The Smoak line was a family that history would forget--if for no other reason than that they’d never held titles higher than that of a castle servant. Riddled with servers, outcasts, rebels, and runaways, the Smoak line was one that never truly produced anything remarkable anyway. And of those rebellious, socially ostracized, servers-in-a-sketchy-inn, no one ever expected the daughter of Donna Smoak and an absentee father who wouldn’t even lend the child his name to be the history making kind.
Of course, it was obvious to anyone who knew enough. Anyone who was present at her birth or who overheard Sir Noah Kutler and Donna Smoak’s hushed arguments or who had simply paid enough attention to the odd mishaps surrounding the girl would’ve figured it out.
The brunette was the first of the Smoak line to be gifted with magic.
“Gifted”, of course, was a strong word. Noah would’ve prefered “cursed”. He agreed with the lords of the land: magic was a plague to the people, a blight meant to be wiped out. Mages, magicians, magi--whatever you wanted to call them--they simply were not human and didn’t deserve to right to walk amongst them. He looked upon his daughter with the same hatred. He had not been holding the newborn for more than ten minutes before small lights the color of the girl’s light blue eyes began to form around her hands and dance in front of her face.
Donna had been amazed and in awe of the peace those quiet gurgling happy noises could fill her with.
Noah was enraged.
It took only three months of Noah’s conformist, closed minded attitude for Donna to make her decision. She left under the cover of darkness with help from a friend named Quentin Lance--a knight who was also fleeing the lords of Nanda Parbat for their mistreatment of the citizens and use of the knights as a tyrannical force. They, along with their daughters, Laurel, Sara, and Felicity, were able to safely cross the border into a quiet farming village in what was technically Metropolis’ territory, but was too far on the outskirts for there to be any trouble with the royalty here.
Here, the village was the government. They helped themselves, paid their taxes to the king, bided by his laws, and asked for help (that was always granted) when necessary, but it was so rarely necessary. There was a traveling knight by the name of Kara who would periodically stop by the outer villages to make sure everyone was being taken care of, but she was the only one who questioned Donna and Quentin enough to get the whole story.
As a fellow powered being, she was, understandably, sympathetic to their situation and agreed to let them seek out asylum in her and her cousin’s land.
(She would even stop by every year on Felicity’s birthday with books about magic and how to control it. Kara was the only person that they knew who was both genuine enough and sturdy enough to survive the possible mishaps from Felicity’s magic.)
Even with the tolerant atmosphere in this new land, Donna and Quentin kept Felicity’s magic a closely guarded secret. They refused to expose Felicity to that kind of prejudice. Even in a kingdom as accepting as Metropolis, magi were still a far cry away from being on the same economic, social, and political playing fields.
So Felicity turned to studies. She wanted to understand everything--and the truth was that she understood much more than most. She had entire journals full of calculations, proving and disproving mathematical and scientific theories. There were days when the farm work would be done and Quentin and Donna would find Felicity the tool shed with Laurel, Sara, and/or a boy just a tad younger than her named Curtis who was nearly as brilliant, bent over an experiment meant to test one thing or another that Felicity had read in a book.
Science was so much more fun than people would believe. At the age of 14, Felicity had already read every book in their village and the surrounding ones. She was a woman in the pursuit of knowledge at the mercy of her parent’s meager savings. So, with the tricks of science she learned, she started setting up in the streets of the nearest town. No magic, just tricks--her mother would’ve killed her if she used her magic for money. Instead she amazed and educated people, challenging their preconceived notions and debunking common myths.
She eventually saved enough money to go to the capital and start studying more advanced theories--to start her life as a scientist or a mathematician. It took a lot to convince Kara to take Felicity with her, even more for both Felicity and the knight to promise Quentin and Donna that Felicity would be okay and write often. Kara had eventually given her word to look after Felicity as if she were her own sister and allow Felicity to live with her in the castle and that was what had convinced Felicity’s parents.
At age 14, Felicity set off with a knight to go to the capital city of Metropolis in the pursuit of knowledge. It took only five years for Felicity to surpass her teachers--Jeremiah and Eliza, Kara’s foster parents--and branch out into her own independent studies. It was only a year into her independent studies, after the tragic death of Jeremiah and the retirement of Eliza--that Clark, Kara, and J’onn--a knight--revealed their secret to her
They were from another world.
Biology wasn’t Felicity’s strongest points, but she and Alex were now the only scientist that they trusted, so she tried her hardest. Eventually, Alex had to tell her that she didn’t mind working alone on biology as long she didn’t have to try anymore physics and Felicity practically collapsed into the older woman’s arms in relief.
And like that, all of Felicity’s calculations and theories--they were suddenly necessary to help Clark and Kara as they defended the castle. Felicity had a place, a home, a team of people who relied on her.
Felicity even ended up admitting to her own magic, the magic that she’d learned to control with the help of J’onn and Alex. Magic that had her sometimes out on the battlefield by Clark and Kara’s sides, taking down enemy soldiers with a swipe of her hand and a few muttered words.
Whereas science was all her mind, her magic was all heart--all instinct. Magic was about feelings, not logic. Magic was impulsivity, not analysis.
Trying to think while watching Damien Darhk burn down a village had crippled her abilities. Her instinct for revenge, that instinct to kill was what kept her from saving everyone she could. As much as J’onn tried to get her to believe that it wasn’t her fault, those deaths were on her.
The letter from Donna about Quentin’s sudden illness, requesting that Felicity return home, came at the perfect moment.
“I hear that you’re going back to your village,” Clark started as he made his way through the stables to where Felicity was preparing her horse. “Without saying goodbye, too. People have been flogged for less.”
Felicity huffed out a small laugh and shook her head. “Well, the king is a close friend of mine, so I’m counting on nepotism to keep me out of the dungeons.”
“Doesn’t nepotism only apply to family?” Clark questioned. “You must be really special if the king considers you as part of his family.”
“Clark--” She started, but stopped as Clark held up a hand.
“I’m not going to try to stop you, Felicity. I understand needing a break from everything that happens around here. I understand being hurt by not saving someone.” Clark spoke honestly as he laid a gentle hand on Felicity’s shoulder. “I hope that you take your time. When you’re not focusing on your father, focus on getting yourself better. It’s been an honor fighting by your side, and I’d like to have you here again, but only if it is indeed what you think is best.”
Felicity swallowed her tears and went up on her toes to hug Clark tightly. He held her in a comforting embrace, his arms strong enough to keep her together while she fell apart. Once she’d finally pulled away and discreetly wiped away her tears, she corrected him. “Quentin isn’t my father.”
“He took care of you for your entire life. Loved you dearly enough to send me a message about how if you got hurt, I’d be the one in pain.” Clark smiled in that goofy way of his. “Sounds like a father to me.”
The town closest to her family’s village was called Star and had changed dramatically in the last seven years. Felicity had been out this way a few times, hearing whispers of bandits and a team of vigilantes--one wearing a green hood, one who was the fastest man alive, one who wore all white and who showed no mercy, and one who wore red and could shoot the wings off of a fly.
The first time that Felicity witnessed the bandits--led by Slade Wilson--she figured that she’d seen enough to not be surprised by a mere group of citizen fighting back.
She was wrong.
“You wanna tell me why I just saw you wearing an all white costume fighting what appears to be a superpowered man with a vendetta against whoever the fuck is under the hood?” Felicity hissed under her breath as she pulled Sara aside once her pseudo sister reappeared beside her in the marketplace after the commotion.
Sara looked pained as she chewed on the inside of her cheek. “Listen, Felicity, a lot has changed since you left and not all of us got to go play scientist in the castle with a hot knight.”
“Kara and I aren’t like--”
“I know,” Sara rolled her eyes, a slight blush from thinking about her long time crush. “But after you left...a lot of things changed.”
Malcolm Merlyn and Robert Queen, apparently were the masterminds behind what had been a plot to destroy the nearby villages because of course. Robert wanted out however, so Malcolm had him and his son kidnapped five years ago. Sara had been taken as collateral damage. Robert had died, and Sara and Oliver had been forged into weapons, so they used the training against Malcolm. They formed a team of anonymous resistance.
Barry Allen, a man who’d been struck by lightning in the middle of an experiment which somehow gave him super speed. Thea Queen, Oliver’s little sister who was trained by Malcolm and Oliver because she was tired of being a victim. John Diggle, a former soldier, often helped them, even donning a mask a few times. Cisco Ramon and Caitlin Snow both handled any science problems the team ran into, and Laurel took care of the town’s legal system to recover from the attacks.
It was a good system--a great system.
Felicity had no place in it.
She let Sara and Laurel save the town. She retreated back to the village and made a simple decision: the world could and would keep spinning without her moonlighting as a magi vigilante, so she’d stay home. She didn’t have to fight for or against anybody there.
It took two and a half years before anyone sought her out again. Two years of genuine peace and boredom. Two years of helping her parents on the farm and teaching the kids in the village how to read and do basic arithmetic.
Her streak was interrupted when a broad shouldered man strolled into the village and asked for her. By name. To Quentin Lance.
Felicity was surprised that Lance didn’t kill the guy by the time that she got there, but then again, the guy did have...a lot of muscles.
“Quentin!” Felicity shouted, pulling him off of the stranger and pinning both of them with a severe look. “What the hell is going on?”
“This punk came around askin’ for ya,” Quentin’s northern accent came out the way it always did when he was pissed off. “He asked for ya by name and told me that I had no business in his reasons as if I didn’t fuckin’ raise ya. Entitled ass punk.” Felicity sighed and passed her books off to her apprentice, Roy Harper, before turning to the stranger.
“I’m sorry for my father, he gets protective.” She gave him a gentle smile. “He tends to forget that I’ve handled worse than you without him.”
“Ah, come off it, Lis, you know it wasn’t like that.” Quentin groused from behind her.
“Roy, do you mind taking Quentin over to Mom’s shop and having her look him over?” Felicity ignored her father.
Roy raised his eyebrow and nodded towards the still silent stranger questioningly. At Felicity’s insistent face he shrugged. “Whatever you say, Sparks.”
The pair waited until Roy had hauled Quentin away, despite his protests. They stared at each other for beat, observing the others’ absences while both of them tried to assess the other without speaking.
“You were asking for me.” Felicity broke the silence first, to neither’s surprise. “Did you travel here to challenge me to staring competition because my skills are world renowned?”
The corner of the man’s mouth twitched upwards before he schooled his expression once more. “No. We have a...mutual friend who recommended you to me.”
“Yes. I have a problem,” The man looked pained as he uttered his next sentence. “And I can’t solve it alone.”
“Must be hell on the male ego to be stuck in a situation like that.” She deadpanned. “Have you also got a name?”
“Bruce Wayne.” He held out his hand and gave her an ironic smile at the instant recognition that appeared on her face. “You’re Felicity Smoak. Kal spoke highly of you.”
“You as well.” She smiled brilliantly up at him and returned his handshake. “Kal said that he’d never met anyone as calculated as you. I’d be honored to help in anyway I can. What kind of problem is this: physics, maths, biology, or chemistry, and I’m your girl. I mean, I’m not your girl girl. I wasn’t making a pass at you. I’m your girl. I know they sound the same, but it means something different. I just mean that I’ll be happy to help.”
Bruce’s expression change from closed off to a kind of amusement that had snuck up on him at the sheer innocence and honesty that seemed to radiate off of the small woman in front of him. He hadn’t known what to expect when he’d limped to the King of Metropolis for help, but even from Clark’s description, he never would’ve expected, well...her. She was short, a wisp of a thing, and squinted her eyes at him in order to see. Clark had told him that Felicity Smoak was the most intelligent magi he’d ever met.
Bruce needed her help if he was to stand any kind of chance against Ra’s Al Ghul.
“Is there anywhere more private where we could speak freely?” Bruce asked, raising his eyebrows at the crowd of eager listeners that consisted of her stepfather, stepsisters, and apprentice. Felicity huffed out an indulgent laugh and nodded towards the north side of town.
“I have an office above the library. Follow me, my Lord.” Felicity offered him a smile and led him away from the town square. The building for the library was one of the larger, newer buildings. Felicity bypassed the rows of shelves filled to bursting with books and took the stone steps up to an open area with a desk, a chair, a window with a seat, two more bookshelves, messy papers strewn about, and two blankets and pillows stacked neatly in a corner. “Apologies for the mess. I’ve been trying to solve a riddle a friend sent to me.”
“No worries, Lady Smoak.” Bruce held in a chuckle when her face soured at the title, “Ah, now I’m afraid it is my turn to apologize. What title would you prefer?”
“Just Felicity is alright,” She moved to start tidying up her desk. She nearly knocked over a jar of ink if Bruce hadn’t caught it in time.
“Then just call me Bruce,” He righted the ink and glanced over her calculations. “Quite a riddle.”
“She fancies I can disprove Collatz Conjecture,” Felicity rolled her eyes and gestured to the pages and pages of multiplication, “But no matter what number I use, I always end up at one. I wonder if I might be able to write a theorem or if there’s some number out there in the infinite universe that will actually disprove it.”
Bruce blinked at her and the page, “Collatz Conjecture...that’s the one where if it’s even you divide by two and if it’s odd you multiply by three?”
“And add one, yes.” Felicity opened a drawer and shoved her work inside. “I’ll probably give my friend all of the work so far and tell him to figure it out from there. Shoulders of giants and all that.”
He chuckled lightly as her frustrated expression eased. She’d relaxed a bit when you entered her office, but the math discussion had her as comfortable as Bruce figured he’d ever get her. “I need your help.”
“You mentioned. Must be one hell of a problem.”
Bruce laid out a map of the small city-state of Gotham on the border between Nanda Parbat and Metropolis, “My parents charge me with keeping Gotham safe before they died. Contrary to popular belief, I am not too proud to ask for help when I need it. I’ve fought against Nanda Parbat’s League of Assassins for nearly a decade only for it to result in a deadlock. They want to invade Gotham to get to Metropolis. Ra’s Al Ghul wants to kill me for the challenge I’ve presented. I’m afraid that he may well get his way if I don’t reach out. The League knows my team now--they know me. I need secret weapons, strategies that I wouldn’t think of, and someone who can handle themselves.
“Clark cannot risk sending troops in against a league of specially trained assassins. When I told him of the burden a new team member would have to face, he thought only of you,” Bruce stood to his full height and looked Felicity straight in the eyes. “Felicity, I need your help.”
“You need a miracle,” Felicity responded, looking over the territories on the map. “You needa fighter who can deal heavy hits. You want a vigilante magi, not a mathematician.”
“I need both. Any.” Bruce let out a sigh and brushed his fingers over the map. “Please.”
Felicity pressed her lips together, but a voice from behind her answered before she could.
Felicity whipped around to see her adopted sister standing on the stairs. Sara looked determined, and behind her Roy and Thea did as well. “What are you three doing here?”
“You think we’re gonna leave you alone with a punk?” Sara asked, sauntering over to Felicity’s side. “I dunno who ‘Kal’ is, but if you think I’m not still curious what happened to make you move back home, you’re kidding yourself. Besides, Oliver is being annoying and I know the League’s tactics pretty well.”
“Same here,” Thea bounced over near Sara and brushed her newly short hair behind her ear to offer Felicity a smirk, “Malcolm was a part of the League. He taught me about them.”
Felicity raised her eyebrows at Roy, who was standing awkwardly at the top of the stairs, “I’m good at two things: math and shooting arrows. I could the arrows from anybody here, but you’re the only who can teach me math.”
“Roy, I can’t ask you to uproot your life--”
“What life, Felicity? You’re my teacher. The big sister, motherly influence I never wanted. You’re my family now. Deal with it,” Roy gave her a look like she was being especially thick.
Bruce almost smiled at the three others who volunteered, “Felicity?”
“Quentin’s going to kill me.” Felicity sighed, but Bruce knew it meant that she’d given in. Sara, Roy, and Thea all knew it too and beamed at each other.
“Let me do the talking with Dad,” Sara leaned her elbow on Felicity’s shoulder, “You’ve gotta tell Oliver and Barry.”
“Wha- why?” Felicity floundered.
“Because both of them have crushes on you the size of the kingdom so they’ll take it better from you,” Thea picked at her nails and grinned wickedly at Bruce. “So, Gotham, huh? I heard things are rough out there. What’s the weather like? I need to pack.”
Bruce studied the four new faces looking at him. Thea and Sara shared looks of suspicion and expectation. Roy was wary, but more curious, and Felicity looked resigned to her fate.
She knew that the world she’d dabbled in would come calling her back soon. It was foolish to wish for a quiet ending.
“...Cold.” Bruce answered.
Sara beamed, “Oh, I stole just the right coat from Leo for this.”