Felicity Smoak owned the flower shop downstairs.
In the four months since he’d moved in, Oliver hadn’t really had any reason to step foot into the small shop. He wasn’t seeing anyone, and so didn’t really need to buy any flowers, and he’d been trying to get settled in his new place. Add a stressful job into the mix, and it turned into something he kept meaning to do but never got around to.
He’d seen her around - Blonde hair in a high ponytail, glasses perched on the edge of her nose, arranging the displays and hanging plants outside the front of the store. She was always dressed as colorfully as her flowers, sometimes in short sundresses, sometimes jeans and a vibrant flowing sleeveless shirt, one memorable time in a brightly tie-dyed tee. And despite the inviting blast of cool, crisp air conditioning whenever he walked by and someone was coming out the door, despite the scent of lilacs carrying up through his street-facing window in the humidity of the late June evenings, despite Felicity looking like someone he really, really wanted to get to know, he kept putting it off.
He told Sara it was because he was busy. Sara said it was because he was an idiot.
None of it mattered though, because one night in early July, Oliver started sneezing.
And he didn’t stop.
At first he thought it was just hay fever, but no one else with allergies was showing any signs of problems, and it had never been this severe before. Runny nose, teary eyes, sneezing that woke him up in the middle of the night.
He was definitely allergic to something, and he checked to see if the upstairs neighbor had gotten a cat since he’d moved in, but no dice.
His doctor told him it was a pollen allergy. The question was, pollen from what? He’d never had any issues with Felicity’s flower shop before, but maybe she’d gotten something new?
Which was what brought Oliver to finally step foot into “The Daisy Division” for the first time.
The shop was… cute. There really wasn’t any other word for it. Painted tin buckets hanging in rows lined one wall, filled with flowers of every kind, organized by color. Pre-arranged bouquets were displayed on artfully stacked wooden crates in the center, and on the opposite wall were potted plants and flowers, extra pots, decorative garden pieces and vases. Flowers hung from the ceiling, and the walls were all painted a light blue.
The bell on the door tinkled as he walked in, and when the door shut, the cool, damp air surrounded him and the noise from outside disappeared, throwing him into a completely different world.
He could already feel his nose beginning to itch. Maybe this wasn’t such a good idea.
"Can I help you?" Felicity stepped out of the back room, wiping her hands on a rag. Her fingernails were painted light green, and she was actually wearing overalls. Oliver didn’t know people still wore overalls. She looked adorable in them.
"I, uh-" He cleared his throat. "Hi, I’m Oliver Queen." He held his hand out to shake hers, and she took it.
"I know who you are, Oliver," Felicity responded, smiling.
“Right, of course you do. I mean, I – uh… I live upstairs after all.”
Felicity nodded. “Yes, you do. What finally brings you down here?”
And there it was. He’d come down to ask her what new flowers or plants she’d received in the last week that could have caused his condition. But he suddenly very badly didn’t want the first time he met Felicity Smoak to be when he was complaining about her flower shop. He hadn’t even had the decency to introduce himself before today.
“I was looking for a bouquet,” he said, lying through his teeth. Then Oliver realized she’d probably assume it was for another woman, and for some reason, he really didn’t want her to think he was unavailable. “For my mother!” he amended. Bigger lie.
“Okay,” Felicity said, nodding. “What kind of flowers does she like?”
He didn’t even know?
“Um, red ones?”
Felicity laughed. It sounded like the bell on her door.
“Red ones?” she asked, eyebrow raised, clearly skeptical.
Oliver felt a sneeze coming on. He held a finger up, turning his head away and catching a glimpse of the sunlight pouring through the front windows. With an explosion of sound, he sneezed, screwing his eyes shut.
“Gezundheit,” Felicity said behind him, laughter still in her voice.
Dammit, he felt another sneeze coming on. It wasn’t going to stop.
“You know what?” he asked. Sneeze. “I think these should be just fine,” he said, grabbing the first bouquet he could reach on the display behind him. Sneeze.
“But those aren’t even re-“
“No these are great! She’ll love them!” Sneeze. He pulled out a fifty and tossed it on the counter. “Here, keep the change!” Sneeze. “Nice to meet you!” Sneeze.
He ran out with the sound of the bell and Felicity’s laugh still chiming in his ears.
Sara laughed so hard she cried when he told her about it later on.
And the bouquet didn’t have any flowers he was allergic to.
He needed a full three days to get over it. To get over just how much of an ass he’d made of himself before he could face Felicity again. Three days until the constant sneezing drove him back to the scene of his previous utter failure.
This time, he took an antihistamine an hour before, and he perused the loose flowers, looking at the ones he knew for a fact weren’t in the last bouquet.
“More flowers for your mom?”
Oliver startled at Felicity’s voice coming from directly behind him. He answered automatically.
“No, this one’s for my dentist…” he trailed off at the end.
Felicity folded her lips together. It was so very clear she was trying not to laugh.
“Okay, your dentist. Sure. What kind of flowers does he like? Also red ones?” she asked teasingly.
Oliver cleared his throat. “No, actually. Dr. Saks likes pink flowers.”
Felicity snorted, and Oliver was finally forced to shake his head and smile. He reached back to rub his neck, laughing self-deprecatingly.
“Okay. Pink flowers it is.”
He managed to pay properly that day and leave without sneezing.
But he wasn’t allergic to anything in that bouquet either.
So he was back down there the next day, and the next. Each time with a different request. Each time with another BS story.
“I don’t get it,” Sara asked, looking around at the now six different bouquets scattered around his living room. The first one had started to wilt but he couldn’t bring himself to throw it away. “Why don’t you just ask her?”
Oliver didn’t answer. He honestly didn’t know himself.
And the sneezing and red eyes continued.
On day eleven, he was just getting ready to head downstairs when there was a knock on the door.
“Yeah?” he asked, swinging it open, to find Felicity Smoak waiting on the other side with a bouquet of daisies.
Oliver froze for a moment. Then – “Um, hi?”
For the first time since he’d met her, Felicity seemed unsure of herself. She was wearing those overalls again, with a bright yellow tee-shirt, and her hair tied back with a bandana. She looked like the daisies, but she also looked worried.
“I, uh… I figured I’d save you the trouble of coming downstairs today and just come up with a bouquet for your…?”
It took Oliver a moment to realize what she was asking, but then he couldn’t help his smile as he responded, “My dog groomer.”
Felicity bit her lip and then smiled. “Your dog groomer?”
Oliver nodded. “Yup.”
Felicity tilted her head. “You don’t have a dog,” she said in a stage whisper.
Oliver backed away from the door, waving her in. Felicity stepped inside only to catch sight of eight different bouquets, and turned back to him, clearly confused.
Oliver nodded at her unasked question. “Yeah. I kept them all.”
Oliver laughed. “I was, uh – trying to figure out which one I was allergic to. You got something new a couple weeks ago and my allergies have been acting up ever since.”
“I don’t get it, though,” Felicity said, putting the daisies down on the coffee table. “Why not just ask me?” She echoed Sara's same question from several days ago. This time, Oliver had an answer.
He cleared his throat. “I was going to, but… I like coming downstairs. I like you.”
Felicity didn’t seem to have anything to say to that. So Oliver continued.
“Can I order another bouquet?”
Felicity frowned. “Yeah, why-?”
“I want to ask a girl out, but I don’t know what her favorite flower is. What flower would you give to someone who owns her own flower shop?”
It was a beautiful thing to see, the way Felicity’s smile seemed to start out from her fingertips as she spread her palms, and extended its way up to her lips and crinkled her eyes. She glanced down at the daisies on the coffee table.
“White ones. With yellow in the middle,” she said, grinning. And Oliver honestly should have known, she’d named her shop for daisies after all.
“Is that a yes?” he asked.
Felicity stepped up to him and paused for a moment before standing on her tiptoes and placing a light kiss on the corner of his mouth.
“Pick me up at closing time,” she said, as she pulled away. “Bring the daisies,” she added, nodding back towards his living room.
Oliver huffed out a breath and turned to watch her go. She paused in the doorway.
“Oh, and it’s the Wisteria. You’re allergic to the Wisteria. I’ll get rid of it, don’t worry.”
With a final smile she was out the door.
Oliver couldn’t wait for closing time.