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Emily Bett Rickards

title: what does home look like? (I've only seen shadows of it in my dreams)
category: arrow
genre: family/romance
ship: felicity/oliver
chapter rating: pg-13/teen
overall rating: nc-17/explicit
prompt: ooh ooh felicity as lance's step-daughter, growing up with laurel and sara, in love with oliver! - anonymous
word count: 6,164
summary: (au) For most of her life, Felicity Smoak grew up with her father in Coast City, only visiting her mother Dinah and the Lance family in the summers. But when her father drops her off for an unexpected visit and doesn't come back, Felicity is forced to figure out what 'family' really means. And, in the meantime, falling in love with the local billionaire can't hurt, right?

what does home look like? (I've only seen shadows of it in my dreams)
-novel-

I.

It was only supposed to be a short visit.

"It'll be good for you, hey, pumpkin. Get to see your sisters…" her father told her as he dropped her off in front of the building her mother lived in with her pictue-perfect family.

Felicity had a hastily packed pink duffle bag at her feet, her mother's phone number and address scrawled on a folded over envelope, and a ball of anxiety chewing up her belly.

"Do they know I'm coming?" she worried, shifting her feet, her black and white polka-dot sneakers rubbing together.

She'd met her sisters before, obviously. Every summer she came down to visit them; a different apartment then. And she talked to her mother every other night on the phone; conversations she deeply cherished. See, this wasn't one of those awkward moments where she just showed up on the doorstep of the mother that abandoned her. No, Dinah Lance made sure to always be a part of her daughter's life.

It was a unanimous decision when Felicity was four that she would live with her dad. Her parents had been a short-lived relationship, all of three (apparently passionate) months that resulted in an unexpected pregnancy. Eight months after they split, Felicity popped out. While still pregnant, Dinah had met Officer Quentin Lance and he'd taken a shine to her, baby on the way or not. They had a whirlwind romance that was nothing like what Dinah had with Felicity's dad.

Dinah and Quentin had a daughter, Laurel, when Felicity was just a year and half old. Felicity didn't remember it, but her mom told her that she and Laurel were inseparable when they were babies. She said they cried when they were separated and Laurel's first word was 'Flis' which everyone took to mean 'Felicity.' When Felicity was two though, having two kids was hard on Dinah, who was balancing work on top of everything, and Tony Smoak, Felicity's biological dad, wanted more time with her. So, he petitioned for custody, which turned into shared, and, finally, after two years and another baby, Dinah allowed Felicity to live with Tony.

When she was five, Felicity's dad decided Starling City wasn't where he wanted to be and he found a good job over in Coast City. While he and Dinah had argued about it, a lot, the decision was made. Dinah's daughter, Sara, was two years old and demanding a lot of attention, which was already split between four year old Laurel, so taking on Felicity on top of it seemed impossible at the time.

Felicity didn't question that her mother loved her, it never crossed her mind, and she liked living with her dad. He was a good guy; funny in that charismatic kind of way. He could charm a whole room with little more than a grin, and often did when it suited him. He never quite understood her fascination with building things, taking them apart only to put them back together, but he let her; from the toaster to the television, he never stopped her. "My little genius," he called her, boasting to anybody that would listen that she was going to be some big shot inventor one day.

She was seventeen when he apparently got tired of playing dad.

There were signs, she was sure, but she never really saw them. As much as they lived together, they had their separate lives. Tony liked to gamble and he'd gone through more jobs than Felicity liked to think about. That charming smile of his got him out of a lot of tough situations, but it wasn't much help against bookies. For that, he used her; he taught her how to count cards when she was eight and she got pretty good at it. She even helped him run a few scams, just enough to make sure the bills got paid.

She never told her mom about that. She couldn't, not knowing that Quentin was a police officer.

She didn't know how much her dad owed, but she imagined it had to be a lot. He was always betting bigger each time and if he was already in the hole… Well, she imagined the broken hand and sunglasses he was sporting when he drove them to Starling City was warning enough.

She thought he'd come back, though.

She didn't really think he'd actually leave.

"One week, kid. I promise," he told her.

She thought he'd find a way to make the money, pay off his debt, pick her up, and they'd go about their lives as usual. It wasn't perfect. Some days it really sucked. But, he was her dad, and that's what she'd grown up with. It was familiar.

Standing in front of her mother's apartment door, she felt awkward and scared and completely out of her depth.

But she knocked, maybe louder than she really meant to.

When the door swung open, she was still going over a mental pep-talk, interspersed with how she wanted to explain the situation.

"Lissy?" Sara asked, her eyes wide. "Is that you? Oh my God, you're blonde!"

Felicity half-smiled. "Yeah, well, now we match…"

Sara grinned. "I haven't seen you in months. Don't I get a hug?"

Felicity dropped her duffle bag on the floor and held her arms out.

Sara gave the best hugs. Those tight, squeeze you 'til you can't breathe type. She was always the happy one; all bright smiles and flushed cheeks. She was the baby of the family, of course, only fourteen and so, so eager to grow up. She'd sprouted up a few inches since last summer and was out of the gangly pre-teen stage long before Felicity had been. She'd be a heartbreaker, Felicity just knew it. She probably already had boys panting after her, eager for any scrap of her attention. And good for her, too. Sara was a sweetheart; she always had been. Every summer, she latched onto Felicity, taking her hand and pulling her along behind her, introducing her to anyone who would listen as her big sister Lissy. Felicity hated that nickname, she never let anybody else use it; nobody but Sara, who she just couldn't tell to stop. It felt nice, she had to admit. Despite how awkward she always felt around the Lances, she appreciated how easily Sara always adapted to her.

Sara gave Felicity a little shake and then stepped back, grinning up at her like she was an early birthday present. "How long do we get to keep you?"

"A week." Felicity shrugged a shoulder high. "Dad said he'd pick me up when he was done. Sudden business trip, you know how it is."

"Awesome! This is perfect timing!" She grabbed her arm and gave her a yank, only pausing when Felicity had to grab her bag. "Come on, mom's in the den. She'll be so excited to see you!"

Felicity readjusted her glasses, leaving her duffel bag on the couch as she dutifully followed Sara through the living room and into the den, looking around curiously as they went. The last apartment the Lances had been in was smaller, but it looked like Laurel's complaints that she needed her own bedroom had finally been considered. This new apartment was, well, huge to put it lightly. Felicity wasn't unaware that her mother was comfortably wealthy. In fact, she'd benefited from that each summer, and she knew she could always ask her mother for help when money was tight or she needed to pay school fees or buy new clothes or books. But it was a bit daunting to look at the beautiful, tastefully decorated apartment that the Lance family lived in when her trailer at home barely fit her and her dad.

Stepping into the den, she was briefly distracted by the tall columns of overflowing bookcases. Her fingers twitched, eager to run the spines and find a new title. She directed her attention to the center, where her mother was sitting busy at a desk, her reading glasses slung low on her nose as she looked over some papers.

"Hey, look who the cat dragged in," Sara announced.

Dinah lifted her head briefly, a finger raised as if to ask for another minute to finish what she was doing, but then paused. "Felicity?" Her eyes widened and a smile spread over her lips. Tossing her glasses to her desk, she stood and hurried toward her, arms outstretched for a hug. "Honey, what are you doing here?"

Felicity took a moment, face buried in her mother's shoulder, and just breathed in the familiar scent of Dinah's perfume. Tears bit at her eyes. She'd be lying if she said she didn't miss her mother the other 9 months of the year. She did. There were days when she called her twice just to hear her voice and remind herself that she had a mom who loved her. Dinah was a busy woman, and she had a completely different family that looked like it was built on love and perfection. Felicity never quite felt like she fit in it, but that didn't stop her from trying.

"Dad dropped me off. Business thing. He was hoping I could stay. Just for a week…"

"Of course." Dinah stepped back, her hands raising to cup Felicity's cheeks. "I just wish your father would learn to call ahead so we could've prepared. The guest room's a mess…" She kissed Felicity's forehead and then shook her head. "It doesn't matter. You're here now, so we'll figure it out." Hugging an arm around her shoulders and then the other around Sara's, she led them back into the apartment. "Let's surprise Quentin at the precinct, let him know he's taking us girls out to celebrate."

Halfway through the apartment, she called out, "Laurel…? Come on. Felicity's visiting. We're going downtown to see your father."

"What?" A door swung open and a confused Laurel appeared, looking just as beautiful as she always did.

Felicity would be lying if she said she wasn't occasionally jealous of her sister and how she seemed to steal all the good genes for herself. Where Felicity was like the odd but unique panda purse she was wearing, Laurel was the cool, collected young woman she could only wish to be. Jealousy aside, however, she loved her sister and she was proud of how smart and hard-working she was. Laurel wasn't just a pretty face, she had the brains and confidence to back it up. Unfortunately, despite only being a year and a half apart, Felicity always kind of felt like they came from completely different worlds, and so it was hard to relate to her most of the time.

"What do you mean Felicity's… here." She paused, looking at her older sister. "Oh. Hey..." She half-smiled before casting an accusing look at Sara. "Nobody told me you were coming."

"I didn't know until this morning. It was all kind of last minute." Felicity shrugged. "Nobody to blame but Tony."

"Get your jacket. We're going to see your dad," Dinah said. "We're taking Felicity out for dinner to welcome her back."

"Oh, well, I kind of have a lot of homework…" Laurel shifted her feet. "But yeah, sure, that'd be nice." She smiled before making her way back into her room, gathering up a coat and her purse.

When she crossed the room to walk with them, Felicity felt the need to duck out from under Dinah's arm so it'd be free for Laurel, but her sister only moved to walk ahead of them. "Are we warning dad or just showing up?"

Dinah grinned. "What do you think?"


Quentin Lance was a good guy. Felicity was never really sure what to call him, so she always ended up with the overly polite 'Officer Lance' or 'sir.'

He sighed whenever she did it, but she couldn't break the habit.

"Look at you. You get taller since I saw you last summer?" he asked, sitting on the edge of his desk, a #1 Dad mug sitting at his hip. "You definitely got blonder…" He reached over to give a curl a tug and she smiled.

She waved her hands around. "Not taller. If anything, I probably shrunk… I don't think that's supposed to happen until you're well into your twilight years, but maybe I'm a special case. I mean, I haven't actually measured, but there's a 'smaller than I used to be' feeling, you know? Or not, I mean you look just as tall as ever."

He grinned, shaking his head. "I'm glad you're here, kid." He leaned over and said in a mock-whisper, "I'm pretty sure one of the girls killed the coffee pot and I know how good you are at fixing those things."

"He killed the coffee pot," Sara piped up, rolling her eyes. "Don't let him tell you any different."

"Liars, the whole lot of 'em. I'd have 'em brought into custody, but I think it'd look bad on me," he said, winking.

Felicity chuckled under her breath, ducking her head.

Quentin wasn't like her dad. He was… kinder. Oh, he could be gruff and impatient and he sighed more than any other human she knew. But there was something soft about him when it came to his family. Her mother said he was all soft in the center but liked to pretend he wasn't. Sometimes she wished she'd been the lucky daughter; the one that grew up with him as a father.

"I got a couple more hours of paperwork. Why don't you beautiful ladies spend some time catching up and when I'm done, we'll head out to dinner, all right?" He reached over to squeeze Felicity's arm. "Anywhere you want, sweetheart. It's your pick."

She nodded. "Sure. That'd be great."

Sara hopped out of the chair she'd been spinning in and made her way over. She hooked her arm through Felicity's and tugged her close. "I propose we catch up over shopping. I think Lissy needs some new everything." She grinned, wiggling her eyebrows.

"Sure, if that's what you want," Dinah agreed, rubbing her hand over Felicity's back before she turned to kiss Quentin goodbye. "Shopping it is."

Felicity cast a look back at her step-father that was full of 'what am I getting myself into?' and he answered it with a shrug.

Unlike her sisters and mother, she was not as well-acquainted with fashion. Not that her best friend Kelsey thought that was in any way acceptable; in fact, if there was anyone who loved shopping more than her mother and sisters, it was Kelsey. Thankfully, however, when Kelsey was on a shopping spree, she could take comfort in Jennifer, her other best friend, who felt just as lackluster about shopping as she did. There was no Jenn to save her now, however, and there was no stopping the Lance women when they wanted to go shopping, so she resigned herself to it.

In a small corner of her brain, she could admit it felt nice to be pampered and to wear something that wasn't jeans and an oversized t-shirt. Not that she was ever getting rid of those, because they were comfortable and she needed that when she spent hours bent over a motherboard. But still, what could a nice dress or skirt hurt, right?


Apparently Sara wasn't kidding about the new 'everything' comment because Felicity was pretty sure they'd have to buy all new luggage before she went home. There was no way even half of what they bought would fit inside her duffel bag. She was pretty happy with it though. She could probably toss the worst of her jeans now that she had a couple new pairs, and the few skirts and dresses she bought were really cute. Her favorite though was the panda flats she found on sale. While Laurel wrinkled her nose at them, Felicity said they matched her purse, so it was obviously a sign from the cosmos. In any case, she was now the proud owner of panda flats, so the three hours they spent shopping were totally worth it.

She probably could have done without the make-shift fashion show, though.

"Come on…" Sara whined. "Bring out the goods!"

Felicity rolled her eyes in the mirror, but smoothed down the blue sundress she was wearing with little turquoise and pink flowers on it. She stepped out of the dressing room to find her sister sitting on a cushion with a pink boa around her neck and a pair of oversized glasses perched on her nose. Whistling, Sara tipped the glasses down and looked her over. "Check you out…" She nudged Laurel beside her. "Is it just me, or did Felicity get the good legs?"

Dinah smiled widely. "You're getting that one." She stood and walked to her, taking her hands and holding her arms out to get a better look. "Do a twirl!"

Felicity flushed, but she listened and spun for her mother and sisters, reaching up to tuck her hair behind her ear. "Is it all right?" she wondered, scrunching up her nose.

"It's really cute," Laurel told her, nodding. "Mom's right, you should get it."

"It's done. That's going on the top of the pile," Dinah declared before turning on her heel and walking back toward a rack of clothes. "I had the sales girl grab a few things…" She fingered a few dresses. "Come on then, I want to see all of them on you."

Felicity's head fell back. "There's like twenty outfits on that rack..."

Dinah grinned. "Twenty-three. And I want you to cat-walk out here. Sara's not wrong. You've got my legs." She winked at her before moving to take a seat by her two daughters.

"Chop chop," Sara exclaimed happily. "I want something yellow next!"

Felicity rolled her eyes, but when she stopped at the rack, she specifically picked out a canary yellow dress she thought Sara would appreciate before ducking into the dressing room.

Much as she wasn't a fan of showing off, she was having fun. So maybe it wasn't the worst thing shopping with them.


After the first day, it was pretty easy. Everybody already had their routines. Sara and Laurel both had school to go to while Felicity was content that she'd already worked ahead and could take the week off. When her mother wasn't working, Dinah made sure to spend as much time with Felicity as she could. She couldn't quite explain what it felt like to have her mother like that. Easy access to Dinah was rare for her. Except for the summers, birthdays, and the holidays, she didn't get to see her. Oh, Dinah was a comforting voice on the phone and she doled out advice with the best of them, but there was nothing quite like sitting down with her mother and having her in reach while they talked.

"Tell me about home," Dinah encouraged as she spread cream cheese on her bagel, seated at the kitchen table with her hair pulled up in a ponytail. Sometimes it struck her funny how her mother could always look so put together to other people, so in control, and then Felicity got to see her with bed-head and schmear on her chin.

"Home is… home." She shrugged, looking down at her bowl of Cheerios. "I don't know… School's going well and I've already started filling out college applications. I mean, I know I don't graduate until next year and I've got my heart set on MIT, but I should probably have options, and the sooner I start the better."

She nodded. "I never worry about you when it comes to school, Felicity. You were always the smartest in the class. In pre-school, do you remember, you used to teach the other kids the alphabet and how to count…" She smiled widely. "Oh, Quentin used to talk about you to anybody who would listen. You've always been bright." She reached over to rub Felicity's arm affectionately. "But I want to know what's going on at home. How's your father been? Does he go away like this a lot or is this new?"

Felicity's first instinct was to cover for Tony. She'd been doing it for so long that it just came naturally. There were things she wasn't allowed to tell her mom – like the card counting and the debt and all the time he spent betting on horses – and it bothered her. It really did. Felicity was an honest person, she was. So, talking to her mom as often as she did and not telling her what Tony was doing, that was hard for her. She usually babbled and covered it up and changed the subject, but she suspected Dinah knew she was hiding something.

"I wouldn't say 'a lot,'" she hedged. "I mean, he does work and sometimes it's not always in town. But it's not usually for a whole week…" She shrugged. "He'll figure it out, he always does. And then I'll be back home, at least until this summer."

Dinah's lips pursed. "You know you can always come here, don't you?" She stared at her searchingly. "I know it's always just made sense with you in school and other obligations, but… this is your home, too. We're your family, too, Felicity."

She smiled then, but it was a little forced, because was it? Were they?

Felicity's family had always been her dad. She picked up the empty beer bottles in the morning, left some Advil on the table beside him, dropped a paper with circled job ads within reach, and then rode her bike to school. She told bookies she didn't know where he was, counted cards and helped him run a few casino scams to scrape by at least once a month. She made sandwiches with questionable bologna and did odd jobs to pick up groceries from time to time. Family had always been a down-on-his-luck man who called her pumpkin and promised her he'd pay her back as soon as he caught his next break.

In the summer, she could almost pretend she was someone else. She could almost pretend she was a Lance and that the people around her were who she'd always grown up with. Sometimes, when she was feeling particularly down, she'd lay in her bed at home and imagine what it would've been like if she hadn't gone to live with Tony. Would she be closer to Laurel? Would she call Quentin dad? Would she be the awkward, verbally unfiltered girl she was now, or something more refined?

But those were pipe dreams. Her family was driving a beat-up car, searching for an opportunity to make some quick cash, and her home was a small trailer in Coast City, overlooking nothing but an empty lot they kept promising they would build on next year.

Still, it was nice to pretend sometimes that her reality was, or could be, something better.

"I know, mom," she said, taking and squeezing Dinah's hand.

"Hey, why don't we go and see a movie today?" Dinah suggested, looking excited. "They've got a sci-fi marathon on downtown. I know how much you love movies like that!"

She smiled then, genuinely. "Yeah, I'd really like that."

"Wonderful." Dinah gave her hand a little shake and then picked up her bagel. "Just you and me. We'll stop and get lunch somewhere, too. Ooh, maybe we'll stop in somewhere and get our hair done. We'll make a whole day of it!"

As her mother went on about all the things they could do, Felicity nodded along, a spot in her chest warming at Dinah's enthusiasm. It was always short-lived, these moments and visits, but she never forgot one second of them. One day, she was going to go to MIT and she'd begin a life of her own. She wondered if she'd find her way back here. Maybe her and her mother could meet up every weekend and see a movie or go shopping or just sit and talk.

As quickly as that dream-life began to flesh out, she stopped it. The opportunity would come one day for her to change her life, but as much as she dreamed of leaving for MIT and finding that freedom she'd always wanted, there was another part of her that knew she would wind up back in Coast City, picking up after her dad, paying his bills when he couldn't, lying to bookies to keep them off his back. And when her mother asked her what home was like, she would lie and say it was going well, it was everything she wanted, and she'd promise to come up and see her as soon as she had some free time.

"Why don't you look up what time each movie is playing and we'll plan our day around it, hm?" Dinah told her, patting her hand.

"Sure," she said, standing from her seat. She dug out the newspaper Quentin always left folded up by the coffee machine and searched through the entertainment section.

When this ended, and, of course, it would, she hoped she wouldn't be too heartbroken.


Felicity's favorite parts were when they were all together. Family dinners at an actual dining room table, hearing about their days, being asked about her own, her mother's laughter, so free and open…

"Pass the wine, darling," her mother said to her, motioning with her hand. "Quentin, tell them that story about the burglar last week."

"We had three B&E's last week, Dee, you're gonna have to be more specific," he answered with a grin, cutting off a slice of his steak. It was bleeding enough that Dinah was quick to call him a barbarian; a running joke of theirs, said over affectionate smiles.

She waved dismissively. "You know the one, without his pants."

Felicity poured the wine into her mother's glass before putting it back onto the table.

"Thank you, baby," Dinah murmured, squeezing her forearm before she returned her attention to her husband. "I've never laughed so hard. Tell the girls."

"All right, all right…" He leaned forward, resting his elbows on the table, still holding his fork and knife. "It was a regular night, we had a few calls, nothing special… Then we get this one call, right?" He rattled off a few numbers in that way that police officers did, like they expected everybody knew what they meant. "So we got this B&E down on Sixth. Not surprising, they get hit a lot. The security over there is terrible, but anyway… We go upstairs, three flights, 'cause the elevator's out, and we knock on the door. We're thinking we're gonna have a victim, right? Somebody pissed —pardon my language— they got a ransacked apartment, the usual. But no, this lady… she's gotta be in her mid-fifties, she swings open the door, right? And she's got a bat in one hand that she's pointing back at this half-naked man tied up on her floor. She starts yelling!" He waved his hands around, cutlery glinting in the light. "She's screaming at us that this guy broke in through the window of her fire escape, wearin' nothing but his underwear, and tried to take her TV with him."

At this point, they were all laughing, picturing the scene he was painting.

Quentin chuckled a few times himself. "So we had to go in, right? Had to talk this lady down, get the bat out of her hands, and untie this guy, read him his rights, handcuff him. But he's so upset, 'cause he's half naked or caught, I don't know, but he starts pissin' himself right there on the floor. I've never seen someone get so mad. That woman grabbed the bat out of my hand and just started swingin'! She was threatening to toss him out the window he came through. It was nuts!" He shook his head. "Anyway, long story short. We took him in, sprayed him down, and when we asked him why, he said he lived a floor below her and she was always listening to her TV too loudly. He got the crazy idea that if he just went in, took the TV, and got out, problem solved."

"Why no pants though?" Felicity wondered.

He shook his head. "Your guess is as good as mine."

Felicity smiled, stabbing at a bite of salad with her fork.

Sara piped up then. "Ooh, dad, tell Lissy about the streaker last year!"

"What is it with you guys and naked people, huh?" he asked, but he sat back in his seat and started to regale her with that story too.

Felicity's cheek hurts from smiling so much.

She almost felt like part of the family.


One week became two, and fast.

She tried calling her dad, but he never picked up, until one day they said the number she was calling was out of service. She didn't understand. He'd had the same phone, the same number since she was twelve. She tried calling her house, but there was no answer, and when she called her nana it was the same.

"It'll be okay," Dinah promised, hugging an arm around her as they sat on the couch together in the living room. "Hey, this just means you get to spend more time with us, right?" She rubbed her arm gently. "Let's not look a gift-horse in the mouth."

Felicity nodded, resting her head on her mother's shoulder.

But it wasn't a gift. Not really.

Late that night, still wide awake and worried, she could hear her mother and Quentin talking in the living room.

"He abandoned her, D. He's not coming back. I see this shit all the time. That… That jerk-off dropped her here knowing he wasn't coming back…"

"We don't know that. Tony does rash things sometimes. Maybe he got caught up. I… I don't want to tell Felicity he won't come back. I don't want to hurt her if there's still a chance he'll come get her."

Quentin sighed. "I'm telling you, that deadbeat asshole walked out on her… He never deserved her to begin with."

"Quentin, please… We'll give it a few more days."

"Fine. But I'm putting out an APB for him. I'll ask around, reach out to a few buddies I have, see what they can dig up. And I'll get in contact with the Coast City PD, see what they know."

"All right. And thank you… I know this is difficult. We didn't plan for this."

"Hey… She's your daughter. She's family. We might have to move a few things around, but she's not a problem, all right? Felicity, she's a good kid. I got no problem with her staying here. I told you that from the second Tony wanted to take her. I would've raised her as my own, you know that."

"I do, I know. It's just… It's hard. She's lived most of her life away from us."

"Well, it's about time she got used to living it with us then, in't it?"

Felicity didn't hear her mother's reply. She turned over onto her side and buried her face in her pillow and cried herself to sleep.


Felicity met Oliver Queen on a Wednesday.

In an effort to stop thinking about her recent abandonment, she was drowning her issues in coffee and free wi-fi. There was a quaint little coffee shop around the corner from her mother's apartment that she'd begun frequenting and she was happily doing just that, her laptop open in front of her, when an irritated voice beside her let out a string of curses that even her step-father, who was notorious for swearing, could be proud of.

Her head swiveled to see what the damage was, only to find the man sitting beside her had spilled a latte on his top-of-the-line laptop. He, of course, seemed more interested in the scalding coffee pouring into his lap, while she, ever the hero, grabbed up his laptop and tipped it in an effort to keep the liquid from settling between the keys. Napkins in hand, she dabbed at the keyboard carefully, trying to dry up what she could. Poor thing.

"Me or the computer?"

Glancing up at the boy a few feet from her, currently wiping coffee off the front of his jeans, she answered, "I said that out loud?"

His mouth twitched. "Yeah. Question still stands. Which one's the poor baby?"

She pointed at the computer before readjusting her glasses. "Although I feel bad for your lap, too. That couldn't've been pretty." She cringed. "That came out wrong. I mean, it could've come out worse, but it was bad enough."

He cocked his head, a grin playing at his lips. "Oliver Queen," he introduced himself, holding out a hand for her to shake.

"Felicity Smoak, or you could just call me the girl who is going to save your laptop, because that's exactly what I'd like to do now that you've drowned it."

He chuckled under his breath. "Felicity's less of a mouthful."

"I've always been considered more of a handful." She paused. "Pretend I didn't say that."

"I'd rather pretend you did," he laughed.

She looked up at him, a faint blush on her cheeks. Oh, he was handsome, tall with broad shoulders, chiseled features, and sandy blond hair falling into blue eyes. She cleared her throat to distract herself from her mental appreciation. "Is there anything on here that you don't want me to see?" she wondered, glancing down at the computer. "Because I'm probably going to have to take a look around to see what kind of damage you did."

"Accidentally."

She ignored that, reaching up to readjust her glasses. "So, if there's anything, especially of the porny variety, warn a girl now."

He laughed, his brows hiked in mild surprise. "I think you're safe." He shrugged. "Now, if we were talking about my home computer… that'd be something else."

She tried and failed to smother a smile before shaking her head. "Your honesty is refreshing."

"Your smile is infectious."

She let out a breathless laugh and then waved to the seat across from her. "Since you probably don't want to leave your computer with a complete stranger, why don't you try another latte while I take a look at this?"

Oliver rested his elbows on the table and leaned forward. "Or I could spend some time getting to know you…" He searched her eyes. "Twenty questions?"

She shook her head. "Do you always flirt with people after damaging extremely expensive laptops?"

"No, this is the first time I've damaged a laptop, extremely expensive or otherwise. I do flirt a lot though, especially with cute girls I meet in coffee shops. That was your first question. Nineteen to go."

Her mouth twitched.

"My turn. Do you live around here?"

She shouldn't encourage him. Really, she shouldn't. But, well…

"'Live' is a broad term," she answered. "I'm technically visiting, my mom and the step… half…? family, to be simultaneously vague and specific. But no, home is in Coast City."

"Ah, so you're gonna break my heart by leaving in the end. Good to know."

A surprised laugh left her and she shook her head.

"Your go," he encouraged, grinning.

And so it went.

They covered friends (his best friend was a guy named Tommy; it seemed nobody else mattered as much. She told him about Kelsey and Jennifer, the free spirit and the pragmatist), family (he had a little sister, Thea, he liked to call her Speedy, and his parents, who sounded like they were pretty busy, almost too much. She told him about Tony, leaving the worst details out, but there wasn't much to say outside of 'addicted to gambling' and 'abandoned me two and a half weeks ago.' So, she added in her mother, telling him how she always smelled like lilacs, and her sisters; well, more Sara than Laurel, who had enacted a girl's night every Sunday that meant painting each other's nails and talking about boys), school (she was top of her class while he had a solid B average in everything but math), the future (she was MIT bound while he was just waiting on whatever Ivy League school his parents decided was good enough), and eventually, as things often broke down to, relationships.

"You're not seeing anyone."

"Was that a question?" she wondered, her eyes narrowed.

His mouth turned up on one side as he chuckled under his breath. "Maybe more of a hope. If you don't answer, I get to pretend you're single."

Felicity shook her head. "I'm not seeing anyone."

"Would you like to be?" He grinned then. "That was a question."

On a Wednesday afternoon, with a sticky laptop in her hands, across from a boy she'd only just met, Felicity said yes to a date with a guy whose smile made her stomach twist up.

Maybe her dad ditching her wasn't the worst thing to happen to her.

[Next: Chapter Two.]


author's note: So, this was only supposed to be a oneshot, but then it just kept growing, so I've broken it up to easier read parts. I've had a lot of fun building up this universe, so I hope you guys enjoy this. We'll see more of Felicity bonding with the Lance-side of her family and learning what kind of dad Quentin is compared to her own. There's also a lot more Olicity in the second chapter, which is pretty much the cutest ever because lovesick and young Oliver is just adorable and fun.

Please leave a review! They're my lifeblood and keep me writing. Plus, I'm easily swayed to post earlier when people are eager to read the next part, lol.

Thank so much for reading!

- Lee | Fina

Comments

( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
moonstar_sfu
Feb. 15th, 2014 09:28 am (UTC)
I love this, you are giving me such Papa!Lance feels lately! I'm looking forward to seeing how Felicity fits in with the Lance family and the growth of her relationship with Quentin.

The coffee shop scene between Felicity and Oliver was adorable. I'm enjoying young!Oliver, he is so eager and undamaged. I also love how Kelsey and Jennifer are always Felicity's best friends now because I love them so much. I can't wait to see what happens next.
isdon_isgood9
Feb. 15th, 2014 09:36 am (UTC)
This is amazing!! I love the little verse that you created here! And I love sweet cute Felicity and Oliver!!

Can't wait for more :D
sawyersfreckles
Feb. 15th, 2014 01:04 pm (UTC)
So awesome :) can't wait to read what happens next :)
weefeesmum
Feb. 15th, 2014 01:35 pm (UTC)
Super Duper xx
sanaazzy
Feb. 15th, 2014 02:00 pm (UTC)
Oh i love this! The whole concept is perfect and well set-up. I can't wait to read more.

I just love the way you write olicity. *happy sigh* Come back soon with the next chapter please!
sandy1024
Feb. 15th, 2014 05:03 pm (UTC)
Love this au verse you created. Like the lances, especially her stepfather. Like a young Oliver. He doesn't have the all the baggage that he has on the show being stuck on the island. Can't wait to see how Felicity and Oliver go from here. The cafe scene was cute and of course my favorite part of the story.
calliope1975
Feb. 15th, 2014 06:33 pm (UTC)
Protective Dad!Lance is the best. Can't wait to read him bonding with Felicity.
lionhearted_21
Feb. 15th, 2014 08:45 pm (UTC)
I love this! Felicity has a family (even if she has to learn that she has a family she can rely on beyond Tony), there's Papa!Lance feels, and a cute meet Olicity moment! I'd love to read more of this story and see her relationships with everyone develop!
greenteam4ever
Feb. 17th, 2014 04:02 pm (UTC)
Have I everr told you how happy I am you are writing for Olicity? Because I really am!
I love this story's idea, it's something totally different from what I have read. How many parts are there? Oh, I hope there won't be the love cube with Oliver and all teh sisters..ALthough who knows, it could be fun :D
Looking forward to more!
( 9 comments — Leave a comment )

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