raptorcanaria: ([young] flowers)
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."

And forward

May. 6th, 2013 09:48 pm
raptorcanaria: (Dinah snr)
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)
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] crying)
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 blonde] justice)
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 blonde] smirk)
J'Onn picks Dinah and her bike up in Chicago as soon as Team Milliways has departed, and flies her quickly to Central City, before having to rush off into the skies again. Dinah salutes as he flies and sprints into the city as fast as she can on tired legs and three inch heels.

There she sees a red blur and chases it down, in time to see Barry stop, right in front of a rock giant he must not have seen behind him.

She doesn't break her stride.

"Ten-HUT, General Flash!"

EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!

Flash turns around to see the giant shatter and takes a step back, so that as Dinah draws near they are side to side, her sonics working in parallel with his clay-shattering vibrations, to take on the last handful of giants.

"Thanks for the save, General Canary. How's troop morale?"

She takes a breath from screaming as the last giant buckles.

"We're still rallying. Lantern's with the Blackhawks now, Can you believe all those heroes are listening to the five of us?"

She's been giving her uncles orders all day. And it's just felt natural.

"We know the most about the enemy," the scientist points out. "Still... wow. I say fly, Superman says 'How high?'"

The last giant crumbles, leaving them in relative quiet for a second.

"Listen," Dinah says, with what may be spectularly bad timing, "about earlier."

"When you kissed me."

She. Kissed him. Funny, she could have sworn there was mutual kissing there.

"That.

"Barry, I've been thinking - about you and your life, what you've told me of it. And I have to know..."

She intended to say 'I have to know how serious you and your girlfriend are. I have to know how serious you are about me. I have to know what we are to each other', but she's interrupted.

"Barrrry!" In the ruins of a building just a block away, a beautiful brunette stumbling through the brickwork, tears of desparation and fear choking her voice as she calls out. "Barry! Where are you? Oh God, oh god."

Suddenly Dinah is standing on her own, unnoticed, as the Scarlet Speedster beside her disappears and the handsome blond man from the cave appears behind the crying woman, still finishing his tie as he slows down, then scoops his fiancée up into a hug.

"Shhh. I'm right here, Sweetheart."

Dinah watches, not approaching, ready to be the only hero around if the Appellaxians make a reappearance.

They're so in love. It makes her heart leap slightly just knowing that is possible, even as her stomach plummets.

They're in love.

Whatever it was between her and Flash, it's nothing compared to what's between Barry Allen and his future wife.

"Listen," she hears him say. "I ran into Flash. He's optimistic about his war. Get the word to your newspaper and then lie low. I'll find you again. I promise."

The brunette departs to an arriving rescue helicopter, always looking ver her shoulder to her fiancé.

Only when she's gone does Barry look at Dinah, pulling his mask back over his face.

"As I was saying," she says, trying not to sound too angry at him; it's not his fault. "I have to know that I'm not going to grow up that much like my mom. I wont' turn anyone into a two-timer, Barry."

"I'm - I'm sorry if I did anything to..."

"Don't be. If anything, you opened my eyes." This isn't the real him. He's Barry Allen who puts on a costume to be a superhero. Dinah - she's Black Canary who takes off her wig to be a florist. They walk the same line, but on opposite sides.

"Still friends?" Barry asks.

"Sure. Go liberate Baltimore or something." She can bike to the next town until a teleporter or flyer can pick her up.

"Remember," Barry says lightly, already a crimson blur. "We'll always have Metropolis."

"Funny man."

Dinah sighs. No, I'm not gonna be like Mom at all, she thinks. I'm gonna be single for the rest of my life.

She's interrupted in her sulk by first the sound of wood creaking behind her, then the sound of darts shooting past her ear, as the wood giant is hit by a pair of flaming arrows.

Her rescuer even takes his hat off to bow in greeting. "Green Arrow at your service, Pretty Bird."

"And Speedy! Remember me? Of course not, there's a girl around." The boy next to him is a teenager, probably younger than Dinah was when she started out, but tall. His outfit, a red and yellow copy of Green Arrow's Robin Hood get up, covers a grinning face and bright red hair. He brightens even further when they draw closer. "You're Black Canary? Geez, G.A. You're right! She's hot!"

"HEY!" That comes in stereo from both Dinah and Green Arrow, and for a second, the silence is awkward.

But he has a charming smile.

"You know," Dinah says, as the roar of the invaders starts up again. "Sucking up to me won't get you into the J.L.A."

"Like I'd really want to join. So... you free after the invasion?"

Dinah doesn't reply. She's too busy screaming.
raptorcanaria: (coy)
The club is loud and dark and refreshingly free of armed robbery and gang violence. Dinah feels out of place immediately, but she loves every inch of the place.

There are a good couple of hours with Justin, talking and drinking and dancing and eyeing up the girls (and the boys. Mostly the boys, if Dinah's honest. They're distracting from the main goal of the night), and she's beginning to think she'll never meet anyone until Justin disappears towards the rest room and Dinah goes to get them both a drink.

There's a woman already at the bar, but she gives up her service in favour of Dinah, watching as she orders. They exchange smiles, and as Dinah collects the drinks, the woman leans forward and shouts in her ear.

“I was hoping you were only buying one drink. Is the other for your girlfriend?”

Dinah laughs when she realises that was a line. “It's for my friend,” she says, and gestures towards the men's room.

This is met with a grin. “Then you don't mind talking to me until he comes back?”

Her name is Kyoko, she grew up in Chiba, and she's now a senior at the university of Pittsburgh, majoring in pre-law and with every intention of staying on for law school, if only to extend her student visa. She's delighted to find out that this unassuming white girl speaks fluent Japanese, but isn't all that interested in finding out what Dinah was doing in Okinawa for a year. She does love that Dinah's Sensei used to call her Siu Jerk Jai – little bird, and she instantly adopts the nickname for her own use.

“Japanese lesbians are so annoying,” she explains with the certainty of someone who doesn't want to be contradicted. “All they want is to settle down and have a relationship and pretend to be married. No one just wants to fuck.”

Dinah is thrilled to learn a new Japanese word, but she doesn't try to argue, having never actually met any lesbians while over there. Kyoko is chatty, knowledgeable and has an opinion on anything, although every attempt to get Dinah to talk about current affairs ends with the Gothamite seeming ridiculously underinformed and uninterested. Kyoko dances with seduction in mind, and when she initiates a kiss, she tastes of beer and vanilla lip gloss. She's not wearing perfume, but her hair smells of avocado and is silky to the touch.

They talk some more about Kyoko's plans to be a lawyer in the USA, and about Dinah's florist shop. Kyoko surprises her by loving flowers and floral design and insisting on pulling Dinah out of the club to show her K S Kennedy's. Dinah takes her leave of Justin, who is thrilled and makes sure she can find him tomorrow, then she follows the headstrong, opinionated Japanese woman out of the club.

They kiss some more outside the club, Kyoko standing a step above Dinah to compensate for a height difference. When they remember why they came outside, the girls wander the streets for nearly half an hour, hand in hand and frequently stopping to make out, before Kyoko admits she made a mistake and the store's too far away anyway. She has a great idea, though.


Dinah wakes up the next morning in a University of Pittsburgh dorm, with a beautiful college student beside her, and a significant amount of knowledge she didn't have yesterday. She knows how to please a woman in bed, she knows what her own body likes better than Craig ever taught her, she knows all sorts of dirty talk in Japanese that Sensei Otomo never taught her.

And she also knows that, without a doubt, she is heterosexual.

Sep. 7th, 2009 09:09 pm
raptorcanaria: ([young] um...)
10 Things learned by Dinah Laurel Lance in her first semester at Gotham University:

1. College students are able to argue for hours about the finer points of morality, and only ever agree on one thing: it is NEVER immoral or unethical to use fake Ids or just a good bluff in order to drink underage, provided one is a college student.
2. There are 56 different places on the GU campus in which a young vigilante can change into her crimefighting costume without being disturbed.
3. There is no such thing as a 100% reliable hangover cure, despite the insistence of every student alive that there absolutely IS ONE, and they've found it.
4. Once you're at college, your mother never complains about having to do your laundry, as long as you come home to do it. She'll even scrub bloodstains out of leather without asking awkward questions, all of a sudden.
5. No matter how sneaky you think you're being in sneaking in and out of your dorm after lights out every night, roommates will always notice. They're worse than mothers, in that respect.
6. Fortunately, they'll assume you're seeing a male student when you do that, and silently approve, even help by making sure that the path to your bed is clear and learning to sleep with a nightlight on.
7. This makes it easier when you do happen to start seeing a male student.
8. Being a tough, capable, seasoned crime fighting and judo expert is no defence against a charming smile on a rakish older man.
9. Some men like brunettes.
10. One or two things about business studies.



10 Things learned by Dinah Laurel Lance in her second semester at Gotham University.

1. Craig Windrow's favourite colour (blue), his favourite dish (Spaghetti Pomodoro), his favourite position (not disclosed) and a number of other things about Craig Windrow.
2. That the only thing more appealing than a night on the streets beating up muggers is a warm bed with a warm man.
3. Mothers don't often like their teenage daughters dating men over a decade older than them.
4. Just because you don't live at home, it doesn't mean you're not capable of a full blown screaming match with your parent, up to and including the storming out.
5. It's possible to storm out a long way when you and your boyfriend both have motorbikes.
6. It's also possible to make it from Gotham City to Las Vegas by motorcycle in three steamy, passion fueled days.
7. Being a college student doesn't make you smart
8. It's easier and quicker to get a marriage in Nevada than it is to get a divorce in New Jersey.
9. If you never go to a single one of your classes, it's unlikely you'll pass Freshman year and be allowed to stay on for the next year.
10. Sometimes this isn't a bad thing, all told.
raptorcanaria: ([young] putting up with it)
Dinah's room would be fairly sparse, except for a bad habit of hers to leave clothes scattered on the floor: school clothes, sports clothes and fishnets mingle together where she's left them, and it's only the realisation that she can't move faster than Tommy can see that stops her racing to hide the underwear she swears wasn't there when she left.

Other than that; her bed is made,her writing desk is covered in homework, and a Justice Society fan poster older than Dinah herself is pinned above the bed. Photos of her uncles out of costume cover the pinboard above her desk, and the only framed photograph an early one of her parents; her mother in costume and her Dad obviously pleased to be on the arm of the Black Canary.

"And this is my room," Dinah says quietly, shutting her closet door behind her and Tommy. "Can you race out without my Mom catching you?"
raptorcanaria: (Default)
Dinah Laurel Lance

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Dinah Laurel Lance is from the Post-Crisis, Pre-Flashpoint DC Universe and is © DC Comics.
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Milliways Bar