A/N: Here it is...chapter 2 :) Thank you all so much for the lovely comments. I'm really glad that you guys are enjoying the story so far. This chapter is slightly shorter, but I hope you like it all the same.
A shot glass entered his line of vision and he didn't hesitate. He quickly plucked it from the light pink fingernails that encircled it and let the burning liquid slide down his throat. "Thanks."
"Oliver, calm down. I know it's been long since you've seen her, but everything will work out. You'll see," Felicity said, smiling reassuringly at him. Tonight she'd opted to wear a one-shouldered, sky-blue, floor length, dress that flowed beautifully when she moved. Her blond hair, left in its natural curly state, was draped over her shoulder and she'd opted for contacts.
His eyes darted around the room for what seemed like the hundredth time. The suspense was killing him. Where was she? He just needed to see her, and then he'd calm down. Another shot glass entered his line of vision and he poured it down his throat hastily. He smiled at her gratefully and she rolled her eyes.
"Just so you know, I don't condone this. Just this once I'm aiding you in the consumption of toxins. That's what alcohol is to your body; a liquid full of toxins. It's funny isn't it? You used to drink all of the time and I used to scold you all of the time. Finally one day you decided to get your shit together and listen to your genius friend and now that very same genius friend is handing you shot glasses." She handed him another. "That's the last one for now. You can't be wasted when she shows up—not that three shots will do it. Heck it will take a lot more than three shots to get you wasted. All those years…You probably built up your alcohol resistance level to an impressively high rate. Again, not that I condone that sort of behavior. Just saying that you must ha—"
"Felicity." She nodded. Pressing her lips together and counting down on three fingers. Oliver shook his head in amusement. "Your babbling was making me even more nervous."
"Yep. Got it. Shutting up….Now..." Felicity turned away from him for a moment before turning back. "You'll be fine. She'll run straight into your arms again—you know, figuratively. Although, she might literally do it since she hasn't seen you yet, so you know…hug… Right. Second chance here you come. Everything will be fi—"
She shot him an apologetic look, holding up a finger before turning to the bartender and requesting a shot. She drowned it quickly and then turned back to him. "Sorry. Now I'm nervous for you. I just know how long you've wanted this…" He smiled. She was always thinking of others. His eyes tore away from Felicity's and he scanned the room again.
Suddenly, everything stopped and the only thing he could see was Laurel Lance. She was just as beautiful as she'd been when he'd cheated on her and broken her heart in high school. She stood at the far end of the room, laughing and talking with a friend of her father. Tommy stood dutifully beside her, smiling the smile that Oliver knew all too well was fake. Oliver guessed that Tommy had probably realized how long it would take them to actually reach him. Most people at the event knew Laurel, or her family, and she would have to stop and make small talk with the majority of them. She had, after all, just returned from Central City.
Oliver didn't mind. He stood perfectly still, taking in everything that was Laurel. She wore a floor-length, strapless, beige dress. Her hair was pinned up neatly, letting a few curls fall to delicately frame her face. She looked as graceful and beautiful as ever. His heartbeat sped up at the sight of her laughing and talking. He'd planned to give her space, let her settle in, maybe even let a few months pass, before he asked her out again. Now that he'd seen her, his plan flew out the window and he wondered just how long he could contain himself.
A nudge snapped him out of his daze and he met Felicity's blue eyes once more. "Go already. It will take her an eternity to get here and by that time, I'll be totally wasted." She held up an empty shot glass and he looked back at the counter top of the bar where another four empty shot glasses had suddenly appeared. "Again, not that I condone that." Oliver chuckled.
"There she is," Stefan said as he slid his hands around Felicity's waist from behind.
"Hey," she said leaning into his embrace.
"Hey," he said, placing a kiss on her cheek. "Mr. Queen," he said politely.
"Mr. Warren," Oliver replied a bit stiffly. His expression had hardened slightly, but when he caught sight of the small smile plastered on Felicity's face, he couldn't help but smile as well. "If you'll excuse me, I have to say 'hello' to an old friend."
"Finally!" He heard Felicity say as he began to weave his way through the crowd.
He was stopped twice on his way to see her. Once by an old friend of his mothers and once by his father who wanted to introduce him to the daughter of some CEO of some prominent company. Truth be told, he didn't even really register the girl's name. All he saw was Laurel. He was still stuck in a pointless conversation with the girl whose name he did not remember when Felicity, Thea, and Stefan appeared at his side.
"Terribly sorry," Thea began, "but we need to borrow him for a moment. It's important."
The girl hadn't even finished her reply before Thea grabbed his arm and pulled him forcefully with her towards Laurel. Felicity and Stefan followed and he heard Felicity mutter something about him not being considerate of her nerves. Felicity stepped around him and was suddenly leading the charge. "Laurel!" She exclaimed excitedly.
Tommy and Laurel turned to them and Tommy's fake smile was suddenly replaced by a large grin. Oliver saw him wink at Felicity and he hoped against all hope that the extent of their scheme was to just get him and Laurel to talk. "You may not remember me all that well. I'm—"
"Felicity Smoak," Laurel filled in with a small smile. "Oliver's best friend." Tommy let out an indignant sound and Laurel rolled her eyes. "One of them anyway. He talks about you all the time, so of course I remember you. It's nice to see you again."
"Yep. Nice to see you too. Welcome back." Felicity turned, shot Oliver a smile and then stepped aside.
"We brought you Ollie," Thea said. "Welcome back."
"Oh well, look at that Thea needs a dance…let's go." Tommy and Thea disappeared into the crowd, smiling triumphantly. When he looked to the side he saw that Felicity and Stefan had disappeared as well.
Shaking his head in amusement he turned to Laurel. "Hi."
"Would you like to dance?" Oliver asked, his nerves returning.
He led her onto the dance floor and took one of her hands in his. He placed the other hand on her waist and they began to sway to the music. Out of the corner of his eye he saw Tommy and Thea dancing and openly staring at them. They talked quietly, filling in the blanks for one another. It was easier than he had expected and he found himself relaxing. It was as if nothing had changed. She was beautiful and easy to talk to and he found himself drawn to her just as he had been years ago.
High school had been full of meaningless flings and mediocre grades. Girls just seemed to fall into his lap and he had enjoyed every moment of it. Classes didn't matter—they were just rooms in which boys and girls gathered. Classes simply allowed him the opportunity to flirt. Laurel had been his friend throughout high school, much like Felicity would later become during his college years. Laurel was there to tell him to do his homework and remind him that he needed to have decent grades in order to keep his father relatively happy.
If you asked him how they had gotten together he couldn't tell you. Even now he had no real idea of how it had happened. They had gone to Tommy's birthday party in 11th grade. It had been crazy: flashing lights, pounding music, and unlimited alcohol. He and Laurel had had a little too much. He had no recollection of the rest of the night. He had woken up the next morning in bed beside his brunette friend.
They remained together after that. At first he had done it out of guilt. Laurel wasn't just any girl. She was his friend. Slowly however, he found himself falling for her and he stayed with her because he wanted to. Things progressed and got serious. Eventually, he got cold feet. He hadn't been a one-girl type of guy back then. He cheated on her with various girls until she found him with one of her friends at a party.
This time things would be different. They danced to song after song completely immersed in each other. He found himself thinking that maybe Felicity was right; everything was going to be fine. Felicity. He scanned the room and found her wrapped in Stefan's arms on the dance floor.
"She's prettier than I remember," Laurel said absently.
"She was always pretty," Oliver replied automatically. Realizing what he said, he snapped his head back to look at her. "She—um…" He didn't want Laurel to take it the wrong way.
Laurel laughed lightly. "Don't worry about it Ollie. I know she's just a friend."
Oliver nodded, smiling.
He came out of his room the next afternoon in a very good mood.
"Ollie," Thea called when he was halfway down the stairs.
"Are you coming swimming with us?"
"What?" He turned to his sister who was already clad in her favorite blue bikini; towel in hand and sunglasses nestled in her hair.
"When Felicity's done updating dad's computers we're going swimming in the pool," Thea explained.
Oliver raised his eyebrows. "Does she know that?"
Thea titled her head to the side innocently. "Well… no… not yet, but she will."
Oliver chuckled. "If she agrees to go swimming. I'll swim with you guys."
"Great!" Thea exclaimed excitedly. "Then we can talk about you and Laurel."
Oliver shook his head, making his way down the rest of the stairs.
"You really do have to update the computers when the notice pops up Mr. Queen," Felicity was saying. Her voice sounded like almost like a whine.
"But they run just fine Felicity," Robert replied.
"Yes. But the updates are there for a reason…It hurts me in my soul when I see neglected software. In my soul."
Robert laughed loudly.
Oliver poked his head around the corner and found Felicity sitting at the computers typing away furiously and shaking her head in exasperation. Robert sat beside her, reading a newspaper, still laughing at her earlier comment.
Oliver snuck up behind her, putting his finger to his lips when his father spotted him. He gently placed his hands on her shoulders and she jumped at the touch. Oliver laughed loudly and was joined by his father. "Oliver!" She turned in her chair with too much momentum and ended up facing the computers. She swung the chair around again and stopped herself by placing her hands on his hips. "Once a week Oliver…once a week please. Eventual heart attack remember?" She let out a huff of air and looked up at him. "I'm in the zone Oliver. IT genius remember? Don't do that!"
Thea bounded into the room excitedly, holding out a bright pink bikini. "We're going swimming Licity," she informed her.
Robert folded his newspaper, looking amused. "You're not even asking?"
"Nope," Thea said happily. "Lets go. You don't need to watch the progress of the update. Change, finish it up, and then we'll go swimming."
Felicity shot him a pleading look, but he simply shrugged, knowing that arguing with Thea wouldn't work. She sighed in defeat and reluctantly followed Thea out of the room.
"Go put on your swim trunks Ollie," Thea called back.
"Ollie," Thea whined. Thea had managed to get Felicity to change into the bikini, but she could not convince the blond to get into the pool. Oliver shrugged and took of his shirt.
"You're really not going to swim Felicity?"
Felicity shook her head defiantly, her ponytail swaying from side to side. Oliver reached over and took her tablet from her, setting it down on one of the beach chairs. He tried to keep from smiling when her breath hitched slightly at the sight of his defined bare chest.
"Please," Thea whined from her spot in the pool.
Groaning, Felicity removed the shorts and shirt that Thea had lent her and set them beside the tablet. Oliver couldn't help but stare. He'd seen her in a bikini before, but it had been a very long time and now she looked absolutely stunning. She moved to the edge of the pool and stared down at the water apprehensively.
Thea cleared her throat and Oliver quickly averted his gaze.
"Don't rush me Thea," Felicity protested, thinking that Thea had cleared her throat in order to get her to jump in.
Thea shot him a knowing look, smiling slightly at having caught him staring.
Felicity hesitantly dipped her toe into the water, oblivious to the exchange between him and Thea, and shook her head. "Nope." She took a few steps back from the edge of the pool. "I'll just talk to you from here."
"That's no fun!" Thea exclaimed. "Ollie," she whined again.
Oliver quickly banded an arm around her waist from behind and lifted her up. She shrieked in protest swinging her legs. "Put. Me. Down. Oliver!"
He jumped into the water without a second thought, taking a shrieking Felicity with him.
Felicity sucked in a large gulp of air when they came up. "Oliver!" He could see that she wanted to sound angry, but her smile gave her away. He chuckled.
Thea cleared her throat again and Oliver suddenly realized that he was still holding Felicity against him. He instantly let go of her and swam to the other end of the pool.
"So," Thea began. "Everything went well with Laurel did it?" There was a sly smile on her face and a glint in her eye. Oliver gave her a hard look.
"Yes. We're going to dinner on Monday."
"I told you everything would be fine Oliver. See? There was no reason to be nervous," Felicity said, sitting down on the steps in the pool.
"Says the woman who had more shots than I did because she was nervous for me," he said from the other end of the pool.
Felicity narrowed her eyes at him. "Regardless, I did tell you that everything would be fine."
"So is it a date Ollie?" Thea asked with a wide grin. "Or did you change your mind?"
Oliver shot her a stern look. "It's just dinner, but I plan to ask her out on a date."
"Oh..okay," Thea's wide grin remained in place and Oliver had a sinking feeling that Thea was going to corner him into a conversation about his best friend later on. "So Felicity, do you want to swim again when you come over tomorrow?"
Now Oliver was glaring at his sister. Felicity shrugged while Oliver swam over to Thea and splashed her.
"Oliver." Oliver turned to face the door from where the soft whisper had come. The door was ajar and Felicity's head was sticking into his room. She looked worried. "Oliver."
"Come in," he said confused.
She slid in quickly, shutting the door behind her. His eyebrows rose up to his hairline when he caught sight of her. She was wearing a short, body-con, black dress. It accentuated every curve. It was definitely one of Thea's dresses; Felicity never wore dresses that were that short. She also wore sky-high black heels.
"Oliver. Save me," she whispered, glancing back nervously at the door. "Thea wants me to go clubbing with her. She used the puppy dog eyes Oliver! That's why I'm in this." She gestured at herself. "Please get me out of this!"
Oliver looked at her, amused. He stood from his desk chair and went to stand only a few inches away from her. "Well, if you really want me to…," he joked, placing his hand on her hip.
"That's not what I meant!" She stepped back, pressing her back against the door in an attempt to regain some personal space.
He chuckled. "What do you want me to do?"
"I don't know Oliver! I'm a grown woman hiding in your room because an eighteen-year-old girl wants to take me clubbing and I can't say 'no' to her!" There was a knock on the door and Felicity froze. 'Help,' she mouthed.
Oliver rolled his eyes, opened the door, and poked his head out to face his irritated sister. "Hand her over Ollie. My friends are here and ready to go."
"What are you talking about?" Oliver asked innocently.
"Ollie. I know she's in there."
"Nope. Felicity's not in here."
Thea crossed her arms. "We both know that you're lying Ollie."
Oliver sighed. "Yeah okay, she's here, but she doesn't feel so good. I was going to take her home."
"Fine," Thea said. "I'm leaving…take her home." Thea winked at him before turning on her heel and leaving.
Oliver shut the door, turning to face Felicity. She launched himself into his arms. "I owe you one."
"Yes you do. Movie marathon?"
"You got it! Let me just get out of these clothes."
"I can help with that," he teased.
She pointedly glared at him before leaving the room. She returned in her jeans and shirt and they spent the rest of the night watching their favorite movies. They fell asleep hours later on the couch; Felicity's head resting on his chest and his arm wrapped around her shoulder.
A/N: So Thea definitely sees something... :P I hope you liked it! As always, tell me what you think. I love reading your comments :D