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Adoring Love

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01.

The first time he popped the question to her, he wasn't certain of its meaning. How could he have been? After all, he was only four. And what he knew was a knowledge he had gathered from the various shows his parents viewed after he went to sleep. He had sneaked out multiple times in the middle of the night and watched the television from afar, his chubby cheeks forming an expression between curiosity and confusion. There were many things he had understood at that age and naturally there were many things he had found impossible, things that had befuddled him.

One example was the couple he had seen once in a movie. They were walking on the beach, holding hands and talking in hushed voices, the volume of the device not letting him hear the spoken words when suddenly they stopped and the man knelt down in front of her, pulling out what seemed to be a ring similar to what his parents wore. The woman squealed and jumped into the man's arms, an action that made little Oliver tilt his head, as loud cheers and applauds surrounded the two adults out of nowhere.

Later, when he saw another movie with the same storyline, Oliver sneaked closer and listened to what was happening on screen, noting the words in his head for later.

"Will you marry me?"

"Yes."

Oliver watched in confusion the congratulating and clapping people around the young couple as they exchanged smiles and handshakes. He might not have understood them but he liked the attention they seemed to have gotten for such a simple action. Determined and curious, he decided to try doing that tomorrow in the nursery to get the same reaction.

And he did at the first opportunity. The lunch meal contained onion rings, perfect for his plans and when no one looked, he slipped one into his pocket, waiting until everyone was done. Once they were ushered out to the garden where other children played hide and seek, Oliver gazed around, searching for the girl that had held his eyes the first day he entered the building with his dad. 

They weren't in the same group, as he was older than her, but he had played a lot with her during the passing months when they were out and he actually considered her his friend. She was a petite girl with intelligent blue eyes and brunette tangled locks, the top of head only reaching his shoulder because of her smaller frame. Most of the times, she was in the sandbox with a few other kids, building forts he could only dream of during his afternoon naps.

Just like any other time he wanted to find her, she was sitting next to the slide with a plastic bucket in her hand, building a fort he knew would make him gasp in awe. 

Sprinting there as fast as his legs carried him, Oliver stopped in front of her, seeing her eyebrows furrow a tad in annoyance while he knelt down and blocked her view, halting the movements of her hands.

"Felicity, hi."

"Oliver," she looked up at him and he saw the frustration fuming in her eyes whilst he fished the onion ring out of his pocket, holding it in his palm for her.

"What's that?" Felicity asked, her momentary anger for interrupting her planning fading a little.

"Will you marry me?" Oliver asked excitedly like he had just gotten the candy he wanted and she watched his hand for a second, confusion marring her innocent face.

"No," she replied and turned her attention back to her task, which was perfecting the castle she built from sand. Oliver stood there for another moment, unsure of what to do or say next, the cheers he was waiting to hear never coming. 

Afterward, when his mom and dad arrived to pick him up, he heard the nursery teacher talk about his little stunt from earlier while he took on his shoes and coat, trying to pull the zipper up but failing. His mother bent down to help him, smiling as his father patted his shoulder and chuckled lightly.

"Don't you think it's a bit early for proposing, Oliver?"


 

02.

The second time he broke the question to her, he was eleven and by that time, he was very much aware of what proposing and marriage meant. Or he was as aware as other children in his age. He and Felicity had gone to the same school and they quickly became real friends. Besides Tommy, Felicity was his best friend. He knew could trust her with anything and she knew the same. 

So, one afternoon, he found Felicity sitting alone in a swing, dangling her legs a tad and looking sadly at her fidgeting fingers. His instincts screamed at him to close the distance and hold her and he did exactly that, kneeling in front of her to see her face and puffy eyes.

"Hey, what happened?" Oliver asked gently, retrieving a tissue from his pocket and handing it to her. She nodded in gratefulness and wiped the tears from her cheeks, taking a few collected breaths.

"Carter happened," she started, staring at her hands again that were now clutching the used tissue, "- I told you I liked him and he just humiliated me in front of his friends."

White rage filled Oliver and he clenched his fists, inhaling evenly to calm the urge to punch that Carter boy. Felicity needed him more at that moment.

"I'm sorry," opening his arms, she took his lead and fell into his embrace, wrapping her arms around his neck as a sob rocked through her body.

"I'm so stupid," she hiccuped and he kissed her hair, stroking her back until the shivers and cries that rocked her body quieted down.

"You are many things but stupid? Absolutely not. I can promise if you marry me, no one will dare to hurt you," he teased and Felicity pulled back, clearing the traces of her tears while a laugh escaped her lips.

"Oliver, no."

As her laughter filled the air around them, he knew without a doubt she would be strong and get over what had happened.


 

03.

He was nineteen the first time he got drunk while Felicity was in his presence. They were at a classmate's house, celebrating their graduation and successful exams. The party was in full swing, with many people dancing, singing and swimming in the pool in the garden and he didn't last an hour before the alcohol in his body made him speak of stuff he wouldn't have.

It wasn't like he wanted to get drunk, but then he remembered Felicity was moving across the country soon, meaning he would lose her and he suddenly couldn't stop the fourth and fifth glass of whatever beverage they poured to him. He wasn't ready to say goodbye, not by a long shot. Over the years, she brightened up his days, made him laugh and helped him whenever he got into trouble. She gave him advice and she was there for him whenever he needed someone.

Lying would get him nowhere and thus, he couldn't deny it anymore. The older they got the more he fell in love with her. 

He became the cliched boy who fell for his attractive best friend with one-sided feels because there was no way she returned what he felt. Maybe, she had a tiny crush on him but even if it was true, she must have gotten over it when he told her about the one-night-stand he had and regretted. He was an awful person and she deserved better, so it was for the better.

That thought didn't make his heart any lighter, his emotions any easier to bear. Result: Drink, drink and drink.

To know she would move to Boston to attend MIT where she would meet someone she would fall in love with... At that idea, Oliver shot his head back and gulped the remaining vodka, praying he could flee from the tormenting possibilities for a little while.

Before he could think of something else, Felicity appeared in front of him, the dress that hugged her curves making his mouth water. He wanted her and not just to have sex with her like in the case of other girls. No, he wanted to hold her hand as they walked to a store. He wanted to cuddle with her on the couch and watch a movie. He wanted to kiss her good night and linger in bed in the morning a little more. He wanted to take her on dates and he wanted to make love to her. It wasn't only her body he desired. He desired her body of course, but he loved her for her sunny personality, for her amazing mind and talent. He just simply loved her.

And now, he was losing her.

Wait... who he was kidding? She wasn't even his to lose.

He reached for the bottle next and was met with her hand and disapproving look, "okay, I think that's enough for one night, Oliver."

"Noo, it's what's I need? No, you're right, it's not. It's you," he saw Felicity inhale deeply, probably to keep her annoyance at bay and he turned away, knowing he couldn't control himself in this state.

"Let's get you home."

"No. I'm good here."

"Oliver," she helped him get up from the island, her arms supporting him while swayed on his feet.

"Fe-li-city. I love saying your name."

His gaze found her lips and he stared at her, mesmerized and struck by her beauty. He couldn't resist her any longer. If anyone asked he didn't know what caused his next movement, his longing or the alcohol? But before either of them could blink, his mouth found hers and he swallowed her surprised gasp, his skin heating up for being this close to her.

It took her a moment to respond but when she did, she wrapped her arms around him, pulling his body flush to hers. Oliver did everything in his power to contain the moan that threatened to escape his throat as he felt her breasts pressing into his chest, her legs brushing his thighs. His eager hands found her butt and a small yelp tore from her that turned into a long sigh when his tongue caressed the insides of her mouth. Felicity jumped at him, linking her ankles around his back while he kept his fingers on her covered flesh, the party surrounding them long forgotten as Oliver lowered himself to the seat he left a minute ago. He felt himself harden and she pushed down on him once, twice, feeding the need he had for her, his blood rushing through his heated body. 

A hand wandered to his hair and slowly pulled at him, breaking the kiss that was turning more fervent by the second. He panted, feeling the soft caresses of the air she exhaled, her finger tracing the mole near his mouth. Oliver opened his eyes and took her in, his gaze moving across her face from her swollen lips to her shut eyes. She was breathtaking. The emotions attacked him at once and before he could stop himself, he whispered the words, nuzzling his nose with his.

"Marry me."

Felicity chuckled, and it was the sweetest sound he had heard all week.

"You are drunk."

"But serious."


04.

They had been dating for three years. It was hard and full of struggles but it was worth it. He hadn't known what to expect that night he kissed her but them agreeing on a date wasn't on his list. But here they were, fighting for their relationship. There were more obstacles thrown in their way than Oliver could count. The biggest was the fact that they barely saw each other. They were in a long distance relationship so Felicity could attend MIT while he was in the Starling University and working by his father's side. 

She came home for the breaks and holidays but it was not enough for him. He wanted, needed to see her more. As a result, they had gotten into a quarrel when he told her he wanted to move there for her last year. It wasn't that she didn't want him there, he knew. She had explained later on that she didn't want him to drop everything to see her. Only one year left and she would go back to Starling City. It was only then that Oliver agreed to wait. After three years one more was nothing, right?

When she came home for the Christmas/Hanukkah break, they didn't leave his room for two whole days except to get food. They talked, watched a movie, talked more and had sex. A lot of sex to catch up on all the lost opportunities. Which wasn't enough time though but it was enough to stop their hunger for a while. Two days later he told her his father wanted to go on a trip with him to visit other divisions of QC in different countries. Felicity had been thrilled to know that and supported him.

Oliver popped the question again the same night. He had been carrying the ring around for a while, his doubts battling until his courage won.

"Felicity, will you marry me?"

"What?"

"Will you marry me?"

"Oliver, I..." she trailed off and he knew the answer. His smile slipped off his face, embarrassment replacing his happiness.

"Too soon, right?"

"Yeah, I'm sorry. I love you. A lot. But I'm not ready yet. I want to graduate MIT before anything happens and more importantly, I want to live with you before we get married. I mean, what if you have a bad habit that will drive me crazy, like leaving the towel on the bad side of the bed?" she teased and as much as his heart ached, he couldn't help but curve his lips in a small smile.

Oliver looked down at his hand and a moment later, she intervened their fingers, speaking again. "Don't brood Mr. Grumpy. I didn't say never just to delay this plan a little bit. One day in a distant but beautiful future we will get married. Noted, future Mr. Smoak?"

"Yes, future Mrs. Queen."

She leaned forward to kiss him and they ended the day in a satisfying sex marathon. 

Things were going pretty well after her refusal. That was until the Gambit went down.


 

05.

He fought through the next five years to get back to her in the hope she hadn't moved on. He knew the chances were low and if she was happy he would survive somehow but he needed to see her again. For five years all he dreamed about was hugging her tightly and never letting her go again. He imagined scenarios in his mind in quiet moments with her while trying to recall every detail his mind could recreate of her face, voice, and scent. There were many occasions when he woke up and felt her arms around him until the dream faded completely and he was surrounded by the harsh reality again. 

After five years, the plane was finally landing in Starling City. He would be transferred to the hospital where doctors would examine him and where he could reunite with his family again. He would see his little sister again, his mother and... Felicity. His heart sped up, his nerves tensing with fear of being rejected. He had changed a lot and he wouldn't be surprised if his family didn't want him anymore.

His mother was the first to see him. Then Thea. Then Tommy. But Felicity hadn't visited him. By the third day, he lost his remaining hope.

He was standing by the window, gazing out at the still city with his hands behind his back when the door opened. 

"Oliver?" A weak, shaking voice asked and his heart skipped a beat before thudding viciously under his clothes. Turning around, his gaze collided with hers and in the next jiffy, they were embracing each other, her tight hug making his bruised side hurt. He couldn't care though because the woman he loved was in his arms again.

Oliver inhaled her scent, feeling the hot tears on his skin, while Felicity sobbed, their teardrops wetting the others' clothes.

"I thought I lost you. I didn't know what to do. I couldn't-"

"Shhh, I'm here and I'm not going anywhere."

"I hope so. Don't you dare do this again or I will strap you to a bed for your whole life," she said in a serious tone against his ear and he tightened his arms around her, a smile lighting up his face. 

"I missed you, so much."

"I missed you too."

He wanted to pull back a tad to look at her, but she muttered a small no, keeping her head on his chest and listening to his heartbeat. "Am I not allowed to kiss you?"

"Not yet. Just give me this second. I need to make sure this is not a hallucination or a dream."

"I'm real, Felicity and I'm never leaving you again."

Even when they parted from their hug, they kept their hands on each other and Felicity suddenly looked down, pulling out the necklace she wore under her shirt, revealing the engagement ring he had wanted her to wear. 

"After you were gone, I found this again and I just couldn't- I needed to wear it, to know you are with me."

"I was with you the whole time just as you were with me," he rested his forehead against her, saving the quiet moment for bad times.

"Aren't you gonna ask the question?"

"Don't you want to wait? To get to know each other again? To live together?"

"I think we have waited a lot, Oliver. And we can get to know each other while being engaged, so no, I don't want to wait any longer."

Nodding, Oliver took the necklace from her hand to get the ring, kneeling in front of her again, his heart beating loudly and quickly.

"Felicity Smoak. Will you make me the happiest on the face of Earth by marrying me?"

"Yes," she whispered and as soon as the ring slid onto its place, she attacked his lips. He gave as much as he got, moving his mouth over hers, rediscovering the feel of her in his arms and the little noises she made.

After five years he was finally home. After five proposals, she finally said yes. And while he knew the past would haunt him a lot, he also knew that with her by his side, he would overcome everything. They would overcome everything.