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Novellas of the Night

Mel you're going to regret asking for this

Posted on 2014.05.28 at 22:46
Tags: , , , , ,

          “Oh well, that was fun,” Digg said, hitting the locks on the van. “What are you guys thinking for dinner? Pizza? Chinese? We could hit Angelo’s.”
           “You’re kidding, right?” Felicity shoved her door open and threw her silver beaded clutch inside. It hit the far door and disappeared behind the seat. Just as well. It was empty except for a tacky bedazzled compact and a lipstick shade she would never wear again. “I’m not going anywhere but back to the lair until I get back in my real clothes.”
           “Me either,” Oliver quipped, sliding easily into the passenger seat, still masked.
           Felicity went to climb in her own door, but it didn’t… quite… work. She paused with her shins against the doorframe and an “uhhhhh” on her lips.
           Digg was already in the driver’s seat and he and Oliver both turned to look at her, “Everything okay?”
           “Yeah. All good. It’s just… my skirt.” And her shoes. It wasn’t like Felicity usually dressed like a Sunday school teacher, but she was pretty sure if she hiked her leg to get in the van her “dress” would suddenly become a shirt. Or she’d lose her balance and fall and either way, she’d end up flashing way more than she usually did before dinner. If she didn’t already have a respect for working girls, she certainly would after this mission.
           In the distance sirens began to sound and Digg started the engine. “Come on, Smoak. Unless you want to get picked up for soliciting.”
           “Turn around,” Felicity ordered and the boys, laughing, did. She seized the seat and hauled herself up, falling gracelessly into the vehicle. “Not a word,” she warned, slamming the door closed.

           As the only noncostumed member of the team, Digg dropped them off at the club and promised to come back with food.
           “Bring fruit,” Felicity called hopefully. “Or vegetables. I’m not picky.”
           Oliver held the door for her and Felicity did her best not to stumble in. She thought she managed it, even though her feet were on fire and half her toes were numb. She had never been so happy to see a chair in her life. Felicity flopped into it and nearly melted. God sitting –sitting!- was so good.      After completing a cursory sweep of the room, Oliver removed his mask (never before, if they were coming home to an empty house) and smirked at her. Felicity’s eyes were closed, but she could hear it in his voice when he asked “Do you wanna change first or-?”
           She waved him off, mumbling something she hoped sounded like, “No, go ahead.”
           He didn’t need to be told twice. Felicity heard the pull of a zipper before she heard the door close. She planned to sit up as soon as he was gone and she would. Probably. Any minute now. Her feet were throbbing.
           The shoes were half a size too small and two inches too tall, but they were all she’d been able to find in the half hour Oliver had allowed her for pre-mission shopping. The red dress she’d actually already had. A leftover from high school, one of those things she could never throw away, a relic from a few inches and a cup size ago. Even though the boots laced up over top of her knees there was still a wide expanse of skin between them and the hem of her skirt.
          “I’d make me an offer,” she’d mused to herself, checking to make sure her underwear wasn’t actually visible. Satisfied that she was only flashing leg and not any other parts, Felicity had pulled out her makeup bag and put on her date face with just a little extra dash of “come and get it.”
           When she’d walked back into the living room, hair down, glasses stowed safely in her bag, Oliver’s default furrowed brow furrowed a little deeper. “What? Do I have lipstick on my teeth?”
          “You don’t have to do this. We can find another way.”
          “And what other way would that be?” Felicity had asked, resisting the urge to roll her eyes. “Do you want to wear the dress? Or should we let him grab some other girl who doesn’t know what she’s walking into and who didn’t make Digg say “ow” when she hit him with a right cross the other day?”
          Oliver frowned harder.
          “Look, I’m sorry Sarah left and you’re stuck with me instead of someone you trust down there but we have to do this tonight before he hurts someone else. Now, come on. Digg’s waiting.”
          It was stupid to stomp away when she just had to get back in the car with him, but in the moment, Felicity couldn’t help it. He did this every time she left her computers. And it was worry and concern for her and that was all well and good, but it made her feel incompetent. After the last time, she’d asked Digg if they could step up her training and while she didn’t think she could take on an actual super villain, she was pretty sure she could handle a garden variety evil scientist. Not that Oliver saw that.
          “He trusts you,” Digg promised.
          “He very clearly does not,” Felicity had replied, punching harder. “And it’s not like I’m Roy, running around town picking fights with every nefarious… jerkwad who ever hurt anybody. You guys are always right there.”
          “We’re nearby,” Digg clarified.
          “Three minutes tops!”
          “Yeah and how many things do you think could go wrong in three minutes? How many things do you think he thinks could go wrong in three minutes?”
          “Oliver trusts you, Felicity. He just doesn’t trust himself.”
          The comment had found its mark, but Felicity wasn’t ready to deal with it yet so she had filed it away and shrugged, “Well he has you. He should just let the two of us handle the next one and go to the spa or something.”
            Leaning against the locked passenger door of the car and watching him hurry down the walkway, Felicity couldn’t help but smile at the idea of Oliver at the spa. The day he succumbed to total relaxation would be the day crime went out of fashion. She turned when he got close, ready to pull the door open the second he hit the lock, but it didn’t happen. Instead, Oliver came to her side of the car and rested a hand on her shoulder.
          “I’m sorry,” he said. “I do trust you. And you’re gonna do great.” Pulling the door open, he offered her a hand and Felicity took it.
          “Thank you,” she’d said, maneuvering herself into the vehicle, trusting that he knew she didn’t just mean for the car.
          In the end, the mission had been, by their usual standards, practically hitchless. Felicity had bought their villain a drink (and hadn’t spit in it at all, a personal victory). She’d touched his arm, giggled, and responded smoothly with a modest figure when he’d asked her how much for the night. Shooting a glance at Digg, reassuring herself that backup was less than three minutes away, Felicity had stepped into the elevator.
          “Oh perfect, I love third floors,” she said inanely, giving directions into her comm just in case this all went horribly wrong. When they reached the door, Felicity delivered the line on which it all hinged, “Oh no, my purse!” She prayed it sounded natural even though she’d been rehearsing for the entire elevator ride.
          The villain frowned, “Your purse?”
          “I left it downstairs. I just need to go get it. I’ll be right back. Room 324?” She turned to leave.
          When his hand closed on her upper arm she felt her heart stop. Then it began pounding in her ears and the already narrow hallway began to contract. “You’re not gonna need your purse.”
She could break his nose. She could spin fast and drive the heel of her hand into his nose and then her knee into his groin and run. Oliver would have been on his way the second he heard the room number and Digg would be the minute he heard the commotion. But they couldn’t really afford a commotion could they?
          Felicity glanced at his hand and then his face, offering him a bright, condescending smile, as if strange men grabbing her arm was just part of the job, as if this particular man was just another rough john, as if he wasn’t developing and testing a powerful asphyxiating  agent. As if he hadn’t killed four women already. As if anyone would have cared or noticed if the fourth woman he’d killed had been another prostitute and not a rebellious teen from Starling City proper whose autopsy report had turned up a mysterious powder. As if she wasn’t going to turn up to his trial to watch him receive his consecutive life sentences.
          She smiled, “But if I don’t have my purse, where am I gonna put that big wad of cash you’re going to give me? Plus there’s sensitive information in there. Names, numbers; I can’t just betray my clients’ confidence. I’d do the same for you, if you’d told me anything about yourself.
          “Go,” he’d said, releasing her.
          “Be right back,” She’d promised. And she was. She just brought company.

          She was always exhausted after a mission. Something about adrenaline probably. And terror. Terror was draining. So even though she’d planned to extract her feet from her boots and check in with her computers, when Oliver emerged from the bathroom, Felicity was still leaning back in her chair, eyes closed, her aching feet the only thing keeping her from falling asleep.
          “Your turn,” he said.
          “Okay,” she said. And she willed herself to at least sit up, but it didn’t help.
Oliver hung up his hood and closed the glass case and when he turned back to her he said, “Felicity” in a sing-song lilt.
          He was laughing at her. Smiling. She loved it when he smiled. Felicity waved him off, “I’m going. I’m getting up. I just need to get these shoes off first.”
          A beat passed, then Oliver’s voice, closer this time teased, “Are you taking them off with telepathy?”
          “Why? Is it not working?”
          “It’s not working.”
          “Oh darn.” Felicity moved to sit up, for real this time; she wanted to get changed before Digg got back. But before she could, she became aware that Oliver was standing in front of her. Very close in front of her. She heard the squeak and roll of another chair and before she could wonder what he was doing sitting that close to her, he had pulled her left foot into his lap.
          Her eyes flew open and her hands reached to pull the bottom of her skirt as low as it would go (not nearly low enough) and Oliver casually said, “I think your telepathy is working now.”
          If she’d known her powers were that strong, she would have used them ages ago. The quip was on her lips, but her tongue was too dry to get the words out. Felicity watched Oliver work on the laces for a moment before she found the spit to say, “There’s a zipper. On the side.”
          He found it, “Isn’t that cheating?” His tone was light, conversational, but he pulled the zipper down slowly, too slowly, his free hand holding her calf as the other slid down, down, down until he finally reached her ankle.
        “Fashion is all about illusion. It’s basically magic.”  He started gently to work the shoe off her foot and Felicity clutched her skirt harder. “I apologize in advance for the smell,” she said. “My mom told me I have dude feet because my dad wished so hard for a boy he actually almost changed me in the womb. Which was pretty offensive at the time she said it but I think she knows she’s lucky she got me.”
           Her shoe came off then and the relief was so immediate and profound that she couldn’t hold back a groan.
          “You call those dude feet?” Oliver asked, dropping the boot to the floor. “You forget, I went without a shower for years.” He should have been putting her foot down but he wasn’t. Oliver’s hand skimmed back up her leg and he smiled, “I like your polka dots.”
            Her socks were purple and covered in nickel-sized, neon dots. She wanted Oliver to touch every one.               “Yeah, well, my thigh-highs had a run.”
             The tingling hadn’t quite gone out of her toes and she wiggled them carefully.
             “How bad does it hurt?”
            “Nothing a long soak and a couple Band-Aids won’t cure. They’re not much worse than my Saturday night shoes are. Well, my old Saturday night shoes. Now I just wear my usual night-time crime fighting shoes and they’re pretty comfy so- Oliver Queen if you tickle my feet I will kick you in the face I don’t care how high my skirt rides up.”
          “I would never,” Oliver said in his low, deep promise voice. And he started rubbing her foot.
          “Oh! Oh you’re doing- Oliver, you-” but she couldn’t tell him to stop.
          “I what?” he asked, smiling that bastard half-smile that let her know he knew exactly what he was doing.
           “You’re really good at that.”
           “I’ve had practice.”
           “I bet you have.”
           “What can I say? It’s the second best way to end an argument.”
           Felicity knew she should stop this. She shouldn’t let him touch her when every brush of his fingers made her feel so much more than a simple gesture should. She still hoped that they would have their moment. She could hear him catch his breath when she touched him. She knew if they kissed, they would never ever stop. She also knew that she was his safe haven. One of the few relationships he had that wasn’t lined with the dual landmines of sex and secrets. It wasn’t fair at all. But she loved him more than she hated it. She could wait.
           But her entire world was his thumbs on the ball of her foot. She stopped worrying about her damp socks, about hiding her feelings, about that study she’d read once linking the pleasure of a foot massage to orgasmic pleasure and she closed her eyes.
           For all his cheek about ending arguments, Felicity knew no one got this good at anything without caring about the quality of their work. She’d had enough mediocre massages to know. Oliver was thorough. His hands traversed her foot like he was studying for an exam in reflexology and his nimble fingers touched pressure points Felicity hadn’t known existed until the gentle pleasure rippled through her and her lips parted with a tiny, quick, intake of breath.
           By the time he set her foot back down on the floor, Felicity had all but melted into her chair and her fingers had stopped grasping the bottom of her skirt. Opening her eyes, she asked, “All done?”
           Pulling her other foot up into his lap, Oliver answered, “Not even close.”
           The whole process repeated itself. The relief of her shoe coming off, the worry about the state of her feet, and then the firm yet gentle progress of Oliver’s fingers. This time Felicity watched. She saw him watching her and the way he pressed just a little harder when she curled her toes or held back a moan. He was enjoying this, she realized. He liked making her react and Felicity liked that he liked it.
           “I think this should be a new part of our routine,” she suggested. “Every time I have to go out “in the field” I get a foot rub.”
           “You never have to go out there.”
           Before his frown could get too deep, Felicity interrupted, “But I do though. And, you know, I kind of like it.” To his raised eyebrows she answered, “I mean, it’s terrifying and I hate it but it also feels good. I feel stronger knowing that I’m out there on behalf of all the people who’ve been hurt. And like tonight. That guy thought he was going to have another easy night and instead, he got you.”
           “He got us.”
           “Exactly. Team Arrow for the win!” she punched the air and was rewarded with a full, open laugh from Oliver. “What I’m saying is: I’m happy to do it.”
           Oliver looked at her then like he sometimes did when she found the last piece of information that made the entire puzzle of a case make sense. Like she wasn’t quite real. Like she was amazing. Normally he didn’t say anything when he looked like that, but today he held her gaze and said, “This city is so lucky to have you.”
           Thank god she was never much of a blusher. It sure would be embarrassing if her cheeks were as red as they were warm right now. Super. Embarrassing. “Back at ya,” she said, in the wrong tone, one that was too low and breathy for a quip and a wink.
Without replying Oliver rolled her ankle, turning it slowly through its full range of motion before finally lowering it back down to the floor. “All done.”
          “So soon?”
           “I’ll get some oils for next time. Then we can really get down to business.”
            A shiver like electricity shimmied down her spine and through her legs, “That sounds- that- I should change.”
           “Yeah.” He didn’t seem to be moving. He did seem to be gazing at her like he wasn’t going to get tired of the view for a while.
          “Thank you, Oliver, really.” The lines ran through her brain: I feel like I should tip you. Can I get your card so I can recommend you to my friends? What no happy ending? But none of them were appropriate and blessedly she didn’t utter any of them. She stood up and stepped away, managing not to brush against Oliver as he refused to get out of the way. As she walked to the bathroom, she didn’t limp; her feet felt like they’d never been strapped into vises at all. “Oh, I could get used to that,” she murmured.
          “Hey, Felicity?” Oliver called and she turned. “Anytime.”

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