She’s Got a Way

A gift for the fanfiction community for fanfic writers appreciation day. This is my way of saying thank you for reading my stories. You all encourage me to write when the world feels like it’s pressing in on all sides.

Fandom: Arrow
Pairing: Oliver & Felicity
Rating: G
Setting: Post season 2/Pre-season 3
Summary: Thea decides to throw a ball at the Queen Mansion, leading to a confession and a dance under a starlit sky.
Inspired by the Billy Joel song She’s Got a Way

She’s got a way about her
I don’t know what it is
But I know that I can’t live without her
She’s got a way of pleasin’
I don’t know what it is
But there doesn’t have to be a reason anyway

Oliver gazed down at the back lawn, darkening with the night and lit by torches that lined the space. Tables of differing sizes and covered in tablecloths that matched the blue of Felicity’s eyes, dotted a half moon around the dance floor. Thea directed the caterers and musicians to their respective places like a general in charge of an advancing army, directing Roy to do her bidding. Parties no longer mattered to him, but his sister wanted to throw one, so he would smile and clasp hands with everyone happily. After Malcolm and then Slade, they needed this moment of calm amidst all the chaos that normally swirled about them.

At least Felicity and Diggle would be here. Sure the party would be swarming with acquaintances, but none of them knew his secret and he kept them all at a distance, unsure who he could trust beyond his two partners. He could be himself around them, never worrying that they’d see through his façade; he never wore one around them. They didn’t know everything, but they knew more than anyone else.

Moving away from the window and into his closet, Oliver grabbed a stiff white shirt and shrugged it over his shoulders. In the far back corner, his black tux hung. Pulling it from its hanger, he stepped into the pants, draping the coat over his arm. He dug into a drawer and withdrew a bow tie, wrapping it around his shoulders and heading back into his room.

He stood before his full-length mirror studying his image while he buttoned up his shirt. He knew Felicity found him attractive; her inappropriate and adorable innuendos revealed that much, but had no idea if that indicated anything more than a simple crush. He also knew she had no idea of his feelings for her. Shaking his head, Oliver slipped his arms into the jacket and tied a bow around his neck.

She deserved much more than the broken man he’d become, but for once, he wanted to be selfish, to claim something of happiness for himself.

After Count Vertigo abducted Felicity, and Oliver killed him in a blind rage, he knew he couldn’t deny that somehow she’ d claimed a corner of his heart. One that expanded with every conversation, every meal they shared, every time she put herself in harm’s way to help him protect the city. If he had his way, he’d never let her put herself in danger, but it wasn’t his choice. No, it was hers. As much as he wanted to shelter her, she chose to be an active participant in his world.

What if he confessed? Could he fend off the enemies that would use her against him? He might risk many things, but he wasn’t sure he could gamble with her life. She was his light, his hope, his belief, and the reason he kept going despite his exhaustion and his failings. As the Arrow, Oliver knew his way forward. As the man, he feared what his life might become if he let her go. To live as only the weapon, to know nothing of her smile beaming up at him, would be a death sentence.

Felicity gave him something to live for.

She’s got a smile that heals me
I don’t know why it is
But I have to laugh when she reveals me
She’s got a way of talkin’
I don’t know why it is
But it lifts me up when we are walkin’ anywhere

Downstairs, the world whirled around him as the band played. Trays of food, a microphone, vases of lilies, extra chairs: it all passed him by as he walked towards Thea, lost in thought. Outside on the terrace, he paused, staring up at the stars. The sounds of preparation fell away and he recalled standing on the beach at Lian Yu, certain that he’d never see another one of these galas. Never see his little sister graduate from high school, or dance with her at her wedding.

“Ollie,” the youngest Queen startled him out of his melancholy, “are you okay?”

An effortless smile formed. “Of course, Speedy.” He pulled her close, his arm over her shoulders, “You look beautiful as usual, and the party looks fantastic.”

“Do you think so? Mom would’ve hated the idea of the Christmas lights in the trees,” she said, choking up, but refusing to give in, “but I think it looks like a real-life fairytale.” She spun in a lazy circle like she had as a kid, arms outstretched, her deep blue dress twirling around her ankles.

Kissing her on the forehead after she slowed, he responded easily, “It’s perfect, Thea.”

“You look really good, Ollie.” She reached up to adjust his bow tie. “Did you invite the blonde from the office?”

His heart thumped three times in quick succession. “Which blonde?”

“Your assistant…what’s her name?” Both of Thea’s eyebrows rose as she teased him.

“Felicity,” he answered a bit too quickly, then paused. “Where’s this going, Speedy?”

Tilting her chin and crossing her arms, she neatly avoided the question, “Do you know I’ve never actually met her? I’ve only seen her sitting at her desk as you try not to sneak glances at her while we’re supposed to be bonding. Or when we leave for lunch together. Or come back from lunch…”

Oliver looked everywhere but at his sister. “Since when do you care about my assistants?”

“Since you’re obviously smitten with her.” Her arm laced through his, tugging him down the stairs. They stopped at the end of the stone walkway taking in the smattering of guests who’d already arrived.

“Smitten?” Was he that obvious?

“Yes, Ollie, smitten. I’m your sister, I know these things.” Thea winked and smirked at him. “You know that’s the beginning of about a hundred trashy romance novels, right?”

Stiffening, he responded tersely, “It’s not like that.”

Thea wrapped her arm around his waist, leaning her head against his bicep. “Ooooh. He gets defensive. This girl must mean something to you. I insist on an official introduction.”

An overwhelming sadness flooded his system, “She might not show.” Maybe she had better things to do.

“She will,” his little sister propped her chin on the edge of his shoulder. “When a man looks at a woman the way you look at Felicity…let’s just say, if her heart doesn’t melt, she’s an Ice Queen. And I’ve seen her smile at you, there’s no ice there.”

Oliver swallowed past the lump in his throat, tugging her into a hug. His sister saw more than he realized.

“Alright, alright. That’s enough of that,” she disentangled herself, “I don’t wanna smear my make-up. Penny!”

Squeezing his forearm, her strappy heels clacked on the slate stones as she turned away from him and walked towards her redheaded friend. Oliver walked to the bar, ordering a scotch neat, nervous but enjoying the cool of the evening. The wind rippled through the trees and the tiny lights reflected against the surface of his drink.

She comes to me when I’m feelin’ down
Inspires me without a sound
She touches me and I get turned around

It should be enough to simply spend his nights with her, working while her blonde ponytail bounced to the rhythm of her internal conversation. He loved how her emotions played across his face: relief when he returned after a dangerous mission, pride when they succeeded and comfort when they failed, every flicker of joy and flare of lust; he noticed them all.

Oliver made small talk with the citizens of Starling City, pledging the help of the Queen family in rebuilding the city after the destruction of Slade’s army, but his mind was occupied with the woman who still hadn’t arrived. He glanced at his watch wondering if he should be worried. Dig would’ve called. They both protected her, would give their lives in exchange for hers, every single time. Some lights were too important.

She’s got a way of showin’
How I make her feel
And I find the strength to keep on goin’
She’s got a light around her
And ev’rywhere she goes
A million dreams of love surround her ev’rywhere

He meandered and scanned the area. Waiting. His glimpse stuttered over the striking blonde when she finally arrived, in a dusty rose, full-length gown that left her shoulders bare. Soft, gossamer layers drifted down as she lifted the hem, floating down the stairs. Her lips matched the shade of her dress and her golden hair was pulled up, tiny ringlets drifting down around her eyes and neckline. Dig trailed after her, as swept away by her ethereal beauty as Oliver.

“Felicity, you look…” Suddenly he couldn’t breathe. Every adjective he could possibly use to describe her fled his brain. “Great.”

Her laughter enveloped him as she laid her fingertips on his forearm. “Great, Oliver? It’s hard to believe you have a way with the ladies.”

“I think what he means,” Dig cleared his throat, “is that you look stunning this evening, Miss Smoak.”

She dipped into a perfect curtsey. “Thank you, Sir Diggle. Oliver, the party looks amazing.”

“Well thanks!” Felicity turned, coming face to face with his sister. “Roy helped, but I did most of the heavy lifting. Hi, I’m Ollie’s sister—”

“Thea,” she finished excitedly, “I’m so glad we’re finally actually meeting.”

“Yes, he…” the brunette side-eyed her brother, “should have introduced us long ago, especially since I see you all the time at the office—I think he wants to keep you to himself—but I suppose we’ll have to forgive him. Come on, let’s go get you a drink.”

Oliver observed helplessly as his sister looped her arm through Felicity’s, pulling the blonde away. Parts of him were ecstatic to see the two women become friends, but the hidden part he barely admitted didn’t want to share her with anyone.

“Don’t worry, I’ll take good care of her,” Thea called over her shoulder as the two girls headed towards the bar. His eyes never left Felicity.

“Should I be worried about that?” He nodded in the direction of the retreating women.

Dig studied his features. He avoided a direct answer, instead replying, “You’ve got it bad for her, man.”

He opened his mouth to issue a half-hearted denial, but decided against it. His partner deserved better. “She deserves better.”

“That’s a bunch of horseshit and you know it. At first, I thought she just had a crush she’d get over when she found someone else. But although she’s not waiting around, she’s not moving forward.” The two men walked, paralleling Thea and Felicity on the dance floor, their fun evident even from afar. “But it’s not just her. I’ve watched you two and things have changed. You know it. I know it. The only person who doesn’t is Felicity. How long are you going to punish both of you for the things you’ve done to survive?”

She comes to me when I’m feelin’ down
Inspires me without a sound
She touches me and I get turned around

The evening passed as Oliver played the role expected of him. Smiling, laughing, socializing with the guests, while he kept an eye on the woman who occupied his mind. Tonight Felicity was the bell of the ball, rarely alone on the floor. Every so often, she would come stand next to him and chat about nothing of consequence, until another man requested her time. Envy burrowed into his gut. How long could he expect her to wait? How long before someone truly claimed her interest, and she took her sunshine elsewhere?

Felicity separated from her most recent partner and before Oliver could second-guess his decision, he strode towards her. Her eyes lit up as he approached and stretched out his hand. The silk of her fingertips slipped over his, and warmth shot through every nerve. He pulled her body flush against his and shivers rippled between them.

“Felicity, I…” his breath puffed against her forehead, disturbing an errant curl. “I never dance.”

Gazing up at him, her beautiful blue eyes crinkled in response. “I’m honored to be the exception.”

Unable to break eye contact, he whispered, “You’re always the exception.” Silence fell as she leaned her head down, placing her cheek against his shoulder. They swayed as Billy Joel serenaded them.

She’s got a smile that heals me
I don’t know why it is
But I have to laugh when she reveals me
She’s got a way about her
I don’t know what it is
But I know that I can’t live without her anyway

He allowed himself a moment to reveal in the feeling of her in his arms, but a memory surfaced that he wanted to share. “I saw you once. Before I returned from the island, I mean.”

“You were here? In Starling? Why?” Confused lined her face, but no judgment lingered there; it never did. Felicity always gave him the benefit of the doubt.

“It’s a long story, but I broke into Queen Consolidated late one night and you were there. After everything I’d been through, you were like this shining beacon in the vast emptiness. You were talking to a photo of me, it was the first time I heard you babble.”

Felicity’s face flushed. “Of course, I started embarrassing myself with you before we even met.”

“I think that was the moment.”

She stilled. “Oliver, you don’t have to…”

He pulled their joined hands against his chest. “Please, I want to,” he pleaded. He felt her nod, wisps of her hair brushing his jaw. “There was just something about you. That night stayed with me until the day I walked into your office. I had no idea that the tech support I went to meet was the girl who became my hope in so much darkness.”

They both stopped though the music continued. The world narrowed to only the two of them. “Then you agreed to work with me and you brought that light into my life on a regular basis.” The words felt lodged in his throat, just aching to get out. He had to push past the fear. “I can’t lose you, Felicity.”

Reaching up, she cupped his cheek; he covered her smaller hand with his larger one. “You won’t, I promise. I’m not going anywhere.”

“That’s just the thing, I can protect you from the entire world. I can keep you at arms length to keep you safe, but eventually you’ll leave. And when that happens…I don’t know…I can’t—oh fuck it.”

He was done talking. Oliver kissed her with all the feelings and the fear he’d kept buried, let it all go. Her lips crashed into his and it felt like a benediction. Nothing came close. He threaded his fingers through the loose strands of her hair and her hands slipped over his shoulders, running their slender length down the nape of his neck. Their mouths parted at the same time and he felt the quick intake of her breath.

Minutes later, maybe hours, he was unsure, they pulled back from one another. Resting his forehead on hers, he murmured, “This, if you want it, puts you in more danger than I can even comprehend. If you don’t, I understand.”

He paused, waiting for her response. “You can protect me.”

“And if I can’t—”

She cut him off, her fingertips pressed against his lips. “Oliver, you can. Besides, we’re in danger every day. You protect me and I protect you, that’s how a partnership works. I’ve believed in you since the moment you walked into my life with your ridiculous cover story and I feel safer by your side than anywhere else. Now that I know how you feel, I’m not giving you up, ever. So shut up and kiss me.”


6 thoughts on “She’s Got a Way

  1. Pingback: Updates 8-30-15 | Fanfiction Minions

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