A/N: Chapters are not connected. Thanks for reading!
There had barely been enough time to race back to the loft to get ready for the gala due to start in less than two hours. Felicity had fended off Oliver's handsy advances and suggestion that they save time by showering together, but she knew that would only lead to them being later than ever.
With a grumble he had showered solo, purposely walking through their bedroom without so much as a towel as he dressed while she finished her hair and make-up.
"Ollie! It's me! I'm just grabbing something from the safe and then I'll be out of here." she heard Thea's voice call from downstairs, but it was the strange expression on Oliver's face that made her pause.
"Um, just...give me a second." he said almost nervously, holding up his hand as he backed from the room, shirt half unbuttoned, tie loose around his neck as he headed for the door.
Felicity quirked her brow in confusion but went back to applying her make up. It was Thea's shocked cry that had her tossing the mascara wand onto the counter and rushing out into the hallway to lean over the railing.
"Ollie! The ring's gone! Nothing else is missing, but mom's ring isn't here."
Oliver had just hit the main room when she spotted him, her hands gripping the edge as he stalked the space before Thea rushed out to meet him.
"Speedy!" he said warningly but his sister ignored him, heels clicking across the floor, the tight gown she wore making walking any quicker almost impossible.
"The ring is gone! All I wanted to grab was this necklace, but mom's engagement ring isn't where it's supposed to be."
"Speedy!" he hissed again, "The ring isn't missing!"
Thea caught on before Felicity did, dark eyes going wide as she looked up at her brother, "Oh! Oh my god!"
Oliver took her by the shoulders, towing her further into the living room, "Don't say anything!"
"Mom's ring? Ollie...I...are you asking her tonight?"
That's when Felicity felt her knees go a little weak, her vision narrowing down only to the sight of Oliver and Thea below her.
The reason why Thea couldn't find her mother's ring was because Oliver had taken it out to give to her. He was going to propose.
"I've had the ring for the past nine months. I was going to ask the night you and Laurel showed up in Ivy City."
Felicity's stomach flipped. That explained so much.
Thea's brows drew together in a furrow, "So then why didn't you?"
Oliver looked at her incredulously causing Thea's hands to wave dismissively, "I know we had what I now realize is really horrible timing, but why not after? Or on the way back? Or once you were here?"
He rubbed a weary hand across his brow, letting out a long sigh that filled Felicity with apprehension. Thea was asking all the right questions, she just wasn't sure she wanted to hear the answers.
When he spoke he almost sounded resigned, "I wanted it to be special. In Ivy City...I had it all planned, it was perfect, and now...we barely have time to breathe."
Thea shook her head, "That's just life, Ollie."
There was a long beat of silence between the siblings where Felicity was certain Oliver should have been able to hear the thunder of her heartbeat, but he never looked up.
"Where is it?"
His face scrunched in resignation, "In the bowl." he replied with a head tilt towards the decorative dish sitting on the coffee table.
Thea looked in almost disgusted shock from Oliver to the table. "The bowl?! That bowl! The one just sitting out where anyone, especially Felicity, could see it!"
"God, Ollie, it's almost like you want to get caught."
"I had it in my pocket the night we moved in and...I didn't know where else to put it."
Thea muttered something under her breath that had Oliver scowling as she stalked to the bowl and dug through it for only a second before pulling out the ring that had apparently been hidden in it for months.
"Here." she said decisively, plunking the ring into his palm. "Do better."
Oliver just nodded.
Felicity paused a second longer then backed away from the railing. Just as she was about to turn Thea's eyes flicked up and caught hers. She'd known she'd been listening the entire time.
"Ollie, for what it's worth, I'm glad you're using Mom's ring, and I can't wait for you to ask her." she said softly.
Oliver drew his sister into his arms, "Thanks, Speedy."
"But for god's sake, don't put it back in the bowl! Do you know how lucky you are she hasn't found it yet!"
He winced good naturedly, "I'll do that." he conceded.
"Good. Now go finished getting ready. I know Star City doesn't have any other options, but it doesn't look good to show up late to your own gala."
Felicity quickly slipped back to the bathroom, shaky hands picking up the mascara wand she'd discarded what now seemed a lifetime ago.
He'd ask her when he was ready. She could be patient.