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**blows on dusty mic** Hey everyone! It's been ages! How's everyone doing?

So casting spoiler first...

Apparently Brandon Routh is going to be coming on Arrow next season as Felicity's new love interest.

This is especially funny to me because I wrote this little beginning of a fic at a fix-it ficathon for [ profile] redbrunja back in May. Her prompt was: "Arrow, Felicity realizes that Oliver is jerking her heart around, hooks up with someone ridiculously hot and cut who actually appreciates her."The flight home from the island lasted roughly eight hours, during which Felicity Smoak thought it was the ideal time to reflect upon her life and take some personal stock.

In doing so, she became acutely aware of some sad but undeniable truths of her current circumstances (only some of which had to do with a certain conversation with a certain issue-laden superhero-slash-former-employer.)

The bottom line was this: For a number of reasons, Felicity's current lifestyle was unsustainable at best, and had the potential to be truly damaging at worst. Physically and emotionally. There were certain needs she had that simply couldn't be met in her present situation.

Being Felicity, she quickly prioritized those needs and decided to tackle the most pressing and most practical first.

Without a doubt, she needed a new job.

Because helping the greater good was noble and all but health insurance, especially in this line of work, was truly a necessity. As was paying her rent. Oliver's finances and position with Queen Industries was clearly in flux, and since Felicity was technically Oliver's assistant, keeping her job was hardly a given either. Besides, with Isabel Rocheau's sudden death, Queen HQ itself would no doubt be in utter turmoil.

By the time they touched down in Starling City, Felicity had scoured both Monster and CareerBuilder and applied for three potential IT positions. She was overqualified for all of them, of course, but starting over always came with a price.

When the HR manager of the Daily Planet, an award-winning newspaper in nearby Metropolis, called to check on her availability for an interview on Monday, she was pleased though not surprised. She felt likewise when she was hired at the interview's conclusion and continued to feel that way until she made the mistake of telling Oliver about her new position.

To be fair, he didn't say anything much to her announcement, but he gave her that look and laid his hand on her shoulder for precisely nine seconds before swiftly leaving the room.

As Felicity watched him go, she ran through all the reasons in her head why this was a good and necessary thing.

By the next morning, when she reported for duty to the bustling newsroom, she was smiling again. The open bullpen on the thirty-second floor of a stately skyscraper was ringed with windows through which blue skies could be seen and sunlight streamed. She'd missed the sun.

The IT folks were clustered in the far corner and as she made her way to her new desk, the cacophony of the office made her smile even wider. There were TVs blaring news reports, phones trilling, and people--everywhere, people were rushing around, determined looks in their eyes, tablets and folders clutched in their arms. People with a purpose, making a diff--

"Ooof!" Felicity staggered, as one of those determined people had just barreled into her, and for one awful moment as her balance wavered she thought she might actually fall onto the floor but suddenly a thick forearm was swooping around her waist and grabbing her, pulling her upright again. Instinctively she put a hand up and out, bracing herself against the firm chest of---she looked up---her very tall, dark and handsome savior.

"Oh, I, uh, I'm sorry. I wasn't, uh, watching...So careless of, of me. I'm very sorry, Miss..." He took a breath and one quizzical eyebrow arched over a set of thick-rimmed spectacles, which enframed a pair of nervously darting very blue eyes. "Miss...?" he prompted again.

"Felicity. I'm, um, Felicity Smoak. I'm the new IT girl." She winced. "Not girl. Woman. IT Woman." She paused, tilting her head. "Although that makes me sound like some kind of a superhero." She winced again, mumbling, "Not that I would know anything about superheroes, nope, nuh uh."

The blinking man, whom she noticed had quite the chiseled jaw (and she knew from chiseled jaws), looked faintly alarmed, but he let her go and held out a hand to shake. "Nice to meet you, Felicity Smoak," he smiled then, straight pearly white teeth flashing at her, and Felicity's breath caught a little.

"I'm Clark Kent."
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January 2015

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