You're invited to a Halloween bash at Felicity Smoak's. There will be snacks, games, and jack-o-lanterns! No RSVP necessary. Costumes are not required but encouraged.
PS: Forgot to mention, but Roy is the Karate Kid.
Felicity grew up on superstitions. It was all part of growing up in Vegas, the daughter of a cocktail waitress. There were so deeply ingrained that even with years of science classes and knowing better, she still did them. She didn't step on cracks; never told someone happy birthday a day early; she respected jinx.
There were just somethings you never outgrew. Like Halloween. Felicity refused to spend another year trying to sneak out of a smelly club packed with the underdress and overserved. She invited her friends and neighbors for a small get together, filled up on candy for trick-or-treaters, and made themed snacks.
"Thanks for helping me set up!" Felicity said to her neighbor from two doors down, Nicole. She was the one who had done all the oven work for the good of everyone.
"Oh, no problem; I'm just glad you texted me before you set the oven to 450 celsius." Nicole put down a tray of sugar cookies and fixed her large witch hat out of her eyes.
Felicity laughed sheepishly. Wouldn't be the first time. Something her building was unfortunately aware of. 3 am fire drills were something Felicity had hoped to leave behind in college. "Still, you're a lifesaver."
Just then someone knocked on her door. "I'll get it!" Felicity tried to subtly fix the the top of her costume as she walked through the living room, muttering under her breathe, "please be Dig with the ice."
Sure enough there stood Diggle and Lyla, dressed casually.
"My hero!" Felicity reached up on her toes to kiss Dig's cheek, then awkwardly stopped staring wide-eyed at his deadly, super-spy ex-wife/girlfriend. Diggle just laughed and pulled her in for a hug shaking his head. "Hi Lyla! It's great to see you out of prison- I mean you look really good. No- I mean, I not hitting on you!" Felicity sighed counting down in her head, as Dig gallantly held in his laugh and Lyla's face morphed became more and more confused. Felicity tried again, "I'm really glad you came. It nice to see you again under better circumstance." Does this count as a first impression? Can I redo a second impression?
Lyla smiled kindly, "Felicity, you are exactly as Dig described. Thanks for inviting me."
"Decided not to dress up?"
"Can't you tell? I'm a black driver." Felicity rolled her eyes. Dressed up as something he wasn't even on his day off.
"I'm a divorcee." Felicity choked on her tongue. Her head whipped back between the pair as they shared a fond look.
"Haha…? Come on in. You're some the first here. Could you take the ice to the kitchen, Dig?"
Before she shut the door, the elevator opened down the hall. Felicity spied two coworkers from Applied Sciences and Nicole's roommate, Ravina. She wasn't as social as she used to be, what with having to jobs and a bunch of secrets in her head. It was a nice change to enjoy her down time off of her couch for a change. She leaned out the door and waved enthusiastically. Was Curtis dressed as Frozone from The Incredibles?
"Thanks for coming, Oliver! And Thea and boy…?" Felicity voice got quieter as she spoke. Sometimes it was hard to keep track of who knew and to what extent were all of their lives interconnected outside of crime-fighting. Felicity tried to think back quickly if she'd ever been introduced to Roy before this moment. Probably at some stuffy QC event or something at the mansion.
Oliver was dressed in a tux, which made Felicity feel very underdressed at her own party, but she also really didn't want him to change. Thea was dressed as a flapper with a gorgeous and probably real diamond headband a la Gatsby. Roy on the other hand was in a gi with a kerchief tied around his forehead. The left corner of Oliver's mouth hitched up, while Thea just smiled. "Hey, Oliver invited us along; he seemed to think it would be a nice break of the club. This is my boyfriend, Roy, who is too cool for couples costumes, apparently."
"You made me be Magic Mike last year. Do you know how cold it was? I almost lost a nipple."
Oliver looked like he wished he'd gone deaf on the island. Thea rolled her eyes and smiled conspiringly at Felicity. That nudged Felicity back into awareness, "please come in! I have witches' brew punch- it's really just Sprite, cranberry juice and dry ice - and candied apples and pigs in a blanket that look like mummies!
"When I said dress up party I kinda meant costumes, not black tie, Oliver."
Oliver straightened his cufflinks, "that's Agent 007 to you." He gave her an in character smirk looking her up and down, slowly. He leaned down to whisper in Felicity's ear, "you look wonderful."
Felicity flushed, looked away and started towards the living room- "Wait! Was that a pun? A bad pun?" Oliver winked at her heading into the living room to greet Diggle and the flush returned. "The cheek! I do look wonderful. I should get him with my lasso- No, not like that!" She froze. Good, no one heard that.
Time for a drink.
Felicity had planned out a couple of party games, but everyone seemed content to talk and eat among themselves, so she set the toilet paper/mummy wrap away. Curtis, the first person to befriend her in Applied Sciences, took over as DJ, connecting his Spotify to the bluetooth speakers. After he played Monster Mash twice though, Diggle gave him a hard stare and it hadn't happened again. Felicity's old friend from IT, Eric, and Lyla were chatting, Nicole and her roommate were manning the door armed with three buckets of candy, and Oliver even looked like he was smiling.
Felicity walked into the kitchen to see him giving criticism but very little help to Roy as he cleaned up a spill. "Oliver Queen, have you failed with party?"
Oliver gave her his patented side eye. "It wasn't me," he gestured to the smug looking tabby swishing her tail. "I didn't know you had a cat."
"I don't. Not really. It just a friendly stray. I leave food out, and it crashes with me sometimes. All the joys of cat ownership, none of the litter box duties."
It saddled up to Oliver giving him an experimental sniff before sitting back and hissing. "Pixie!" Felicity exclaimed, dismayed. She was normally such a good girl.
"You named the stray?" Oliver lifted a judgmental eyebrow but was smiling indulgently. He seemed completely unfazed at the rejection.
"It's short for pixel. Calling her It made me think of that Stephen King movie."
"The one with the clown?" Thea joined in. "Ollie showed that to me as a kid. Gave me nightmares for weeks."
"That was Tommy. I told you to go to bed."
"And that didn't work?" Roy added sarcastically, handing Thea a smoking cup of potion.
"Not the point. I think she's cute." Thea bend down and let the cat assess her before rubbing her ears. So, it wasn't a Queen prejudice then. "Hey, Ollie-"
"No." Undeterred, Thea scooped up Pixie and turned with her in her arms to give Roy and Oliver the combined powers of their Bambi eyes. In one voice they spoke, "no."
Chucking to herself, Felicity took Pixie from Thea to put her in her bedroom for safe keeping. She placed her on the blanket she kept for her on the end of the bed in a futile attempt to avoid cat hair. "You be good, ok? I have a special treat for you after everyone leaves." Pixie stared up at her and nodded in agreement. Felicity blinked. When she looked again Pixie was licking her paw.
"What did you do to get around the no pet policy here?" Felicity jumped. Nicole was standing behind her peeking into her bedroom; her all black outfit made her blend in with the shadowed hallway. "I had to pay an extra four hundred a month and claim Bandit was an emotional support animal."
"Oh, well, I don't really have a pet. She really was just this stray I would feed. Then she started bringing me presents and when it got cold, I couldn't just leave her out there." Felicity didn't think Nicole would snitch but she still felt on the spot, speaking quicker, cracking her knuckles and rubbing her pinky.
Nicole smiled knowingly back. "When was that? Back in September?"
"Yeah just after my birthday."
"Twenty-three, that's a big year."
"Is it?" came out automatically. Felicity tried to back track. She felt like she had been away from her guests long enough. "Want to help me take the foot out of the oven?"
"Don't worry. Mrs. Kavinsky from down the hall sent it over as a sorry-I-couldn't-make-it gift. It's basically a meatloaf made to look like a foot." Felicity directed her back towards the kitchen.
Joining Lyla over by the punch, Felicity got to know her, while subtly fishing for anything to tease Diggle about. Lyla asked if Felicity had a thing for crime fighters. After stammering and blushing, she realized Lyla was referencing her costume choice. This led to some more blushing and then a lecture on how awesome Wonder Woman was, then it devolved into Felicity finally asking if Lyla knew how to fight with a lasso. By the end of Lyla's answer, Felicity both thought she was the perfect match for Diggle and was very afraid of her ability to turn household objects into weapons.
Diggle came over. Cupping the back of Lyla's elbow, he made eye contact with Felicity, "forgot something in the car."
"If it's another bag of ice, it's probably melted by now- Oh!" Diggle just raised his eyebrows. "The green thing in your car. Do you need my help… lifting it?"
Dig snorted, "Nah, I think we can manage. Stay with your guests." He turned his attention to girlfriend. "Want to go trick or treating?"
"Are you the treat?" And Felicity was walking away.
Oliver was already at the door. "Roy's going to give Thea our excuses." He stepped in closer hand at the small of her back as if saying a personal goodbye, "its a string of robberies. Three thugs just a couple blocks over. Sorry, we're bailing on your party."
Felicity shrugged. She had had too good of a time to be bothered now. Plus she had complete faith in her boys, especially having Lyla watching their backs. She smiled and gestured to herself, "you sure you don't need any help? I have super strength and a magical truth rope."
"Maybe next time." The corner of his lip tucked up again and his eyes were extra blue as he leaned down to kiss her cheek. Diggle followed him out the door, squeezing her shoulder warmly.
"Happy Halloween, Felicity," Lyla said in farewell.
The last of the stragglers had said their goodbyes, but Felicity felt full of energy. She stretch her arms above her head and gave herself a moment of silence to see what she wanted to do. There were some dishes to do and some battery powered candles to put out. Nothing that couldn't wait. She walked onto her tiny balcony and looked out.
The wind rushed around her and it felt right. For weeks with all the Arrow activity and the stress of super-serums and not-dead arch nemesis, and, gosh, all of it, Felicity left the voices in the back of her head go quiet. It was like she had been living under a low ceiling slowly confining her, always just outside of her peripheral, nagging and discomforting her, and she had finally gone outside.
The moon was bright. Felicity felt the urge to reach out and touch it. She turned around and hopped up onto the black metal railing. Hands holding on at either sides of her thighs, she felt daring and fearless. She wanted to scale a building or jump off a rooftop. She leaned back and let the wind whip her hair into her face, laughing loudly. She wanted to fly.
A crash on the street below her made Felicity jump. She squealed as she lost her balance, swinging back. Felicity's nails scraped for purchase and she tried to lean back forward. Suddenly a strong wind blow from below. It pushed at her like hands and in seconds her was standing on the balcony.
"Nope, nope, nope," Felicity muttered to herself. She knew she needed to get back inside, but she couldn't move. She clutched at her pounding heart and couldn't seem to get enough air in her lungs. "Ok, you're ok. We're not doing that again, but you're ok."
When her legs stopped shaking as badly, she stumbled back inside. Pixie rubbed up against her legs, and she sank onto the couch.
The DVR read 3:27 from her spot on the couch. The whole thing was a weird dry ice reaction. Why would she ever think sitting on the rail over a six story drop would be ok? Imagined near death experience or not, Felicity decided to put off cleaning till tomorrow. She just needed to sleep this weird feeling away.
Pixie glared at her from the arm of the couch. It was a judgy look. Can looks say, don't do that again?