July 23, 2015:

Oliver and Felicity go to lunch and Oliver promotes her.

Big Belly Burger


NPCs: None.



Mood Music: None.

Fade In…

Too many meetings, too many things to sign, too many phone calls to return. It was time to find a way to get away, so Oliver did what any strong, confident man does in these situations. He ran. You know, like a coward.

A quick stop at Felicity's office and some fast talking got her out of her chair. That's all he needed to get her moving toward a rental car that he keeps around for occasions exactly like these. Unsafe speeds, tight turns, and sparing use of the brakes make the trip to Big Belly Burger a short one. Because a successful escape attempt always makes him hungry.

Which brings us here: "I'll have a bacon cheeseburger with onion rings, please. And a cherry Coke." Ollie shuts his menu and slides it over to the waitress. This was one of the few times he actually sat and thought about what he was going to order, especially at a restaurant that doesn't charge a thousand dollars a plate. And he seems excited, too. Only he would find a burger and onion rings to be an uncommon and entertaining experience.

"A regular Belly Burger, with fries, no onions, please," Felicity tells the waitress and then hands the menu over again. This is a strange treat for her. She rarely makes it out of the office for lunch. Usually, she eats at her desk.

It didn't take much convincing to get him to fast talk her out of her chair. Going out to eat actually sounded much more interesting than surfing the web while she ate her packed sandwich. She's strangely growing to like these grabbed moments of real talk that she gets with Oliver. She never thought she'd be interested in the life of a billionaire playboy, but he's far more interesting and deep than she every would have guessed.

She grins at his excitement, but not in a way that mocks it. Instead, she seems truly happy he's enjoying himself. "I've never seen someone so excited to eat at Big Belly Burger before," she tells him, smile half quirked. "You know, this is where we met."

"You know, I missed a lot of things while I was away. Going to see movies. Driving a fast car. Tequila. Sex after drinking tequila." There's a brief pause and grin as Ollie mentally skims over one memory or another and files it away again. "A bacon cheeseburger of any shape, size, or description was always at the top of that list."

He swivels his head around so he can look over the restaurant's interior. "I've had plenty of them since I got back, but I always smile when I think of the first one."

Felicity blushes. It's not that anything Oliver says, exactly is what triggers it. It's mostly that he's talking so openly with her about coming back. It's a strange feeling. She's not going to touch on any of those other subjects. The burger: well, that's safe at least. "Well, I'm glad you're getting your bacon cheeseburger," she tells him with a smile. She folds her hands on the table in front of them and tilts her head just slightly.

"Really? Did you come here with your family after you got back and have a Big Belly burger? They're great. I have to stop myself from ordering one very week otherwise I'd have to roll myself out of the office every day."

"This place is so ugly that it's just spectacular. My mother's decorator is actually digging his own grave so he can roll over in it." Rather than acting disdainful, Oliver seems to be loving this. He shakes his head and chuckles quietly. "What? Sorry, I thought you were joking. I like it here. My mother and my sister, they— well, you must not be familiar. It'd take a hostage situation involving a family member to get them in here, and that's only if it was one of the ones they both like."

Felicity can't help but smirk at his description of the place. It's horribly accurate, but she feels mean laughing. She hides her grin behind her hand and looks up to Oliver with a shake of her head. "Well, I don't know your family other than what I read in the papers. And, well, what I read in the papers about you isn't exactly right, so maybe what I read about them wasn't, either," she tells him with a smile.

As he puts her hand down, she shakes her head again. "I meant, 'Is that why you didn't forget your first burger?' Because you came here with your family." She sees now that it has nothing to do with that. It must have just been the burger itself. "That seems like it'd be a nice memory. Family reunion in a diner. But, then, I may just be thinking about my own family hopes."

Now seems a wise time to dial it down from recklessly jovial to pleasantly cheerful, so Oliver does so. He'd been caught in the middle of some gesticulation, so he lowers his hands to the tabletop steeples his fingers into a thoughtful triangle. "I can't remember you ever saying much about your family."

Though there's no actually offer, it's definitely implied, in his tone and by the expression on his face. Curious, but politely. Attentive, but not smothering. Good breeding might not have rubbed off on him in many ways, but he does know how to listen.

Felicity doesn't mind jovial, nor does she mind cheerful. She just tends to be a far more subdued person than Oliver. At his finger steeple, though, she can't help but give a soft laugh. "You look like you're Mr. Burns from the Simpsons," she tells him with a slight tease in her voice. That doesn't have anything to do with her family.

The question lingers for a little while of silence and she shrugs. "There wasn't really much time to bring it up, what with all the hacking and poisoning." She shrugs, at once less grinning and joking. "Not much to tell. It was mostly just my mom and me. She was a cocktail waitress and I wanted more. Dad left when I was a kid. Now I'm here."

"Even if he doesn't have the right, I bet he'd be proud of you." Ollie looks Felicity in the eye and gives her a little nod. "Really. You are so intelligent that it sometimes hurts my feelings. And I say that with love." The last bit is rushed and a hand is held up to stall potential protests or apologies. "Seriously. I'd have made you the Vice President of something by now if I didn't think you'd be offended and say no." He's smiling, but he's also being serious. The best he can do at the moment is shrug helplessly. "So there's that."

"You're just saying that because you're worried I'll tell your secret," Felicity tells Oliver, blushing. She's not used to compliments like this. She's kept her head low for a reason the past few years. She's punished herself and despite her aspirations and her talent, has made sure she doesn't make any blips.

At his reassurance, though, she looks up at him, surprised and touched. It takes her a moment to respond. "Thank you, Oliver." It's one of the first times she's used his first name without prodding and not under duress. After a breath, she continues, her voice soft, but forcefully truthful. "Really. Thank you. And I know your father would be proud of you. I know I can't believe everything I read in the papers, but you're a good man. And your father'd be proud."

Then, blinks a few times, confused. "Offended to be a vice president?!" She blinks a few times. "Why'd you ever think I'd be offended at that?"

"You know, I thought of this about five minutes after I left your office for the first time." Playful jabs about his identity aside, Oliver actually looks a little surprised. Not at her, but at himself. He lets out a little sigh and then blunders on manfully. "I played it out in my head more than once. Up here-" he taps his temple "-it kept on coming out wrong. I didn't want you to think I was trying to bribe you, or that I just promote people on a whim because I'm the CEO and I can. You've not only made my life easier, you've saved it. So yeah, I'd like to get you out of that basement."

"Promoting me to Vice President?" Felicity raises her eyebrows. "Now I'm definitely questioning your judgement. I'm not saying I'm not Vice President material, but why would you ever think that of me?" She tilts her had at Oliver, trying to puzzle out this recent idea that he's had. "I don't think you're bribing me, Oliver. Unless you are. I mean, you don't need to bribe me for your silence. You know that. I think you know that."

Realizing she's rambling again, she frowns and then refocuses. "I mean, I'm grateful. Totally grateful at the thought. But, I don't know anything about business. I know about computers and programming. I don't know anything about being a vice president. But, I can't say the money wouldn't be nice."

"No, no. The Vice President thing was a bad joke. Not that I don't think you couldn't do it, you'd probably be a lot better that the lazy bastard who's probably watching porn in his office instead of doing anything remotely productive." Ollie's tone is mild, but this is still as clearly as he's ever expressed his dislike for someone who wasn't on his naughty list.

Ahem. He coughs into his fist and continues. "No, I was thinking of Applied Sciences. There are several positions open, but I was thinking you could take over for the current Director of Research and Development. He's retiring at the end of the month."

Felicity certainly does not watch porn in her office. The very idea makes her blush. "Uh, no, I wouldn't do that. And I don't really know what I'd do as vice president, so that's a bit of a relief." Though, as she said before, the money would be nice. However, his second offer is made and she raises her eyebrows.

"Really? Me? Director of Research and Development for Queen Consolidated?" That's not what she was expecting at all. What does she say to something like that? "I…That would…oh my god, Oliver. That would be amazing. Do you mean it?"

"There's no one I'd rather have for the job. You are qualified. You're not the only one who knows how to use a computer, you know. There are others." Oliver raises his eyebrows, as if this is something that should come as a surprise to anyone who isn't a great-grandparent. "One of them was willing to look you up. It was surprisingly expensive, but worth it. Don't worry, all of that is part of why I want you. Say yes."

"Look me up?" There's a bit of a panic from Felicity at the idea. There's very few people who have the skill to know her true past. Is Oliver attempting to say that she knows it? She looks at him seriously and then takes a deep breath, trusting that her own ability to hide herself and her past is secure.

"Well, since nothing you found there was too flag raising, well, I can't say no to the idea of running an entire research division. Yes. I will. This is…thank you, Oliver. This is more than I dreamed."

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