Oliver stalked down the mellow-lit studio hallway, turning his phone off as he went. He was here to work. Tommy calling to ask why he didn’t turn up to the latest photoshoot was not going to stop any time soon. Oliver would apologize later; right now, it was either hit something, or put in more time on the new album, and he was trying to stop punching photographers.
Besides, if he didn’t get this latest set of tracks working for him soon, he might just explode. He, the band, the crew, everyone was putting in extra time on this damn album, and Oliver wouldn’t be happy about it until they started seeing some real results. But nothing was going right, nothing was satisfying him, and he just couldn’t figure out why.
But he would.
Oliver reached the end of the hall where his reserved sound booth was located and pulled up short, surprised to find the door cracked open and the lights on inside.
He’d thought the rest of the band was at the shoot and he’d have the studio to himself. Eyebrows furrowing, Oliver pressed his fingertips to the door, pushing it silently wider, until he could peer around the frame.
What he saw was Felicity Smoak. His technical engineer and producer was adjusting one of the mics and, he realized with a shock, singing softly to herself. They’d been working together for almost two years, and Oliver had never realized Felicity could sing.
He stood, listening, and learned that not only could she sing, but she was damn good at it. And she was singing his song.
Her voice was alto, soft and strangely melancholy. The song she was singing was off the new album, one of the tracks that was giving him the most trouble. It was written as an angry, fierce ballad, but in Felicity’s mouth it became slower, lingering in sadness and reflection while still maintaining an edge of anger, of revenge.
It was strangely haunting.
The hairs on his arms and the back of his neck raised with chills, because for the first time since he’d been handed the sheet music for this song, Oliver felt like what he was hearing of it was right.
He stood watching, listening, until her voice caught and she cleared her throat, humming a little around the catch before falling silent as she let go of the mic she’d been fixing.
"Go back," Oliver, ordered. "Do that part again."
Felicity yelped and startled so hard she fell against the stool under the mic, knocking it over as she whirled to face him, one hand to her chest. She stared at him wild-eyed, cheeks flushing in embarrassment. “Mr. Queen! What’re you doing here? I mean, not what’re you doing here, you work here, obviously, same as me, and we’ve got the new album, but, what I mean is weren’t you not scheduled here today?”
Oliver raised an eyebrow at her babbling and wild hand gestures; by now, he was pretty much used to it. He raked his eyes over her, curly blonde hair pulled back in a no-nonsense ponytail, black square-framed glasses perched on her nose, and dressed in a floral-patterned white skirt that stopped a few inches above her knees and yellow cap-sleeved t-shirt tucked into it. And the infamous panda flats Tommy so liked to tease her about were on her feet.
Oliver never would’ve guessed, in all the time they’d known each other, that the voice he had just heard could’ve come from this quirky, tiny girl. “I wasn’t. I wanted to come in and put some more time in on the album, but as it turns out, I’m not the only one with that idea, am I?” He smiled at her blandly, for some reason never able to resist the urge to poke at her nervousness whenever she got so flustered.
She winced, then buried it under a smile. “Of course you did! And, uh, yes. I did. I was just listening to the tracks we recorded yesterday, and I noticed there was a problem with this mic. So, uh. I fixed it. It should be picking up just fine now.”
"Thanks," he said dismissively. "Now, about your singing."
"M-my singing?" She asked, backing towards the wall. He wondered if she even realized she was retreating.