Felicity had never had any siblings growing up.
Sure, there had been Henry, who had kinda, sorta been like a little brother when she was seven. But then he moved to New Hampshire and Donna had gotten her weeping daughter a frog as a consolation gift. (It somehow ran away after three days, and Felicity swears that that experience remains more traumatizing than half of her Team Arrow ones).
The point is, she doesn’t have the most experience with kids, especially little ones. Needless to say, her children sometimes scare the shit out of her.
Oliver, on the other hand – perfect husband, gourmet chef, somehow ate all of her mint chip ice cream and completed a marathon the next day Oliver – he was like a damn baby whisperer. She thinks it’s about right though – if the kids were going to have his energy level and affinity for getting into trouble, he may as well be the one to navigate the aftermath.
A high-pitched shriek floats in through the open door, and Felicity forgoes looking for her shoes as she steps outside into the evening summer air.
Felicity watches as her husband spins around from the bottom of the driveway, a toddling child in each arm. One of them is definitely upside down and it's funny, she thinks, that even amongst the important nature of their jobs – all the late nights in the Foundry or cooped up in the board room at Queen Consolidated or hunched over different pieces of code – that they still manage to find the most tiring parts of their days to center around the two hyperactive miniature versions of themselves that they had created.
Felicity’s hand goes to rest on the slight swell of her stomach – three. Soon to be three.
She knows she wouldn't trade it for the world, though, and by the way Oliver’s eyes glint with laughter as he makes his way up the driveway, she knows that he wouldn’t either.
She also knows that neither of the two children in Oliver’s arms have pants on in the very public setting they are in, and she offers a small wave and shy smile to one of their neighbors across the street.
She rolls her eyes as Oliver stalks over to the her, putting on an exaggerated show of huffs and puffs for both Tommy and Anya as if they both were large sacks of potatoes, his broad shoulders shaking as his chuckles deepen into a full-blown laugh. By the time he makes it half-way up the drive, Felicity’s there to meet him, arms out to take Tommy. Oliver takes that second to finally flip Anya upright in his arms, and it’s the crossed arms and utterly bored expression that the four-year-old has painted across her face that have both Oliver and Felicity struggling to keep it together.
"Anya," Oliver scolds his daughter, his eyebrow raised and voice laced with humor. He really can't believe what he's about to say, but the fact that he has to makes him love his life ten times more.
"Sweetheart, you gotta keep your pants on."
Oliver is met by a firm pout as Anya buries her face into his shirt, mumbling a string of nonsense against his chest. He rolls his eyes as he looks over at Felicity, not surprised to see her having a similar conversation with their son. Anya’s murmuring only grows louder as Oliver pulls his daughter away from his body, tactfully brushing away at the blonde curls falling into Anya’s eyes.
She pouts, her words stringing together in a low mumble.
"Hmmm?" Oliver's brows arch as he tries to decipher the toddler talk that is flying from Anya’s mouth, and the way Anya’s scowl pulls at her mouth the way it does makes him feel like he’s looking into a mirror.
Oliver bites his tongue, a small smile dancing on his lips as Anya’s frown intensifies, and it is only with years of practice in remaining completely neutral that Oliver is able to maintain a straight face.
"I thaid," Anya starts, her lisp even more prevalent with her irritation. "Theebie doesthen' hab to wear panths, stho why do I hab to?"
Her eyebrows furrow just like Felicity’s do when she’s angry, and the way she pokes her finger at his nose makes Oliver bark out with laughter.
"Ith's not funny, Daddy!"
Anya thumps her small fist against Oliver chest and huffs loudly, eyebrows scrunched and mouth drawn tight. A second glance at Anya only refuels Oliver's laughter because yes, he is definitely looking down at a mini Felicity right now, and he thinks he's about to pee his pants laughing, it's so damn cute.
"Baby," Oliver breathes, trying against all odds not to make eye contact with Felicity. "Stevie is a hamster. Stevie doesn't need pants."
"That doesthen' make any thenthe."
"Whaddya mean that makes no sense? Hamsters don't wear pants."
"Geethe, Mommy ith right, Daddy," Anya starts, shifting her eyes from her father to her mother, completely unimpressed. "You really aren't the brightesth light bulbth."
"Ah," Felicity chimes in, finger pointed in the air and a look of betrayal on her face. “I told you that in confidence, Bug. Daddy wasn’t supposed to know.”
Anya has the decency to look a little sorry, but then she’s looking back at her father before flashing her mother a raised eyebrow. "Well, you’re not wrong, Mommy."
Felicity and Oliver share a look – a “how did we go from thinking we could never have a future to chasing our naked children down the street for the whole neighborhood to see – look, and for a second, Oliver has to take a second to steady himself because, God he loves life.
But then Felicity’s nodding her head along with her daughter and it’s a “You did let them streak and flash the whole neighborhood Oliver. We know they have half your genes, but I thought they’d be a bit older before that whole phase.”
Oliver lets out an amused huff – it's not his fault that they had spaghetti that night and the only way to avoid stains was to strip the two toddlers down to their diapers. It also isn’t his fault that his daughter took the one opportunity she wasn't in the line of sight of an adult to sprint out the front door.
Or maybe it is. But that's besides the point.
"Come on, let's get you guys back inside before you both realize that hamsters don't wear diapers either."
Oliver knows just how ridiculous the four of them look to the rest of the neighborhood. Sure, while they had become pretty close with a few of the families at their summer home, and while everyone on the street knew each other’s names, they were still “The Queens” – still high profile and high value.
He hoists Anya up on his hip before turning to wave at the couple across the street. Felicity doesn’t particularly like them – doesn’t like the way Gretchen Armitage stares at Oliver whenever he mows the lawn shirtless - but Oliver’s a little too high on life at the moment to care.
"Sorry for the baby butts," he calls out, and Felicity snorts and whack at his arm as Anya smooshes her pudgy hands against Oliver’s cheeks.
“Alright,” Felicity starts, eyeing her two babies. “Bath-time for you munchkins when we get in there.”
“Yeah,” Oliver adds. “You two stink.”
Oliver’s smile widens at the small yips of "hey" and "watch it, misther" that emerge from the two forms engulfed in their parents’ arms, and both Felicity and Oliver set out up the drive with bright eyes and light hearts.
Tommy and Anya are half way between their second boat race in the tub when Felicity’s laugh pierces the quiet atmosphere of their home. Oliver can't help but think it's the best thing he's heard all day.
Sure, she's laughing at him, but he's certain that it all cancels out somewhere so he just stares up at her from his spot in the bathtub, trying to grin through the soap searing his eyes.
"Oliver, when I told you it was bath time I meant for the kids."
He scowls, but Felicity can see the way his eyes light up when Anya stands up to dump another bucket of water over his head. He's still fully clothed, minus the shirt, and Felicity is silently hoping he remembered to take his phone out of his pocket this time around.
"They needed a referee," Oliver answers simply, motioning to the little floating boats that are grasped tightly in each child's small fist, before pulling a sleepy Tommy onto his lap.
Felicity rolls her eyes as she leans against the doorframe, arms folded lightly across her chest. Her smile softens as she watches Oliver gently brush the wet hair out of their daughter's eyes, not missing the way he coos at her with a voice so soft it's almost a whisper, or how his thumb carefully rubs the soap from her chubby cheeks.
It takes another half an hour to get the two rascals out of the bathtub – or three, including Oliver - and even then, everyone is still in such a playful mood that each baby takes a turn flying around the living room in Oliver's arms. Somehow, they all end up in a pile by the fireplace, and soon enough it's Felicity cradling a thumb-sucking Anya to her body and Oliver holding Tommy gently against his chest as he lays sprawled out on the floor.
They stay like that for a while, sharing quiet whispers and tired smiles, until they too both start to nod off. Once the kids are put in their beds, though, it's Felicity pulling Oliver into the shower to "wash off the shampoo he missed in the bath" and Oliver can feel his heart do the thing again where he has to take a deep breath because this is all real.
Soon enough, it's the two of them falling into bed with wet hair and burning smiles and Felicity can only laugh and laugh and laugh when Oliver tells her about the ten-minute debate he and Anya had had in the bath about the necessities of pants.
"Oliver, she got down from her chair and made a mad dash outside in the two seconds you turned your head.”
Oliver looks offended because, "Baby who left the front door open?"
"Baby," Felicity retorts, mocking Oliver's deep voice, "Who left the baby naked?"
Oliver’s caught there, he knows it, and soon he’s tugging Felicity under the blankets and pulling her flush against him, his hand grazing softly over the growing bump under Felicity’s shirt. Felicity turns around and reaches up to brush her thumb across Oliver's bottom lip.
"Your daughter is crazy," she murmurs, almost fascinated by the way Anya is growing to look more and more like Oliver every day.
"First of all, your daughter," Oliver hums, placing a kiss on Felicity’s thumb. "Second, she's been a bit of a wrecking ball lately. Ten times more energy and absolutely no self-preservation. Like I'm sure she’d try backflipping off the swing or jumping in the lion’s den at the zoo if we don’t have a leash on her.
Oliver pauses, thinking back to the kid backpacks with the long leashes attached to them.
“And we do have a leash on her."
Oliver glances down at Felicity as he speaks, not missing the way her eyes follow his lips.
"It's like I said before. There’s a whole lot of Queen genes in that girl. And I swear, every time she comes back from Thea’s there’s ten times more Dearden in her too.” Felicity keeps her thumb brushing against Oliver’s lower lip. Her voice softens. “She’s a lot like you, Oliver. Strong, fiery, kind, and confident. A mini Green Arrow.”
Oliver frowns slightly at that – on the one hand, he doesn't like to imagine his baby girl in any scenario where a fight can occur. On the other, he's been on the receiving end of her determined pout, and he'd be lying if he says he’s never been scared.
Then again, Anya has had him wrapped around her little finger from the very minute he set eyes on her. Felicity had even taught her how to spell "Daddy" – S-U-C-K-E-R.
"I'm am worried one of the kids are going to get hurt, though," Felicity remarks, eyes glancing down and Oliver does frown at that. "Some of these kids at their preschool are terrifying.” Felicity’s eyes widen. “And ginormous.”
"Anya and Tommy’ll be fine. I hear their parents have an in with the Green Arrow. Apparently, he’s very intimidating.”
"Oh, I'm sure."
"Incredibly handsome too."
"Oh, shut up."
The sun’s beating down as Oliver glances at Anya, bending down a little to peer under her tiny sunhat before looking up at Felicity and Tommy. He's surprised at how subdued the two of them are, especially compared to the previous day.
"At least they have pants today," Felicity had said on their way to the zoo.
"You okay, Peanut?" Oliver gently pokes Anya’s side, hoping for the giggle he normally gets when he does that. He puts his arm out for Felicity to brace against as the safari/zoo guide turns the wheel of the train towards the lion exhibit.
Anya just huffs, eyes staring blankly ahead. Oliver raises his eyebrow but doesn't question it, instead pointing ahead with a “Look, baby” at the approaching exhibit, knowing it's Anya's favorite spot. Felicity knows it’s Oliver favorite exhibit too – has been since the first time they had brought Tommy and Anya and they had spent the whole time on their parents’ shoulders roaring back at the lions with adorable little growls.
Yet, Anya barely acknowledges it as they approach, and Oliver is almost certain she's in the beginnings of a tantrum when Anya suddenly leaps out of the moving vehicle.
It comes in snapshots to Oliver. One minute, a pouting child is sitting next to him, pudgy arms crossed firmly across her chest.
In the next, that same child is in the air and both Felicity and Oliver are yelling out a series of "Anya, no!" and suddenly Anya is tumbling on the ground.
Oliver darts out of the small train, not waiting for it to stop. Anya hadn't exactly landed gracefully, and the way she sits, all pouts and furrowed eyebrows, sends warning bells off in Oliver's head.
"Anya, what the hell!" Felicity’s trying her best to crouch down next to their daughter, but the way Tommy is clutched in her arms and the slight swell of her slowly rounding stomach make it a bit difficult.
Oliver shakes his head at her, composing her frazzled nerves with a squeeze to her shoulder, before kneeling down next to their daughter.
"You okay sweetie?" He gently runs his hands along Anya's arms and checks her head for bumps and is only met with the same glare that Oliver usually wears himself after a rough mission. He has to hold back a small smile at the sight of his own little mini-me.
"She's not crying, that's a good sign," Felicity says, a mix of flustered concern and confusion in her voice. Oliver can hear the quiver in her voice – the summer heat and hormones flooding her body with a tad bit of hysteria. “Right?”
"I don't know, love, that looked pretty bad." Oliver murmurs, looking over his daughter again. He only finds a small scrape on her elbow. "Baby, are you hurt anywhere? Let me see."
Anya, once again, trades in her words for an irritated huff, and she avoids any sort of eye contact with her father. Oliver growls exasperatedly, knowing that once Anya makes up her mind, it's almost impossible to get her to change it. He's worried though and wants to scold her ten times to infinity because the way Anya fell and the speed at which they were moving made all sorts of combinations for bad, bad, bad.
“Is she alright?”
Oliver and Felicity both turn at the same time, suddenly realizing that the whole tour and tour guide are staring at the small family with wide eyes.
"I mean she seems alright," Oliver says, almost like a question. He shakes his head quickly, though, as if knocking some sense into it. "I’d like to take her to see someone though? Do you guys have a first aid station or something?”
Anya widens her eyes at this – an almost distinct plea of "no, Daddy, I'm fine," but Oliver's own decisiveness is just as strong as his daughters and, soon enough, they're sitting in front of a paramedic that Oliver’s sure was treating a meerkat two seconds ago.
Oliver rattles off what happened, at slower pace than the first time Felicity and Oliver had had to take Anya to the hospital after she ran into the kitchen countertop (he used to have a habit of not breathing between words when Anya was younger), and by the time he finishes, the paramedic is looking over Anya with a slight smile.
The small girl stares straight ahead, eyes fixed steadily on the "Exit" sign above the doorframe. Her pout is even more prevalent in the fluorescent light of the examination room, and Oliver frowns at the way his baby uses a grumble to answer every question the doctor asks.
"Geeze, Oliver, she’s starting to talk like you."
Oliver gives Felicity a sarcastic look before turning to the paramedic.
"Well, she's not crying," he says, "She’s not doing much of anything, actually. But she seems like she's okay. I’d like if she had an x-ray though – just to be sure.”
Anya only deepens her scowl, and Oliver is already giving the go ahead for them to go to the hospital.
When they get there, it takes a while before Oliver finally manages to get Anya to settle down enough to actually take the scan.
It's also with great effort that Oliver tries to fully comprehend the results.
"She's got a what?!"
Oliver's eyes are wide and his face is pale and he can see Felicity sink down into the chair in the corner of his eyes with a surprised huff.
"A broken femur," the doctor slowly restates, eyes wide and unnerved, just as baffled as Oliver. "She should be in a lot of pain right now, like a lot. Honestly, I'm a little confused."
Oliver crouches down in front of Anya, half amazed with her pain threshold and half baffled by her stubbornness.
"Baby, can you please talk to Daddy?"
"With words, baby."
Anya pouts even further, and Oliver resorts to the last thing he can think of.
"Alright sweetheart, I guess I'm gonna have to pick the color of your cast and lately I've just been loving the color pink -,"
"DADDY!" Anya's eyes are wide and her head is moving side to side in the universal "no" sign so fast Oliver thinks they all may get whiplash. "Lellow! I want Lellow! Lellow! Lellow!"
"There’s my girl," Oliver sighs in relief. "Baby, can you please tell me what's wrong. You're scarin' me."
"Anya, you don't have to be sorry sweetheart, I'm just worried that you're hurting. Can you tell me what's going on?" Oliver's head is spinning. Maybe there's something else wrong, maybe she hit her head and now isn't registering the pain right. Oliver can feel his stomach turn at the thought.
"Can you talk to me, love?"
Anya huffs, folding her arms across her chest, her bottom lip popping out and starting to quiver. Oliver can see tears welling in her eyes, and if it weren't for the broken bone in between the two of them, he would have had Anya swaddled in his arms hours ago.
"Baby, it's okay. I'm here. The nice doctor’s gonna get you something for the pain, okay - ,"
"I didn't sthick the landin'."
"And Mommy's gonna give you her famous cuddles – What?"
"I didn't sthick the landin'." Anya lets out a sniffle and looks at his father, her blue eyes big and sad.
"You didn't stick the landing." Oliver deadpans, his eyes shifting up to Felicity whose face is so red from held back laughter she looks like he's about to pass out. "Anya, you broke your leg."
"Daddy! Aren't you listhening!? You don't eben care about my feelinths'!"
"You broke your leg," Oliver gasps out incredulously, eyes bugging and voice hysterical, "and you're worried about sticking the landing?!"
“Mini Green Arrow,” Felicity whisper between fake coughs, and Oliver flashes a glare at his wife.
6 Weeks Later
Oliver balances Tommy in one arm, wooden spoon clutched in the other as he stirs the pasta sauce on the stove. Felicity had just gotten back from the doctor with a cast free Anya and Oliver is over the moon that they don't have to wrap that thing in plastic ever again during bath-time.
He bounces his son on his hip, humming some cartoon tune that's been playing around the house for the last few days, and spoons some sauce into his open mouth. His smile widens when Felicity comes back from the pantry, armed with a bag full of ingredients.
Oliver tilts his head slightly in the direction of Anya's voice, eyes still focused on the pan in front of him.
Oliver nearly has a heart attack when he turns his head, and Felicity is already yelling at Anya to get down from the counter top! as their daughter flashes them a cheeky grin.
Oliver can already see the little girl winding up, and can only watch in horror as Anya launches herself from the island and to the floor. Her feet hit the hardwood and her arms swing in the air and both Felicity and Oliver sigh in relief when they see her standing upright and undamaged.
"And she sthickths the landing!"
Felicity sags into Oliver, leaning her forehead against his shoulder as her heart pounds in her ears.
“I need one of Digg’s aspirins.”