Curtains and Half-Filled Boxes
Felicity looked around at the boxes stacked three high in every corner, and the ones covering every surface. She let her eyes drift over the little flat, bright and airy, the only home she’d known since coming to Starling City. Part of her heart broke at leaving it behind, but a certain sexy hunka hunka burning love made her an offer she couldn’t refuse. Waking up next to him every morning.
If she closed her eyes and ignored her half-packed life, it seemed unreal. How long had she crushed on Oliver Queen before they even took the first tentative steps in the direction of the other? From the early days when she reminded her self regularly, Oliver was not for touching, to now when they could barely keep their hands off each other.
She chuckled to herself. She touched him whenever she felt like it. And boy did she feel like it. Often. Much to the consternation of Dig. But her willpower disappeared once they loaded their luggage into the back of a Porsche and literally drove off into the sunset. She couldn’t have planned it better if she had written the story herself. Well, she probably could have done without quite so much angst. But nothing worth discovering ever came easy. Her entire life was proof of that.
She wiped the sheen of sweat that covered her forehead and took a long drink of the lukewarm bottle of water sitting between a box of techie manuals and another filled with her little kitschy knick-knacks she’d collected over the years. Taking a deep breath, she headed into the kitchen. Not that Oliver Queen needed any pots or pans; of course, he owned an entire set of top-of-the-line-cookware. But she liked hers. Something about the vibrant colors made her happy on the inside.
Her glance caught by her old beat-up Crockpot, the one her mom bought her when she headed off to MIT. No, it didn’t fit the rest of her kitchenware, but she’d never get rid of it. Back when she could barely keep the lights on in her little studio apartment, it gave her a way to make meals that would last for days. Even now, despite the fact that money was no longer an issue, she made pot roast every so often simply for nostalgia’s sake.
Wrapping the Crockpot in newspaper, she thought about her future, one she shared with Oliver. Soon, they would sit down at their own dinner table. They’d probably fight over who had to clean up afterwards, but they’d both pitch in, in the end. She’d pick up his towels, and he’d lament her girly necessities cluttering the bathroom in the morning. The first face that greeted her: his. Then she’d always be waiting for him after a long night of protecting Starling City.
They’d come back to the city they called home. Of course, they had. She never really thought they’d stay away long. But she relished the weeks they’d spent, in and out of balconied hotel rooms on the beach; eating in tiny cafes, and running the sand through their toes as their fingers intermingled. They’d grown closer with no impediments: no emergencies, Count Vertigos, or Ra’s Al Ghuls. The world did not end while they intertwined their hearts. There had only been the two of them. Just Felicity and Oliver, driving down the road, the wind in their faces, and their problems behind them.
Still she’d been happy when they decided to return. They needed to feel useful, and the bad guys didn’t stop just because they’d fallen in love. The city needed them and they gave themselves willingly.
Difficult at first, Oliver and Dig had trouble getting past everything they’d gone through in the last year. It took time, but their friendship was stronger than ever. They’d finally fixed the cracks that fractured when Oliver abducted Lyla. Both Oliver and Dig were stubborn. Dig gave in only after Lyla forgave Oliver first. She didn’t like what he had done, especially what with him leaving Sara alone. But eventually she could look at it through a soldier’s eyes, and not a mother’s. It wasn’t an easy road, but Team Arrow was back in fighting form.
The door opened and Oliver walked through. No man who’d spent the day moving boxes into the old farmhouse they’d purchased in the country had a right to look so good, but it never stopped him. She skipped over, wrapping her arms around his shoulders, kissing those luscious lips. She had a couple years of kissing to make up for, and she wasn’t wasting even one second.
“Happy to see me?” Oliver asked around nibbles of her lips.
“Always.” Felicity’s heart missed a beat or three when his blue eyes met hers.
“Well then, let’s get this load of boxes into the moving van, it’s freaking hot outside. I want to get us moved in as soon as possible. You might want to know I have plans for you—” He leaned in about to recapture her lips.
“OH GOD OH GOD! Stop! I can’t take it anymore,” Thea’s teasing burst into their happy moment, her face scrunching into a practiced pout. “As if it weren’t bad enough that you two up and eloped after you abandoned me.”
Felicity unwrapped her arms from around her husband. GAH! She still couldn’t get over the fact they were married, despite being one of the three people standing on the beach under the moonlight when they were married. The memory filled her with warmth as she headed back to the kitchen, the last room that needing packing.
“Thea,” Oliver’s big brother voice breaking out, “I gave you permission to throw us a reception. Isn’t that enough?”
“As if you could’ve stopped me.” She punched Oliver playfully in the arm.
“Ow!” He rubbed the spot where a bruise waited to blossom. “Evidently your training paid off. That hurt. Man you’ve got bony little fingers.”
Felicity smirked. “Whatever am I gonna do with you two?”
Thea bounced over and started pulling coffee cups out of the cabinet. She looked down at the one in her hand that read ‘Don’t Forget to be Awesome!’ and cracked up.
“Really Felicity? Really? As if you need reminding. You live and breathe awesome. Though your choice in men leaves a bit to be desired.”
“Awww Thea, watch it or he’ll make us move all this by ourselves.” She caught Oliver’s faux glare as he lifted a stack of boxes. “Besides, I didn’t expect you today. Thought you had to work?”
Thea lifted a stack of newspapers, separating the pages to use for the mugs. “Meh! I figured, what’s the use of being the boss if you can’t take an unscheduled day off now and again. Besides, I need more bonding time with my new sister. And I thought, since you didn’t allow me to help you shop for a wedding dress,” the glare she sent to Felicity identical to the one her brother sported, “then the least you could do is let me help you shop for stuff to decorate the new house.”
“I’m not sure we’re even gonna need anything new. I mean, don’t you Queens—”
Thea interrupted, “Us Queens, I think you mean. But do go on.” She waved her hand in circular motion encouraging Felicity to finish her thought.
Felicity couldn’t help the smile or the bounce of her ponytail in response to the laughter bubbling up inside her. “Yes, of course, us Queens. Don’t we have everything we already need?”
Thea snorted in response. “Are you kidding me? Oliver only has curtains for his room because I bought them for him. And you definitely need a swing for that glorious wraparound porch. And towels! Oh, and…and…well I’m not sure what else, but I’m utterly certain I’ll know it when I see it!”
She couldn’t contain the laughter anymore and she and Thea broke into giggles.
“Aren’t you two supposed to be working here?” Dig asked as he joined them in the apartment. “Oliver assured me I wouldn’t have to work to hard today. I told him I’m too pretty to break a sweat.”
Which only encouraged the giggles threatening to completely overwhelm the two girls.
When Felicity finally caught her breath again, reigning in her glee, she replied, “Oh yes. Yes. Can’t you see us working?” She held up her ink-smudged fingertips for Dig’s inspection. “It’s a good thing I’m not planning a robbery today, I’d leave fingerprints everywhere.”
“Harrumph,” Dig huffed out. “Just get back to it you two! My stomach’s already growling, and I want to get this last load done before dinner. Lyla’s already over at the new place getting the grill up and running. So hop to it.”
Felicity and Thea made identical salutes, and Thea barked out, “Yes Drill Sergeant! Anything you say, sir!”
Felicity heard Oliver’s growl before she saw him. “I have no idea how I’m going to handle you two.”
“Shoulda thought of that before you married me,” Felicity waggled her ring finger at him. She loved the ring, not too big, heart-shaped and pink. Just think, Felicity Smoak owned a beautiful pink diamond given to her by the perfect man. She looked over her shoulder at his scowl. Okay, so, he wasn’t perfect, but she loved him just the same and wouldn’t trade him in for anything.
She watched as the material of his white t-shirt—she loved it when he wore that—stretched over his taut muscles as he lifted another stack of boxes. Warmth flooded her body in places that were incredibly distracting. Shaking herself out of her swoon, she focused on the drawer of silverware.
“Dig and I’ll be finished loading the rest of your stuff before you two finish in there.” He winked in their direction and headed out the door again.
“He’s right, you know,” Felicity remarked.
Thea smiled and grabbed a stack of plates. “Well, the way I look at it, the sooner we get these boxes packed, the sooner we can go shopping.” That was Thea, the girl who had a one track mind when it came to shopping.
“You are going to let us have our first family dinner together tonight, right?” Felicity asked unconsciously rubbing her belly.
Thea smirked, “Well I can’t have your stomach embarrassing me, so I suppose we could feed you first. Or better yet, let’s do it tomorrow. We’ll make a whole day of it. What a better way to bond than decorating your new place?”
Felicity tugged Thea into a quick hug. “Sounds like a blast, Thea,” she said, releasing the smaller woman. “But you do realize that means Oliver will insist on you helping us unpack.”
Thea pondered that kink in her plan. She sighed dramatically, “I suppose some things are worth the sacrifice. But you’d better plan on making me popcorn tonight.”
“Fair enough. If I’ve learned nothing else from your brother, I’ve certainly learned to compromise.”
When they finally put their minds to it, the packing didn’t take long. Felicity might have shed a tear or two when she took her framed pictures of sunflowers down off the walls, but she knew they would soon decorate the oak country kitchen in their new house. Dig and Oliver took the last of the boxes down to the truck, and she was left alone in the apartment that had been her home for three and a half years.
One hand on the front door, the other clutching her key, Felicity took one last look around at the bare rooms. She felt the tears trail down her cheeks. Oliver’s arms came around her waist, his body pressed down the length of hers. His lips nuzzled the nape of her neck allowing her these last few moments.
Felicity inhaled deeply, stopping the tears from falling, and turned the key in the lock one last time.
Oliver whispered, “Come on, Mrs. Queen, I have a threshold to carry you over.”