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Story Notes:
A/N: A few months ago I started getting into the show Arrow. Yes, I was a year behind, but I started and then couldn't stop. Oliver and Felicity -became my new favorite non-couple on TV. So it was then I decided I wanted to get back into fanfiction with my new favorite non-couple. I haven't done fanfiction writing in a while but this pairing made me want to write again. The story takes place the day after Oliver tells Moira he's through with her when he finds out about Thea, and he and Sara sleep together. I started writing this right after that episode, but I'm not the fastest writer and I wanted to write a few Chapters before I started posting so anything that's happened since then is not reflected in this story directly. There may be some carryover but it's purely coincidental. I hope for any of you who are interested like the story I've come up with. Titles tend to be the hardest part so give it a chance even if the title doesn't grab you. I do want to thank Charlynn (oyhumburg), my beta. Without her probably none of this would make sense. Enjoy.
“Tap, Tap, Tap...; Tap, Tap, Tap....”

As hard as she tried... well, in all honesty she wasn't really trying that hard, Felicity was unable to specifically pinpoint where that overly annoying, repetitive noise was originating. It could be from her planted foot as her toes continued to hit the hard travertine tiled floor, which for a work place was really quite beautiful... and so not important right now. Or, possibly, it was the pencil that was wrapped around her long, graceful fingers as it hit the sleek, tempered glass of her work space. Probably not the pencil, though, because it kept making it's way from the desk to her mouth and back again every few moments in quick succession. Maybe it came from the second hand as it inched around in its 360 degree pattern on the wall clock that hung symmetrically above the elevators that were in clear sight of where she was sitting and where her catlike, pale blue eyes had been focused since arriving earlier that day. But, more than likely, the sound was the thump, thump, thump signifying the heavy, rapid beating of her heart as she waited for Oliver Queen, aka The Arrow, to stride off the elevators of Queen Consolidated and decide her ultimate fate.

It was now 10 o’clock. An hour past the time he usually strode into work. Well, work was such an ambiguous term when it comes to Oliver and his 'day' job, but either way he was usually there by now. He could be with Diggle, working out after his 'meeting' with his mom the night before, having lost track of time. After all, she had lost track of time watching Oliver work out more than once. But John was pretty reliable and would know when it was time to quit and shower and make their way into the office.

It was no use. Felicity needed to focus on something other than her boss being late, which, in her mind, was not a good sign. So, the blonde did what anyone else in her position would do: she got out her tablet and started to work on her resume. Maybe she should check out Central City and see what was available there, because she knew once Oliver 'let her go' (and how could he not after what she told him about his family?), she would not be able to stay in Starling.

Yeah, sure, Oliver promised she would never lose him, but was it really true? This wasn't just some random name on a list; this time, it was his mother, and who doesn’t side with their own mother? Moira could be pretty convincing, not to mention manipulative, when she wanted to be, so the mayoral candidate had probably convinced her son that Felicity was just a jealous, bitter girl who should be let go from her current position as his executive assistant and removed from their lives for good. How could she stay in Starling City if that happened? Well, she couldn’t, and that was why it was time to start thinking about the future and what she would do when Oliver fired her. Because, now, it was a quarter after 10:00, and her imminent firing just seemed inevitable.

Just as she was about to review her current resume and make the appropriate adjustments (how does one describe being the personal, technical assistant for a vigilante, breaking several federal laws all in an effort to help said vigilante save their city, his city?), the elevator bell dinged, signaling its arrival. She hadn't even managed to type a single word. Her heartbeat went into overdrive as she waited for the doors to open.

But it wasn’t Oliver who stepped over the threshold when the doors opened, and, as much as Felicity was dreading her next encounter with Oliver, she definitely didn’t want to deal with the brunette that was headed her way either. Isabel Rochev was not what Felicity needed that morning.

She watched as the skinny... and, yeah, alright, she could admit pretty if not stoic... executive made her way towards Felicity’s desk, her stiletto heels making a loud clicking noise as she assertively ambulated over. Well, that definitely took away from the tapping noise that only moments ago had seemed so annoying.

Without any salutations or a greeting, the woman quickly went into a tirade about Oliver. "Where's your boss? We were suppose to meet thirty minutes ago to go over some business proposals, and he never showed up. Not that I'm surprised. He has a knack for never being where he's supposed to be."

"He's not here," was all Felicity offered.

Watching as Isabel forcibly placed her hand on her hip, Felicity heard the annoyance evident in the woman’s voice as she responded, "I can see," waving her hand around the office space in emphasis, "that he's not here. What I need to know is where is he?”

Counting to ten before responding, Felicity plastered on her best smile and, through gritted teeth, said, “did you try calling him?”

Almost to the point of shouting, Isabel replied, “of course I tried calling him, but, not unexpectedly, he’s not answering his phone!” Smug derision invaded her voice. “What? Did you two have a lover's spat, and now he's off licking his wounds?"

Even with the sarcasm oozing from the woman's words, Felicity refused to rise to the bait, but she did decide to plant her hands on her desk and stand for more effect. She definitely felt at a disadvantage with Isabel standing over her. "It's not like that with us, and you know it. Now..."

Thankfully, before the conversation could go any further, Felicity's work phone rang. Trying to appear apologetic Felicity mouthed 'sorry' to Isabel before pointing to her phone as she shrugged her shoulders and mouthed 'work' before sitting back down and answering the call in her most business-like voice. "Oliver Queen's office, this is Felicity Smoak speaking. How may I be of assistance?"

She surveyed the brunette’s retreat as Oliver's business partner stalked off, stomping back onto the elevators before heading to... wherever. Really, she could give two figs – who even ate figs anyway? – unless it meant she was heading far, far away, never to return.

Realizing someone was now talking, the blonde turned her attention to the person on the other line. "Felicity, you there? It's Diggle."

Taking a deep breath and rubbing her now throbbing head after her encounter with Isabel, Felicity replied, "hey, John. What's up?"

"You okay? You sound a little distracted?"

Sighing, Felicity adjusted her glasses while taking a another deep, calming breath before answering. "Yeah, I'm fine. What can I help you with?"

"Have you seen Oliver?" "No, not since last night, why?" Worried now, Felicity was almost afraid to ask, “what's going on?"

The blonde could easily decipher the frustration in Diggle's voice, but she also knew he was trying to stay calm for her sake. "I'm sure it's nothing, but, when I went to pick up Oliver, he wasn't at home, and no one had seen him this morning. I finally found Moira, but she admitted to not having seen him since last night. She also seemed pretty upset. Do you know what that's all about?”

Readjusting her glasses once more, Felicity tried to keep her voice even as she responded, "I... I have no idea. Maybe they had a disagreement about something?" She cringed. She did not like lying to Digg.

"Yeah, I'm sure it's nothing, but I hate when the guy goes off the grid. I really need to find the man. Could you do me a favor and head to the Foundry? You're closer than I am, and Oliver really needs to get to Queen Consolidated. He’s already super late for his meeting with Isabel, and she is not going to be happy.”

“Tell me about it,” Felicity grumbled under her breath.

“What was that?” Diggle asked.

Sitting up straighter and fiddling with her glasses, Felicity replied, “nothing,” sighing as she put her tablet back in her bag. “I’ll head over there now, John. Do you just want me to bring him back to Queen Consolidated or meet you somewhere else first?”

“No, I’ll just meet you both back at the offices. Thanks, Felicity. See you soon.” And, with that, the man hung up.

“Yeah, see you soon,” Felicity responded with as much enthusiasm as she would if she was heading to the dentist for a root canal.

Knowing there was no sense in putting her Oliver-wrangling errand off, the IT specialist headed to the underground garage of Queen Consolidated where her shiny red Mini awaited. Once in her car, Felicity again tried to take deep, calming breaths to slow her rapid heartbeat. It was to no avail, and, even worse, her hands were shaking uncontrollably as she steered the car towards her destination. Once there, she quickly parked in the alleyway next to Verdant. As she exited her car her respirations started to increase as well. Nothing was working. She easily admitted to herself that she was extremely nervous about her upcoming encounter with Oliver, but Felicity wasn’t a quitter. It was time to face to music. Squaring her shoulders, she bent down to wipe her sweaty palms on the front of her pretty pink cotton sundress. At the last moment, though, she decided otherwise, thinking better than to ruin her dress. After all, there was a very good chance she'd be out of a job at any minute and, henceforth, would have no money to replace it if it was ruined.

Yet, as she made her way to the basement of Verdant, her resolve started to crumble. She chastised herself for thinking that going there was a good idea. “Sure, Diggle, I’ll help you find Oliver. No problem. It’s not like I’m worried about when I see him. Noooooo. This won’t be a problem at all. Yeah, right.”

Seeing Oliver not on the Salmon Ladder, Felicity strode right by her well outfitted IT station and headed towards where Oliver and Diggle usually sparred. It was there she saw something that she hoped to erase from her mind for all eternity.

Stopping in her tracks, Felicity watched as a half clothed Oliver tackled a half clothed Sara – thankfully, she at least had a sports bra on – down onto the sparring mat, both of them giggling as he did it. It was then that she watched as her boss, and damn it her secret crush, leaned in and kissed the girl passionately.

Feeling as if she was about to hyperventilate... and definitely not wanting to get caught seeing the pair together, Felicity turned to make a quick getaway before they could even know she had been there, but damn if her three and a half inch heels didn’t fail her at a time when she really didn’t need that to happen. For, as she turned, her right heel snapped, causing her to gasp and cry out in pain as her hip hit the steel gurney right next to her... which, sure, was always good to have when an emergency injury came up but not when someone was trying to make a clean getaway. Slightly cursing herself, she heard the one thing she had prayed she wouldn’t: Oliver’s voice calling out to her as she hit the ground. “Felicity...? What are you doing here?”

Hearing him move – to possibly help her – and asking, “are you okay,” the blonde quickly lifted her hand, not looking his way while motioning for him to stop.

“I got this,” was all she could grunt out before placing her hands on the floor and attempting to stand. Trying to be as graceful as possible when one’s sleek and sexy stiletto gave out at the worst possible time ever, she rose to turn and greet the pair, working to keep her face as calm and neutral as possible, concealing the hurt one feels when catching their boss, and secret crush, in a very compromising position.

*******

If he hadn’t been watching her every move to make sure she was okay, Oliver might have missed the hurt that flashed briefly in her eyes before she was able to cover it up with a sweet smile and awkward wave. But, because he was focused on her every move, he saw it before she had the time to completely cover it up, and the guilt he felt for putting that look into her warm, blue eyes hit him like an arrow to the heart, for the one person he never wanted to hurt in this truly cruel world was Felicity.

He watched as Felicity once again turned around as Sara scrambled off the sparring mat to grab her grey hoodie and cover up her bare body, the carefree feeling of only a moment ago gone. Yet, if he was at all honest with himself, it was probably for the best, because he really didn’t know or understand what he was doing with Sara right now, and he had better figure it out before anything else happened.

Sighing, rubbing his hands over his face, Oliver rose as well, grabbing his own shirt off the floor and pulling it over his head. “Felicity,” Oliver headed over to her against his better judgement. Wrapping his fingers gently around her wrist, he lightly pulled her around to face him once again, softly asking, “are you sure you’re okay?”

Her voice sounded breathless, which initially caused him concern, but, as she started to ramble, Oliver felt a little more at ease. “I’m fine. Really. Nothing some Gorilla glue won’t fix... well, at least I hope so, because these were really expensive shoes. A splurge of mine when Walter gave me the job at Queen Consolidated. I know it seems silly to spend so much money on shoes... Wait, who am I talking to? Your a billionaire. $400 on a pair of shoes probably seems like nothing. Oops. Did I really say that, because I didn’t mean to insinuate that you didn’t care about the money you spent on clothing or, really, shoes for that matter....

It was when Oliver finally placed both hands lightly on her shoulders that Felicity stopped. Casting her eyes downward, she took a breath and said, “sorry. Uh, what was the question again?”

Reaching his finger down under her chin, Oliver brought Felicity’s eyes back up to meet his own. “I asked if you were okay.”

Oliver stiffened as he felt her pull away from his touch. “Yeah, I’m fine.”

Taking a deep breath, he decided to try and change the subject. “What are you doing here?” It was then he heard Sara say, “I think I’m going to head out.”

Feeling guilty now for forgetting Sara was even in the room as his attention had been focused solely on Felicity, Oliver turned to face the other blonde in the room, and, as he did, he heard Felicity respond before he could.

“Don’t go on account of me. I mean, I have to get back to work, and I should probably go home and get another pair of shoes since it would look silly if I hobbled around on one stiletto at all day. And, yeah, I should probably stop talking now.”

Waving her off, Sara replied, “it’s fine. I really need to go find a place to stay in case my dad takes Laurel’s side on her hate where I’m concerned and doesn’t let me into the house.”

Oliver quickly moved away from Felicity and walked over to Sara. “Hey.” He grabbed her arm just as he had Felicity’s, and, ever mindful of his surroundings, Oliver watched as his executive assistant stiffened and turned away as he spoke with Sara. “You know you aren’t alone.”

Sara easily replied, “yeah, I know. I’ll....” Looking in Felicity’s direction before continuing, she said, “I’ll just see you later.”

Oliver acquiesced, his attention quickly reverting back to his uneasy executive assistant.

“Sorry again, Sara,” Felicity said as the blonde headed up the stairs to exit the building. Oliver watched as Sara just waved her off and left. He made a mental note to check on her later.

Turning to his executive assistant/IT specialist once more, Oliver crossed his arms across his chest and asked again, “alright, it’s time you told me what brought you here. And try to do it in two sentences or less.”

“Fine,” Felicity replied as she brought her head up high. “While you were here,” she waved in the direction of the sparring mat, “Isabel Rochev came to see me, looking for you of course and being her usual pleasant self when I couldn’t tell her your whereabouts, because I guess, according to her, we're always together. Then Diggle called all worried about you because he couldn’t find you at the house, and no one had seen you since last night. Oh, and, yes, I realize this is more than two sentences, but I’ve been sitting around the office all morning, waiting for you to fire me. Do you know what that feels like, just sitting and sitting, waiting until your boss gets into work just to fire you?”

Now, that last statement really got Oliver’s attention. Crossing back over to her, Oliver once again gently placed his hands on Felicity’s shoulders. “Why would you think I was going to fire you?”

“Because,” he watched as she took a breath before continuing. “Because you saw your mother last night, and I hadn’t heard from you, and I just assumed she convinced you that I was wrong to tell you her secret and that I should no longer be a part of your life.” With that last statement, Oliver watched as Felicity tried to keep from crying, small tears pooling at the edges of her beautiful, blue eyes.

“Hey,” he said as he gently placed the palm of his hand on her cheek, stroking it lightly with his thumb, reveling in how soft her skin felt. “I told you that you would never lose me, and I meant it. Don’t you trust me anymore?”

“Of course, I trust you, Oliver,” Felicity replied, grabbing his forearms with her hands. “But this is your mother.”

“Yes, it is my mother, but she’s not you,” he said, trying to reassure her that nothing could ever make him want her to leave. “Listen to me, and hear me this time. I. Will. Never. Leave. You. Okay?” Then he grabbed her and pulled her against his body, relishing in the feel of her gentle curves against him. Even if he shouldn't.

He felt her nod in acquiescence. Without releasing her, Oliver began to warmly rub circles along her low back. And, before he could stop himself, he asked, “maybe we should talk about what you saw a few moments ago.” He felt her stiffen immediately and pull away, knowing their close moment was over.

“No, I think it’s best we treat this just like Russia. I have no business commenting on what you do with your personal life, Oliver.”

“Felicity...”

“No,” Felicity raised her hand to stop him. “I mean it. I’d rather not talk about this at all.” He watched as she hobbled over in one high heel to her IT station and sat down. “Diggle wanted me to bring you back to Queen Consolidated, but I really need to go home and change. Do you think you can get there on your own and deal with Isabel without me?”

Oliver smirked slightly at her reference to his co-CEO. “Yeah, I can handle it. I’m going to shower and call Diggle now. I’ll see you later,... right?” Worried now with what after she just witness, she may never want to see him again.

“Yeah, I’ll see you later.” And, with that, Oliver watched as a now shoeless Felicity headed up the stairs to head home.


******

As Sara left Verdant she heard her phone start to ring. Pulling the device out of the pocket of her grey hoodie, she eyed the phone number before answering.

“Hi Dad.” she said, happy to hear from him.

“Wait Dad, slow down. What did you say? Someone’s at your place to see me? Is it Laurel?” Trying to keep the disappointment from her voice when he said no, Sara waited until her Dad was finished before replying.

“Well, I was going to head to your place now, can they wait? Okay. No, I’m fine. I promise. I was just hoping I could stay with you for a while till I get my feet on the ground. You know, things like, find a job, earn some money, find a place of my own. Thanks Dad. I was hoping you wouldn’t turn me down.”

“Okay, you’re headed to work. That’s fine Dad. I don’t need a babysitter, as you should know that. Yeah, I’ll just see you later. Love you too.” and with that she disconnected the call, but Sara’s curiosity was definitely peaked, not sure what this unexpected visit meant. Guess there’s only one way to find out so Sara quickly headed off to her Dad’s, and yeah, I guess her place now as well.
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