The woman swivels round on her chair to face her, a red pen in her mouth, and she smiles at Dinah.
"The one, the only," says Felicity.
"Hi," says Dinah. "I'm -"
"Of course, I know who you are. You're Dinah, right? That Dinah. Gorgeous Dinah..." But then she seems to catch the look on Dinah's face, and she immediately sits up a bit straighter, clears her throat, says, "I mean, sorry, I meant to say - you're MIss Lance, right. ADA Lance?".
"Please, Miss Smoak," she says, "you can call me Dinah."
"Only if call me Felicity," Felicity counters, and both women smile as Felicity pulls up a chair and gestures for her to sit down. "So, can I help you with something?"
"I could use some technical expertise - discreetly - and my sister said you were the best person to come to."
"She did?" For a second Felicity looks mildly pleased with herself.
"Yeah, she speaks highly of you."
"I didn't think the CEO even knew my name."
"Well, she does. And now I do too."
"So what can I do for you, exactly?"
Dinah pulls the broken smartphone out of her pocket. "I, er, was training in the gym with my headphones in and I - dropped my phone."
"Did you happen to drop it on a pointy object, by any chance?" Felicity gestures at the point of impact, where indeed a stray arrow had gone through it, and Dinah quickly shakes her head.
"No, I was - lifting weights."
Felicity plugs in the phone to her computer. "Hmm, you always keep your phone this heavily encrypted?"
Dinah shrugs. "Only the paranoid survive."
"Truer words never spoken."
"So, can you crack it? Get any data off it?"
"I'll need a couple of hours," Felicity replies.
"Great," says Dinah, smiling.
"Can I have your number?" Dinah raises her eyebrows, again faintly amused, and Felicity hastily adds, "I mean, so I can contact you when I've cracked it. Obviously I wasn't trying to make a pass at you or anything, and I get that you're giving me your phone but if you have an alternate one I can reach you on, then -"
"Sure," Dinah interrupts, and Felicity looks almost relieved that she can stop babbling. "Here, let me write it down for you. And, uh, Felicity?"
"I want you to deal with this quietly. Whatever you do, don't show anyone that phone."
"Copy that. Or is it 'Roger'?"
"I prefer 'copy'," Dinah says with a smile, getting to her feet. "Less gendered."
She puts the lid back on the green pen she has in her hand, places it in her purse. Then she holds out her hand and Felicity takes it, looking surprised.
"Nice meeting you," she calls to Dinah as she walks away.
Dinah looks back, smiles. "You too."
It only takes Felicity an hour and a half to crack the encryption. Dinah gets a text on her phone, telling her to meet Felicity in the parking lot. Dinah heads down, but she's surprised when she sees Felicity, her arms folded, an unreadable expression on her face.
"Glad you showed," she says.
"So, uh…" Dinah says, apprehensive now at the look in her eyes, "did you manage to get any data off my phone?"
"I did," Felicity says. When Dinah steps closer, though, Felicity involuntarily takes a step back.
"It wasn't your phone."
"No, it wasn't," she admits. "It belonged to a member of the Bratva. His name is Alexei Leonov."
"The Russian mafia assassin who was taken down by the Green Arrow last night," says Felicity. Dinah just nods, waiting to see if she would connect the dots. "So, what, you know the Green Arrow and you wanted to do her a favour?"
"Kind of," Dinah says. "Come on, Felicity, you're a smart woman. I'm sure you've figured it all out."
"...the Green Arrow, yeah," she says, nodding. She takes a step closer to Felicity and thinks it a good thing that Felicity stands her ground this time.
Still she opens and closes her mouth several times before she can speak. "But you weren't always, were you?"
"No," Dinah answers. "Before the island… my mom was. Dinah Drake."
"Wow," Felicity breathes. "Seems like trying to save the world runs in the family."
Dinah laughs. "Something like that."
"Why… why are you telling me this?"
"Because," Dinah says, and her heels clack on the hard floor as she takes another step towards Felicity, "I need your help. And I want you to join me."
Dinah takes Felicity for lunch. They go to Big Belly Burger and Dinah orders herself a paltry portion of fries with jalapeños while Felicity orders a double cheeseburger.
"You sure you don't want anything else with that?" Felicity asks.
"I'm not much of an eater," Dinah replies, and they finds seats in the quiet part of the diner and sit down. "Haven't been since I got back from the island, to be honest."
'I can imagine that island changed you in a lot of ways," Felicity says. "But jalapeños are one thing. To go out every night in a hood shooting arrows at people… that's another."
"I couldn't find a good enough therapist," Dinah says lightly, biting on a fry. "And for the record… those people were bad people."
"No, don't get me wrong," Felicity says, "I'm - a big fan. I mean, I love the way you beat up criminals."
"That's not really why you're a fan, though," Dinah says, sipping on her water as Mia comes with Felicity's burger.
"One Big Belly Buster, no mayo, no sauce and no salad," she says, setting it down in front of her.
"Thanks, Mia," says Dinah.
"You guys need anything else, just call me, okay?" Mia says with a smile.
"You got it," Dinah says.
"Thanks," Felicity adds. Dinah upends the ketchup bottle, squirts out a whole load of it all over her fries. Felicity pulls a face. "Gross."
"One thing I missed when I was on the island," Dinah says, "is good old Big Belly Burger."
"So, I'm surprised you know her," Felicity comments.
"Who, Mia? We go way back," Dinah says. "Before the island, she got… mixed up with the wrong crowd. Her parents died when she was still a teenager and her brother was all she had. So when she got done for possession I went easy on her, gave her community service instead of jail time, and I kind of ended up adopting her." She glances over at Mia, who's busy serving customers now. "She's a good kid. Got a good head on her shoulders."
"I'm sure she has," says Felicity.
"Why are you surprised I know her?"
"I just figured… someone with your upbringing…"
"You mean a girl who went to private school, got into college because of who her parents were, daughter of the mayor of Starling City, trust fund brat…"
"I didn't mean it like that," Felicity says hastily, and she hides behind her burger, busying herself by taking a bite of it.
Dinah smiles, though. "It's okay. I get it. I would wonder too, if that were me. The truth is - Ollie Queen was my best friend growing up. He lived in the Glades. And when I went to his house, it was when I felt more like Dinah Lance, and less like Dinah Drake's daughter. I don't have humble beginnings, it's true."
"Is that why you're trying to make up for it? By playing Robin Hood?"
"I'm not Robin Hood," Dinah says. "Far from it."
"Your primary targets are the one per cent. White collar criminals." Dinah raises her eyebrows, and Felicity shrugs through a mouthful of burger. "I did some digging."
"But I also go after those who are poisoning my city," Dinah says. "Our city. People like Alexei Leonov. He's in holding right now, and he's not saying a word about who hired him. I need to know. That's why I gave you his phone."
"But why me?" Felicity asks. "What makes me so special? I'm just an IT girl."
Dinah chuckles. "Sure you are, uh, Ghost Fox Goddess."
"How did you -"
"I vaguely know my way around the Dark Net. Something I picked up on during my time away."
"But how could you possibly learn anything even vaguely tech-related on a deserted island?"
"It wasn't deserted," Dinah answers, "and I wasn't on the island the whole time."
"Where were you?"
"A few places. That's not important right now. What is is the fact that I know what you do when you're not at work, Felicity. You're like me. You go outside the law to find justice. You do illegal things because sometimes the system just doesn't work."
"Who said anything about it being illegal?"
"What would you call hacking into the Pentagon, then?"
Felicity's eyes widen with surprise behind her glasses. "A hobby? That I, uh, do not engage in?"
Dinah just laughs, though. "Look, Felicity. I know it's a lot to ask. But I'm asking. For this crusade of mine to mean anything, I need partners. I realises early on that I couldn't do it alone."
"Which is why you've teamed up with the Black Canary," Felicity says. "You make a pretty kickass duo, by the way."
"I'm glad you think so. So… will you think about it?"
Felicity shakes her head. "I don't think I need to."
"I'm in," she says with a grin. "I'll happily be part of your team."
"Like I said… I'm a big fan. And just as long as I don't have to wear a mask or use a weapon… sure. I'm in. When do we start?"
"Right now," says Dinah, "with the phone you've decrypted. I need you to give me all the data on it so we can see exactly who gave Leonov the kill order and see who his target is."
"All right. Let's get started."
After Felicity's finished work, they go back to the lair. Felicity upgrades Dinah's system ("your system looks like it was made in the eighties, and I don't mean the good part of the eighties, you know, like Madonna and legwarmers") and her security ("anyone could walk in here, you know, and that includes supervillains") before settling in front of Dinah's workstation, already looking like she's at home. Dinah smiles, lets Felicity load up the phone's data.
The target, it turns out, is none other than -
"Nyssa Raatko," Dinah says, closing her eyes.
"You know her?" Felicity asks.
"You could say that. She's - my partner."
"You mean your partner or your partner?"
Dinah laughs lightly. "No, not like that. If only," she says under her breath. When she looks down at Felicity, though, she wonders if she might have heard her. "I - she's the Black Canary."
"You what?" Felicity says, eyebrows lifting in surprise. "Nyssa Raatko is the Black Canary? But she's -"
"- a detective, yeah," says Dinah. "That was my initial reaction too. Apparently I'm not the only one who likes to take the law into her own hands in this city."
"Wow. i… can't say I disapprove."
"Me neither," Dinah admits.
"What's she like?" Felicity asks.
"Exactly as badass as you would imagine her to be. Moral. Strong."
Beautiful, part of her wants to add.
"I had no idea you had such a high opinion of me." Nyssa's voice makes Dinah start, and Felicity whips around in her chair and actually gasps in shock.
"Do you always sneak up on people like that?" Felicity says.
"Yes," Nyssa replies, and she looks at Dinah, gesturing at the newcomer in question.
"Hey," Dinah says, "okay, Nyssa, this is Felicity. Felicity, meet Nyssa Raatko."
"Good to meet you, Detective," Felicity says.
"Dinah?" says Nyssa. "May I speak with you for a moment, please?"
Dinah groans inwardly. "Sure." She follows Nyssa until they are out of Felicity's earshot before she speaks. "Look, I know what you're going to say -"
"Yeah, like why I decided to reveal our secret identities to a civilian."
"I was under the impression that she was a hacktivist," Nyssa says, looking back at Felicity, who is typing away at the computer.
"Wait, so you're not mad?" Dinah says, surprised.
"I am not angry, no," Nyssa says. "Not about that. Merely concerned that we will be involving her in some rather dangerous things."
"We can protect her," Dinah insists. "But for right now - we need to protect you. The guy I took down last night?"
Dinah nods, leading the way back to Felicity. "Yeah. He was sent here from Coast City to kill you."
Pulling up a chair, Nyssa lets Dinah sit down first before pulling up another for herself. "Most likely this is retaliation for my testifying in the Bratva trial in a few days' time."
"You're a key witness in that trial. If you're off the board, then the whole case falls apart," Felicity says.
"And who hired him?" asks Nyssa.
"Isabel Rochev," says Felicity, tapping at the keyboard and pulling up a picture of a stern-looking Russian woman, "right at the top of the Bratva ladder."
At this, Dinah pulls the pocketbook of names she has out of her jacket, opening it and flicking through until she finds the right page. "I knew it."
"What's that?" asks Felicity.
"I would like to know that too," Nyssa adds.
"It's a list of names that my mother left me," Dinah explains, "Felicity, you wanted to know why I target white collar criminals? This is why. Because that way I'm continuing my mother's legacy, really continuing it."
"And Isabel Rochev's name is on there?" Felicity says.
"Yep," Dinah replies.
"What about if we set a trap for whoever the next assassin is?" Nyssa suggests. "They want me. So I will be there, waiting. There is a gala later tonight, a fundraiser held by Lance Consolidated for the police's new anti-Bratva taskforce. A perfect opportunity for an assassin to get to me."
"And don't you think your secret identity might be outed if you end up taking down some badass assassin in public?" Felicity asks.
"Yeah, and I'm not having you in danger without backup. Not on my watch," Dinah adds. She's lost too many people dear to her already.
"You can be there, then," Nyssa says. "As the Green Arrow. And you," she says to Felicity, "can be on overwatch. You can track the assassin, direct Dinah to where she needs to be."
Felicity nods. "Sounds like a plan."
"I'm in," Dinah says.