw.

Oliver's fingers slid over her lower back while he whispered against her forehead, “So was it better than you remembered?”

Felicity kissed the edge of his collarbone and murmured, “What did my screams tell you?”

Oliver chuckled, “That I've been forgiven for McKenna?”

Felicity swatted at his chest playfully but agreed quickly. “Yes but, I'm guessing my father won't be so forgiving if some highway patrol officer finds his naked daughter with her equally naked boyfriend.”

“Boyfriend?” Oliver asked with laughter brimming in his chest. “I'm thinking I might be more than that…”

Felicity's cheek buzzed as Oliver's skin rippled in amusement beneath her. She smiled at his confidence as she pinched his stomach. “Promise ring or not, I'm not calling you my fiancé unless you get down on your damn knee and, ask.”

“Speaking of asking, what are you telling your family about us?”

Felicity kissed his collarbone once more as she replied, “We reconnected and, we're rebuilding our relationship why?”

“So….”

Felicity giggled, “So if I tell them that we're rebuilding our bond that means…

Oliver's chest rattled her skin once more when he said, “We'll have plenty of alone time?”

Felicity jabbed her heel in his calf before she grazed her teeth along the delicate skin of his pulse point. “Relax Oliver we’ll be having plenty of sex,” she soothed as he pecked her forehead.

“Have I mentioned I love you?” he asked playfully.

Felicity smiled before she curled into his side, “Yeah I think you screamed it maybe once or twice.”

“Good,” he whispered as Felicity began to move away.

She felt Oliver's fingers drifting along her back as she searched for her discarded clothes. She was pushing her bra back into place when she said, “Hey quick question…”

Oliver tossed her shirt at her as he moved for his pants. “Okay?” He replied a bit nervously.

Felicity glanced over her shoulder as she patted his still bare knee. “Relax baby, we just made love…”

Oliver smiled slowly, “So it wasn't just sex then?”

Felicity ginned shyly, “It's just a word but, it doesn’t describe what I felt in any way.”

Oliver's brisk, “Good,” pushed her back to towards her original question. “But back to my question…”

Oliver snickered as he replied, “Does it have to do with housing?”

Felicity blushed but gave him a shy, “I've spent ten years away from you, and I don't intend to spend another night without you.”

Oliver rubbed his palm along her spine. Felicity arched towards his touch as he whispered along her shoulder, “I have house about four miles down the road from yours.”

Felicity's chin dipped toward her chest once a whispered, “Good,” left her smiling mouth.


 

“Okay so what's the plan?”

Donna glanced towards Sara’s face. The way her brow crinkled, and her nose twitched when she was nervous about a plan reminded Donna of how Felicity acted whenever she too was trying to conceal the truth. Donna tapped her fingers along the steering wheel of her SUV. The road before them bumped beneath the tires, the winds had died down, so you can almost hear a pin drop. “I’ll tell you the plan if you tell me what’s bothering you,” Donna offered softly. She might not be Sara’s biological mother but, she loved her as if she were.

Sara glanced out the window as she spoke. Her lively eyes fell over the hidden landscape while her thoughts danced through her head. Donna almost became worried by the silence of the daughter beside her but, her fears were put to rest when Sara’s exhaled concerns came flooding through the car. “What if she runs away again?”

Donna shifted her gaze from the road for a mere moment to glance at Sara’s worried face. Her lips were pursed into a thin line, her forehead was knit into a thousand lines as she twisted her fingers along her lap. “You’re afraid that by pushing her like we did when she was child she’ll do exactly the same thing she did back then,” Donna surmised rather quickly as Oliver’s quaint home began to become visible through the darkness that surrounded the open land.

Sara’s mumbled, “Yeah that about sums it up,” was nearly lost along Oliver’s gravel laden drive.

Donna tossed her head to the side as she tangled her fingers through her blonde locks. She leaned her temple against her palm as Sara shifted her gaze from the windows and, towards her mother’s calm face. Donna felt Sara’s eyes asking the question she hadn’t dared to voice. “It’s different this time because they are,” Donna breathed once the gravel beneath the tires began to soften into compacted dirt.

“Mom if they actually had sex in the truck they can’t be that different,” Sara concluded the moment Oliver’s front porch could be seen without the aid of his porch lights.

Donna suppressed a chuckle as her lips curved into a soft if not knowing smile. “Sara have you ever been in love before?”

Sara stared at her as she maneuvered the car into the small driveway near the detached garage. Her voice dropped a bit when she slowly admitted, “No, I haven’t been that lucky.”

Donna shifted the car into park. She then finally allowed herself to look at one of her younger daughters. Sara was a bit shorter than Felicity with long strawberry blonde hair and, a small but still formidable form. When Felicity left Sara became her parent’s only child. She’d remained in Hamilton to help with the inn but, to also find what made her happy. Sara unlike her sister’s never yearned for life beyond the mountains she spent her life growing up around. She instead yearned to be one with the land the way that Felicity always had been. Her soft features were hidden by sarcasm and a mouth that a sailor would envy. She was beautiful, kind, strong and, brilliant but, she kept her heart under lock and key. Sara crinkled her brow. “Mom you’ve been silent for like three minutes would you care to share with the class?” she asked as Donna’s soft laughter filled her stomach with butterflies.

“Sorry sweetheart but, you don’t really understand why she ran to begin with,” Donna began to explain before Sara’s brows narrowed once more.

“Ummmm mom why would she run from love?”

Donna shifted in her car seat. Her smile shifted as she began to say, “Everyone assumed that once Oliver and Felicity graduated from high school that they’d move onto the next step,” Donna laughed begrudgingly at her own behavior as she muttered, “Hell I had their china patterns picked out along with the date, and time but, I forgot to ask a very important question,” she mused as Sara placed a timid hand over her knee.

“You forgot to ask if that’s she wanted and, then if that’s what Oliver wanted as well,” Sara realized quickly.

Donna nodded sadly, “Felicity didn’t run away from Oliver baby, she ran away from a life that she hadn’t chosen yet. She ran to give them both the space and, the freedom to grow before they decided to be together forever.”

Sara mumbled almost sadly, “Felicity never intended for them to be separated, forever did she?”

“No but, when Oliver reacted the way he did Felicity must have decided that they’re weren’t as in love as she’d thought and closed the book on their story; well that is until…”

Sara’s smile began to grow until her words could no longer be contained, “Until we decided to put her in a car with the one person she never intended to lose.”

Donna nodded agreeably, “Love like theirs doesn’t die Sara. It’s rare and, often mistaken for puppy love but, I knew it wasn’t over when Oliver ended his engagement and, Felicity kept breaking up with any man who’d managed to get past her walls in a matter of three months. Well that and she still wears that damn promise ring around her neck,” Donna added almost as an afterthought when she finally pulled the keys from the ignition and began to open her car door.

The two stepped onto the darkened pavement. “So, your plan is to what create a romantic setting for Oliver to pop the question?” Sara guessed as the two began to move towards the house.

Donna nodded as she zipped up her coat. “Exactly. I figure we give him a few candles, some flowers and maybe some twinkle lights and, he’ll take the opportunity to well set things right.”

“And when she calls to tell us she’s running late you’re going to what tell her no you have to stay with Oliver for the night?”

Donna chuckled, “Oh honey if you’re right about the “truck sex” then she’ll either sneak out to get to him or she herself will suggest that she just stay with Oliver until the inn isn’t booked.”

Sara let out an elated, “So when we tell her that we had to rent out her room at the last minute,”

“I’m guessing she won’t be crestfallen when we suggest she should stay with Oliver,” Donna agreed as they both admired the house before them.

Oliver’s home was an old farmhouse that he’d spent three years converting into a livable home after he’d come home from college. When he’d bought the land from his father the house was falling apart. The once white paint had been worn down by years of dust, rain and, the often-harsh mountain air. The shingles on the roof were turning into crumpled bits of dust and concrete. The windows were completely blown out and, that was just the outside appearance. The floors were covered with mold, vines and, every type of vermin that often prowled through the farm fields in search of water and food. Now the home was a treasure if not a feat of what a broken heart and, hard work could accomplish when given the right motivation.

Now the home was suitable for a young family and, if Donna had her way that family would be Felicity’s. The two moved along the path of oddly shaped stones. As the main house came into view the two were able to see the freshly painted white siding that seemed to shine like a spotlight beneath the five porch lights that were contained with the massive wrap around porch. The porch like the home was also painted white. The railing went around the entire structure of the house. If they’d come during the day, they would have gone in through the screened in back deck since Oliver rarely remembered to lock the back door. He’d been busy lately with planting since the red front door was flanked by hanging ferns on both sides. The flower beds were hidden by the night sky but, Donna knew they held flowers of almost every variety.

The two walked up the three front steps and past the hanging porch seat near the far-right end. He had a throw pillow at one end indicating he’d most likely woken up there this morning. The two women shook their hands as Donna searched for the key. They like Oliver had keys to the other’s home in case of a weather-related emergency or in some cases a week-long power outage. Living within the beauty of nature did come some downsides. Donna pushed her key through lock, once the deadbolt slid open the two women pushed opened the front door and switched on the light next to the small table in the entry way.

Sara glanced about the room as Donna began moving towards the kitchen. The stairs for the second floor were located mere feet from the front door. The space was open with gray hardwood floors throughout the entire first level. To the right was a formal living room which Oliver had converted into an office with not one but two rather large desks. Each had a stack of supplies that ranged from pens to computer screens. The space could be closed off if one bothered to shut the double French doors. To the left was the family room that empties out into the completely reinvented kitchen. Donna caught Sara’s eyes moving along the off-white walls and the modern touches as her fingers drifted along the black leather furniture.

“He certainly picked things that Felicity would find acceptable didn’t he,” Donna commented from behind the gray, marbled granite countertop of the kitchen island that held the sink and the dishwasher.

Sara nodded in shock, “He really missed nothing did he?”

Donna laughed slightly, “Yeah no kidding…”

The two marveled at the stainless-steel appliances that were placed within the endless white cabinets. There was a small nook off to one side with a bench built underneath the curved windows. Another table was near the back wall. Donna moved towards it when she saw a stack of papers and a pen. “Hey honey, I think Oliver might have a plan of his own…” she called out once her fingers were drifting along the various papers.

Sara moved past the nook as then placed her hands in her coat pockets. “How so?” she asked once she was at her mother’s shoulder.

Before them was a deed, a handwritten letter and, a set of blueprints.

“Houston, I think we have a proposal,” Sara breathed just as Donna whispered,

“Eureka…”


 

“So, we’re about 20 miles out…” Oliver mentioned as the small sign came into sight.

Felicity mumbled, “Yeah and I’m still not sure how I’m going to avoid telling Sara her stupid plan completely worked.

Oliver rattled off a soft, “What you don’t want to give a blow by blow of the how, when, and where?”

Felicity rolled her eyes in annoyance, “Not funny and, knowing that blabber mouth she’s most likely already told my mother the truth about our “errands” for your father when we were dating as kids.”

Oliver’s cheeks even flushed at that thought. “Oh god your mother might kill me when she realizes that I took her daughter’s virginity in the back of my dad’s old pickup truck.”

Felicity smirked at his gulped confession before she added, “Oh relax Bean she’s most likely thrilled that our last night together wasn’t our first time.”

Oliver gulped again, “Yeah but, your first time wasn’t special. It was some quickie in a truck underneath an overpass because we couldn’t find a better place to be alone.”

Felicity rubbed her fingers along his forearm as her reassuring, “It was perfect because I was with you,” drifted along his skin.

Oliver smiled then whispered, “You make loving you way too easy.”

Felicity grinned like an idiot when she replied, “Yeah well loving you isn’t exactly hard either.”

Oliver smiled but, their sweet moment was short lived. Another sign for Hamilton came into view. Felicity’s heart began to race as she moved her fingers down to Oliver’s wrist. His own heart had begun to race as he breathed, “Okay but seriously what are we going to do? I really want to spend the night with you but, I can’t imagine your parents are going to be okay with us making love in your childhood bed.”

Felicity glanced at her phone nervously. “Well I certainly can’t say hey so uhm we had sex in the truck on the way here and, well I’d rather stay with my boyfriend at least for a few nights before I stay in my own home now can?”

Oliver rolled his eyes but chuckled softly, “Oh I’ll put the truck to shame once I get you in my bed…”

Felicity shot him a sultry look and sighed, “Oh trust me I've already begun to daydream…”

Another sign for Hamilton came into view. Felicity's stomach swarmed with endless butterflies as the landscape around them began to improve. Signs of life were becoming more evident along the once barren highway.

She felt Oliver’s skin beginning to jump beneath her touch as his voice rattled out a worried, “Seriously babe what the hell are you going to say?”

Felicity sighed, “I have an idea but, I’m sure they would like it.”

Oliver’s eyes drifted towards her face. Felicity shrugged then mumbled, “I can call and say we got a bit delayed…” Oliver’s eyes rose with veiled amusement. Felicity shook her head then rolled her eyes as she continued. “I know that the inn’s booked until next week, so I can suggest that instead of waking a house full of guests perhaps it would be better if I stayed with you for the night.”

“Won’t they wonder why I offered my spare room to after ten years of not speaking?” Oliver offered as the 10-mile sign came into view.

Felicity patted his wrist like his question was absurd. “Oh, please they’ll practically cheer because if you’re offering then we’ve most likely made up,” she explained very matter of factly.

Oliver smiled because he knew it was true. “So, what should I tell the other one?” Oliver breathed through his striking smile.

Felicity rattled off a tepid, “Oh I’ll deal with him as well,” before she moved the hand she had on Oliver’s wrist back towards her lap. She then fished her phone out of her purse. She pressed Sara’s name and, felt Oliver’s nerves rise as she pressed the phone to her ear. Seconds later the bright “Oh well look who’s running late,” filled the truck’s cab.

Felicity rolled her eyes but smiled despite herself. “And hello to you too,” Felicity muttered quickly while even Oliver smirked. Felicity’s eyes shot towards him. He shrugged while his lips moved into a tight smile.

Felicity mouthed, “you're going to pay for this…” Sara however distracted her from Oliver's response. “Yeah, yeah, we'll catch up later but, right now you're late and because of it we've run into a problem.”

Felicity felt something rising through her stomach. “Oh really,” she asked carefully with pins pricking at her skin. Oliver caught the change in her tone. She felt his fingers moving along her knee. She glanced at his furrowed brows and mouthed, “she's up to something.”

Oliver nodded as Sara said, “Well you do know that our house is also a B&B, right?”

“Cut the crap Sara I haven't been gone that long, and seriously! I was 12 when the business started!” Felicity noted with more annoyance than malice.

Sara's soft, “Fine. We had to give a very sweet elderly couple your room for the night,” caused Felicity to smile.

She cracked her neck when she tilted her head towards the window. “And let me guess you feel that I should what ask to stay with Oliver perhaps?” she nearly sang as Oliver chuckled beside her.

Felicity felt his long fingers stretching out along her knee cap as Sara's almost victorious sounding, “Well that sounds like an amazing idea!” left Felicity feeling like she too should hatch a plan to get back at her family for meddling.

“Well if he agrees should I still head for the house or just wait until morning?”

Sara remained silent for a moment. Felicity laced her fingers over Oliver's as they approached Main St. He tugged at her knee. Felicity moved her eyes towards his soft eyes as he mouthed, “You're scheming, aren't you?”

Felicity nodded slowly once Sara’s giddy, “Just head for his place and we'll see you in the morning,” hit her waiting ears.

Felicity let out a quick, “Okay then,” before she hung up and shouted towards the sky, “They want me in your house!”

Oliver laughed dryly, “So do I but, I'm guessing they've done something haven't they?”

Felicity squeezed at their joined hands as she dropped her phone into her purse. She then tangled her free fingers through her hair as she leaned her temple along the glass beside her. “Oh, they've laid some trap I'm completely sure,” she grumbled once they passed her mother's shop.

Oliver let out an easy, “Probably but, their first one didn't play out too badly now did it?”

“Oh honey, it turned out wonderfully but, those two won't stop until I'm dressed in white with you at the end near a priest,” she realized as the openness of the fields came into view.

Oliver's voice lowered when he caught the undercurrent of an idea in Felicity's light tone. “Felicity what are you planning over there?”

Felicity smiled at the landscape. Even in the dark she could feel the tips of the mountains beginning to move along her skin. She squeezed at Oliver's hand once more. She felt his touch along her knee as she replied, “Oh I'm planning to make a point but…”

Oliver mumbled, “This is going to involve my mother isn't it?”

Felicity shifted her gaze from the mountains and back towards his face. She smiled at how his jaw clenched when he was worried or even scared. He must have felt her gaze because his eyes drifted from the well-worn roads. She held his gaze for just a moment then asked, “Would it be so bad if it did?”

Oliver breathed, “No but, can we plot in the morning once I've slept?”

Felicity gave him a small, “Yes,” as they fell into a comfortable silence. She'd wait until morning. She'd wait for Oliver to reveal why he'd really gone along with Sara's plan and, then she'd call Moira Queen. Felicity didn't lie when she said she'd come back for Oliver but, she'd also come back for her. A month before she'd received a letter and, it was what the letter offered that finally pushed her back home.

Now she had to figure out if Oliver wanted the future that the letter could offer.

Chapter Text

 

 

 

Setting Things Right

 

“So? How did she sound?” Sara glanced towards the voice before her. Whenever Donna was nervous she'd begin to knead dough. She couldn't bake to save her life but, something about using her hands to create something from nothing always eased her often frayed nerves. Sara was sitting at the kitchen table with a pile of unfolded napkins before her. Felicity's call had ignited a flicker of hope. If their scheming worked then their family would finally be whole.

 

Donna had been nervously asking for insight into Felicity's call while Sara simply sat at the table quietly cheering over her good luck. Another, “Honey seriously how did it go?” caused Sara to reconsider her quiet stance. She glanced at Donna's flour covered cheeks. She could see hope brimming  along the edges of her mother's eyes as Sara’s cat caught the canary smile began to grow. Donna breathed, “Oh God there's that smile again,” as Sara leaned back along her chair.

 

Sara giggled then casually tossed her hair over her slender shoulder.  Donna smirked but remained mum. Feeling a bit childish Sara began to tease the woman before her. “Well… how much do you actually want to know?”

 

Donna blew the fallen hairs away from her face. Sara cocked her head and grinned. Donna shifted the dough between her flour covered hands as she scowled, “Oh stop playing are they together or not?”

 

Sara now smirked when she let out a very proud, “Yes, they're together but no she didn't confirm it,’ as Donna's face slipped into a frown.

 

“Well without confirmation we can't be sure,” she muttered as the dough between her fingers became even softer with each pass between her hands.

 

Sara pulled at a fraying napkin before her. The blue and green strand moved between her fingers as her she mulled over her mother's concerns. Donna was right they didn't have confirmation but, the deed, the letter and the blueprints on Oliver's table were proof that Oliver had gone into this deal with his own plan. He lost her once and, Sara knew he wouldn't lose her again. “You saw the papers on Oliver's kitchen table mom. You saw what I saw he's not going to lose her twice,” Sara quietly mumbled as she continued to pull at the the thread before her.

 

Donna let out a slight laugh, “Yeah but you know Felicity. She came back with a plan of her own no doubt.”

 

Sara groaned, “Yeah and, I'm sure she wasn't thrilled when I decided to push her back into Oliver's arms but, she will thank me for it!!”

 

Donna chuckled at the confidence in her declaration. “Oh really?”

 

“Yes really! Hell I've done this to her before and lived to tell the tale,” Sara beamed brightly as Donna slowly wiped her flour covered hands over her apron.

 

She pushed her hair once again away from her eyes. Sara smiled at the smudge of flour along her brow. Donna rolled her eyes as she moved toward the kitchen table. Sara patted the placement beside her before she began folding the linen before her. Donna grabbed the red pile but sighed as she began to fold her own stack. “Do I want to know how you pushed her towards Oliver before?”

 

“You remember when Felicity was about fourteen?”

 

Donna shook her head as she let out a worried, “Yeah why?”

 

“Relax,” Sara soothed. “They didn't become physical until her sixteenth birthday.”

 

“Oh yeah that's comforting,” Donna choked as Sara smirked.

 

“Well Felicity was completely in love with the boy but, she refused to make a move so I did.”

 

“What a minute I think I do remember this,” Donna realized as she placed a neatly folded napkin into the basket between them. “You asked Oliver out on a date and, he accepted to make Felicity jealous right?”

 

Sara nodded then proceeded to tell her tale. “Yes, and if you recall Oliver made it a double date with Evan Reynolds his secondary best friend.”

 

Donna chuckled, “Yeah you left as four and, she came home two hours after you did.”

 

Sara nodded fondly. “Exactly! If I hadn't pushed Oliver and Felicity might have never been! So we get to the theater and she's seething. I mean she was ready to kill him for even putting his hand along the small of my back kind of pissed off.” Donna’s eyes sparkled at Sara’s proud voice which made Sara even happier to tell her tale. “We weren't even to our seats before she tugged at his arm claiming she needed a word.  They left to talk it out and, two hours later I was witnessing their first kiss. So yeah this has been done before.”

 

Donna tossed a napkin at Sara's face as she too laughed. “So you asked him out to make her jealous and, Oliver just agreed?”

 

“Of course,” Sara shrugged while she placed her own folded napkins in the basket. “Oliver had been trying to ask her out for weeks. He kept chickening out so I decided to lend him a hand.”

 

Donna laughed softly, “Now if only someone would scheme for you.”

 

Sara smiled sadly, “My chance at love left almost five years ago so let's not dwell on the past shall we?”

 

“Agreed,” Donna soothed before she said, “But come first light I'm calling Felicity demanding she talks.”


 

“Oliver, honey I think my romantic comedy is turning into a horror flick,” Felicity grumbled as Oliver continued to lead her toward an unknown structure.

 

Oliver pinched her sides as she lowly laughed. “And I think you should trust me,” he whispered against her chilled cheek.

 

Felicity sulked silently while she thought over her current situation. Felicity much to her surprise had been blindfolded since they'd left Main St. Oliver had thrown her a random scarf. He then very politely said, “I'm going to ask for your trust and patience.” Felicity had thrown back a fairly amused, “Ummm does this trust involve the blindfold?”

 

Oliver had just laughed as he said, “Felicity humor me okay?”

 

She'd agreed with a soft smile as she quickly covered her humor, filled blue eyes. That humor after fifteen minutes had run dry. Now Felicity wanted answers and, frankly she wanted to see his dumbfounded face. She'd never realized how much she'd missed the blue of his eyes until she was once again able to stare into there endless depths.

 

Oliver being the ever gallant gentleman was now guiding her down what felt like a cobblestone pathway. Felicity suddenly wished she'd opted for tennis shoes as she nearly tripped over another uneven rock. Oliver had his palms along her waist. She felt his laughter rising along her back as his emotions moved along his body. She elbowed him as she mumbled, “You're taking way too pleasure in this.”

 

“Yeah I really am,” he admitted as his lips gently brushed along the shell of her ear. Felicity shivered before he pulled his arms around her small form. He hugged her back to his chest but, managed to keep them moving forward. Felicity titled the back of her head along his shoulder as his chin came down to rest upon the upper line of her collarbone. “I promise the horror movie is almost over,” his whispered as Felicity moved her fingers along his clasped hands.

 

“Good,” she mused as Oliver told her to lift her feet.

 

She complied and before she knew it they were still. Oliver kissed her jaw before releasing her form. She stood there seemingly alone with a blindfold on in what had to be the middle of nowhere. She was about to ask if this was all some cruel joke when she heard a door pop. Seconds later she had her fingers at her temples and, a smirk that she swore might never leave her face.

 

She stepped through the open threshold. Oliver was about two feet in front of her. His taut back was tense, his fingers were roaming nervously through his close cropped hair as his eyes seemingly scanned the candlelit room. Felicity's eyes moved along the rose petal covered floors. She let the blindfold slip to the ground as she finally uttered, “I see the fire twins have a key.”

 

Oliver's hands finally fell to his waist once he breathed, “They do, and that will be rectified by morning.”

 

Felicity moved along the rose petal path until she was standing beside her very bewildered boyfriend. “I take it you had a different plan?” she giggled as she patted his shoulder with a friendly palm.

 

“Yeah it's in the kitchen,” he mumbled as he searched for any scorch marks to his freshly painted walls.

 

Felicity moved down the hallway that led to the spacious kitchen and family space. She had to give her mother and sister credit. The house sparkled with flames from what seemed like hundreds of candles and even a few strands of twinkling lights. The rose petals moved like a red path towards an untouched kitchen table. Felicity moved along the silk laden path as she took in her surroundings. The house was perfect down to the to the knobs on the cabinet doors. Felicity noticed a few token pictures of his family and even a few of her own were placed along the fireplace mantle. The classic nature of the home was intact with the exposed beams of the section of the ceiling that didn't support the upper floor yet; he'd placed small modern touches into each refinished surface. “You did an incredible job,” Felicity noted when she heard Oliver's boots moving along the floors of the office space around the entry.

 

His hurried, “Thanks but I still have a ton of work left to do,” intrigued her so she continued towards the kitchen table.

 

The table was left untouched. Every other surface was covered with melted candle wax but this one simply had a single red rose lying over what appeared to be a deed and… Her heart quickened. Her voice sounded uneven even to her once her gulped, “Ummm I think I should've waited for you,”left her lips.

 

Oliver’s footsteps quickened along the hallway of rose petals and back towards where she stood with her fingers moving along the untouched kitchen table. He wasn’t yet to her when he mumbled, “Don’t overreact.”

 

Felicity swallowed a soft, “Oh trust me my reaction might very well surprise you,”as his footfalls came closer. He sounded almost scared as she kept her back to the sound of his uneven voice.

 

“If I hadn't been do distracted I would've been with you to explain what all of this meant,” Oliver breathed as Felicity's heart began to quicken into a samba through her chest.  

 

“So you aren't mad?” She whispered as her fingers flicked across the paper that was next to the deed.

 

Oliver who never rambled or apparently listened began to ramble out his long-winded explanation, “Okay so yes it's the deed to the house along with a set of blueprints and before you start ranting and raving....” Felicity felt her stomach jump when his voice dropped. Her body tensed in uneasy fear when he breathed, “Wait? Why would I be mad?” as his heart and brain finally caught the missed dots.  

 

"You had a speech and everything didn't you?" Felicity mused while Oliver's curious whisper moved along the nape of her now bent neck.

 

"Yes and…."

 

Felicity giggled as he silently pieced together the puzzle, "See I told you I should've waited."

 

Oliver's gruff, "Yeah and, I should've known the meddling duo were going to invade my home," made Felicity sigh softly.

 

"They want me married."

 

"Yeah, and I want you married to me but, I still want it to be your choice," he asserted as Felicity turned her attention back to the matter at hand.

 

Felicity's fingers moved over the edges of the rose petals as Oliver’s fingers moved along her shuddering shoulder. Felicity's breath hitched. Oliver's touch moved toward the edge of her collar bone. Felicity felt herself leaning towards his touch when her eyes flickered down to the floor. "Felicity the letter changed nothing," he murmured as she twisted her neck along his talented thumbs.

 

“But you said things with your mother weren't great,” she muttered quietly. “How could you not be mad when she's the reason that I finally decided to come back?” Oliver tensed behind her before he very gently began to move his fingers along her fallen face.

 

Oliver tried to push her chin up towards his dumbfounded face but, Felicity resisted. She heard the soft pull of exasperated air leave his lungs with a sharp, “You really don't get it do you?”

 

Felicity shrugged, “What am I supposed to get? That letter is my acceptance of your mother's offer to run for her now vacated spot as Major of Hamilton.” Felicity let her affected voice drop an octave when she added, “She gave me a way to allow myself to come back to my home and, to you. I mean you have proof that your mother meddled and, made me an offer that she knew I wouldn’t refuse. How can you not feel even slightly betrayed? ”

 

Oliver sighed but kept his thumb along  her collarbone. He then moved his free arm towards the table.  Felicity remained still before him as his body shifted towards her own. Oliver then tapped his index finger along the top of the blueprints. Felicity eyes drifted towards the small print just above the tip of his finger. His voice weaved around the room like hot buttered rum as he whispered, “What does this say?”

 

Felicity nearly stuttered when she realized what she was looking at. Her heart felt like the Grinch’s did as it began to grow at the end of the movie. Her very curious, “That's dated... ” left her lips as her pulse began to flutter with unspoken excitement. Her body quivered nervously when she added, “That's two days after day she would've received my answer…”

 

Felicity felt Oliver's touch sliding down to her elbow as he sighed, “And what does that tell you?”

 

Felicity traced along the blueprints while she whispered, “That Sara had nothing to do with getting you to the airport today.”

 

“And?” he breathed as Felicity began to feel the space around her beginning to glow.

 

“And you have a question that I'm dying to answer?” Felicity guessed almost shyly as her head began to spin.

 

“Yeah and while it's now a completely moot point its all about you agreeing to marry me,” he whispered as Felicity began to slowly shift her glance towards his brightly lit face.   

 

Oliver’s shy smile caused her knees to buckle. His furrowed brow as he spoke caused her stomach to flutter as he mumbled shyly, “I had a plan that involved a ring but... “

 

“But then my sister showed up with something that shifted the plan didn’t she?” Felicity rasped once she realized that Oliver hadn't left anything to chance.

 

Oliver took a shy step forward. Felicity felt his fingers moving along her elbow softly as his voice weaved through her worried heart. “The moment I saw that you'd decided to run for the Mayor’s office I knew my plan might work. I finally felt that you realized what I've always known.” he breathed rapidly.

 

Felicity’s forehead fell along his collarbone as she mumbled, “I knew you didn’t just show up at the airport without a good reason and’ damn you're certainly sure of yourself,” she added in a low groan of what could only be described as lust.

 

Oliver’s lips fell to the crown of her head while she wrapped her arms around the hard lines of his waist. Oliver’s fingers danced down to her hips as he whispered, “It certainly helped and, always but I had no idea how fast our reunion would go.”

 

Felicity buried her nose against his neck as she huffed, “Oh god, I’ve become a cautionary tale!”

 

Oliver mumbled, “Felicity it’s not like we’ve never had sex in the back of a truck and, it’s not like I didn’t push a few buttons to reach the desired conclusion,” against her shaking head.

 

“And you just assumed I'd say yes?” she inquired about the blueprints without ever moving her still shaking head.

 

Oliver’s fingers moved along the curve of her hip as he exhaled deeply. The tenor of his strong voice moved along her nose as he said, “I decided to act rashly yes. The deed has your name on it to show I was serious,  the blueprints are for the remodel that would include a larger office and a suitable nursery for whoever might come along and the letter…”

 

Felicity glanced at his now sapphire blue eyes. His fingers were rubbing along her elbow gently as she placed a timid hand along his cheek. She felt his entire body sag against her touch as she stepped closer. Oliver in turn tugged at the fabric of her shift until her thumb was dancing along his bottom lip. “And the letter is no longer important,” Felicity murmured as Oliver tilted his chin down towards her smiling mouth.

 

“And why's that?” he asked as their lips danced along the other.

 

Felicity smiled as she placed a chaste kiss against his mouth. She felt his fingers moving down from her elbow and towards her waist while his other hand was fisted in her shirt. Felicity kept his cheek cupped within her palm then moved her free hand along the collar of his shirt as she replied, “Because my answer is yes.”

 

Oliver’s eyes twinkled when an affected, “Just like that?” left the smile that she’d spent years committing to memory began to spread along his face and, against her mouth.

 

“Yes just like that,” she mumbled as their lips once again met...