“Sorry I haven’t come by sooner, I was…”
“Busy fending off a throng of reporters and being a full-time parent?”
“Yeah.” Oliver huffs a short laugh, stealing a shy glance at the ground, as all the weight of the day visibly slips from his shoulders. She likes him like this, more innocent and carefree, where it’s no longer Mayor Queen or the Green Arrow or more recently a worried Dad standing in front of her…it’s just him. Just Oliver. Just her Oliver.
“I won’t hold it against you. Come on in.”
She holds the door open for him as he steps inside, his arm carefully dodging her shoulder, but that doesn’t stop a thousand goosebumps from breaking out over her skin in anticipation. As she shuts the front door, Felicity steals a quick glance of her own at his back because wow. While she loves Suit Oliver in all of his various…well, suits, it has been ages since she’s seen Casual Oliver. And honestly, seeing him standing there in full-on casual black and that jacket that she swears is framing his jaw really well, looking so at ease in her apartment…what used to be their apartment…it’s bringing back a lot of old memories mixed with new, tingling hopes stirring in her stomach.
Oliver spins to regard her in return, wearing a strangely nervous look. It’s then that she notices the small box with a white bow in his hands. “I uh…I was gonna wait, but I just…” He sighs, pausing, watching her like he’s waiting for her to stop him. And when she doesn’t, he finally says, “I brought you something,” holding the box out to her.
“Oh. What’s this?” She takes the box from him, wanting to reach for his hand, too, but he pulls back before she can.
“It’s just a uh…a present.”
“I can see that. You know, it’s not my birthday for another several months,” she teases him with a smile.
He doesn’t quite smile back, but there’s a hint of mischief behind his eyes now. “I know. This is different.”
Felicity frowns at his serious voice, watching him cross his arms. Uh oh. She knows that move. He only does this when it’s something big, something important. “Okay.”
She hesitates, her fingers hovering over the lid, playing with the plastic bow. Her heart starts to hammer against the walls of her chest with a new ferocity, like it somehow already knows what’s inside.
Swallowing once, she finally lifts the lid and finds nestled on top of a cotton square…a silver key.
“It’s a key,” supplies Oliver, his voice sounding very far away and warped, like she’s suddenly trapped inside a fish bowl.
Felicity stares in awe at the little object shimmering in the dim lighting, calling out to her. Slowly, she picks up the key, feeling the cool, wonderful weight of her future pressed against her palm.
“I know we’ve talked about it, and you’ve met William, and he seems to really like you. And this doesn’t mean that you have to move out of your place or anything, I just think…”
His voice sounds much closer now, and she glances up to realize that he’s standing right in front of her, his hands finally reaching out to hold her shoulders, drawing her closer, drawing her home.
He licks his lips. “And if this is too fast then–”
“Oliver, are you sure?”
He sighs again, only this time it’s a gentler sigh, a contented sigh, a hopeful sigh. His gaze grows intense yet familiar, and oh she’s missed that look most of all. Even after five months of taking things slow, after being engaged to this man once, she’s still getting used to him looking at her like this–like she’s the only thing in the entire world that he wants. She’ll never be used to it. She couldn’t look away from him even if she wanted to. And she doesn’t want to.
“I’m sure of one thing,” he says, his voice so deep it sends a warm feeling straight down her gut. “I love you, and I want us to be a family. All of us.”
Trapping the key in a fist, Felicity reaches for Oliver just as he lowers his head down to her. Thank you, she says through the kiss, her lips gently pressed against his, re-familiarizing herself with his taste. But Oliver changes the angle quickly, deepening the kiss, his hands coming up and around her, pulling her close, his fingers pressing deep into the muscles of her lower back.
Felicity feels herself losing focus, her grip around his neck loosening…. She fumbles in the haze but manages to set the little box down on the counter, freeing her other hand to join the one still tightly clasped behind his neck. Her fingers sweep into his hair brushing against his scalp.
Seconds seem to bleed into minutes, and she doesn’t know how long they stand there like that, holding each other, remembering and relearning and learning afresh what the other person feels like…
A loud clang startles her, and Oliver pulls back, breaking the kiss, though she doesn’t let him go too far.
Realizing she must have dropped the key, Felicity breathes against his open lips, “It’s fine. I’ll get it later.”
And then she kisses him again, openly, fiercely, desperately. This kiss is different than the one before, taking on a life of its own, like the one they shared in this very spot years ago, when they first moved in together. It feels right that they should find each other again in this way. Felicity clings to him, his body still so warm and solid and familiar. How is he always so warm?
After what feels like too brief a time, though, Oliver pulls back again, breathing heavily. He keeps his eyes closed, as he presses his forehead against hers. “Felicity,” he whispers. “Can I ask you a question?”
“If the question is can you stay the night, the answer is yes.”
He laughs, giving her a short and more chaste kiss. “Are you sure?”
“Besides,” Felicity nips his lips again. “I don’t expect to be staying here much in the future. We better make the most of it.”