TITLE: Arrow Talk
AUTHOR: Gaeriel Mallory
RATING: PG-13 for some naughty language on Ollie's part.
DISCLAIMER: All characters are the property of DC Comics. No profit is being made off of this story.
NOTE: Got to thinking. Just what would Ollie's reaction be if Bruce and Dinah ever got together? I imagine he wouldn't be too pleased. Roy has to be one of my favorite characters from the DCU and since he plays such a central part in the Ollie/Dinah relationship, it seemed natural that he should be the narrator. True, Bruce/Dinah is far from being canon but after reading all the stories at The Family ( – Tell A.j. that Gaer sent you!), I've been converted. Plus the pairing is just plain fun! This is one of the few times where I will actually ask for feedback. I am really not too sure about this story so I want to find ways to make it better.
I took a long drag from my beer and scanned the room. Ogled one of the strippers appreciatively for a moment and gave her my patented Roy Harper smile and winked at her. She grinned back and gave me a little wiggle and hop.
Later, I told myself. I had a mission. In less than twenty-four hours, one of my oldest friends would be getting married.
I fought the shudder that threatened to overtake my body and continued searching for the groom-to-be. I finally found him sitting in a corner. Shaking my head, I strolled over, beer bottle still in hand.
Leave it to Old Pointy Ears to disappear into a corner with Superman and a retired cop at his own bachelor party. Could you get anymore lame? At least I knew where Dick got it now...
I pulled up a chair and plopped down at the table. Ignoring the other two, I focused all of my attention on the billionaire playboy across from me.
"Roy," he said neutrally.
"Bruce. I don't think I have to go through the whole spiel with you. I just want to tell you one thing. Dinah is one of my closest friends. Lian calls her Grandma Canary. If you hurt her, I swear that I will hunt you down."
He looked back at me and calmly sipped his drink. Clear liquid -- probably water, knowing him. "Look, Roy. I understand where you're coming from. I don't exactly have the best track record with women--"
"You can say that again," I heard Clark mumble under his breath.
Bruce shot a quick glare at the reporter before turning his attention back to me. "I can honestly tell you that I have no intentions of ever hurting her. I love her. It just took me a long time to realize that."
I nodded back at him and started to get up to leave when a hand fell on my shoulder. "Roy! There you are!" I looked up to see the grinning face of Dick Grayson, friend and the leader of the Titans. He glanced around the table and smiled happily at his father. "Bruce, I gotta tell you. This is great. I'm going to love having Roy as a brother. Just think, you'll be getting
I watched as Bruce became even stonier than usual. I will admit, I took a bit of perverse pleasure in seeing his lips tighten slightly. I reached over and pulled him into a hug. "That's right!" I crowed, back to my usual rascally self. "Dinah's the closest thing I have to mother so that means you'll be my step-dad." I pulled back and grinned. "Can I call you 'Dad'?"
All right, I'm evil. But the Bat had scared the shit out of me from day one and I figured that I deserved a little payback.
Bruce's eyes darted over to where his friend, the retired cop -- Gordon, I think his name was -- was sitting. He managed to force his airhead smile to his face. "Of course, son," he cried cheerfully. "The more the merrier, I say!" He looked around me and his eyes narrowed as he looked towards Dick. I read the message in them loud and clear. I'll get you for this later. Oh boy, I did not want to be in Robbie's shoes at the moment.
Thankfully, the boy seems to have become immune through constant exposure and just smirked back. Sometimes, I wonder what it had been like for him, growing up with Batman, the number one guy on the planet in need of a life, as a father. There had been times in the past when Dick and him had been at odds with one another that I just wanted to hop the first bus to Gotham and slug him one, Bat or no Bat.
That was part of my concern with him marrying Dinah. I was not kidding when I told him I would hunt him down. I would. Dinah's family to me. She was the one who really raised me, not Ollie, even though it was his name on the papers.
Speaking of Ollie, I saw him sitting at the bar, downing drink after drink. This could not be easy for the guy. He and Dinah had once been very serious. Then he had died and Dinah had moved on. When he came back... It was tough. It was very hard for him to finally accept that she really had moved past him and that she was in a relationship that had the potential of becoming serious. With Batman.
It really did not help that Ollie and Bruce used to be really good friends.
He took the news of their engagement hard. He had come pounding on my door one day, railing against the unfairness of it all. I don't know what hurt him more -- that Dinah was getting married, or that she was getting married to Bruce.
I was pulled back into the present when Dick grabbed me and buried his face into my shoulder, mock crying. "I'm just so happy! I just want to say, welcome to the family!"
Why did I get the feeling that Richard Grayson, the protégé of the Bat, responsible leader of the Titans, was a little bit tipsy? No surprise, really, what with the amount of alcohol being passed around, even if the guest of honor was consuming none of it. Of course, Dick was probably helped along by Wally spiking his drink.
Dick turned around and called out to the crowd. "Hey, everyone! Listen up! I just want to say a few words here." He waited for the room to quiet down before continuing. "Tomorrow, as you all know, my father is going to get married to Dinah Lance. Well, since Dinah practically raised my good friend Roy Harper here, I want you all to give a big round of applause for my soon-to-be brother!"
Yup. Robbie-boy had been hitting the booze that night. No question about it. I had no trouble recognizing a condition that I was personally familiar with.
The people at the party politely clapped. Bruce's business associates looked a bit confused but all the heroes in the room gave a louder cheer, especially my fellow Titans in the room. No one was expecting the loud crash of shattering glass hitting the wall.
Ollie stood next to the bar, fists clenched and his face a bright red. "Oh, I see how it is, Bruce," he snarled. He stalked over to where Bruce was sitting. "No, it isn't enough that you stole my girl. You have to take my son, too?"
Bruce got up and advanced towards the archer, his hands held in front of him. "Ollie, let's talk about this, huh?"
The punch was unexpected. Bruce touched his eye gingerly and looked at the other man in shock. "Ok, Ollie, I'm going to let that one go, seeing as how you're drunk, but I think you need to get out of here and cool down."
"Cool down? I don't need to cool down! I thought you were my friend. Well, some friend, taking my life. You were always jealous of me. Were you looking at Dinah during meetings, plotting how to steal her from me?"
Clark advanced on the two of them. He gently grasped the archer by the shoulder. "Come on, Ollie. This isn't doing anybody any good. You need to calm down a bit. Why don't I--"
"Fuck off, boy scout! Who asked you, anyway? Always interfering, sticking your nose where it's not wanted. Well, screw you. You're the one with the perfect family, the perfect job, the perfect wife. Well, go and live your perfect life and leave the rest of us with our fucked up ones in peace!"
Ollie then took a swing at Clark but the reporter easily stepped out of the way. "You're not thinking straight, Queen. Bruce didn't steal Dinah from you. You were dead, remember?"
"Oh, just because a guy dies, suddenly it's open season on his girlfriend? Well then, maybe I should have made a pass at Lois when you were gone. Maybe I would have gotten lucky."
Bruce sighed. "Forget it, Clark. There's no use reasoning with him."
Ollie whirled back towards Bruce. "And just what are you implying, huh?" Ollie then charged towards the other man, both arms swinging. Bruce ducked below the fists and punched the archer twice in the gut. Ollie moaned and fell to the ground, catching himself with his hands. He looked back up at his friend. "Damn you," he whispered. "Why do you always get everything?"
Bruce looked down sadly and shook his head. "I'm sorry," he said as he helped Ollie up. "Are you okay, now?"
Ollie nodded. "Just one thing, Bruce?"
"What is it?"
The man known as Green Arrow looked him in the eye. "Just take care of her, huh? Make her happy."
Bruce nodded. "I plan to, old friend. I promise you that."
Alfred inspected the purple and swollen eye and tsked. "Really, Master Bruce. If you wanted to look like a hooligan on your wedding day, I would not have spent so much time readying your tuxedo."
I smirked from my vantage point in the corner. As Dinah's sort-of son, I was one of the ushers and was thus required to be inspected by one Alfred Pennyworth, butler drill sergeant, before being released into public. It looked like it might take a while before he worked his way over to me. At the moment, he was scolding Bruce over the black eye. It was a bit of an odd sight, seeing the man I know to be Batman being reprimanded by the gentle looking older man.
I sidled closer to Clark and whispered under my breath, "Do you think it's safe to escape for a few minutes? I want to check on Dinah."
His only response was to move over a step so that he was between Alfred and the door. I grinned to myself and nodded in thanks. Supes may be one of the old crowd, but he can have his cool moments.
I carefully slipped outside and breathed a sigh of relief. Slipping my hands into the pockets of my jacket, I whistled a song off-tune and off-beat as I strolled down the hallway towards where the women were.
As I was about to turn the corner, I stopped. Voices were arguing in hushed tones and I recognized the voice that was currently speaking as Dinah's.
"I cannot believe you! Of all the arrogant, stupid, selfish things to do!"
"Please, Dinah," Oliver Queen's voice answered in pained tones. "Not so loud please. My head hurts."
"Serves you right. I can't believe you went and attacked Bruce! Do the words 'secret identity' mean anything to you? My God! You could have jeopardized us all in your drunken rant."
"Hey, don't talk to me about jeopardizing identities here, sister. You're the one marrying the guy. You don't think people will wonder why the Black Canary is marrying Bruce Wayne, the most notorious womanizer alive?"
"No more notorious than you, Oliver Queen," she answered coldly. "Don't think I didn't know about all those women you slept with while we were together. At least Bruce has a reason for his reputation!"
"Bruce this, Bruce that! I am sick of hearing about him. What does that guy have that I don't?"
There was a long silence after that. I held my breath, not wanting to be caught eavesdropping. Finally, Dinah sighed. "You know what, Ollie? Grow up. Take a good long look at yourself and realize that you are not the center of the universe. What does Bruce have that you don't? Well, for starters, he has me."
I heard footsteps retreating down the hallway and by the rustle of skirts, I knew it was Dinah. I leaned against the wall and closed my eyes, trying to take it all in. I started heading back the way I came, figuring that I would go see Dinah later. Right now was not the time to accidentally run into a jealous, angry, and hungover Green Arrow.
Alfred gave me a Look when I walked back into the door but I ignored him. I was too deep in thought to let it bother me. I placidly let the butler straighten my bowtie and cummerbund, brush down my jacket, and recomb my hair.
Dick gave me a look, surprised at my lack of comment, and I smiled briefly at him before returning to my thoughts.
I finally reached a conclusion. Ollie was the biggest asshole in the world and if he tried to do anything to stop the wedding, I would drag him by the scruff of the neck and shove him in a closet somewhere.
Yeah, I know. Not the most profound conclusion but give a guy a break. I was still recovering from last night. True, I did not have as many drinks as I usually did, but I had enough for my mental thought process to have slowed down.
Whoever decided that bachelor parties should be the night before the wedding was either a moron or had never had a hangover before in his life.
I walked down the aisle, Courtney Whitmore, the Star-Spangled-Kid, on my arm. Three steps ahead of us were Dick Grayson and Barbara Gordon, the best man and matron of honor. Turns out that Barbara was really Oracle, the floating green mask who would provide us hero-types with information. And that her main operative was the Black Canary. Also that she and Dick have had an on-again-off-again relationship since he was still in shortpants and that they are now dating seriously. Go figure.
Does it ever seem like our lives are one giant soap opera?
As I was walking, I kept watch on Ollie who was sitting towards the front of the church. His face was emotionless and he stared straight ahead at the blank wall.
Finally, the first notes of the wedding march emitted from the organ and Dinah appeared with Lian as her flower girl. Normally, I would have played the part of proud daddy, but I was determined that my surrogate father would not ruin this.
He clenched his fists once or twice and stared at Dinah with an intensity that I had never seen in him before, but made no other move. She walked past him, not even noticing him. All of her attention was on Bruce. I sneaked a glance over at him and saw that he had the same sappy sweet smile plastered on his face that she did.
Oh yeah, they were in love. If I did not believe it last night, I believed it now.
When the priest got to the part about anyone having just cause for why they should not be married, I tensed again. I noticed that Dinah was looking straight at Ollie and glaring at him. Just you try it, buster, and I'll pound you into the ground, was what I read from her gaze. Either Ollie got the message or he just did not care anymore, but he did not utter so much as a peep.
And then, the bride and groom were kissing and there was cheering and I relaxed. I felt arms wrap around my waist and I looked down to see my angel. "Hello, Princess," I greeted Lian.
"Did I do good?" she asked me. "I walked down the aisle just like Grandma Canary said to do."
I smiled down at her and ruffled her black hair. "Yeah, you did wonderful. I've never seen a prettier flower girl."
Ollie then approached Bruce and Dinah. I was too far away and it was too loud to hear what was being said, but I did see Bruce and Ollie clasp hands. Dinah reluctantly allowed Ollie to kiss her cheek, but she did not deck him, which was a good sign.
He then looked over at me and nodded before turning around and slipping out a side door. It seemed that he would not be staying for the party.
Dick elbowed me in the side. "What's the matter, Roy?" he asked me. "Smile! This is supposed to be a happy day."
I watched as Dinah and Bruce kissed again and I felt my lips stretch into a grin. There was a sparkle in her eyes that I have not seen in a very long time. I mean it, I thought towards Bruce. If you hurt her... I let the threat trail off. It was not like he could hear me anyway.
I purposely put on my most hideous smile possible before turning back towards Dick. "How's this?" I asked him.
He shuddered. "Oh God, you look like one of the Joker's victims."
I held up a finger. "Nuh uh, buddy. No shop talk. Today, we're just Roy and Dick. Two regular guys who are here to celebrate our parental figures' happiness."
Dick grinned back at me. "Well, regular guy, want to head out of here towards the party and get rip-roaring drunk?"
I punched him in the arm lightly. "I like the way you think, regular guy."
Lian giggled at the two of us. "Silly!"
"No, princess," I told her. "Just really really happy."