A kinda/sorta companion piece to 'Mother Canary'.

If my imaginary blue dancing fox of a muse doesn't own it, then I don't either. We're just a team like that.

The training room in the Watchtower was much more substantial than the one in Mt. Justice. In fact, there was more than one. One had traditional weight and endurance training, one was a spar arena, and another was a holographic battle environment with increasingly more difficult levels.

Black Canary was more of a traditional girl when it came to fighting and preferred the arena with a couple of drones and androids thrown in.

Green Arrow watched Black Canary deliver a series of brutal hits to a poor, innocent android dummy. He winced in sympathy, despite it being a machine, when she rabbit-punched it and followed up with a roundhouse kick that sent its head flying.

She turned to him when he let out a low whistle.

"Is it any wonder no one wants to spar with you?" he asked flippantly.

"Not now, Ollie. I'm not feeling up to putting up with you."

"Okay, that's uncalled for," he said as he spread his arms apart and took a few cautious steps into the training room. "What did I do?"

She waved a dismissive hand as she turned her back on him to retrieve her towel and water bottle.

He shouldn't mess with it. She was giving off this vibe, and he knew he shouldn't mess with it. But for the life of him, he couldn't remember doing anything to upset her in the past forty-eight hours! Whatever her problem was couldn't be his fault. And he just couldn't stand to see his girl – on a good day. On a terrible one, he was her punching bag. – all broken up like this.

Black Canary stared down at the detached head of the robot. Then scowled at it and kicked it clear across the room.

It was just heart-breaking.

"Dinah, listen. I know I didn't do anything, and that you haven't been on a mission recently. Is that it? Restless tension? Because there are other ways to –"

"Who does he think he is?"

He? He who? Ollie should be the only 'he' in her life who deserved that kind of venom in one pronoun, as he was her boyfriend like person.

"Excuse me?"

"He fights the biggest evil masterminds, blasts meteors with his eyes, jumps buildings in a single bound," she says the last part with no little sarcasm in her voice, "and yet he can't bring himself to look that kid in the eye and have a two minute conversation with him!"

Oh…that 'he'. Yeah, he really should not have messed with this.

"Dinah, you gotta admit it's a shock for the guy. He…"

His argument fell away at the intensity of her glare. He knows that glare. That is the I-know-you're-not-about-to-finish-that-thought-because-it's-so-incredibly-stupid-I'll-be-forced-to-hurt-you glare. He gets that one a lot. Of course, sometimes he does it on purpose because some just wrong part of his brain finds the look on the face of a beautiful woman coupled with the actual threat attractive.

"It was, Ollie. It was a shock three months ago!"

She starts to pace, swinging her hands around for emphasis on certain points, and he has to refrain from wincing. The woman hits hard.

"You should see this kid. He's just like a little child sometimes. He wants Superman to acknowledge him so bad. You can just see it. But he's scared of him too. Like a kicked puppy, you know."

"I've seen him."

Nod and agree, man. Just nod and agree.

"No, but have you actually looked? Have you talked to him? I told Superboy to give him time; don't worry, he'll come around. I told him he was a good man. I'm starting to doubt that myself. Clone or not, whether he wanted him or not, Superboy is his son."

Dinah stops stock still in front of him and pokes him in the center of his chest for each word she grinds out.

"And he doesn't even have a friggin' name! Even Robin," she throws her hands up at this and walks away, "has a real name, but Batman forbid anyone know what it is!"


"What? Don't 'Dinah' me. I'm not in the wrong here. You know it. You know he's wrong."

"Yeah. I know."

Because really, he is. Despite what he wants and what's comfortable for him, there's a time when a man has to step up. Beating hyped up, muscle bound, mega powered baddies was no big thing when you're holding back three quarters of the time. That's the easy part of the game there.

Man. He needed to change the subject before she got him going on a full-out Superman Roast. It'd be just his luck for the Man of Steel to be just around the corner too.

Oliver walked to her and with cautious slowness, wraps an arm around her waist, pulling her to his side.

"You like him, huh?"

"He's a good kid. Fast learner, too, once he gets why he needs to know something. But stubborn like you wouldn't believe."

"Yup. That's a teenager for you. Feel better after your rant?"

Which wasn't nearly as bad as he thought it'd be. It must be a so-so day.

"Whatever. Speaking of teens. Have you talked to Roy?"

"Oh, yeah. I always end up somehow saying the wrong thing, and he storms off with his panties in a bunch leaving me with this urge to just shake him, but we talk."

Next time he saw that crazy, little ginger, he was. Or slap him. Or drain the testosterone out of him. All of the above worked too.

"Come on," she sighs, taking his hand and leading him towards the doorway. "I'm buying you lunch, then you're taking me shopping."


"You're lucky day, right?"

Oliver leaned down quickly to kiss her.

"So far, so good," he said, with a waggle of his brows.

"Ha, not that lucky."

Well, it didn't have to be. As long as he could get through the day with some money still in his bank account and end up not adopting Superman's clone, he'd be good.

One emotional, rebellious, impatient, teenaged boy was enough, thank you.