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Felicity couldn’t believe this was really happening. Well, it hadn’t happened yet; but, it was New Year’s Eve day, and everything still looked good for her date with Oliver Queen. Her dress, shoes, hair products and makeup were all safely hidden in the trunk of her car, and she only had just a short time left of her shift before she could head off to the West’s to get ready.

When Felicity had told her best friends about her plans, they all agreed, even though Barry was extremely reluctant about Felicity going on a date with Oliver Queen, that her best bet of actually making it to the party they were attending was to get ready at their house, and leave from there. Oliver had offered to pick her up, but she had told him that it made no sense for him to drive over an hour to get her, just to head back to where he started, and then have to do it all over again after the party ended. Plus, if she was being completely honest with herself, Felicity wanted to have her car as a backup in case things went terribly wrong.

What if after she arrived the man realized he’d made a horrible mistake by asking her out. That he had only been caught up in the Christmas spirit, and really didn’t want to share the evening ringing in the New Year with her. She didn’t think that would happen, especially after the week the two shared through texts, late night phone calls and a couple of skype calls, but a girl could never be too careful.

Iris had been so excited for Felicity when she shared the news on Christmas Day. Barry and Joe not so much, but Felicity assured the two that she was going into this with eyes wide open; and, they better than anyone should know not to judge someone by what they might have read or heard from a third party source.

The hardest part had been telling her stepmother she was not working New Year’s Eve. Traditionally, the Diner closed that night when her mother was still alive, opening early the next morning for a special New Year’s Day brunch. But, when her father died and Dinah took over, she felt it was a huge loss of revenue to close that evening. Felicity argued with her and even presented a hard copy graph on the actual losses the Diner had suffered when they remained open on New Year’s Eve, and if there was anything Dinah Lance listened to, it was when she lost money.

Begrudgingly, she conceded and Felicity was given the evening off. Besides, she had informed her, Laurel had an important date, and her oldest child shouldn’t be rushed for her big evening out.

Felicity had to bite her tongue so as not to reveal her own plans that evening because once she did, she knew Dinah would never let her leave.

Oliver had asked her in one of their many conversations this week, why the Diner didn’t belong to her outright, and why her stepmother had control. Felicity explained that when her father died unexpectedly, she hadn’t turned eighteen yet, so the Diner went, by State Law to his wife. He’d then inquired why, after she’d become a legal adult that it hadn’t been transferred into her name. Felicity told Oliver of her father’s wish for her to go to college. He felt if she owned the Diner, she’d never go, so he stipulated the restaurant would not transfer into her name until she was twenty-eight. Right now she was twenty-five so she had a few years to go.

Felicity thought that’s why Dinah was pushing so hard for Laurel to meet someone with means, so once the time came there would be someone around to take care of her.

Oliver remained quiet after that for a few moments, and she quickly reassured him that she was fine with her father’s decision, and understood why he did it.

It was probably the only time in the past week their conversation had ended with an awkward silence. But it hadn’t dampened the connection they seemed to be forging, for Oliver apologized immediately for his rudeness the next time they spoke. Plus, there was no way Felicity could have stayed upset, for Oliver had a way of making her feel good without even trying. It was in the little innocent things he said along with the texts he sent her throughout the day. His texts were a highlight for Felicity, always making her laugh. So much so she had to be careful when she opened them because she didn’t want prying eyes to suspect anything unusual was happening. As well, the blonde knew how much Dinah and Laurel had counted on meeting Oliver on Christmas Eve, and had not been happy when he didn’t show to the Banquet. So them knowing she’d been the one to meet him, and to now have a date with the man would not be good.

Yet, as much as she’d loved the phone calls and texts this past week, Felicity would admit her favorite time they communicated was the two skype calls they’d shared in the last seven days. Mainly because she could see the man, see the expressions on his face as they spoke, and to her that said volumes of the man whom Oliver Queen really was.

Sighing, Felicity eyed the clock above the entrance door, and couldn’t hide the smile that slowly lifted on her face. She had only had thirty more minutes to go.

Just as she was about to check to make sure all the condiment containers were full, she heard her phone beep signaling she had an incoming text, but as she reached into her apron to grab it, she felt a pair of hands reach around her waist and snatch the phone from her hands.

“Laurel,” Felicity called out, “what the hell do you think you’re doing?”

“Tsk, tsk,” the brunette responded as she wiggled Felicity’s phone back and forth within her hand. “Such language. You know you really shouldn’t talk that way.”

Felicity held out her hand her tone demanding as she spoke, “give me my phone back.”

Laurel only smiled at the blonde, an evil glint in her eye as she held the phone high up in the air knowing their height difference would give the brunette an unfair advantage and Felicity no way in hell of getting her phone back. “Not a chance Smoak. You’ve been acting strange all week. Happy even, and I’m sure this little device will be able to tell me why.”

“And what concern is that of yours?” Felicity indignantly asked.

Just then the pair heard another join them as she addressed her sister, “Just give her the phone back Laurel. What do you care anyway. Don’t you have a “big date” tonight?” Sara said as she used her fingers to make air quotes emphasizing Laurel’s big date.

“Stay out of this Sara. This doesn’t concern you.”

“And it doesn’t concern you either,” the younger sister countered as she too tried to grab for Felicity’s phone, but Laurel was taller than them both and managed to keep the device tight within her grasp.

Felicity just prayed as she watched the brunette open her incoming text that it was from Iris or Barry and not from Oliver.

But as soon as she saw Laurel's expression she knew luck had not been on her side, the message had to have come from Oliver.

“What the HELL is this!” Laurel screeched as she shook Felicity’s phone. “Why would Oliver Queen be texting you?!?”

Felicity could only stand there, the disbelief in her eyes. She knew in her heart this was not going to be good, and no sooner did that thought pop into her head that the worst happened.

“Mother.” Laurel screamed.

Dinah, showed within moments. “Laurel,” her mother admonished her daughter. “Stop all that yelling, we still have customers.

The brunette ignored her request and just pouted as she held out the phone for her mother to see. “Look at this.”

Dinah took the device from Laurel and did as she asked. Once through her fiery gaze landed on Felicity. “I think you have a bit of explaining to do young lady.”

“And what is it you’d like me to explain, since I have yet to read the message,” Felicity countered as she tried to keep her temper in check. Getting angry was not going to help her situation.

“Oh well then,” Laurel responded before anyone else could. “Let me read it for you then,” as she grabbed the phone back from her mother.

Felicity, can’t wait to see you tonight. I’ve been counting the minutes all day. Oliver

She listened as Laurel spat out Oliver’s text, before handing the phone back to her mother, and even though she knew she should be upset, even outraged about her current predicament, for just a moment, she wasn’t, because his words made all her problems seem to disappear, he had been thinking about her all day, and nothing could take that away from her. That was until her step sister opened her mouth once more.

“And when did you meet Oliver Queen,” Laurel irately asked.

“I don’t think that’s any of your concern,” Felicity answered, although she knew she was feeding fuel to the fire by being evasive, but she just didn’t want to share with them the details of her night spent with Oliver on Christmas Eve.

“Felicity, you will answer Laurel’s question,” Dinah threatened.

“Or what. What are you going to do stepmother.”

Dinah, didn’t even deem Felicity a response, she just turned to her daughters and addressed them each, “Laurel. Sara. I want you both to head to the house and start getting ready for your evening out. I just want to have a moment with Felicity.”

Laurel wasn’t happy about it, and Sara, well she looked a little sorry for her stepsister, but that didn’t stop her from following her older sister up to the house that was located on the hill behind the Diner.

Felicity just watched them go, and as she did was reminded how thankful she was she didn’t live with them any longer, for she could only imagine what damage Laurel might have done to her things if she had.

When Felicity had turned sixteen, Dinah deemed the house too cramped for four females so she sent her stepdaughter to live in the old trailer that was located directly behind the restaurant. It was where her mother lived before she met her father and where they stayed until he built the home on the hill for them. It was old and cramped, but Felicity didn’t mind. She felt closer to her mother there, and it kept her contact with her “family” to a minimum. She knew Oliver had been mortified when he saw where she resided on one of their Skype calls, but Felicity knew it wasn’t because he was embarrassed by her situation, he admitted that much to her. He just felt she deserved better. Felicity had teased him on how he could think that when he barely knew her. He said he had good intuitions, how else had he managed to be such a successful CEO for Queen Consolidated. She had laughed at his blatant arrogance, and Oliver admitted to her then he loved her laugh. She blushed until she was bright red when he complimented her that way, but Felicity wouldn’t admit it to anyone that she loved when he said that, more than that, she wouldn’t admit to anyone, even herself, that she thought she was falling “in love” with Oliver Queen.

Sure some might say it was fast, and it probably was; but, it had happened for her Mom that way so why not for her daughter. It didn’t really matter though because she knew it was inconceivable that Oliver Queen would feel the same about her so Felicity was determined to keep those feelings in check because if she didn’t, the blonde knew she was in for a load of heartbreak.

It was Dinah’s grating voice that broke Felicity out of her reverie.

“You really don’t think that you’re actually going to go on this date now do you,” her step mother declared.

At this point Felicity was furious, and maybe that’s why she didn’t think things through rationally before she opened her mouth. “And what makes you think you can stop me.”

Immediately, Felicity realized her mistake when she saw Dinah’s green eyes turn a stormy grey. She watched as the older woman slammed the blonde’s cell phone down onto the ground, and shattered it into pieces by grinding the device with her high heeled pump before she turned to the few patrons left in the restaurant and announced the Diner was now closed, and as a New Year’s present to them all she was taking care of their tab.

That really put Felicity on high alert because Dinah never let anyone get away without paying.

After everyone was gone, she smiled sweetly at Tom, the cook on duty, and informed him he could go home early to be with his family. She would take care of the clean up as a New Year’s gift to him. The man didn’t even bat an eye before his apron was off and he was out the door. Felicity knew he most likely wanted to get out of there before her stepmother changed her mind.

After the place was empty, Dinah once more directed her attention to Felicity. “Just so you know, you will be cleaning every last bit of this mess tomorrow morning before the Holiday brunch, but for now I have other plans for you.”

Felicity eyed her purse a few feet away, safely tucked under the Diner’s long counter. If only she could get to it and make a run for her car, but Dinah must have noticed Felicity glance towards her handbag because before she could even blink her eyes the older woman had snatched it from it’s perch and pocketed her car keys as if she didn’t have a care in the world.

At this point, Felicity was frightened. She had never seen Dinah look this mad, and she’d seen the woman mad on several occasions. Before she could think, she made a dash for the door, hoping if she made it outside she could get a jump on her stepmother and somehow make it to Barry and Iris’s without being stopped. But for an older woman, Dinah was incredibly fast and agile. Before Felicity even made it to the front door, her stepmother had managed to grab her long blonde ponytail from behind and jerk it so hard it caused Felicity to fall backwards and hit her head hard on the black and white linoleum floor. Her last thought as she lost consciousness was of Oliver and the date they’ll never have.


*****



The party at Verdant was in full swing by now, and Oliver couldn’t help but continually glance at his watch and intermittently check his phone for any missed calls or texts. Felicity was late, and as a man who’d never been stood up before he wasn’t sure if he should be worried or pissed that his date was a no show.

Before he could ponder that thought any further Tommy, his best friend and owner of the club hosting the party, appeared with his date by his side.

“Stood up,” his friend inquired as his one brow rose in disbelief. “Who’d thought any woman in their right mind would miss out on a chance for a date with Oliver Queen, on New Year’s Eve no less."

Oliver just glared at his friend.

Although his date seemed to find his comments amusing as she laughed and teasingly tapped Tommy on the shoulder before she turned her attention to Oliver. She was pretty in an over the top kind of way. She had long brown hair that she'd styled in waves which flowed down her back that was bare all the way to the edge of her butt in a dress so short it left little to the imagination. She'd probably been a woman Oliver would have hooked up with tonight if he hadn't met Felicity. But after meeting her, this sweet, funny, vivacious blonde Oliver came to realize how shallow and lonely his life really was, and how he wanted that all to change. After being with Felicity all women just felt....lacking.

John Diggle, his driver and bodyguard had laughed his ass off when Oliver admitted what he'd been thinking after his night with Felicity Christmas Eve, mainly because the man had been telling him that very thing for years.

Just then he heard Tommy call his name. “Oliver, I’d liked you to meet my date Laurel Lance. Laurel this is Oliver Queen.”

“It’s a pleasure to meet you,” she crooned as she took his hand in her own and held onto it longer than deemed appropriate for someone standing right in front of her date.

Oliver couldn’t release his hand fast enough. He'd recognized the name immediately, and knew this was the woman who'd made Felicity's life a living hell.

Taking a small step back, Oliver attempted to give himself some much needed space between him and Tommy's date.

"So how did you two meet?" he inquired.

"Funny you should ask," Tommy said as he took a long swig of his drink before wrapping his arm around Laurel's waist, "it was at your Christmas Eve party, the one you decided to be a no show for."

"I told you what happened," Oliver responded in a tone that brokered this discussion was over.

Tommy though must not have gotten the hint, or he was too drunk to recognize Oliver's intentions.

"Come on Ollie, do you really expect me to believe that you got snowed in at a Diner with a captivating blonde."

It was Laurel, not Oliver who responded. "Oh my god. That's how you met Felicity."

Tommy looked at his date, surprised by her response. "What are you talking about?"

But instead of answering his question, Laurel turned to his best friend and draped herself across his body as she seductively played with his tie and asked, “Tommy, would you be a dear and get me something to drink...a dry martini, if you wouldn’t mind?”

“Sure thing babe,” he replied as he kissed his date on the cheek before heading off to the bar.

The minute he was out of sight Laurel immediately turned her attention back on Oliver, slinking over to drape her body in the same position she’d had just moments ago had on Tommy.

Oliver tried to step away from her touch, but the place was so crowded there was no where to go.

Laurel began to play with his tie like she had with Tommy, and Oliver couldn’t help wonder if she thought this was the least bit alluring. He, in fact, found it completely annoying.

“You know she’s not coming, right Ollie? It’s okay if I call you Ollie, isn’t it?”

Oliver decided to ignore her attempt at familiarity as he gently but forcibly removed her arms from around his shoulders and took a step back.

“How do you know Felicity’s not coming?” Oliver demanded.

Laurel just shrugged her shoulders before she once more tried to stretch her body across his, but Oliver resisted.

“What does it matter if she comes anyway. I’d be happy to take her place.” the woman purred.

“Don’t you already have a date with my best friend?” Oliver argued.

Again, she shrugged her shoulders. “Tommy’s fun and all, but I’d much rather spend the evening with you, “ she said drawling out the you as she winked at him.

Oliver had had enough. “I don’t think so Ms. Lance. I’ll just be on my way.”

“Hey wait….,” she called out, but Oliver never looked back.

He stopped and found Tommy and told the man he was heading out, but not before he warned him about getting too involved with Laurel Lance.

As he made his way to the back entrance, knowing there’d be less of a crowd, Oliver pulled out his phone and hit the speed dial. Just as he swung open the exit door he heard his bodyguard and trusted friend pick up.

“John, bring the car around back. We have somewhere we need to go.”


*****


“Ugh, what the hell happened,” Felicity questioned as she rubbed her hand over her aching head and attempted to sit up. The last thing she remembered was trying to escape from Dinah so she could make her date with Oliver.

As she looked around the dry storage locker in the Diner’s kitchen, the blonde surmised that wasn’t what happened.

Felicity knew it had been too good to be true. That she would actually get to go on her date with Oliver Queen.

She had no idea what time it was for she rarely wore a watch, always using her cellphone, which was now no more, as her device for keeping time. There was no clock in the locker and the only window available was a small rectangular one located at the top of the door. Way too high for Felicity to be able to peek out. Plus, she could see there was only the emergency light on in the kitchen so it really didn’t matter. She was stuck here till morning when Barry came to work and found her in all her glory.

She wondered if her friends had come to look for her when she was a no show. They probably did, but she feared Dinah might have moved her car and told them she had no idea when Felicity had left or where she’d gone.

Futile as it was, Felicity decided hope again hope to see if possibly the door to the storage locker wasn’t locked, but of course it was.

She wanted to cry. She really did, but she didn’t want to give Dinah the satisfaction that she’d broke Felicity’s spirit. It wasn’t even the fact that she missed the party. It was that Oliver probably thought she stood him up and he’d never want to speak to her again.

That’s what really hurt. Well, that and her head. She really hoped she didn’t have a concussion. As she stood the room did tilt slightly, but once up for a minute, the blonde seemed to get her bearings.

Pacing, she tried to think if there was a way out of her predicament, but came up empty. Without her cellphone or tablet she really was at the mercy of someone finding her.

Suddenly, she heard pounding outside. She wasn’t sure where exactly it was coming from but there was a definite noise outside the Diner. Then she heard her name being called, and couldn’t believe when the voice she heard was Oliver’s. He’d come to find her.

Then the noise was gone, and Felicity worried it had all been one big hallucination.

After several minutes had passed, she had to believe she’d dreamed the whole thing up. She probably did have a concussion which meant she really needed to stay awake till help arrived. Happy New Year to me she thought.

Then all at once she heard sounds again outside the door, but these were closer and getting louder. Suddenly, the door to the storage locker opened and there was Oliver pulling her into his arms.

He was gentle as he grabbed her, rubbing his hands at first up and down her back and then all over her body to assess for any injuries. When he touched the back of her head, Felicity flinched as the pain hit her.

Oliver quickly brought her out into the light as he bent down to look into her eyes and asked, “are you okay?”

“I think so,” Felicity assured him. “I just have a nasty bump on my head.”

“You sure it’s not a concussion,” Oliver’s concerned voice rang out.

“No,” Felicity teased. “I haven’t gotten my MD license yet.

Oliver smiled in response. “Smart ass.”

“Yes,” Felicity said smiling back, “but one that’s so glad you decided to take a chance and come find me.”

“I’ll always come find you,” he whispered as he bent down and gave her a soft kiss on her lips.

As they pulled apart Felicity heard a strong male voice ask, “Are you going to introduce us or what?”

The pair turned and there Felicity saw a large African-American male with some of the biggest arms she’d ever seen, crossed over a big broad chest. He was smirking at Oliver as he spoke, and the blonde assumed this was Oliver’s friend and bodyguard.

Oliver, took Felicity’s hand and brought her to where the man stood. “John Diggle, Felicity Smoak. Felicity this is John.”

The two shook hands as the older smiled down warmly at her. “It’s a pleasure to meet you Ms. Smoak.”

“Oh, please call me Felicity, Mr. Diggle.”

“Then you must call me John.”

Felicity nodded in agreement.

She then turned to Oliver and asked, “How did you find me, and why did you come looking for me. Not that I’m not glad you did. Of course I am. The thought of spending the night in that locker was not too appealing. Plus, I might have a concussion and didn’t know if I could stay away that long, and I missed our date which I was really looking forward to and had this whole outfit and shoes. Oh, the shoes you would have loved…..”

Oliver placed his hand gently on her shoulder stopping her in mid-ramble.

“Felicity,” he whispered as he took a stray lock of hair and wrapped it around her ear. “Breathe.”

She did just as he said and took a deep breath before focusing her eyes once more on him.

“I’m just so glad you're here.” she admitted.

“So am I,” he replied as he leaned forward and kissed her on the corner of her mouth, his gaze darkening as he heard a soft moan from Felicity’s lips.

He grabbed her hand and said, “Let’s get out of here.”

Felicity was more than willing to comply, but as they stepped out in the main dining area, the lights now all aglow they heard a familiar screech break the silence of the room.

“What the hell is going on here.” Laurel shouted.

Felicity, too tired and her head hurting too much to deal with Laurel growled at the woman. “What do you think is going on here Laurel. My date came to pick me up for our evening out.”

“Hmmph,” she responded. “I don’t know what kind of date you think you have with Ollie, but he was all over me not more than an hour ago.”

“That’s a lie,” Oliver countered.

Felicity held up her hand before Oliver went any further.

“Oliver, you don’t need to explain. I trust you.” she made clear. “I would never take Laurel’s word over yours.”

“Thank you,” he said before he bent down and whispered intimately in her ear, “that means more to me than I can say.”

She smiled in response a warm glow spreading throughout her body.

“Where’s my mother?” Laurel, furious asked.

Oliver wrapped his arm around Felicity’s shoulders as a smug grin emerged on his lips.

“Probably packing her bags.”

“What,” she yelled.

“Yes,” Oliver continued. “When Felicity told me about her father’s will, I looked into it and found that your mother lied. Not that it’s a surprise from the information I’ve gathered on her and her family, but the age when Felicity was to take over the Diner was twenty-five, not twenty-eight, and since she turned twenty-five a few months ago, the Diner belongs solely to her. So in the interest of fairness, I felt it best that your mother either move into the trailer with you and Sara, or the three of you could head off to parts unknown with a nice travel allowance and look for something somewhere else.”

“What’s a nice travel allowance entail?” Laurel asked.

That would be the one thing she held onto Felicity thought.

“Enough, Oliver grinned, “to last the three of you a month if used wisely.”

Felicity could see the wheels turning in Laurel’s head, and wondered how much Oliver had paid for them to leave. She wanted to pay him back, but saw the look in his eyes as she was about to say something and she knew he realized what she was thinking and silently shook his head no as he mouthed, “let me do this for you.” then he bent down and whispered the amount in her ear, and Felicity couldn’t help but laugh at the sum. Sure they could last a month, but more likely it would take them less than a week to go through that amount of income. She wished she felt bad for her step family, but she just couldn’t muster up any sympathy. She would admit to feeling slightly sorry for Sara because at times the blonde did try to help and stick up for Felicity, so if she ever decided to leave her mother and sister and come back here, she would make sure she had a place to call home.

“Fine,” the brunette declared as she turned and headed out the door.

The pair then heard John speak up, “I’ll be waiting in the car.”

Oliver nodded in response and just as the man exited, Oliver once more pulled Felicity into his arms.

“Is it really true?” She asked.

Oliver pulled her slightly away and smiled down at her. “Yes, I assure you it’s true. It was why I had gotten so quiet on the phone when we talked. Things just didn’t sound right when you explained your father’s will and I wanted to make sure you weren’t being taken advantage of.”

“Not that I’m complaining,” Felicity offered, “but why?”

“Because,” Oliver softly said as he once more brought a stray lock of hair behind her ear skimming his knuckles along her cheek as he did, “You mean something to me.”

Felicity blushed a soft pink at his words.

“I know this isn’t your lifelong dream,” Oliver continued, “but if you allow me, I’d like to help. Our housekeeper Raisa has a daughter and a niece looking for work. If you say it’s okay, I’d like them to help you run the Diner. I promise Barry will not lose his job.”

Felicity smiled at that and was pleased Oliver was considering her friends.

“I’d also like it if you’d reconsider interviewing for Queen Consolidated, and I promise I will have no say in the outcome. You’d be applying for a division I don’t oversee so you would or would not get the job on your own merit.”

“Thank you,” Felicity whispered. “Is it okay if I take a day or to think everything through. It’s all happening so fast.”

Oliver nodded in acquiescence before he bent down and gave her a quick kiss on the lips. “Take all the time you need. The job’s not going anywhere,...and neither am I.”

He then pulled her closer and kissed her again and again, and as their lips continued to move over the other, Felicity without conscious thought snaked her arms up Oliver’s chest and wrapped them around his neck bringing herself flush with his body. As the kiss started to get heated, the pair suddenly heard a loud noise outside and then as they opened their eyes saw flash of color. It was then the two realized the clock had struck midnight and it was now a New Year.

The pair hand in hand walked outside, and stood on the edge of the mountainside as they watched the pretty fireworks display off in the distance, welcoming in the New Year.

Once the show was over, Felicity turned to Oliver and said, “I’m sorry you missed your party.”

“Being with you is all the party I need Felicity.” he whispered as he bent down and gave her a sweet and tender kiss on the lips.

Felicity her heart bursting with joy, looked up at him, her bright blue eyes glossy from unshed tears that she refused to shed, and there under the late night sky the blonde tried to convey to Oliver all the emotions she was feeling in that very moment, and as she watched his eyes soften in response she knew he understood.

“Happy New Year Oliver.”

“Happy New Year Felicity.”

And there they remained as they kissed under the starry night sky thinking of how this was going to be a great New Year.
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