Black Canary Angst Fic -
"I'm fine, Babs."
Dinah had told so many people that she was fine she almost started to believe it herself.
But still she wanted to get as far from the birds as she could. As far from the goddamn suit she wore in her mothers footsteps.
Away from heroes and vigilantes.
She wanted a break- to pretend she was normal, and unbothered.
Yet her hands shook ordering coffee- even as Dinah Lance, Florist, instead of Black Canary, recently kidnapped.
The voice in the back of her head told her that coffee was a bad idea, that she should sleep or go home and relax- that voice always sounded suspiciously like Barbara.
She shook her head- to get rid of Babs' voice, and to get rid of the memories making their way back up.
Dinah's wrists burned as she took the freshly made coffee from the barista- phantom bruises, and rope burn from so many years ago.
Yet they felt fresh.
The coffee burned in her hands, as she held it closely to her- letting herself focus on the heat and cup on her skin than any of the recent events.
She didn't want to go home- she didn't want to try and sleep, or sit alone.
So she sat with herself, in a booth at the far end of the cafe, staring blankly out the window- looking at a drive through, watching different cars pass by periodically.
Her eyes were glued to the window, but after a few minutes she wasn't watching anymore- wasn't seeing.
Dinah didn't notice when a man got in her way. She didn't see the cars anymore, nor the street, or trees beyond.
But she didn't see him either.
The sound was the only thing that reached her, when she was so stuck on the thought of ropes, of being tied up and trapped- so stuck on memories of bruises that still hurt, cuts that though the scars had faded still burned.
Until she heard the voice- deep and familiar. One that always pulled her out of the dark.
She looked to see a blond goatee, and a hint of a smile. Before she looked up to the rest of his face, and saw Oliver Queen, her eyes meeting his green ones- she wanted to break the eye contact, but something was holding her there. He was. His eyes travelling across her face, the emerald soft, comforting.
"Hey, Dinah," His voice was soft in a way she wasn't used to- almost like he was being careful with her. "You alright?"
She shook her head, trying to clear out a mess of memories and fog, but then she nodded. "I'm fine." She could hear the way there was a slight rasp to her voice, as though she'd screamed a few too many times, when she hadn't at all.
"Are you sure?"
She nodded again, but of course there were those words again, on the tip of her tongue- the same ones she's told Barbara, and Helena. The ones she'd already told him once.
"Fine." She replied.
She was counting on the way he would revert back to talking about himself- as in the months they'd been apart she realized he constantly did. Normally she'd call it a flaw, add it to the list of reasons she was better off anyways, but this time she hoped he would. She hoped he would ramble on about new arrows, or something Roy did that annoyed him- anything that wasn't asking more questions about her. Anything that wasn't her too loud brain.
"You're shaking, Dinah." He put his hand out, and placed it on hers, steadying it. Or attempting to, at least. "Maybe we should talk about-"
"Why are you here, Ollie?" It would've been an outburst- loud, attention-calling- but she was too tired. Even she was quiet, when she was known for her screaming. "What, did Babs tell you? Because we're not together, anymore."
He took his hand away, and slumped against the other side of the booth.
"Tell me what, pretty bird?"
Dinah hovered over all the words in her head- was he playing dumb? Making it so she had to go through everything again, as though she weren't doing so constantly in her head, just to make conversation with a man she didn't even love anymore? Or did he really not know?
If he didn't know she didn't have to tell him.
"About Savant. Creote. What are you doing here, if not because of them? We're in Gotham, Ollie, not Star City."
"I was passing by. What-" He sighed. "What about Savant and Creote? What happened are you-"
This time she stopped him, before he could finish asking. "I'm Fine. They- They had be imprisoned. But I was fine- I'm still fine. Helena- Helena rescued me."
She watched the green of his eyes darken, the hand still on the table tightening into a fist. "Dinah-"
She remembered before- being strung up like a pig for slaughter, while her clothes were cut off of her. While she was beaten and cut.
She remembered Ollie finding her- rescuing her. And she knew he was remembering that too.
"You should go home-"
She found his eyes again, knowing hers were somehow both wide in pleading and half closed with exhaustion, "I don't want to go home alone." She murmured.
She said what she hadn't wanted to tell Babs, or Helena. Or even herself. She let him know she was scared.
"We can go home together. I'll protect you, I promise. I'll keep you safe."
Dinah shook her head, and looked past him, out the window again. "You don't need to do that."
"I think I do," He gave her a hesitant smile, and he reached for her hand again. But this time his grip on it wasn't soft, or gentle. It was tight. His calloused hands holding firmly onto hers, feeling the scars in the knuckles, and feeling her.
She knew he was remembering what she looked like when he'd found her that day- weak and broken.
She was remembering what he looked like when he saved her.
She nodded, but she didn't move.