New Friends, Old Secrets

July 10, 2015:

Oliver comes to Felicity's office again for some help with an old SD Card. And then he gets poisoned.

Felicity's Office - Queen Consolidated


NPCs: None.


Mood Music: None.

Fade In…

Felicity's office in Queen Consolidated is nothing if not neat. The innards of the computer she was fixing before have been cleared away and returned to its proper owner. Today she's at her own computer, relishing in the bit of spare time she has before the next deluge of requests comes in to fix this or that. A mug of coffee rests by her mouse pad and the ponytailed blonde woman types at an incredible speed. Her eyes narrow behind her glasses as she glances between a few different windows, typing as she goes.

Another day at the office means another handmade Italian suit for Mr. Queen. He may actually have been doing some work today, because his jacket is nowhere to be seen, his tie has been loosened a touch, and his sleeves have been rolled up past his wrists. Shoes that cost more than the average compact car squeak quietly as he approaches Felicity's almost-basement-almost-office for the second time this week.

He lets himself in and closes the door just loud enough to make sure it'll be heard. "Ms. Smoak," he says, giving her a nod. "I'm not interrupting anything, am I?"

The blonde IT woman is certainly not dressed as nicely as Oliver. Her clothing is certainly fashion forward thinking; but her entire outfit most likely cost less than his pair of cufflinks. As the door opens silently and then shuts loudly enough to break her concentration on the screen, she blinks and looks up. She doesn't even need to look to quickly close the windows that she was so focused on.

Part of her is still surprised to see Oliver standing there, curiosity plain in her eyes. "Felicity," she says, pushing her chair back from her desk just slightly, moving to stand. Then, she realizes she doesn't have to do that and leans back in her chair again, strangely nervous. "That is, you can call me Felicity. I wasn't calling you, Felicity. That would be weird if we both had the same name. And if you had a girl's name." She coughs, trying to stop the string of words cascading out of her mouth. "Um, is there anything I can do for you Mr. Queen? You're not interrupting."

Amazingly, Oliver doesn't laugh at any point during Felicity's rambling. He does smile, though. "I'll call you Felicity if you call me Oliver. Sadly, I came to say the words that make most IT departments quiver with fear." He sets an SD card down on Felicity's desk and slides it toward her with one finger. "I forgot my password."

Now there's a forced, put-upon edge to his smile that wasn't there a few seconds ago. "If I can't access the information by this afternoon, I'll have to admit that I never read through it before I locked myself out," he elaborates. "Please, rescue me from myself."

Calling the CEO of her company Oliver is something that never occurred to Felicity. It will feel weird. She's expecting another strange request from him: some sort of chip that he needs scanned or the like. Having forgotten a password is certainly a more normal request of her bosses. She relaxes just slightly and nods. Picking the SD card up, she turns it over a few times as she contemplates. "Hm. And I take it you don't want me to just wipe the contents and start over?"

She frowns as she looks at the card, realizing it's old: 4GB? What is this, 2008? Glancing at Oliver's expensive suit and shoes, it's strange he doesn't have a top of the line card or a flash drive. Gesturing at him to pull up a seat, she tells him, "It's pretty old, I should be able to have something that can crack into it without damaging any of the contents. You know, you should really update to a flash drive, this thing looks like it's on its last legs."

Pushing her mug to the side, she pulls over an older card reader and plugs it in to a laptop nearby, sliding the card into place and mounting it as a drive on the computer. The old thing doesn't really have much security on it, it's an easy break in for the master hacker. There's one large folder that she opens and then picture previews automatically start to load. She gasps at some of what she sees. It seems to be human testing and it's barbaric.

Quickly, she pushes herself up and out of her chair and away from Oliver. "What is that?"

"I… I don't know." It's one of the very rare times that it sounds like Oliver is telling the truth. Even he looks shaken. He reaches out to grab the mouse, but he withdraws long before he touches it.

The previews are mercifully small and cramped, but still decipherable. The images are clustered into strings. Some show before, during, and after shots of completely healthy people having limbs or organs replaced with prosthetics. Some are of things that are biological but not completely identifiable being grown in petri dishes and incubators. Nothing is pleasant to look at, nor does it seem particularly humane.

Oliver is surprised, that much is obvious. His eyes are terror-wide and his lips are smashed together so hard that they've gone white. Now he does touch the mouse, but only to close the folder so that neither he nor Felicity will have to look any longer.

"I swear," he starts, taking a step backward as well, as if that will somehow be reassuring to either of them. "I didn't know. I couldn't know." He opens his mouth to layer more lies on top of the one about the forgotten password, but his teeth snap back together before he says anything. For the moment, all he can do is look at Felicity helplessly. "I didn't know," he says again.

Normally, Felicity really likes her small office. It's tiny and comforting. Today, though, it's claustrophobic as she attempts to move around Oliver without actually getting close to him. That much is impossible; the space is too small. Her eyes are drawn back to the laptop, horrified as he moves her mouse and then closes the folder.

"You said it was yours," she tells him. She assumes he knows the lie he told her moments ago. Even though she was doubting the validity of it to start with - the key card was obviously about something other than a gymnast - the shock of what was portrayed in those images is enough to have shaken some fear into her.

After a pause, she looks at him, eyes still wide. She can see it's also surprised and horrified him. She takes a deep breath, though her voice is still tremulous, "If you didn't know, where did you get it?"

Oliver wipes the back of his hand across his mouth and huffs out a breath. Then he drops into Felicity's chair and leans forward until his elbows are resting on his knees and his head is in his hands. Long, long-feelings seconds pass before he answers. "Crime scene. A guy got killed and now I think I know why."

Maybe he's too tired of telling lies and remembering lies and living lies. Maybe he knows that any lie he can tell now will be less believable than the truth. Either way, the billionaire is sitting in Felicity's chair and massaging his temples and he doesn't know what to do. Finally, he glances back up at Felicity. "I promise you that this has nothing to do with the company. Please don't tell anyone. I don't know how to explain it once. I know I won't be able to do it twice."

Felicity watches Oliver, her shoulders bunched almost up to her ears. Her basic instinct of fight of flight has kicked in and raised her hackles. A hand is clasped over mouth and it doesn't look as if she's going to forget those images any time soon. They'll certainly be in her nightmares for weeks and months to come. She's pressed against the wall by her desk now, as far from Oliver as she can get.

Through her glasses, she continues to study him, unsure of where to put her trust. However, she meets his eyes and after a few moments, her shoulders start to lower. Unable to stop her eyes from watering at the thought of those poor people depicted there, she wipes at her cheeks and takes a deep breath.

"Y-you need to take that to the police. They have to see that so they can arrest whoever did that." She frowns, still watching Oliver, still maintaining her illusion of distance. "But, you're not, are you? You took that from a crime scene. Was that keycard I helped you with part of this? Is that what the keycard unlocked?" The thought is clearly a horrifying one to Felicity.

Nervous. Oliver is nervous. It's a foreign feeling for him, so it took him a while to identify it. He sucks in a breath, opens his mouth to speak, then stops again. While he ponders his options, he sits up straighter and rakes his fingers through his hair. "Sorry," he sighs. "I'm trying to figure out how much I can tell you without lying."

Another unusually honest statement for him. He bites at his bottom lip and nods, as much to himself as to Felicity. "You're right," he admits. "I'm not going to take it to the police. Because I can't. And also because it can do more good if I keep it." He lets out another sighing sound. "I wish I could prove it to you, but I can't."

You're right about the keycard, too. It's all connected."

Felicity starts to slowly unstick herself from the wall. She's still unsure of Oliver and his card filled with horrible things on it, but it's clear that she at least believes him. Whether or not she's gotten over her nervousness about being in such an enclosed space with him is still up for debate.

"At least you're trying to be honest about lying," she tells him a bit dryly, letting her hand fall from her mouth to rest on the desk nearby her hip. She wants to believe him: that he's doing this for good and is not involved in this to cover it up. She doubts he would have involved her in this if he knew what was on the card. Unless he's now plotting to kill her.

"You're trying to help them?" Her head inclines toward the laptop and the card that uncovered those horrible truths. "Do you know someone who was involved?"

Oliver is still choosing his words carefully, but now it's for a very different reason. He gives his head a minute shake, but it's a self-directed gesture. "I know who did it. If it was as simple as stopping a murderer then I'd go to the police, but it's not. Someone threw a man's body out a window to make it look like an accident. I'm guessing that whatever this is, it's the reason he was killed."

It'd be a lot to say if the situation weren't incredibly tense. As it is, he looks borderline winded from his little speech. He takes a quiet moment to lean back in the chair and look Felicity in the eye. "I don't want that man to have died for nothing. Whatever we just saw, I don't want it to ever happen again. I'm sorry I lied, but would you really have helped me if I told you the truth?"

At Oliver's words, Felicity sighs. She's curious, worried and now unsure of what to say here. He looks so nervous and vulnerable and she has a soft spot for helping people who seem as if they need it. "But, that's exactly murder," she argues softly. She's not ignorant of vigilantism; she knows people who partake in it. At the last question, her lips form a thin line of contemplation. "I might have. These people clearly need help."

Frowning, she looks at the laptop and then back to Oliver. Resolutely, she tells him, "I may know someone who can look into it." Her voice has not quite lost its higher pitched tone that indicates she's nervous, but she's trying to be brave here. "If you won't go to the police."

"I know I'm doing a terrible job explaining this." Despite his scruffy face and his expensive clothing, the way Oliver deflates as he exhales makes him look like a sad little boy.

//Don't say 'It's complicated.' Don't say 'It's complicated." //

"It's complicated. I have a friend on the NYPD CSI team," Oliver confesses. "He knows. He doesn't know I'm the one who told him, but he knows about everything that happened before I walked into your office."

The boyish billionaire stands up, but he doesn't move toward Felicity. He even holds his hands toward her briefly with his palms facing out in an 'it's all good' gesture. "My life is one big, tangled ball of secrets. I actually hate secrets, you know. They make life difficult. They weigh heavy on the soul. But we convince ourselves that they keep us safe, or that they keep the people around us safe. I really, really wish I could share mine with you."

"Oh, believe me, I've heard worse," Felicity tells Oliver, though, really, that's a lie. She's never been brought an SD card filled with horrible images and then asked to keep it from the police. But, she does know the secret identity of a vigilante. Plus, the guy she's dating is part of a secret organization she would have hacked and flooded the internet with its secrets five years ago, so it's all new territory.

"Actually, that's not true. No one has told me that they forgot their password to a drive, then had me hack into it only to have it have documentation of other people horribly experimenting on other human beings. That…has not happened before." If they're being truthful, that should be said, of course.

At his standing and questioning, Felicity's eyebrows rise and then her eyes narrow. Do they know the same person? She was about to try and arrange a meet with Oliver and Barry and he seems to be describing Barry as already being on the scene. She gives him a confused look. "I…wait…so you don't want any help? I mean, I sort of know the Flash. That is, how to get in contact with him. And, you know, I thought, that might be helpful?" Then, she smirks just slightly. "You know, for saying you hate secrets, you're keeping a lot of them. I think just about everything we've talked about has been a secret. Are you really CEO of Queen Consolidated? Are you actually Oliver Queen?"

"Sometimes I wish I weren't," Oliver grumbles. "Life would be a lot less complicated." He leans back against a wall and tips his head back until he's mostly looking at the ceiling. "The fact that I want to say no means that I should probably say yes. I don't know how comfortable I feel spilling secrets to a guy who wears a mask, though."

The irony of this statement isn't lost on Ollie. A small smile tugs at the corners of his mouth and he gives his head a rueful shake. "I appreciate you handling this as well as you are. I guess experience helps."

He pauses to clear his throat once, then again. Briefly, he reaches up to rub his cheek. "Where was I? Oh, yeah. I don't suppose I could convince you to keep helping me like this without telling you why, could I?"

"I'm not sure, would the Flash be more or less trustworthy than a guy who owns a company coming to his IT girl for help under false pretenses because he wears a mask?" Felicity raises an eyebrow at Oliver, easily countering him with her own thoughts on the matter. She's not one to give up moral high ground very easily, though her own question sounds as if it has a teasing tone. Look at her, teasing with the CEO of her company. A shift of some sort is slowly happening.

"I don't really have experience in," she waves a hand at the card, the specter over their entire conversation, "that." She frowns studying Oliver. "Maybe. I'll help you with this," the this being the card and the things related to Systemic Solutions. "Because those people deserve someone to bring their case to justice. But, I want to know what I'm looking into. No more lies about forgotten passwords."

Beads of perspiration have started to form near Oliver's hairline. They start small, but they're building quickly. He furrows his eyebrows and touches his face again, then frowns as he touches his fingertips together while he studies his hands.

As silly as his behavior seems, whatever's happening is concerning him. "I gotta go," he mumbles. He pushes away from the wall, but he only makes it as far as Felicity's desk before he starts sagging around the knees. He catches himself and takes in a short, sharp gasp of air. "I gotta go m'office," he says plaintively, as much to himself as to the IT girl.

As Felicity watches Oliver, her frown turns only more pronounced. "Mr. Queen? I mean, Oliver?" She takes a step forward when he starts to sag around his knees and prop himself up by her desk. "Are you alright?" If it were any other CEO she would suspect he was drunk. But, he was talking quite soberly just a few minutes ago.

Concerned, she reaches out to try and steady the man. "I don't think you need your office, I think you need to sit down. And maybe call a doctor." She grabs a glass half filled with water and holds it out. "Here, maybe you should drink something."

"Ahemhem," Oliver forces a cough to try and clear his throat. His tongue feels thick and cumbersome in his mouth, making it that much more difficult to explain. He takes the glass of water and raises it to his lips, but he chokes instead of swallowing. He's starting to look a little pink around the face as he sets it down.

Woozy. Dizzy. Now he's using both hands to hold himself upright. It takes a Herculean effort, but he manages to get himself moving after a few more seconds' rest. "Not okay. Gotta go m'office. Please. Help."

He starts to wilt again, but he's ready for it this time and he's quicker to catch himself. "Please?"

As Oliver starts to stumble more and the water doesn't make it past his throat, Felicity starts to go into crisis mode. She knows that if you can't swallow that means very bad things. She's not a physically strong woman, but she puts her arms around Oliver and attempts to navigate him back to her chair. If he won't go there, she'll attempt to hold him upright as best she can.

"I'm trying to help!" she says, clearly worried now. "I'm going to call 9-1-1. There is something seriously wrong with you. Are you allergic to anything? Did you get stung by a bee?! I know someone who was allergic to bees, got stung without realizing and he had to get rushed to the hospital. Do you have an epi-pen?" Her tone is getting more and more panicked as she speaks, though she's attempting to calm him down.

Oliver shakes his head vigorously. "NO." It takes a vigorous headshake and another round of deep breaths for him to focus up. "No hospital. There's no time. P-Poison. Gotta go t'm'office."

And then he's sitting. He lets out a small, relieved sound when he discovers the chair has wheels. That means he can scoot. He heads for the door, but double vision is already putting him off course. "Ugh. Can you drive?"

"Poison?" Felicity can't help but look to the laptop and then back at Oliver. Either this is the craziest corporate take down she's ever witnessed, or this has something to do with what she's been unknowingly helping him with. "If it's poison and it's very serious, you need a hospital! They'll have an antidote or something."

As Oliver attempts to make his escape via wheely chair, she is quickly after him. Opening her door, she starts to push him through. "Yes, I can drive. But, if I'm driving you anywhere it's the ER. You need professional help, Mr. Q—Oliver!" As she starts to wheel him through the hallway, she frowns, realizing this very well could end up as office gossip later.

The only positive thing about this situation is that with Oliver's reputation, people are definitely going to assume that he's drunk in the middle of the day and Felicity is helping him to somewhere he can either sleep it off, sleep with her, or both. One extremely unfortunate thing about this situation is that that's the most positive thing about this situation.

Most employees avert their eyes, as that's the universal-but-unspoken method for handling Mr. Queen's antics. Still. There's an occasional chuckle, disapproving laugh, or knowing smile. When he and Felicity reach the elevator, every employee inside exchanges a glance, then they wordlessly file out and toward the stairs.

Once the doors close and they're alone, he pushes the button for the top floor. Then he reaches up over his shoulder and fumbles around Felicity's face until he's holding a finger across her lips. "Ssshh," he says. He coughs out a laugh. "Heh. Heheheh. Not the first girl to say that. Just drive the chair. M'office."

As Felicity pushes him into the elevator, she is already blushing very hard. She knows the rumors that fly around Oliver as well as what that means for her own reputation by helping him. She's not going to hear the end of this for awhile; if ever. If she weren't so scared and worried for him, she would be blushing a very bright red. Perhaps that will help her with the rumor mills. Once the elevator doors close and he's fumbling for her face, she blinks, leaning over, thinking that he's about to tell her something very serious. Instead, it is more poison talk.

"I'm not the first girl to tell you that you need to go to the ER?" Felicity studies the slumped over CEO in his chair. With a worried and certainly superior look, she tells him, "You need better girlfriends, Oliver." Either that or he has some seriously intense sex with these one night stands. However, the shift has moved from nervous IT girl to someone who is comfortable joking with the CEO of her company and calling him by his first name. Perhaps it's her nervousness that he's about to die on her watch.

"P-p-p'fessional help," Oliver replies. "Butcher not wrong." His fairly calm demeanor is a thin cover story by this point. Breathing is getting more difficult. He's sweating profusely. Whatever's in his office better be good, because at this rate he doesn't have long.

When the elevator DINGS and opens, he looks up at Felicity. "Shhhh," he reminds her.

The CEO's personal assistant doesn't even look up from her magazine when the two of them enter the foyer. Flip. Flip. "Call out if you want me to get a car ready for you after he falls asleep," she says. It would appear that, unlikely as it seems, something similar to this has not only happened before, but often enough to necessitate an appropriate response and then for her to grow bored with the whole process. All she does is buzz them through the office door.

Ollie's personal workspace is suitably lavish, but there's no pharmacy here. No doctor waiting with an adrenaline shot. Just nice hardwood floors, a nice desk, expensive art, a small floor safe, and a very well-stocked bar.

"Well, then you've clearly been doing something wrong," Felicity tells Oliver as she keeps two hands on the back of the office chair in the elevator. She's not sure what to make of this new situation with the CEO of her company, but she's not about to let him die on her watch. She's certainly surprised when the elevator lets her out at the top floor and she keeps wheeling him forward, attempting to act casual.

"I—Uh, yeah, of course. You know how he is. With his office chairs and….uh…drinking…bye…" Felicity is bad with lying under pressure. Hopefully the PA just thinks she's another airheaded blonde that Oliver somehow managed to weasel into drinking and then wheeling him up to his office.

She keeps moving, though, and once they're in his office proper and the door shuts behind her, she is flummoxed. "Oliver! There is nothing here! I'm calling an ambulance. You need to see a doctor!"

No matter how hard Oliver tries to make them listen, his legs won't do what he tells them to, so he pitches forward and crashes face-first on the carpet. Because that's a good idea.

The impact doesn't slow him down. Not more than he already has been, anyway. He wriggles closer and reaches out to tap the keypad on the floor safe. 9-9-6-4-5. There's an audible click as the lock disengages and the door pops open.

The only thing inside is a canvas duffel bag, which Ollie grasps at vainly. "Izza little bag in there," he groans.

That's all he can manage. He's nearing critical mass. He clutches both hands to his stomach and curls up into a tight ball, then almost immediately spasms out until he's flat as a plank. "Hurts," he mumbles. "Can't. Can't breathe."

As Oliver slumps forward and crashes onto the ground, Felicity rushes forward to help him back upward. She's completely surprised when she finds that the fall was a conscious effort, she attempts to help him. Pulling out the duffel bag, she blinks, looking at him and then the duffel bag. This is involved somehow.

Pulling out the duffle bag, it's hard to ignore the fact that there is a very distinct green outfit inside of it. Searching through, she finally finds a little bag with herbs in it. This is not the time to bring up what she found. Right now she has to figure out what to do with this.

"Okay! Little bag! What do I do now? Is this a tea thing? Do I just push this down your throat?"

Oliver groans, proving he's still conscious. He snatches the bag and pulls the string, but the opening is too small for his clumsy claw of a hand. After a few unsuccessful attempts, and some very unhappy-sounding whimpers, he holds the whole thing up and dumps the contents into his mouth.

His body wants to reject the foul-tasting concoction of dried leaves and berries, but he buries his face in the crook of his elbow and forces himself to chew. Chew. Chew. And swallow.

Whatever that stuff is, it acts fast. Ollie's spasms taper off and his breathing eases within the first minute. "Water?" he grunts hopefully and points to the bar's mini fridge.

Felicity has done what she can for Oliver. She practically lays down beside him in an attempt to make sure the strange holistic herbs he needs are ingested. Scrambling up, she moves to the mini bar and yanks a bottle of water out for him to drink. She twists the cap off and then places it gently in his hands. She's not sure what exactly is happening right now or what she just did to help, but she's at least trying.

"Y'know, if this is how your dates go, I can definitely tell you why you don't get a lot of second ones." It's a joke, as she know she's not dating Oliver. He didn't even really know she existed until about a week ago, despite giving her a job. This is an attempt to lighten the mood. That's all she can do now.

Gulp. Gulp. Gulp. Oliver tilts the bottle back and doesn't lower it until he's polished it off. Having pushed himself up into a sitting position, he's now able to have a very slightly more dignified and coherent conversation. "I wish my first dates went this well," he rasps. "Rich girls are mean."

Throat hurts. Still sweaty. Still breathing hard. Sore from clenching and thrashing around. Otherwise, the majority of his symptoms seemed to have either lessened or abated. He takes a deep breath and savors it because he can. He's been avoiding looking directly at Felicity, but he can't keep it up any longer. "You saved my life," he says solemnly. "Thank you."

Felicity attempts to make sure that he drinks all of the water as best she can. She's no nurse but now that she's in the thick of things she's not skittish. She makes sure that he has finished the whole thing before she takes it from him and places it on the floor nearby. They're both lying down now; she did so for either solidarity or to make sure he's okay, she's not sure now. "Your dates often poison you?" she tells him, skeptically. "You really need to start finding a different dating pool, then."

As he looks at her, Felicity blushes just slightly. She's not used to such sincere gratitude. "You're welcome," she tells him just as sincerely. "I'll stay with you until you're sure you're okay. And if you're still looking like you're poisoned, I'm taking you tot he ER."

"I'm going to give you a raise no matter what, but it's going to be a lot smaller if you try taking me to an ER," Oliver quips. "If I'm still looking like I'm poisoned, it's because I was poisoned. Wait a minute… I was poisoned."

He doesn't look like he's lapsed back into incoherence. Not really. He's talking quietly to himself, though. And quickly. "Haven't eaten anything since lunch, so it wasn't cyanide. Numbness, not paralysis. Wasn't tetrodotoxin. Irregular heartbeat. Wasn't belladonna. Seizures, so it wasn't botulinum. Nausea. Abdominal pain. Confusion. Difficulty breathing. What else? Am I missing anything?"

“A raise isn’t going to keep me from taking you to an ER if you look like you’re about to die.” Felicity’s voice is firm as she speaks, as if she has to talk to a particularly temperamental child. “Especially because yes you were poisoned.”

She sighs as Oliver keeps talking, realizing that he’s going through a multitude of different scenarios. “Does this happen to you so often that you’re not surprised?” Strangely, after this afternoon, she’s not so much surprised by this as curious. The costume in the duffel bag also adds to the strangeness in this conversation, but she is attempting to keep this as simple as possible for the moment.

After a moment, when she realizes he’s done listing and questioning his symptoms, she adds, “You said your murder victim was most likely poisoned before he was thrown out a window. What do you think his symptoms were?”

"Huh? What, you mean the thing with the poison?" Oliver clears his throat, aware that this is only one of many difficult questions to come. "I mean. It doesn't happen a lot."

Now he chews thoughtfully at the inside of his cheek while he's thinking. "Asphyxiation. That's what killed Dr. Sadler. There wasn't anything else that…" he trails off and a slow smile spreads across his face. "Aconite. Wolfsbane. The only signs it leaves post-mortem are the final cause of death, which is asphyxiation. A high enough dose is almost instantly fatal. McCarthy must have dosed me when we had coffee in his office. McCarthy's the bad guy," he explains.

“He poisoned you?” Felicity is flummoxed and attempts to make sure that Oliver is not dying while he lies on the ground. “You say this doesn’t happen a lot, but you haven’t said it’s never happened before,” she points out as she goes to them mini-bar and gets another bottle of water.

Sitting on the carpet next to her sprawled out and nearly dead from poisoning CEO, she twists off the top and holds it out for him. “And when exactly did you have coffee with this guy? If he’s the bad guy, he’ll think you’re dead by now.”

"I know," Oliver says. He's looking extremely pleased with himself. "That's why I'm smiling. We had coffee when I needed an excuse to visit the office. That’s when I found the SD card."

He accepts the bottle gratefully and salutes Felicity with it before he takes a drink. Exhausted from his ordeal, he reclines backward and leans on his elbows. There's a companionable feel to kicking back on the floor with someone who just saved your life. Oliver is either about to ruin it or make it amazing. "You handled yourself pretty well back there, considering the circumstances." Pause. "You know everyone thinks we're in here having sex."

“You’re smiling because someone almost killed you?” Felicity looks at Oliver with an incredulous expression, then shakes her head. “That’s not something to be smiling about.”

Now that Oliver seems to quickly be pulling himself out of the poisoned woods, Felicity sinks a bit and leans against the wall, glad that her boss isn’t about to die in front of her. She’s still wary, though, keeping a close eye on him to make sure that he isn’t about to keel over at any moment. Medicine and poisons are strange. “Well, I wasn’t about to just let you die on my floor. I have a feeling I’d get fired for something like that.”

At the second observation she blushes a very bright red. “You know, I have a boyfriend. Or, I think he is. We haven’t talked about that just yet. But, we’ve made out in public. That makes me think it’s more than just a casual thing.” She frowns, eyeing Oliver. “Though, I think you may be the wrong person to judge about that.”

"I would be the wrong person to judge about that," Oliver agrees. He nods emphatically for good measure. "And don't tell me that. All I'm doing is sitting here. Not dying or having sex with you. Words I never thought I'd use to describe a pretty great day. If you want to tell someone something, tell the boy you kissed at camp that you want to wear his class ring. He'd be a fool to say no."

Most people wouldn't tease someone who just saved them from a painful death by poison. Most people also wouldn't get poisoned. Queen smiles winningly. The expression doesn't last, though. "So," he sighs. "Big green elephant in the room."

As Oliver starts to discuss her relationship with Fitz, Felicity blushes all the more. “I’m not taking advice from a poison victim,” she tells him firmly, embarrassed. Though, if he’s starting to feel better enough to talk to her like they’re old friends, at least he doesn’t seem like he’s on death’s door any more.

Her smile fades just slightly at the ‘green elephant’ in the room. Her expression turns a bit more serious. “You mean the costume that looks suspiciously like the Arrow’s in your office floor? I wouldn’t exactly call the Arrow an elephant, but it certainly explains why you had an SD card from a crime scene.” She pauses for a moment. “I’m not going to tell the police, if that’s what you’re worried about.”

"That is definitely what I'm worried about," Oliver admits readily. "But I think I actually believe you. You weren't joking when you said you knew who the Flash was." It's not a question. He tilts his head an inch to the side and looks Felicity in the eye. "And there isn't anything I could do that would make you tell me. That's exactly the kind of loyalty I look for in my friends."

That last part almost was a question. In a spectacular display of role reversal, Ollie's wearing a hopeful expression and gazing earnestly at a young woman. "What do you say?” he asks. “Friends?"

“I didn’t say I knew who he was!” Felicity’s voice is high pitched again, perhaps belying the fact that she does, in fact, know who the Flash is. “Just I knew how to get in contact with him!” This is, in fact, a blatant lie. She does know who the Flash is and if what Oliver said earlier about a CSI knowingly helping him, well, it means the Flash may actually be involved with the case already. She blushes, attempting to change the subject.

At the hopeful expression and the earnest looks, there’s really only one thing Felicity could tell the man. “I think after you help someone survive a poisoning, you start to become friends.” With a smile, she rests her head against the wall gives a soft laugh. “So, yes. Friends.”

"Excellent," Oliver says. "In that case, yes. I'm the Arrow. You have no idea how good it feels to say that out loud. It's really hard to keep a secret identity a secret."

He takes another gulp of water and screws the cap back on the bottle. "So. What do we do now?" he asks Felicity. Surprising enough, the question isn't rhetorical and neither is the follow-up. "If I bring you another technical problem, are you still going to want to help me? I promise I won't blame it on a fictional ballerina gymnast."

Felicity studies the still weakened Oliver on the floor and sighs. “You’re asking me? I’m new to this whole thing.” Though, she actually smiles at him, feeling strangely appreciated and grateful to know his secret identity. It’s nice to feel trusted.

As for what she’ll do next time he brings her a technical problem, she nods. “Just don’t lie to me. I’ll help you as best I can. And if you get poisoned…go see a doctor. I didn’t see any other pouches of miracle drugs in your superhero duffel bag.”

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 License