Question and fic.
Title: No Good Deed
Characters/Pairings: Black Canary, Oracle, Shiva (Black Canary/Shiva implied, Black Canary/Oracle implied, Black Canary/Green Arrow referenced)
Word Count: 919
Summary: Missing scene from the end of Birds of Prey 108.
Author's Notes: First time I've written in the DC 'verse...concrit and feedback always welcome, please! I know I don't quite have Dinah's voice down juuuust yet; it's something I'm working on.
"Paper monkey," Dinah calls from behind you, and you sigh. You should have known you would not get away easily, would not be able to calmly slip off the balcony after the excitement, not when you are, as Dinah would say, "mad cranky." Fate is not kind enough to you for that to be the case.
So you pause, turn, and cross your arms over your chest, taking in the Black Canary. You are loath to admit it, but motherhood agrees with her; as cliche as it the phrase is, she truly is glowing, and you are jealous. And there is a smug grin on her face, having caught you in a "good deed," as she would say, that immediately sets your teeth on edge and adds to the annoyance.
She stops a few feet away, fidgets, hands in her pockets. Her smirk fades.
"I just wanted to say...thank you for being here," and it is obvious to you that this is, somehow, hard for her to say. "You don't have many reasons to be on Babs' side, so...thanks."
"I have heard you are to marry the archer." It is an apparent non sequitur, and her head snaps up.
"How did you--never mind," she cuts herself off, and you smile slightly. She has learned the futility of questioning your sources. "He proposed, yes." She hugs herself then, and you wonder if it is against the night's chill. She does not say she has accepted, and yet.
It is a pity. The archer has never been good for her, has always stunted her potential. She flies higher without him. You don't bother to hide the disapproving, scornful look on your face, and you can see her stiffen defensively, arms tensing and coming up slightly. If you were to attack her now, it would be a glorious fight, one that you can almost, almost believe she might win.
Nevertheless, you came here today as a friend, and you refuse to sully this moment with her. Well. Sully it for her, anyway; you have been craving a good fight for weeks. "My best wishes for your happiness," you say and do not bother to disguise the mockery in your voice, "although I notice I have not been issued an invitation to the wedding." It is more bitter than you had intended, and you turn to go, but she lunges and catches you by the arm, spinning you around.
You hiss in annoyance. Does this woman ever bother to remember that you could kill her with a single movement?
"Sandra, wait," she says, and her momentum carries her into your personal space. You tense, but she does not seem to notice, and she does not move away even when you raise an eyebrow at her.
"I, uh," and her eyes are looking at the skyline behind you. Everywhere but your face. "We haven't set a date yet. I haven't even decided if I'm saying yes yet. So, you know. Things could change. I'm unpredictable, you know."
"Ah." Her thumb has started to trace circles on your arm, making any more complicated answer...decidedly unwise.
You let silence reign for three heartbeats. "The child seems well cared for," you say neutrally, "though your retirement does not seem to have lasted long."
She sighs, then, releasing your arm but bowing her head closer to yours until your foreheads are touching. Your lips are inches apart. "Shiva, when I left the village I--"
"Dinah?" You peer past her, annoyed, to see Oracle silhouetted in the doorway to the balcony. Her hands rest on the wheels of her chair, and she is paying you no mind. Instead, her gaze is fixed on the Canary. You let your lips draw back from your teeth in a snarl at her, and you know both she and Dinah are aware when Dinah tenses, too. You can see in Oracle's eyes that she wants—badly—to accept your challenge.
"I'll be in in a minute, Babs," Dinah speaks first, and you are suddenly amused. Dinah rarely uses this particular tone, of gentle tenderness mixed with steel. Oracle is the key to many of her secrets, it appears, including the fact of why the Canary consorts with one so—so not like herself.
Oracle looks at the two of you for a few more moments, her gaze inscrutable. Then she is gone, and you wait for the silence to settle once again after the squeak of the wheels has faded.
"Your Bat does not seem to approve of your spending time with me, siu jerk jai."
She steps back at that, and her smile is many things--regretful, rueful, wry, bitter. "She's not my Bat," she says quietly, and not for the first time, you wonder that a woman seemingly as at peace with her life as the Black Canary is does not yet know--or has not accepted--a very basic part of herself.
Denial, as they say, is not just a river in Egypt.
"And I think she just remembers what happened last time we got together and hatched a brilliant plot." Dinah smiles brightly, winningly. Charmingly.
Your lips quirk at that. Despite what she may think, you are quite sure you had the worst of that year. You shudder theatrically. "I must go," you say, "and I still have not forgiven you for the fishnets. This marks two that you owe me."
Her laughter carries you over the balcony and into the shadows.