Felicity stood still on the middle of the stairs, watching as Oliver sat on the couch and talked to their little daughter who was sitting in his lap, looking at him with wide eyes.
“How is it even possible you are already one year old? You are not supposed to grow up this fast. In the blink of an eye I will have to chase away the boys you are going to attract with your cuteness. Just like your Mommy. I always need to keep an eye on the guys that are around her and try to take her away from me.”
“Yeah, like that’s ever going to happen” Felicity smiled, coming downstairs and sliding her arms around Oliver’s shoulders from behind, resting her chin on his right shoulder and snuggling her cheek to his.
“You can never be too careful” he answered with a smile, moving his cheek against hers so his stubble scratched her skin, probably leaving red marks.
“What time is it?”
“They will be here any minute” Felicity sighed, knowing exactly what Oliver’s question actually meant.
“Why exactly couldn’t we just spend a day like this? Just the three of us huddled together on the couch?”
“Because it is Emmy’s first birthday and your lovely sister had planned the whole party before we even realized it” Felicity laughed quietly, kissing Oliver’s cheek and walking back to one of the cupboards next to the wall. “Speaking of party, Thea insisted on everyone wearing one of those party hats and since you’ve been busy being the Corporate Master of the Universe, I needed to pick a color for you and decided for-“
“Pink?” he asked disbelievingly as Felicity showed him the party hat, placing it on his head. “Really? You couldn’t have chosen a different color?”
“Nope” Felicity answered popping the ‘p’ while Emmeline clapped her hands excitedly and moved in Oliver’s lap, trying to grab her father’s hat. “I think you look gorgeous.”
Oliver rolled his eyes at her, got up to his feet and cocked his head when he saw Felicity’s head.
“Don’t you think we should swap them? I mean… green is more my color than yours.”
Just when he moved to take her hat from her the bell rang and Felicity moved towards the door hastily, calling back over her shoulder: “Sorry, babe, but there is no time to swap hats. Our guests are already there.”
She heard Oliver mumbling something, but couldn’t understand the words so she decided to just ignore it, smiling slightly. She had known his reaction to a pink hat which was exactly why she had chosen it. Teasing Oliver still was fun.
“Wow, did all of you meet outside in purpose?” Felicity asked as soon as she had opened the door and saw all of their friends and family members gathered in front of the door, wearing the same kind of party hats she and Oliver did.
“Of course” Thea who clearly was the leader of the group of people answered with a roll of her eyes that reminded Felicity a lot of Oliver. “We wanted to have the perfect start to the party which means we will all go in there together, singing ‘Happy Birthday’ for my little niece.”
“I’m still not convinced about the singing part” Roy explained doubtingly, earning him an angry glare from his girlfriend.
“Barry’s a great singer!” Caitlin shouted from somewhere. “Maybe we should let him sing! Emmy will be happy about it, I assume.”
“Yeah, let’s just leave the singing to the people who actually can sing” John agreed with a nod.
Quiet mumblings were heard as everyone tried to talk Thea out of building a chorus to sing to the little birthday girl, but of course she wasn’t really listening to it.
“No!” she insisted instead, silencing the murmuring in an instance. “We will all sing just like I had planned it out. This is Emmeline’s birthday which is why we will all sing to her. Now!”
It was obvious that Thea didn’t allow any protest which was why all Felicity did was stepping aside, opening the door further for all of them to come in.
She watched smiling as Thea stepped inside, followed by Roy and Laurel, the Diggle family with Baby Sara walking proudly between her parents, Cisco, Caitlin and Ronnie, Barry and Iris.
To Felicity’s own surprise Thea seemed to have invited some special guests she hadn’t told her about. So Ray walked in blinking at her with a smile and Captain Lance stepped in last.
“Your Mom wanted to come, too, but she couldn’t swap shifts” he whispered to her, keeping an eye on Thea, making sure that she wasn’t aware of his refusal to join the singers. “I promised to take at least a million photos and show her all of them when I visit her next weekend.”
“So the two of you are still good?” Felicity asked smiling, only answered by a wink of Captain Lance.
As the chorus fell silent and everyone clapped their hands to celebrate little Emmeline who was wiggling in her aunt’s arms, happily smiling at everyone while still holding Oliver’s index finger in her little fist to reassure herself that her Daddy wasn’t going anywhere, Felicity and Captain Lance joined the rest of them.
Felicity loved to have all her loved ones around and even if Oliver didn’t admit it, the expression in his face made clear that he enjoyed having all those people here as well.
There were just so little occasions that allowed all of them to come together.
Protecting Starling City and Central City kept all of them busy most of the time which made it almost impossible to meet on a regular basis.
Of course there were the occasional meetings when their nighttime works made cooperation necessary, but they barely had any time to actually be just them then.
Spending a day together like this barely ever happened.
Much to everyone’s disappointment.
Moments like these were precious and they reminded them of why they did what they did.
“’lic’ty?” Baby Sara who actually a toddler right now, but was always going to stay Baby Sara in Felicity’s thoughts asked, twitching at the hem of Felicity’s dress to attract her attention.
Smiling Felicity bent down and lifted Sara from the floor. “What’s up, sweetheart?”
“I want cake!”
Felicity laughed, smiling at Oliver whose eyes had snapped towards her as soon as he had heard her laugh. It still made her heart skip a beat, knowing how aware he was of her every move.
“Maybe you ask Uncle Oliver for cake. He is always the one cutting the cake. I’m sure he will be honored to give you the first piece.”
Immediately Baby Sara wiggled out of Felicity’s arms, running towards Oliver and literally jumping up at him. She was lucky Oliver was fast and strong enough to catch and hold her with one arm since Emmeline refused to let go of his finger.
“Oliver, I want cake!” she shouted excitedly.
Felicity watched as Oliver smiled at his friend’s daughter, talking to her happily and taking her to the kitchen as soon as Emmeline’s hand let go of his finger and wrapped around a strand of Ray’s hair instead, obviously fascinated about something.
She could stare at Oliver holding Sara for an eternity. Seeing the two of them together had always given her a clear picture of what was ahead for their future. Oliver laughed Sara as much as a second daughter. He had actually tried out how to handle kids by babysitting her which was why he had become such a great father.
For a short second she felt the slight disappointment she had felt two weeks ago when her assumption of being pregnant again had turned out to be wrong, but as soon as the feeling had come, it was gone again. She had Oliver and she had Emmeline and all the people she loved and all of that was enough for her. Everything else could wait right now.
“Hey, you okay?” John asked, putting a hand to her shoulder.
“Yes, everything is fine” Felicity answered, smiling at him convincingly. “I just realized how much I missed having all of you around.”
“Yeah, it’s nice spending some time like normal people do” he agreed with a nod. “Sara was so excited she had thought about what to wear for the last days. She said she wanted to look pretty for her Uncle Oliver.”
“Is Sara still as addicted to Oliver then?” she asked with a smile.
Both of them watched as Sara let Oliver feed her the cake, talking to him in what seemed to be a very serious conversation.
“Well, sometimes I still feel like I need to fight for the first place on her heart” John chuckled, shaking his head. “She’s talking a lot about her uncle.”
“Don’t worry” Felicity answered, placing one hand on his bicep. “Emmeline is talking about you, too, at least as much as she is actually talking. ‘John’ seems to be her favorite word nowadays.”
“That seems to be fair” he nodded. “I’ll go save myself a piece of cake before Sara eats all of it by herself. She doesn’t look like it, but she can eat more than me.”
It didn’t take long for everyone else to go get some cake, too. They all sat down in the living room, building little groups, carrying on different conversations.
Laurel, Iris and Lyla were talking about some girly stuff.
Captain Lance, John, Ronnie and Roy were discussing some developments in Starling City’s crime.
Ray, Cisco and Caitlin had gone into a huddle, whispering about some possible technological inventions.
Meanwhile Barry, Thea, Oliver and Sara were trying to get Emmeline to open all the presents she had been given. Thea alone must have given her at least twenty.
“No, Emmy” Sara explained. “You need to rip it open. Like this!”
Baby Sara made a start, ripping away part of the paper, leaving it for Emmeline to continue, but instead the little girl grabbed a fistful of the pink paper, putting it into her mouth to eat it.
“No, don’t eat that” Barry laughed, taking the paper out of her hands.
Emmeline looked at him for a second. Felicity could tell from the expression in her eyes that her daughter was seriously considering crying. Instead she grabbed another fistful of the paper, trying to eat it again.
“Oh, she is just as stubborn as her Dad” Felicity waved off when Barry tried to take the paper away from her again. “She always wants to learn the hard way.”
Oliver threw her a glance, grinning at her widely before mouthing a quiet “I love you” to which she responded just as quietly: “I love you, too.”
“How about you try some cake instead, sweety?” Barrie tried, offering Emmeline a piece of cake. Barry and Emmeline - one more thing Felicity could never get enought of.
In fact Emmeline let go of the paper, instead forming a fist around the cake, trying to get the cake into her mouth. When it didn’t work she just leaned forward, biting into the cake without touching it with her hands so there was actually more cake all around her mouth than there was probably in it, but Emmeline giggled nonetheless.
“Well, those eating habits are definitely from you” Oliver grinned at his wife with a wink. “Reminds me of how you look when there is mint chocolate chip ice cream.”