raptorcanaria: ([young] coy)
2015-06-20 07:28 pm

Arms Dealing

Dinah doesn’t knock on the door of Roy Harper’s apartment. Dinah picks the lock on the front door of Roy’s apartment, and eases the door open to stare a handgun straight in the face. She closes her hand over his, twists herself into him and disarms Checkmate’s star marksman in less than a second, pushing him back against the door to close it and to pin him, his shooting arm twisted against his back.

They stay like that for two seconds.

“Uncle,” says Roy quietly, “but only ‘cause Lian’s napping.”

Dinah lets him up and he turns around to hug her – which she lets him, despite the dampness of his shoulder and the sickly sweet smell of baby vomit. Roy has a two-bedroom in Star City, but he uses it like a studio, with his arsenal in one bedroom, the nursery in the other, and a sofa-bed (currently a bed) in the main area. When she comes out of the hug, Dinah steps over a baby playmat to get to the tiled corner that serves as a kitchen.

“You’re well?” Dinah asks.

“Not bad. Worked late last night, looking forward to a couple of days off. How’s the new Justice League?”

Dinah pulls a face, which Roy probably can’t see because she’s facing the fridge and the beer within.

“Ugh, don’t ask. Never thought I’d meet a Green Lantern more annoying than Hal. Blue Beetle’s fun but - excuse the expression – green as hell. And Batman’s letting everyone get under his skin. It’s beginning to feel like Superhero day care. At least I’ve got J’Onn.”

Now topless, having pulled off his dirty shirt, Roy comes up behind her, and reaches under her arm for a beer of his own without waiting for her to move out of the way. Dinah turns to face him – there’s fresh bruising on his shoulder, and a stiffness in his hip, but he looks well.

“You need a vacation.”

“I’d be scared of the mess I’d come back to, to be honest,” Dinah says. She presses two knuckles into his bruise, to watch the strength of his reaction. “Getting sloppy, Arsenal, letting someone tag you like that.”

“Yeah, yeah, change the subject.” Roy grins at her. “You don’t have to offer a training session to get me to visit.”

“But it works so well.”

He laughs, and throws an arm around her to steer her back towards the living room, leaving her behind after a few seconds so he can turn his sofa bed back into a sofa.

“So, not like I don’t love seeing you, but there a reason for this visit?”

“Actually, yeah.” Dinah watches him put the bed away without offering to help (she’s the guest) and drinking her beer. “Any chance you could set a girl up with a machine gun?”

Kashwing! The couch rattles as Roy pushes the seat into place a bit too heavily. He turns and stares at her.

“You. Want. A Machine gun. Is Guy Gardner that irritating?”

“Oh yes,” Dinah assures him. “It’s not that, though. See – I’ve got this friend, who’s currently spending most of his time in war-torn nineteen forties Europe. He wants to kill Nazis, and I may have offered to renovate an old motorbike for him, with a gun mount on the sidecar.”

Roy is staring at her, his eyes positively sparkling.

“I wanna play!”

She shakes her head sadly, “Sorry, Roy. The time bubble I met him in is strictly invite only. But I do need a supplier.”

She leaves two hours later, with a heavy box strapped to the back of her Thunderbird (“Didn’t Firefly wreck this?” “I replaced it. Long story.”) within which is not only the parts she needs, but a long list of books on motorcycles in the military and the history of sidecar mounted machine guns, tucked in amongst pages and pages of Roy’s notes and scribblings.

Such a shame he can’t play with this, really.


raptorcanaria: ([Injustice] in anger)
2015-05-26 05:39 pm
Entry tags:

AY! EWE!

 So it maybe kind of got thrown around in the back room - the idea of AMALGAM AUs for pups.

Amalgam was a DC/Marvel Crossover event in the 1990s that created stories and characters set in one universe that was a bit like both universes. It featured such groups as:

SHIELD
JUDGEMENT LEAGUE AVENGERS
JLX (Justice League X - made up of mutants)

And had such characters as Super-Soldier; (Cap x Superman); Dark Claw(Wolvie x Batman); Bruce Wayne: Agent of SHIELD; and Wonder Woman (Princess Ororo of Themiscyra)

Anyway, I don't want top suggest everyone read all the comics and play by canon (where's the fun in that) but would anyone be interested in running with these ideas? Say, taking a character that isn't currently in bar and melding it with yours, or finding a place for your pup in the amalgamated universe?

Want to play your Avenger character in the Justice League? Think your Justice character would make an awesome mutant?

Dinah Morse? Oliver Barton? Bart Maximoff?




DICK GRAYSON, AGENT OF SHIELD?
(I might be super excited about Dick Grayson, Agent of SHIELD, ngl.)

raptorcanaria: ([young] putting up with it)
2015-05-21 08:17 pm

(no subject)

 "I'm thinking of moving," says Ollie.

"To a different neighbourhood?"

"To a different city."

It would be unfair to say this was expected, but that's the joy of being in a relationship with Oliver Queen - you never know when he's going to pull some sort of life-changing decision out of his butt on a whim.

"You love Star City."

"What's to love, Dinah, it's a city."

Dinah pulls a face at him: that colon-slash face, you know the one.

"It's just, I've been thinking of the time I spent with Hal..."

"...oh no, not another road trip..."

"No, not like that. Just - the realisation that there's more to the world than one city, you know. And I don't want to be one of those guys who gets caught up in one place. You know..." he puts on a growling voice, "you have failed this city."
 
"Oliver, are you worried you're turning into Batman?"

Ollie pulls a face back at Dinah. "I just, I found myself thinking that at some punks the other day. I'm worried I'm putting city over people."

"And so you're going to move to another city?"

"Actually, I was hoping we could move to another city."

"Oliver Queen, are you asking me to move in with you?"

Ollie's beard twitches hopefully.

...

"We're staying on the West Coast. Firstly, we're not using Green Lantern moving services this time, and secondly, I'm not moving any closer to my mother."




raptorcanaria: ([young] crying)
2014-02-07 08:28 pm

(no subject)

At midnight, he tries to seduce her. It's clumsy and cloying, and she's hit more by embarrassment than any other uncomfortableness. When she makes it clear that she'll hurt him if he tries anything, he turns on her. Calls her any number of names, brings up the fishnets, accuses her of being after Oliver's money, even though he's lost that. He adds physical blows to the verbal ones, and she counters every single one.

At 1am, he's crying in her arms again, begging her to forgive him.

At 2am, Dinah is sitting outside the bathroom door, listening to him lose the lining of his already empty stomach.

At 3am, he tries to leave again, and fights back when she pins him to the floor. Eventually she's forced to choke him out until he passes out. At least then he gets something almost like sleep.

4am goes past and neither of them really notice.

At 5am, they're fighting again, and this time she lets him hit her. Hard, on the cheekbone, and it swells quickly into a bruise. More tears follow, and she thought they were both out.

By 6am they are both in Dinah's bed, finally sleeping in a bedroom he begged her to lock. The key is in the pocket of her pajama pants, and she's spooning him, her hand tangled in his red hair. They're both beyond caring if that's appropriate.





At 8am, Dinah wakes up in her bed, alone, the key gone from her pocket. But the apartment is filling with the smell of coffee and bacon, and she finds Roy, still looking like death, frying up something she can only assume he went down to the bodego on the corner to obtain.

"I woke up starving," he explains.

She shakes her head, and thinks that she's probably just met the bravest person she ever will.
raptorcanaria: ([young] miserable)
2014-02-07 07:19 pm

(no subject)

It's really just a flying visit home: Dinah was going to check on the shop, run some errands, then go right back to the bar and check on Lucas.

And then there was a flash of green outside, and her doorbell rang.

And now - there's Hal, and a young man Dinah recognises - Speedy, Ollie's ward and one time partner, in his regular clothes, pale and bloodshot, and looking about ready to throw up on her doormat.

"Dinah," Hal says, "Speedy needs a place to stay. He'll explain."

And then - he's off.

"Right," says Speedy, "lady, get ready for a sob story."

It's 7pm.

He tries to tell her how: why he started taking heroin, how he felt when Ollie turned away, what he was thinking, but she doesn't really think it's important. What matters now is what he's going to do now, his choices tonight and from now on. He stops trying to explain himself away.

His name is Roy Harper. she tells him hers.

They make small talk: he talks about growing up on the Reservation, she tells him about the Justice Society, and her Mom, and especially her dad.

By 8pm they've lapsed into silence. Dinah orders Chinese food, he declines.

At 9pm, Roy is shaking, sitting on the floor, shying away from Dinah's touch so violently she can see him barely suppress the urge to lash out at her. He runs away to her kitchen, and she watches him run his head under the tap. Only when he is sitting on the linoleum, sopping wet, does he let her hug him, and he sobs into her shoulder.

At 10pm, he's sleeping fitfully on her couch, having refused the bed.

At 11pm, Dinah is napping in her armchair when a movement wakes her. Three seconds after opening her eyes she's pulling Roy away from her door, blocking a punch he throws at her and throwing him gently to the ground.

He stays down.

Quietly, he says: "Thank you."
raptorcanaria: ([young] flowers)
2013-05-24 09:28 pm

(no subject)

 The plan was simple: Barry packed the boxes quickly, Clark and Diana carried them out to the truck, and when they were out of the city, Hal picked up everyone who couldn't fly, Clark picked up the truck, and they covered the three thousand miles to Star City in a matter of minutes.
 
And then, just as they were pulling up outside Dinah's new apartment building, just two doors away from Pretty Bird Florist, Clark said he heard something, and Hal jumped on it.
 
Alien invasion in Metropolis. Apparently requiring the attention of all the Justice League. Even Green Arrow, who hopped onto a construct from Green Lantern, leaving Dinah with a truck full of boxes and no one to carry them.
 
There's really only one way to deal with this.
 
She opens her door straight into Milliways and announces: 
 
"Everyone here is now helping me move! Get out here."
raptorcanaria: ([young] flowers)
2013-05-22 11:04 pm

Welcome to Star City, Pretty Bird

Queen Industries has gone into receivership

This could be worse than it is, apparently. Ollie himself hasn't gone bankrupt, he's just lost a lot of money and the business his parents left it. He's been stressed and angry about it, which is stressful and infuriating for Dinah, when she's trying to sell up, find a new place, and organize moving for herself and her mother.

(It's resulted in some incredible hot sex though, so she can't really complain.)

It means that most of the looking for her new place has to be done by herself. Even when he asked her to move in with him, she turned it down flat.

"Too soon, hotshot. Isn't archery supposed to be about the waiting?"

But he's doing okay. He hadn't lived in his family home for years, and the selling of that and everything not directly related to his Green Arrow persona has supported him through the loss of his fortune, and he's even cashed in on his name by landing a job at a local newspaper.

He's not Oliver Queen: billionaire philanthropist anymore, but that's not why Dinah liked him in the first place. He's still Green Arrow: crusader for justice.

But when he gives her his 'moving present,' it blows her away.

Over breakfast at his place, he drops an envelope by her plate.

"What's this?"

"Your moving present - don't open it." He wraps his arms around her, hands tucking into the shirt that's the only thing she's wearing (it's his) and kisses her neck. "you need to open it in a certain place. Just put some pants on and come with me."

"Ollie, what...?

"Trust me, Pretty Bird."

"I'm not sure I do."

But pants are acquired, underwear as well, and she's soon sitting shotgun in his convertible as they race through the part of Star City she'll never afford to live in. It takes almost thirty minutes to get through the city traffic, but he refuses to say where they're going. She only notices that the buildings get considerably more grandiose, and the stores let less 'boutique-y' and more 'grocery.'

She's so busy looking at the mural on the side of a public school that she doesn't even notice it until they pull up.

"What?"

She gets out of the car, looking up at the storefront that's already painted; Pretty Bird Flowers.

"You were so busy looking for an apartment for your mother and then for you," Oliver says, coming up behind her, "that I noticed you hadn't even been looking at stores for weeks. So I asked around, and talked to my lawyers and... open it."

It's ownership papers. The entire deed, made up in her name. Not leasing the space. Owning it.

Dinah stares, and looks through them.

There's another sheet that has Oliver's name on, and hers, and mentions money and payment.

"It's a loan," Oliver says. "I found the space, and then I had my lawyers draw up the contract. A personal loan, between you and me, but you own the store, and everything associated with it. But we had to come up with a business name to put on the paperwork, so... ta da?"

She stares at him. Then it turns into a glare and she shoves the paperwork in his face. "What the hell is this?!" she demands.

"What?"

"Is this supposed to be romantic, Oliver? You buying me a store?"

"No! No wait, I mean yes, kind of? It was supposed to be... I thought you'd like the help."

"I don't need your help, Queen!"

She's carefully regulating her voice - she has to, of course - but she's suddenly aware of the potential for a scene, so she storms towards the store.

She doesn't have keys.

When she looks over her shoulder at him, he's following, and on catches her eye, throws her the keys and she lets herself in.

It's -

The light is amazing.

The space is wide and shallow, with lots of storage up high and a sturdy looking ladder to access it all. The paint is fresh and looks sturdy. The cash register is in front of a roomy and private office space, and there's a perfect little alcove beside it that Dinah suddenly envisions holding a work table and all her arrangement tools.

She's standing in the middle of the store just staring at the empty space when Oliver comes up behind her, clearing his throat to avoid taking her by surprise. He stands behind her, and doesn't touch her while she walks slowly around him.

"Are you furnishing it in your mind?"

"Shut up, I'm still mad."

"It's not a gift. It's a favor and a loan."

"You had no right."

"You like it though?"

"Oliver."

She turns to face him, places her hands on his shoulders and gives him a firmly disapproving frown. That doesn't last long.

"I love it."
raptorcanaria: (Dinah snr)
2013-05-06 09:48 pm

And forward

Dinah Lance snr is sitting in a rocking chair surrounded by flowers, one hand full of deli sandwich, the other looking through mail from a pile by the cash register. Her daughter is up a ladder, sorting out the ribbon supplies. They've done a pretty good job so for today - since the surgery, in fact - at not fighting at all.

"Dinah?"

"Yes, Mom?"

"Why does the hospital say all my bills are cleared?"

"Because they have. My insurance covered it."

"All of it?"

"All of it."

"What kind of insurance do you have?"

"Justice League insurance."

"Oh." Mrs Lance is quiet for a second, then gives a small smile. "Which one is it?"

"Does it matter?"

"No." She looks up at her daughter. "You’re lucky to have such generous friends."

"We both are, Mom. We always have been."

"Don’t I know it."




Dinah’s return to the satellite is met with grins so wide they only just stop short of audible cheers. There’s a lot of shoulder patting and ‘how are ya?’s and she finds herself suddenly buoyed up, realized how much she'd been bearing with the two weeks spent on leave, alone with her Mom.

Shes not back to monitor shifts yet, but she’s welcomed back to all League meetings, and confirms that her communicator will be back online, and she is to respond to all emergencies as normal.

The only problem is Green Arrow. Somehow the kind man from the hospital is missing, and instead the loud, brash patronizing jerk is louder, brasher, more patronizing and more of a jerk than he’s ever been.

And he’s saved her a seat at the table right next to him.

And it really annoys her that she finds this flattering.




After closing the store, Dinah jumps onto her Thunderbird and runs to her favorite Chinese place, taking some time out while they’re making her order to drop into the local video rental store. She returns to their apartment with one bag full of pork dumplings, and another full of Richard Gere, finding her mother sitting on the couch, glaring at a tangle of yarn.

Dinah stares at it.

"What..."

"Ted thinks I should take up a sitting down hobby," her Mom says curtly. "Knitting isn’t it."

"Are romantic comedies a sitting down hobby?" Dinah asks. "Because that’s what I’ve got."

She exchanges the yarn for a pre-made blanket, puts a tray of Chinese food on top of it, and once the tape is in the VCR, curls herself under the other side.

"Aren’t you going to Milliways tonight?"

The hidden bitterness behind the word surprises Dinah, but she pretends to ignore it.

"Not tonight."

And maybe not for a while. She has other priorities.




She’s being very careful not to fight with her Mom, and trying to focus her stress and frustration into fighting the bad guys. Sometimes this comes out sideways into snapping at her teammates. When it’s directed at Ray or Barry, she can see it upsets them, and instantly feels bad. Diana and Clark are infinitely patient with her, which makes her feel worse. Bruce and Hal both take it, and she feels safe. Oliver, she’s sure, takes pleasure in encouraging it.

He infuriates her. He teases her. He will not stop making reference to her looks. He provokes her, and he annoys her.

And she can’t help thinking that’s what she needs right now.

Maybe it’s what she wants.



Eventually she realizes she needs advice about this. And immediately rules out both her Mom and any of her uncles.

"Batman, do you have a minute?"

This is the worst plan ever. And immediately it gets Arrow’s head raised, his eyes on them. "What do you have to be talking about on your own?"

The entitled tone in his voice, the accusation even, provokes Dinah into snapping. "It is none of your business whom I talk to about what, Green Arrow!"

He practically storms off, and leaves her alone with the man who, she suddenly realizes, should be the last person she talks to about this kind of thing.

But he was the first person to approach her when she first got the news. And he hasn’t been as obvious about it as some people, but he’s been there for her as much as anyone, in his own way. She gets that, and she appreciates it, is grateful for his friendship.

Bruce is waiting for her to says something. She takes a breath.

"I need advice. About Oliver."




"Hey, Mom?" Dinah asks one evening.

"Yes, love?"

"You didn’t mind that whole hospital billing thing, did you?"

She smiles. "No. No, I thought your friend was very generous, and I make a rule never to resent gifts."

"Oh." Dinah smiles. "Good. Because another friend," (or maybe the same one, but at least she knows who this friend is) "got us seats at Katakana on Carmine street tonight."

Dinah snr stares at her. "Dinah, we can’t afford to breathe in Katakana."

"Well, he’s covered that, too."

Her mother shakes her head, but she’s smiling.



It’s Oliver’s turn to chair, and it results in him being the first to stand after the meeting, but Dinah stays sitting at the meeting table, watching him. He takes the hint, and hangs back as everyone files out to teleport home (well, except Hal, who has monitor duty). Then he comes over to her chair.

"Canary?" His tone sounds concerned, unsure. Dinah smiles quickly to reassure him.

"I wanted to thank you," she says.

"You think I paid...? No, we all...."

Dinah shakes her head and stands. He takes a step back to give her space, and she reaches for his arm, catching his wrist.

"Not for that. For everything. For being there for me during all of this."

He seems to break through confusion and offers a smile, his cockiness still failing him.

"Well, we’re a team. We stick together."

"Yes."

Dinah smiles. And then smiles wider, feeling the blood rush to her face. Under his mask, Oliver’s forehead crinkles.

It gives her the opportunity to reach up and pull his mask away.

"We’re a team," she says. "And I’d like... I think we’d make a good team."

She counts the seconds as she watches realization dawn. Then he grins, and bodily picks her up, sitting her on the meeting table.

His mustache doesn’t scratch nearly as much as she thought it would.





Alan and Molly come over for whist, and leave as soon as Dinah snr looks tired, which is a little before she says she wanted them to. Dinah jnr suspected it was a little later than was really good for her.

As mother changes for bed, daughter cleans up and makes them both some hot cocoa. It’s waiting when Dinah snr comes back into the living room in robe and slippers.

"Tonight was nice."

"Yes. It was..."

"...what?"

Her Mom just shakes her head. "I’m sorry. I’m being a silly old lady. I’ve really appreciated having you around these last few weeks, Dinah."

"But?"

"But I know you’re putting up with a lot. You shouldn’t have to look after an old woman on top of everything else in your life."

Dinah sits down on the couch, hard.

"What is it?" her mother asks.

She takes a breath.

"About that..." she says. "I’ve been thinking of selling the store."

"What?"

"Well, to you, if you want it back. But... um."

"You’re moving out, aren’t you?"

Her voice is so steady, so calm, that Dinah looks up to check her countenance is the same.

Her mother smiles at her. "You should. You need to. Sell it and move. I’ll find a new place, small enough for one. Maybe close to Ted, try out proper retirement. It’s about time we lived apart."

"I’ll be a teleporter ride away..."

"I know. Have you thought about where?"

Dinah sighs heavily and looks away again, steeling herself for the next part.

"I was thinking, maybe Star City."

"Green Arrow?"

"Yes. Green Arrow."

Dinah Drake-Lance smiles at her daughter. "Don’t take any of his crap."

Dinah Laurel smiles at her mother. "I never would."
raptorcanaria: ([young] reflective)
2013-04-28 08:28 pm

Got your back

Dinah watches the door to the surgery close and is shown to some less than comfortable chairs on which she can wait.

And wait.

She slumps against her seat back, where she can do nothing but listen to the voice in her head tell her all the different things that could go wrong on the next few hours. All the things she should have done and said before the anaesthetic. Before the diagnosis. Before. The things it might be too late to say now. The knot in her throat tightens and it feels like all the screaming she's doing inside has finally turned sonic, and her power is causing her to  implode.

Breathe. Wait.

She fixes her gaze on the floor a few yards away and stares. Hours, they said, it would take. But she daren't move from here in case something happens. She just stares and breathes and tries not to think.

She is nowhere close to success when a pair of expensive sneakers step into her field of view.

Dinah raises her eyes past a pair of jeans and a tailored shirt, to an enormous fruit basket, behind which she is surprised to see a familiar blonde beard and friendly grin. She stares in disbelief.

“Oliver?”

“How's it going, Pretty Bird? I figured you'd have enough flowers, but no one can have enough vitamin C, right?”

He places the basket on the floor, and pulls out an apple, which he hands to her as he sits down next to her. She stares at the apple, then at the basket, then at him.

“What are you doing here?”

“I got Hal to cover my monitor shift. Left my communicator at home. I thought you might like some company.”

“I...”

Staring stupidly at him, Dinah realizes how tired she is, and when she yawns, she feels the strain in her jaw.

“I'm sorry, I'm not really up for conversation right now.”

Or coherent thought, she realizes.

Oliver smiles.

“Didn't think you would be. But hey, if you want to nap: I'll wake you when there's news.”

“Promise?”

“Promise.”

She doesn't know what else to do. She leans on him, her head first on his shoulder, then his arm, then on his knee as she lies down.

The voices, for a while are quiet.





Dinah is woken by Oliver's hand on her shoulder, and the realization that someone said her name. She pulls herself out of sleep to face a smiling surgeon behind his clipboard shield.

“Ms Lance,” he repeats himself. “Just to let you know that everything went swimmingly. We think we got the entire tumor, but we need to run some tests to be sure. Your mother is sleeping on her own under observation. Would you like to wait in her room?”

Oliver leaves before her mother wakes, leaving mother and daughter alone.
raptorcanaria: ([young] surprised)
2013-04-22 09:20 pm
Entry tags:

Labyrinth

Here's the thing about Milliways: It's not the Real World. Dinah has a very clear delineation in her mind: there're things that happen in the bar, and there are things that happen at home, and even if people visit from one to the other, they're very different places.

Justice League, supervillains, Oliver. Those things don't follow her in. Which is good and bad, because it becomes a place to escape. And escape becomes too safe, somewhere where actual threats aren't real. That's the problem with the place. It's not home, and it doesn't touch home, and if she wanted, she could stay in the bar, rent a room, and never have to worry about outside. And that's what's so dangerous.

Not that she's thinking of danger right now, even deep in the forest where there might be demon rabbits. She's just thinking of the run, and the exercise, and also where she wants to take Ollie for dinner tonight. That's how she manages to get lost.

And how she finds herself facing a rough hewn stone wall, with a door cut into it.

Dinah stands in front of it, stretching out her warm muscles, staring at the door. Has that always been here?
raptorcanaria: ([young] crying)
2013-04-22 10:53 am

Preparing for battle

It's almost a relief that monitor duty has been reinstated now they have the satellite. Dinah had forgotten how much she had relied on those hours sitting at the bank of computers, watching news channels for things of Justice League interest, tracking the movements of the members, keeping an eye out for anything that would require their attention. For the most part, it's a relaxing job, and they share the shifts equally between members. Even Ralph's wife Sue has volunteered to take a few shifts.

(Dinah, remembering her father, isn't sure how she feels about non-League family members participating in League activities. But she reminds herself that it's not like Sue is coming with them on missions as Larry Lance did. The satellite is safe, right? Safer than the Earth headquarters were, in any case.)

On monitor duty there are no bad guys to fight, no flowers to arrange, and above all, no mothers to fight with. Funny how finding out the cause of all the fights hasn't actually made them go away. If anything, now Dinah knows her mother was lying to her for two years, she wants to be around her even less.

Which is why, when Batman appears on the satellite to take over from her at the monitors, Dinah is so reluctant to leave. There are a whole host of problems on Earth she doesn't want to face right now.

"Mind if I stay?"

"If you want to."

He sounds – okay, he sounds like Batman, which means he's deliberately being hard to read, but she never lets that scare her off. Instead, when Dinah relinquishes the chair to him, she leans against the computer bank, watching him. It occurs to her that they haven't been alone together since the whole music singing-her-love-for-him incident, and that could well be awkward.

But it's not like things are awkward with Yugo, and that was actual bona-fide makeouts. They just need to small talk to prove everything's okay.

How do you start small talk with Batman?

He starts.

"I've been meaning to talk to you," he says. "About the fight with Jest-Master the other day."

"What about it?"

"Your form was off."

"My form was perfect, Batman."

He shakes his head. "It was adequate. It got the job done. But you were unusually reckless: you went for damage rather than a safe ending. If anyone else had tried some of those tactics, they would have ended up dead."

"But it wasn't anyone else. It was me. You know, Bats, if you have a problem with my performance on the team..."

He pushes the chair back, and looks at her. "If I thought you were a danger to the team, I would have you removed."

"Are you threatening me?"

His mouth hardens below the cowl. "I'm not trying to insult you, Canary. I'm just sharing an observation. You have been below form in your fighting. Distracted, maybe even reckless. That's not a danger to the team, yet. But it could be a danger to you."

Dinah stands up from where she was leaning against the computer bank, takes a step towards him.

"If you're not trying to insult me, you're failing."

He is silent for a second, and she wonders why. When he does speak, she can hear the regulation in his voice. He was looking for the words.

"Is there something going on, Dinah? Something that's distracting you."

Oh.

Oh.

She turns away from him, looking out over the Earth turning below them.

"My Mom," she says quietly. "She has cancer."

It's the first time she's said it out loud. First time, she realizes, she's even let the word settle into her mind.

She's aware of the movement behind her, and when she turns around, she's faced by the cape and the body armor, and has to look up to see the cowl looking down on her.

There's nothing hard about his mouth, now.

"I'm sorry," he says. "If you need to take a leave of absence..."

Dinah shakes her head. "I need the League right now, Bruce. I need you guys. You're the only thing keeping me sane."

Well, them and Milliways. But she wouldn't give up the League for all the perfectly-normal florists in the bar.

She leans her head against his chest and after a moment she feels his glove on her shoulder, realizes that shoulder is shaking and that there are tears in her eyes.

Why didn't she tell anyone? If anyone in the world can understand, it would be the people of the Justice League. And it's now - she hadn't realized how much was building up behind the floodgates.

Bruce holds her for a while longer, until the sobs pass, and then Dinah looks back up at him, wondering what expression he's wearing right now. All she can see of him in costume is his jawline and mouth, and when he's not saying anything she has only them to read.

For a few more seconds all she can see is that mouth, and all she can feel is his breath on her face.

Her ears fill with the tune of the Music Meister.

Suddenly, it seems inevitable.

Dinah pulls away.

"I have to go," she says. "I'm sorry, Batman."

She. Is such. An idiot.




When the door to Grant's Gym slams, the only people who don't turn around to see are Ted himself, and the two men he's coaching in the ring – teenagers she's seen around. One of them, a tall black boy, has recently started his professional career; has a middle weight championship coming up.

She was willing to wait for them to finish, but something in her face prompted the rest of the trainees to suddenly find business elsewhere, and the way the gym empties, causes Ted to turn around to see her.

"Alright, Chris," he says, "take a break. Junior, come here and put Rob through his paces."

Rob, the one-day champion, freezes in place. "Aw, coach," he says, with a whine that makes Dinah smile.

"Aw nothing, kid," Ted says. "You scared of fighting a woman."

"I'm scared of fighting her, Coach. I ain't stupid."

Dinah smiles, ducking her head to catch the laugh that rises, and leaps up into the ring. "Call it practice taking hits. You'll need them."

She's grateful, right then, to Rob for the way he accepts the fight without further argument, and for Ted for being able to read her so well that he knows exactly what she needs. A nice, quiet fight with rules and structure and the chance to punch someone she won't break her fists on.

In a straight up boxing fight, she has the advantage, but Rob gives her a good fight, and after a few rounds she can feel the tension moving out. Ted starts by spotting his champ, yelling instructions, correcting strategy, until he turns his attention to his niece.

"Alright, Junior," he says. "Talk."

She doesn't avoid the subject.

"She lied to me, Ted. She lied."

"She thought it was for the best."

"That's not - no, Ted, she doesn't get to do that."

"You weren't in the country, Junior, remember? You dropped out of college, married, divorced, and dropped everything else in your life to go to Okinawa. She didn't have you to talk to."

"No," Rob is a saint for taking that punch as well as he does. "I wasn't on Mars, Ted. I had a phone."

"And what was she going to say? 'Come home, Junior, there's nothing you can do?'"

"Ted."

He shakes his head, wipes non-existent sweat from his forehead.

"She was wrong, Junior. That's what you want me to say? She was stubborn and stupid and thought she could deal with it all on her own, rather than call you away from the first thing you were doing for yourself rather than just following in her footsteps."

"What?"

"Shit, Junior. You know how proud she is. She was proud of you, not for choosing the same path of her, but for going out and making it your own. Okinawa was a big part of that. She was terrified you'd abandon that for her."

"I would."

"And that's why she didn't tell you. Look, Junior, she was stupid and stubborn and crazy, but that's your Mom. She's always been stubborn. Like someone else I know."

"I should have been there. I could have faced it with her."

"Like the last time someone she loved faced something scary with her?"

Dinah is so shocked, she very nearly lets Rob land a hit.

"Oh my god. Mom."





When the fight is over, Ted brings her a sports drink and wraps a towel around her shoulders.

"Look, Junior," he says. "You've got to be prepared. This is going to hurt. I mean, hurt bad." She leans into his arm, and doesn't tell him she knows that, because he continues: "worse than your Dad, I mean."

She remembers coming downstairs to see the Society gathered in the kitchen, her Mom's face streaked with tears. Dinah hadn't really considered that anything could hurt that bad again.

"That was a sprint," Ted continues gruffly. "This is going to be a marathon. And when the pain gets unbearable, you're still going to have to finish the race."

Dinah buries her face in his shoulder.

"I'm so scared, Ted."

"I know, Junior."




Oliver is looking at her again. He's got his beard propped in the green-gloved heel of his hand, and he's watching her with an expression which could be appreciative, could be pensive.

The meeting room is clearing out, but he doesn't seem to be showing any inclination to leave the table, so she takes the hint, indicates to Hal that she'll be right there, and drops back so it's just the two of them.

"What is it, Arrow?"

"Nothing, Pretty Bird," he says, and it sounds reflexive, so he quickly backtracks. "Well, no, not nothing. I just wanted to know if you were okay."

She pauses, unsure if this is just another tactic to get 'close' to her. Decides that she's not giving him nearly enough credit. Realizes that the way he's looking at her – he knows.

She sinks into the chair nearest him. "Why is Batman so bad at keeping a secret?"

"I think he thought it was best to let me know," Oliver says. "The rest of us are your friends, too."

It's true, and she's been bad at reaching out to her friends. Hopefully, Bruce won't have told Oliver about the nearly-almost-sort of kiss.

"I'm okay," she says, after a moment to make sure she means it. "I think. It's more than just the cancer, though. She had it before – two years ago, and she kept it a secret from me. She wouldn't have told me at all if it hadn't come back."

"Keeping secrets from your nearest and dearest in the name of protecting them," Oliver muses. "I can't imagine why she thought that was a good idea."

She smirks at him. "Shut up."

It's a good point though. Dinah never really got the hang of it, but it's probably second nature to her mother.

"The prognosis is good," she tells him. "That's what the doctor says. She's got a great chance."

"That's good, right?"

Dinah nods. "But if she beats it this time, there's a greater chance it'll come back. It's just so unfair, Arrow. She's a goddamn superhero, this isn't supposed to happen."

"Hey," he says. "The thing about most of us superheroes, is under the masks we're just people, too."

"Except Superman."

He returns her smile. "Except Superman," and shifts his chair closer so he can nudge his elbow gently into her arm. "But enough about Canary One, Pretty Bird. How are you?"

She breathes in deeply, and lets a long slow sigh come out.

"We can't stop fighting," she says. "All the time. Over the slightest thing. Because she thinks she saw me punch badly on the TV. Because she didn't order enough take out for me when she didn't know what time I'd be coming home. Because – god, yesterday she yelled at me for picking up and washing her plate. Said I was trying to nurse her! And I'm just as bad with her. It's like everything she does is calculated to annoy me."

"She was a florist, too, right?"

People always pick on that! "Yeah," Dinah says, looking up at him. "So?"

"And she watches the store while you're away?"

"Yeah?"

"Well, it sounds to me like she's hip deep in every part of your life. There's no escape from her even if you're not in the room. That's got to be annoying."

Dinah bites her lip. "Maybe. But I like being a florist. I don't want to quit."

"I don't think you should quit if you don't want to," he says quickly. "But – aw, hell, I'm the last person to talk, I'm still running my Dad's old company. But you know what I did as soon as I came of age and took over? I made it my own. I just think maybe space is what you need right now."

Dinah finds herself staring at him. "When did you get so insightful?"

He grins. "I'm not just a handsome face and a quiver, Pretty Bird."

She considers the option again. "I can't afford to move out. And I can't leave her."

"The thing about these wonderful gadgets your Uncle Hawkman left us, no matter where you move to, you're still only two beam tubes away from her. And don't worry about the money. That'll work out."

Spoken like someone who has never worried about money in his life.

"And I'm not going anywhere until after her surgery at the very least."

"Of course not," he says. "And hey, Canary?"

"Yeah?"

"You're the bravest, and strongest superhero I know. You'll get through this."

"Thanks, Arrow."

Hurt worse than anything she's ever had before, Ted said.

Well, she's a superhero. And what do superheroes do when they know something is about to hurt?

They make a strong stance. They wrap their hands, and then they take all the pain the universe wants to throw at them.

With their friends at their back.
raptorcanaria: ([young] shock)
2013-04-15 10:08 pm
Entry tags:

Consequences

"Is there something you want to share?"

Dinah has an invoice from a supplier in one hand, and a Pop-Tart in the other when her mother drops that on her. She glances up, confused, and shakes her head.

"I don't think so?"

Her Mom has a copy of The Gotham Gazette in one hand. Folded open to the fourth or fifth page. Dinah can't see the headline from here.

"Nothing about your teammates?"

"Um?"

She's still coming up blank, until Dinah snr drops the paper on the kitchen counter and she can see the headline:

WORLD'S FINEST ROMANCE? GREEN ARROW AND BLACK CANARY TEAM UP IN GOTHAM.

There's a blurry picture of herself and Oliver taking down Tigress, and Dinah raises an eyebrow at it.

"They've captioned it wrong. She goes by Tigress, not Huntress. That was her mother."

"Dinah."

Dinah shrugs at her mother's impatient tone. "No, Mom. I'm not seeing Green Arrow. And believe me, if I was, you would be the last person I would want to talk to about it."

"Then you might want to tone down the flirting in front of reporters."

"Mom."

"I'm serious, Dinah. This job is eighty percent image, and..."

"My job," Dinah says shortly, and her Mom goes pink with anger at being interrupted. "And I don't care who the tabloids think I'm sleeping with!"

"Don't snap at me, young lady!"

If Dinah's Justice League communicator hadn't gone off at that moment, it probably would have escalated to sonic screaming.

And anyway, she thinks as she races to the relativity beam, her mother knows as well as she does that the job is sixty percent trusting your teammates, thirty five percent knowing how to punch above your weight class without breaking a knuckle, and maybe five percent image.




"Dinah Lance Flowers."

"Hey, Junior. Is Senior there?"

"Charlie! You're out of luck, I'm afraid, she's having her hair done. Can I take a message?"

"No, no. Just tell her to call me back as soon as she gets home, okay?"

"Sure thing."

"So I listened to your League's exploits on the TV last night. Sounds like your team is really shaping into something."

Dinah laughs, and takes advantage of a quiet afternoon to chat with her uncle.




The conversation started with a simple inquiry into the whereabouts of Dinah's newest packet of fishnets, and five minutes later she has absolutely no idea how it became a tense argument about picking up after oneself and the general state of the apartment and the responsibility of housework. She's not even sure the state of the apartment is worth the all out shouting match this is about to escalate into, but she's not sure how to stop it.

Until the phone rings, and she answers it, only a little more cheerfully than is really necessary.

"Dinah Lance Flowers?"

"Hey, Junior. Senior there?"

"Oh hi, Charlie. Yes, she's..."

Dinah looks at her mother, who is shaking her head furiously and making 'cut it' motions with her hands. "... she's just stepped out, I'm sorry, Charlie. I'll make sure she calls you back."

"Put her on, Junior."

Dinah holds the phone to her mother, who turns on a dime and storms out of the apartment.

"...Sorry, Charlie. What is this about?"

"Just tell her to phone me, Di."




"Why are you ignoring Uncle Charlie?"

"Have you done your laundry, yet?"

"Don't change the subject. Did you have a fight?"

"We did not have a fight, Dinah. Laundry?"

"Mom. Is it Justice Society related?"

"That is none of your business, Dinah!"

The ferocity takes Dinah back, and before she knows it they're in another shouting match.

And still she doesn't find out why her mother is avoiding Uncle Charlie.




Three days after the first phone call, Dinah gets home to find Charlie sitting on the couch. She blinks at him a couple of times, wondering what it took to get him to actually show up here. He's on the couch, and Dinah snr is sitting stiffly on the armchair. Dinah jnr can tell at once she walked into something, just from the tension.

"And that," says Charlie, getting to his feet when he hears her walk in, "is my cue to leave. Hi, Junior."

He kisses Dinah on the cheek, and waves his cane in the direction of the chair. "Tell her, Senior. Doctor's orders."

Dinah sees him out, and turns back to her Mom.

"Doctor?"




The conversation is long. Voices are never raised.

The word "remission" gets used a lot.

The thing about remission, apparently, is that it doesn't last forever.

The other thing about remission is that Dinah Drake-Lance was in it.

Which, obviously, means that there was a point before being in remission.

And now there's a point after.




Dinah misses when they used to lie to each other about magic bars and men.
raptorcanaria: ([young blonde] justice)
2013-04-02 09:45 pm

Moving On Up

Some nights, the world isn't in danger.
Some nights, no one calls your home or activates your signal device to ask for your help.
Some nights you don't have monitor duty: this is all nights these days thanks to the Joker blowing up Mount Justice.
Some nights, you still just need to hit something, and go for a patrol looking for trouble.

These are the nights Dinah is most likely to find herself running along rooftops.

Honestly, what is it about Gotham City criminals and rooftops? They're high up, it requires an unhealthy amount of jumping over breaks between buildings and sometimes even trying to make the width of an entire street. This is bad for the knees, no matter how softly Dinah makes her landing.

And unlike some people around here, she doesn't carry a small arsenal in her designed-for-movement costume, so she really is just relying on sprinting across flat roofs. Thank goodness that the woman she's tailing is also low on the grappling hooks and swinging cable.

Uh, spoke too soon.

Dinah fully intends to attempt the leap right up until she's five feet from the edge, then she realizes that would be stupid and she skids to a halt, only just managing to keep herself from falling. The thief she was chasing turns around to wave in triumph.

It comes from behind Dinah and to her left, a projectile whizzing past her ear and knocking the statue out of Tigress' hands. At first, she assumes that the true master of Gotham's rooftops has finally shown up, except the blur is green, and the thing that hit her... a boxing glove arrow.

She turns her head. “Green Arrow?!”

“Nice to see you too, Pretty Bird,” Oliver says cheerfully. He's running to close the gap between them, nocking a second arrow as he does so. This one, she sees, has a wire attached, and as he grabs the opposite end, he folds away his bow and grabs Dinah around the waist as he swings past. “Shall we?”

Dinah, as ever, is torn.

She's torn between gratitude that he turned up, and annoyance that he's muscling in on her collar.
She's torn between indignation at the assumption that he can just sweep her off the rooftop like that and the feeling that she actually quite likes feeling his arm around her waist as for a second they're airborne.
She's torn between being flattered at the fact he has a sweet nickname for her, and being angry that it's such a condescending moniker.
She's torn between hating his stupid new facial hair and thinking it actually kind of suits him.
In short, as always, Dinah is torn between wanting to punch Oliver Queen in his smug little face, and wanting to grab his amazing ass and kiss him until he faints.

With feelings like these pent up inside her looking for an outlet, Tigress doesn't stand a chance.

“What are you doing in Gotham, Arrow?”

“What kind of question is that, Pretty Bird. I came to see you,” he says with a wide grin, prompting Dinah's internal needle to swing over to 'punch him'.

She folds her arms and waits for the real answer, which comes quickly enough.

“Just kidding. I just came to show you the new HQ.”

You?”

She knows that Superman and Green Lantern, and other more technical minded members were looking into new headquarters, but why send Green Arrow, who is relatively new to the League she founded, to tell her?

Unless, of course, it was Hal's bright idea. It was probably Hal's idea.

“So where is it?”

It is in an alleyway, not three blocks from them, and disguised as a phone box.

“A phone box? Arrow, I wouldn't change costumes in a phone box.”

“Just relax, Pretty Bird... No really, relax, it'll make the process easier.”

No sooner have they squeezed into the box (and later she'll discover they could have gone one at a time), but Dinah is hit by a wave of disorientation that is nothing like going through the door to Milliways, and she finds herself staggering out of a booth into a large, painted grey room.

Around her stand other members of the League – Green Lantern, who from his face, obviously encouraged Oliver to come fetch her. Superman, who is smiling apologetically and probably was coerced into it. Batman, who she hasn't really talked to since the Music Meister incident, and Dinah has complicated feelings about him, too.

And she needs to talk to him.

It's hard to tell, but she thinks he wasn't expecting her and Oliver to arrive together. And it's hard to tell, but is he unhappy about that fact?

Complicated feelings.

Diana's there, too. And Dinah would like to talk to her about complicated feelings, but they're so silly and stupid and they make Dinah painfully aware that she's the youngest one here, among immortals and goddesses.

Behind them all, though...

“Are we...?”

Dinah rushes forward past J'Onn and Ray... “Are we in space?”

“Welcome to the new Head Quarters, Black Canary,” says Green Arrow, giving her a clap on the shoulder. “The beam is Thanagarian. I don't understand the science, but it scans retina and brainwaves before letting you up. The Satellite is the one we rescued with Aquaman last year. The U.N. suddenly found they couldn't afford to maintain it. And that's where the Justice League's benefactor stepped in...”

“We're in space.”

She takes a glove off and presses it to the glass.

Dinah's been in space before. Before she could walk, Ted would take her for a ride on his Star-Rod when she couldn't sleep. She's fought people in space. Her Dad died in space. And of course, there's the view at Milliways which is like her second home.

But Earth is turning gently under an enormous window beneath her hands and she's never seen anything so beautiful.

She pulls her glove back on and turns back to the League.

“Right,” she says. “Someone tell me we've got a lead on the Monsanians."
raptorcanaria: ([young] grin)
2012-10-22 06:17 pm
Entry tags:

Out of Milliways: Beauford Visits

Gotham Public Library is a sterling example of the art deco style architecture the city is famous for. Sharp, pointed windows reach up above heavy, glass fronted doors, which Dinah has to brace herself against to heave open, leaving room to let Beauford into the grandiose entrance hall, with its combination information and check-out desk at the other side of a wide tiled floor.

"Welcome to Gotham Public Library!" she says. "First things first: I have to pay my late fees."
raptorcanaria: ([young blonde] justice)
2012-03-03 06:03 pm

Coda

 
The defeat and arrest (and gagging) of William Kamala does not stop the music playing in Dinah's heart. But it does make her think that maybe she'll have it under control soonish. Maybe.

All she knows is, that when Ollie touches her on her arm. When he smiles and starts singing, it makes her happy, and her toes curl in her boots.

She is the one who suggests Batman as the seventh member of the Justice League. Green Arrow seconds that nomination.
raptorcanaria: ([young blonde] canary cry)
2012-03-03 05:46 pm

An instrument of evil



The company that originally owned the satellite, from which the Music Meister stole control, is located in North Gotham, whic h explinas why he picked Blackgate as his source of goons. Bruce and Dinah head straight there in his Batmobile

After working out the plan, there is no conversation. For Bruce, she imagines he just isn't talkative. For Dinah - 

  - the music is still playing in her head, and she doesn't want to start singing him a love song.




 And it's nervewracking, in a way. She's more nervous than she ever is before a fight. It's not that the hypnotized victims she has to fight include Ollie and Arthur. It's not just the fact that thinking of the man next to her is making her heart thump and her palms sweat. It's that she has to loose.

She has to let Arthur get hold of him, his arms that could crush bones holding her in place as Ollie takes out her ear plugs.
She has to let her mind slip away, and lose that fight against the music, to lose all self control.

Because that's the only way she can realistically fight against Batman. That's the only way he could join in the song.

And it's the only way they could turn the music back on him. By taking control of the song, and pushing it so he can force Dinah to sing higher.  And higher, and to finally loose her cry into the satellite, to destroy the mics and the broadcast equipment and remove every piece of control the Music Meister had on the world.

Dinah surrenders her mind so someone she trusts can use her voice as a weapon.
raptorcanaria: ([young blonde] asskick)
2012-03-03 05:05 pm

Is the singing really necessary?

 

Dinah struggles to consciousness with the pressure of chains on her ankles and wrists: she's tied upright to a steel chair. Flexing her fingers, she finds the gauntlet covered hands of Bruce behind her. His own hands shift, acknowledging her presence.

She thanks any gods that may be listening that the Music Meister is the kind of hammy villain who ties up heroes and leaves them in elaborate death traps. But then, she considers, his entire MO is dramatic and over the top.

It's not just music, it's theater.

And she can still hear music in her head.

Something clicks. It's not just hypnosis, it can't be. There's magic here. And this trap he's left them in won't kill them until the end of the song.

Batman has lock picks, and grapples, and blades, and he's rapidly working on getting them out. And Dinah - Dinah can buy them some time. Exactly enough time to break free and escape the burning acid. And enough time to think.

That satellite could give him control of the world, if he uses it to broadcast his voice.

But Dinah's beginning to understand how it works. "I have a plan..."
raptorcanaria: ([young blonde] smirk)
2012-02-29 11:24 am

The perfect match


Arthur and Ollie failed at Blackgate. The break out proceeded unheeded, and when Dinah tries their signal devices, she gets nothing. Their ear buds must have fallen out. She double checks her before going after Batman.

She finds him. as expected, in Gotham, where he's been distracted himself from the Music Meister in dealing with the hypnotized Blackgate escapees.

On her way to find Kamala, Dinah watches him from a nearby flat roof, debating whether or not he'd need her help.

He doesn't. He never does. Even with that ridiculous costume, the armor and the impractical cape, he fights like Ted. like a real fighter, despite all the show, it's never gimmickry. One man, surrounding by crowds of hardened criminals, his flawless technique and armor helped by the fact that they''re not fighting under their own control.

She finds herself pausing just to watch the dance of his movements, perfectly in time with the music in her head.

She doesn't even notice when she starts singing. When she realises, she notices that she's still in control. She's still able to fight, and she's still herself. Until the Music Meister shows up, and joins in her song.

With a love song.

To her.

Thankful for her earplugs, Dinah's main concern isn't just the disgust of a villain desire for her, but a reaction to the huge gun in his hands. She spins towards him and screams to get it out of his hands.

"Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!"

It's the music! Despite the protective plugs, she can't control her voice enough to get a Canary Cry out! Dinah calls, but all she can manage is within the key of the song. In frustration, she lunges, only to be hit by an energy beam that sends shockwaves of pain through her torso.

The last thing she sees as she falls, is the fallen gauntlet of the Bat. She left him alone and he'd been defeated.