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Grocery List

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Felicity is still half-asleep when she wanders downstairs Sunday morning, wordlessly passing Roy and Thea as they share a packet of pop tarts on the couch along with their cartoons. She becomes fully awake when she walks into the kitchen and is greeted by the sight of a shirtless Oliver leaning against the fridge and cautiously sniffing a plastic jug of milk.

Yep, this is a good morning.

He greets her with a smile that is as bright as the light that seeps into his eyes when he notices her.

“Hey, good morning,” he says. “I forgot what milk is supposed to smell like, does this smell okay to you?”

She takes one look at the contents in the jug and almost gags.

“Forget the smell; I’m pretty sure milk isn’t supposed to be chunky.”

To her mild horror, she watches him put the jug back into the fridge and then turn his attention to the surprisingly empty pantry.

“I hope you’re not too hungry because it looks like Roy and Thea are eating the last edible thing we have,” he tells her as he peers into the pantry, looking at the empty shelves as if his glare is enough to make breakfast spontaneously appear.

“But we have coffee, right?”

His silence is heavy and Felicity takes it all back; this is not a good morning.

Her stomach rumbles and he turns back to her, his expression sympathetic as he gently rubs her pajama clad tummy and she leans her head against his warm, bare chest. When he speaks his voice is low and rumbly in her hears.

“If you let me put on a shirt we can sneak out to McDonald’s for some Egg McMuffins. We can even go through the drive-thru so we don’t have put on real pants.”

She drops a light kiss on his Bratva tattoo and sighs.

“Did I ever tell you that you’re my favorite? Because you are.”

*

An hour and a half later Thea, Roy, and a hash brown filled Felicity walk into the nearest grocery store with a rickety shopping cart and a sheet of Hello Kitty notepad paper bearing  a fairly extensive grocery list.  

After coming back with empty McDonald’s take-out bags and being met with Roy and Thea’s hangry glares, Felicity had them put a grocery list together and promised to take them shopping while Oliver slipped away to  Diggle’s for the afternoon. So, here she is, leading the young couple through the dairy aisle trying to find the Greek yogurt she found in the store’s coupon book.

Or, at least she’s trying to since in her search for discounted yogurt she has left Thea and Roy behind to be captivated by the cheese selection at the front of the aisle.

“I didn’t realize there were so many kinds of cheese before,” Roy says as he looks over a package of jalapeño string cheese in wonder while Thea curiously reads the ingredients on a double-pack of Kraft American Cheese.

“Why is it so yellow?” she asks and Felicity rolls her eyes in a now familiar mixture of annoyance and amusement.

“Have you guys never been to a grocery store before?”

That mix of annoyance and amusement turns to shock and sympathy when they both sincerely shake their heads.

Roy explains in a quiet voice, “We always either went to the corner mini-mart or to the food bank.”

“And we always had our food delivered,” Thea adds in a tone that sounds almost shameful.

Sometimes Felicity overlooks the effort her mother put in to working sixty-hour weeks so she could put food on their table and still make time to drag her daughter all over the corner WinCo to gather ingredients so she could teach her how to bake from scratch. And other times, like right now, she could not be any more grateful.

“Do you guys want to make some brownies tonight? Most of the ingredients are already on the list, we’d just have to add one or two more things,” Felicity casually asks and Thea and Roy look at her like she just handed them a basket full of fluffy kittens.

By the time they make it to checkout Felicity managed to lose Roy twice, once to the wall of Oreos in the cookie aisle and then again in the frozen food section. Although, they did manage to check off every item on their 20-plus item list and added a few more unnecessary ones on top of it, including two types of Oreos, three cans of three different flavored Pringles, a box of frozen mini corndogs, and a an entire chuck steak.

Felicity is sure all of it will last them at least a week.

*

When Oliver gets home later that evening he walks into the living room to find Felicity, Thea, and Roy sitting on the floor in front of a junk food laden coffee table watching an animated talking llama get chased across the Andes.

“When you guys said you were going grocery shopping I thought you meant you were going shopping for real food,” he says in a highly critical tone as he eyes the plate of still warm brownies serving as the centerpiece of the very sugary and completely unhealthy feast.

Thea rolls her eyes. “This is real food, doofus. You can put it in your mouth, chew, swallow, and enjoy. See?”

She takes two mini corndogs and exaggeratedly stuffs them into her mouth. Oliver huffs in disapproval and its Felicity’s turn to roll her eyes.

“I bought actual groceries,” she explains. “There’s a fridge full of leafy greens and juicy fruits and a whole bunch of super healthy foods in the kitchen. There’s even a chuck of beef we can make into a pot roast later this week if you want.”

“If you bought all of that, then why did you guys put out all of this?”

Felicity shrugs. “I thought it’d be fun to teach Thea and Roy how to bake brownies like my mom did with me; and brownies taste extra sweet when you pair it with something salty-savory so we also threw some mini corndogs in there, but you can’t have mini corndogs without something chip-like so we opened up the bag of Cheetos. And then we decided to make tonight a movie night and you know a movie isn’t a movie without popcorn so we did that too.”

Oliver decides not to argue with Felicity’s reasoning, especially after he notices how she casually drops a kiss on Thea’s head as the younger woman leans against her shoulder and a swell of affection fills his chest.

“Dude, are you going to sit down and eat or you going to look at Felicity all googly-eyed all night?”

He flicks Roy’s ear before taking a seat beside Thea, although he doesn’t stop looking at Felicity with a dopey smile.