A/N: Collaboration done between me and Grim Lullaby for the Ultimate Collab Challenge on the YJ discussion forums.
Sure, it was a nice gesture and all, seeing as how Superman wanted nothing to do with the clone. Ollie could respect that. Really, he could. He wasn't altogether insensitive. And sure, he didn't mind that Superboy would now have someone to spend time with during what would be a lonely day stuck in a cave. It was a nice, thoughtful gesture of making at least one kid happy.
It was also a strategic move that meant Ollie would have to take the backseat.
Because there they were: the pretty bird and the clone, happily puttering about in a pollen-polluted shop; just the two of them. And really, the clone shouldn't have needed all of her attention, right? It didn't take a rocket scientist to figure out how to place an uprooted plant in a flower pot and toss some dirt on it. Anyone with two hands and two cells in their brain could do that.
And here he was - brilliant, handsome, and charismatic owner of Queen Industries - stuck in an ice cream parlour while the pretty bird played florist with the clone.
He frowned when Superboy accidentally crushed another flower pot. He remembered the last time he'd broken something in Dinah's shop and she'd nearly shattered his eardrums. Instead, Dinah just laughed and handed Conner - Ollie was pretty sure that was the name they'd given the clone - another pot, smiled, and placed a small bush neatly centred. It was very. Unfair.
"You have weird taste." Roy was saying in the seat across from his.
"And your taste is boring." Artemis shot back.
Ollie felt his eye twitch. He was definitely regretting bringing both protégés today. They just wouldn't shut up! It was like their lips were powered by the Energizer bunny; they just kept on and on and on...
He glanced at the quarrelling pair for a moment before turning back to his binoculars so he could continue observing Dinah. Humph. Some people were just so...so...undeserving.
"I could still shoot more arrows than you given the same time limit." Artemis was fairly spitting in anger.
"Sure, by one arrow." Roy scoffed, arms crossed over his chest. "I've got the better aim."
"Quiet down you two," Ollie muttered, eyes still glued to the binoculars. Conner was holding up a handful of daisies. "They're talking again."
Artemis snorted, something she did rather often when she thought someone was being ridiculous. "You can't even hear what they're saying. Why do we have to be quiet?" Their table jerked as she suddenly jumped, bumping her knees against the edge. She spun on the third occupant of their booth, growling, "And don't you pinch me, carrot top."
"He says to be quiet, maybe you should follow his advice," came Roy's retort.
"Shush! I need to concentrate. Read their lips." Ollie could practically feel the both of them rolling their eyes. They couldn't even agree on agreeing. He shook his head and made another attempt to focus on what Dinah was telling Sup- Conner. Not that he could actually read their lips. It was more like he made things up for them to say. Most of which involved him being rather dashing.
Ollie's a good man, she'd say, He's kind, handsome, intelligent, and he's got silky hair I'm itching to run my hands through! Any woman would fall for a guy like him...
Ah, yes. That had definitely be what she was saying.
There, she was speaking again! That sounds like a...
Wa...ter...Watermelon? What does a watermelon have to do with flower arranging?
"It's not like you can tell from here anyway," Artemis grumbled. She folded her arms across her chest and slid down into her seat, sulking. She was motionless for a few seconds before jostling Roy's arm whenever he got too close to her side of the booth; which happened to be a lot. Naturally, her nudging meant he had to nudge her back - more like shove her into the wall.
Thankfully, the waitress returned to their table before a real fight broke out, arms filled with several platters of food. She placed the dishes in front of them and glanced at the three occupants: two scowling teenagers and one blond guy with binoculars staring out the window. She nervously hugged the tray to herself as she asked,. "Uh, would you guys like anything else?" Her lips twitched as if she wanted to stop smiling and just get out of there as soon as possible.
Ollie waved her away before Roy could pour on the charm. The boy was notorious for hitting on the pretty ladies - something he probably picked up from Ollie. Ollie would've been proud if it wasn't for the fact that Roy seemed to be getting more attention than him. It was so unfair.
He blindly patted the table for the nearest dish, not wanting to look away from Dinah and the boy. He was really starting to dislike this kid. He was all brawn and no flair! So what if he was cloned from the big guy himself? Ollie grabbed whatever it was off the first plate he found and shoved it into his mou- EW! He dropped the binoculars in an attempt to scrape his tongue clean of-
He glared at the red circles neatly arranged in a line. They didn't take the tomato slices off the plate!
Ollie gagged a final time and scowled at the two giggling teenagers sitting across from him. Well, it was more Artemis who was giggling. Roy was at least trying to hide the need to laugh.
"Alright, you two." His voice was as stern and commanding as he could make it, "No switching the plates."
"It's not our fault we're bored." Roy answered with a shrug.
"Yeah, you've been acting like a stalker all day. Not that this isn't interesting but my butt fell asleep an hour ago.," Artemis added. She shifted in her seat, huffing, and rested her head on the table, her crossed arms acting as cushions.
Ollie frowned, as he reached down and picked his binoculars up from under the table. Seeing that the lens in the right scope was broken, he sighed and placed the binoculars into his 'work bag', settling himself into just watching the pretty bird and the clone. Not for the first time he envied the metas with supervision.
-Wait... What? He spotted a tall man in a leather jacket and cliché ripped jeans swaggering down the sidewalk. The man had a muscular build, tattooed arms, and greasy hair that looked like he hadn't bathed in two days. Ollie didn't like how he looked. Ollie liked it even less when the man bumped into a little old woman and shoved her to one side while telling her off. The man was obviously a no-good punk. Ollie watched the old woman for a while to be sure she was alright then-
His head whipped back to the florist shop where Dinah was helping Superboy put up the window display. The tattooed man had moved in front of the flower shop and was... Ollie wasn't sure what he was doing but it definitely wasn't gentlemanly. Well, Ollie may not be a gentleman but he was sure making rude gestures in public isn't on the list of things a gentleman would do.
Please don't let him notice her, please don't let him notice her... he chanted mentally then paused. Wait a minute, what if the man - who was obviously high on something - did notice Dinah and made some trouble? It'd give Ollie an excuse to come rushing right to her rescue and she'd fall at his feet in adoration, wouldn't she? Yes, she probably would. Please notice her and make trouble, please notice her and make trouble...
To his delight, the man did notice her and he did want to instigate some trouble, judging by the leer on his face and the increasingly rude gestures he was making. Unnoticed by the tattooed man, Ollie answered with a sneer of his own.
He pocketed the binoculars and stood up from the booth. "Come on, kids. We've got butt to kick."