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Big Damn Table Fics: 1-20
Title: A Voice
Word Count: 100
Summary: Dinah's thoughts at the beginning
Author's Notes: set in BoP Special, the very first book
She would never be able to fully share why she agreed. She could never tell anyone what it was about the call that finally made her leave her wreck of a life there and come back to where it had begun.
Was it the difficulty of keeping going, day after day? The unpleasant memories of all that had gone wrong? Or, worse, the reminders of what had been right, at least at the time?
No, those might have added to it, but they were not the reasons.
The reason was the voice: a voice as lonely as her own was.
Word Count: 300
Rating: PG-13 (Innuendo)
Summary: The ladies 'bond' over cookies
Author's Notes: Set just after "Hunt for Oracle"and its related storylines
Dinah finished laying out the ice cream and the obligatory bag of Chocos, a holdover from the days of working with J'onn J'onzz. Barbara raised an eyebrow at them, not knowing the significance and thinking that two pints of ice cream plus sodas should have been sufficient comfort foods.
"Oh, don't mind them. I always have a bag out, even if I don't get into them. Back in the League days, whenever I'd be going over the mission logs, I never knew when Martian Manhunter would appear to share my snacks."
"I see." The red head smiled, remembering that for all Dinah was now BatFamily, she had grown up in the superhero community, and forged a new, modern superhero family for herself. "So, how does the Martian Manhunter eat his Chocos?" Dinah actually grinned, a nice change from her too serious look following all that happened in Gorilla City and the days prior to it.
"He's a total prude. Actually eats them in the normal, one bite at a time fashion." The Black Canary reached over and took a cookie from the bag. "We tried to teach him the right way."
"Which is?" Barbara prompted. She watched as Dinah's eyes seemed to darken mysteriously, a prelude to the proper way to eat a Choco cookie.
"You always eat the middle first," Dinah purred, taking the cookie and pulling the top of it off. She kept her eyes fully on Barbara's, not letting the other woman look away. Devilishly slow, she licked at the white icing, her pink tongue savoring the sweetness. When Barbara's breath caught just slightly, Dinah knew which way she could take this, and almost smiled, finishing her icing. "The middle always comes first," she repeated, keeping her voice low and soft as she handed Barbara a cookie.
Word Count: 100
Summary: The women look back just before going forward
Author's Notes: Set after Oracle contacted Canary, prior to mission one
Dinah looked around the apartment, noting the emptiness. This place, the place Connor had told her he was gone . this was one end she had no misgivings over. Even if it meant returning to Gotham, she could turn her back on this place easily.
Barbara glanced around the new equipment in the clocktower. It all looked barren to her, but in her mind she could feel the end of her uselessness in her own eyes. This plan to coordinate efforts, to have one special agent was right for her. It would end the loss of Batgirl once and for all.
Word Count: 100
Summary: A quick musing
Author's Notes: set after Hunt For Oracle sometime
She watched from just out of sight of her partner as the drama unfolded. The watcher knew she should not be judging. She was not on the inside of this particular drama fest. She was not one of the prime movers in it. Yet. A small smile touched her lips. She would not make the woman cry. She could make the man see what a fool he had been, to neglect or disregard the wonderful woman he had ensnared. It was just a matter of time, until she was the one on the inside, and he would be looking in.
Title: Welcome Home
Word Count: 411
Summary: Dinah explores her hometown
Author's Notes: Set just after Oracle brings Canary to Gotham
Dinah sighed softly as she tried again to find something to wear. It was getting pretty close to time to go, and she still had not chosen her outfit. She could not believe she was actually looking at her costume longingly; it was at least completely color coordinated and ready to go. She sighed yet again, and found a pair of blue jeans, in the ever so popular hip hugger variety, and a pink half shirt with Supergirl's emblem on it. Once a fan of the heroes, always a fan of the heroes. She had to grin at her reflection; no matter how many years she carried the torch, she would always still be the little girl looking on as the JSA saved the day, or the All-Star Squadron led a parade. A pair of sunglasses and a broad brimmed hat completed her look, before she slipped into some sensible tennis shoes. Sling backs might look nice, but she did not want to break an ankle if things went south. With a last minute grab for her kit bag, she left the apartment to go see just what Gotham had become in her long absence.
Her eyes saw a city putting on a façade of wealth in some areas, despairing poverty in others, and still clinging to the past overall. No matter how modern the new areas looked, it was still easy to envision olden days with gangsters and cops fighting it out, straight out of one of her dad's bedtime stories. She made her stroll a leisurely one, using mass transit at some areas, but mostly walking. She came at last to a park in a more upscale neighborhood, and decided it was best to unwind from a day that had held many nostalgic moments in the relative peace of the outdoors. From where she sat on a park bench, eating a Gotham original hot dog, she could see the huge clock tower that seemed to dominate part of the skyline.
"Well, dad, you were right. You can walk out of the town, but it stays in you," she murmured to herself. She had found her way around with ease, and she knew, no matter how global things got for her in this new job, that she would lend a hand locally even if the Bat protested. As if on cue, the sirens started wailing insistently, none too far from where she was. "Welcome back, Dinah. Time to get dirty again."
Word Count: 100
Summary: Dinah's musings on Barbara's surgery
Author's Notes: Too lazy to go dig the issue out of the stack I am rereading. Vaguely remember Dinah making it in time for the surgery; if not, I apologize
Patience is a virtue relatively unknown to Black Canary. Jumping in feet first and regretting the consequences has always been her style. It had led to one brief marriage, one rocky relationship, and so many casual encounters she just did not want to remember.
But today, she is patient. She has to be, to keep her nerves from turning on herself. Today her partner, on so many levels, is under the knife, fighting for her life. It will be hours before they know anything. Hours until she learns if she will have a partner to continue to lean on.
Word Count: 200
Summary: Set at the beginning of issue 31
Author's Notes: Just browsing my collection and felt this one pop up. Forgive me, but Barbara's head is not as easy to get in as Dinah's
Calling on Jason had been hard. In all the time that had passed, there were still feelings, on both sides. Granted, Jason's were hopeful, looking for old roads to travel down. Barbara's, on the other hand, were all about moving on, putting the past cleanly behind her. She probably never would have gone, if it had not been days since Canary had left, gone to lose herself from losing a man she never should have even had to meet.
It was just professional concern, Barbara told herself, but that little voice in her mind pointed out the lie. Her concern for the blond was as real as the concern she had over Dick. And that, she realized, was why she put aside her ghosts and went to Jason.
After all, too many days in the game of superheroes, and there might be nasty repercussions. Dinah's well-known tastes in men, the rebound effect of having lost a lover, and the very gray area of her relationship with Pieter Cross would set her up for far too many scams by well-built but bad-meaning men. And Barbara intended to protect her from that. Dinah was far too important for her to lose now.
Word Count: 250
Summary: Nightwing notices something
Author's Notes: Set at the end of issue 21
It had been weeks since he had talked to the woman that worked for Barbara. He knew of Black Canary knew a lot about her, through his best friend Roy. Like Batman, he had felt she was wasting her potential by being chained to the raving Liberal. Then, she more or less vanished off the hero radar for a time, which Connor had said was due to a self-searching period, as well as grieving for the man she had loved. Nightwing had been pleased to see an old pro return to duty, and to do it so well. He had also been pleased that Barbara finally had a focus outside the 'family', and a friend.
Then the awful escapade of Blockbuster hunting Barbara had brought the woman he loved into dire peril, and he had arrived too late to save her. Instead, Black Canary had been the knight in Shining Armor, whisking in and drawing Barbara out of the water. Strangers by sight, professionals by voice, and yet Black Canary had unhesitatingly walked into danger for Barbara. From all Nightwing knew of the woman, that had been unusual. Normally she would have fought it out, protecting Barbara until the cavalry arrived. Using her wits to switch identities so swiftly, risking her own life for a woman that was no more than her employer had shown something else of Black Canary to Nightwing.
It had shown him a woman who cherished Barbara.
And now he did not know how to take it.
Word Count: 206
Summary: A shared dinner
Author's Notes: set a few months after issue 55
The women were sitting back from their Szechwan meal, feeling quite content to just relax and hope for no alerts. Blue eyes met green, and then a mischievous smile lit the face of the blond.
"So what, oh woman of the mysterious smile?" The redhead was completely at a loss for what her partner was thinking right now.
"How goes things with Nightwing these days? It's been a few months since the whole Tom thing." If there was any jealousy in her voice, she was sure Barbara would interpret it wrong. "I got the impression then that he "
"He and I have set boundaries." Barbara's warm mood was dissipating. "The months you refer to have been too back and forth for me to take him or our relationship seriously anymore."
"Sorry." Dinah did actually look penitent, for a moment. That was broken by Barbara's return thrust.
"How's Oliver Queen these days? It's been at least six months on his reappearance, a story you still have not shared."
Dinah shrugged. "It's Ollie. And with heroes, nothing ever lasts. Not life, death, or relationships." She stood to tidy up the clock tower, her mood sinking until Barbara suddenly caught her wrist.
"We'll last, Dinah. I promise you."
Word Count: 643
Summary: Hmm, Dinah meets the Clock King
Author's Notes: setting this one into One Year Later's missing year
The odd man in the suit and derby with glasses gave Dinah pause as she rode along the streets on her new motorcycle. She noted his cane, shaped much like a hand on a clock and felt an eerie prescience that she should not ignore him. She was on her way to congratulate, no matter how poorly she felt, the woman who had been her best friend for several years. After all, it was not everyday a friend like that got engaged to a man she had been involved with most of her adult life, off and on.
The bike came to a stop at a red light, the rider's attention still on the odd man. In Gotham, one did not ignore the unusual or that little creepy feeling. Metropolis had not stripped her of her survival instincts yet. When the man raised a device in his hand, pointing it across the busy road toward a gathering of Gotham officials, Dinah went into mission mode. She kicked free of her bike and launched across the air to try and disrupt him.
"Not at this time, Black Canary." His voice was metered out perfectly like a metronome set in four/four rhythm. She did not care who exactly he was; his recognition of her fueled her belief of his evil intent.
"Oh yes, Mister Derby, right now!" she declared, landing and swinging her hand out to turn aside the device he was now aiming at her. She was a shade too slow for his precision; the blow never landed on him, as a wave of temporal energy slammed into her.
She did not notice the paralysis at first. She could not know she was frozen still as a statue in the streets of Gotham's busiest sector, just across from the opening gala for a new public building, where the judges and politicians were now at the mercy of the Clock King. Lucky for them, other Bats were about that day, but Canary could not know that either. All she could know was the blast of imagery she was overloading on, the key events of her years of life.
She saw her mother and father, the arguments and the coming out on her superheroing stunts. She felt the pain and agony of realizing she had hurt both of them the first time her Cry came out. All the emotions of losing her father and then her mother came to the forefront. The anger she had boiled with over learning about the affair between Starman and her mother blasted the grief away. The fierce neediness and passion of her early, abortive marriage was swiftly replaced with the dependent emotional tides of Oliver Queen's presence in her life. As it continued on and on, she could feel her mind swaying, threatening to break under the assault of a lifetime of emotions and experiences in the space of minutes. Her years, few as they were, had been crammed with intense highs and lows. When the grief of Ollie's death came, her knees broke down and she collapsed, tears streaming unnoticed by their owner.
Then, she felt the calm that she had come to associate with her more recent years. No matter how bad things seemed in life, there had been a solid support there. An emotional barrier to the bad things in life. And her name was Barbara Gordon. The world was normalizing for Dinah, coming to the present not crippled by the intense emotional buffeting, but renewed in the sense that no matter what, Barbara was her rock. Forcing her way through the latest emotional storm of Barbara's engagement, Dinah rose and immediately sought the culprit. Seeing Azrael enjoying himself in the process of beating him down, the Black Canary opted to go to more important things. Such as making sure Barbara knew she had Dinah's full support.
Word Count: 100
Summary: Association of color
Author's Notes: none
When she sees red, she sees the reflection of seemingly hundreds of images. Red brings her pictures of shy smiles and surprisingly soul-felt laughter. It is the color of silken tresses, so often tucked behind an ear or errantly falling on either side of the gamin face she has come to know as well as her own. For her, red no longer draws bad memories of being helpless and dependent. It brings the satisfaction of knowing she is never alone, for red is the color of her truest friendship. Red will be the reason she smiles through the pain forever.
Word Count: 200
Summary: Dinah Snacks
Author's Notes: None
Barbara was not quite sure how to take her partner at times. Since they had come to an understanding of equals, and admitted they had a deep connection as friends, Dinah was by turns playful and then withdrawn with Barbara. Today, the techno wiz decided, was a playful day. The blond was perched against a console, a peeled orange at hand, just on the periphery of Barbara's vision. Barbara tried hard to stay focused on giving Huntress accurate details, but too much of her mind was occupied by seeing even, white teeth between pink lips, devouring the succulent fruit oh so slowly. Barbara had caught quite a few Freudian slips already, and was sure her cheeks had to be flushed, but she would not turn and acknowledge her partner's seductive art of eating. If she did, she had no idea where it might lead, and that was enough to give the former Batgirl pause. When one had walked where angels feared to tread, it seemed so odd to be afraid of the intimate, personal details of living. And yet, as another slice of orange was devoured, Barbara knew she did not dare learn if Dinah did such things on purpose.
Word Count: 100
Summary: Dinah trains
Author's Notes: None
The long flaxen hair often hid the flash of yellow at her ears and throat, but when she was sailing through the air, they seemed to blaze. Barbara had long stopped resenting the flawless martial arts of Canary, and often drew her into training sessions against the young Bat-family members. Today, it was Robin, being tested to the utmost of his ability. Batgirl watched with young-old eyes, silently critiquing a form she had watched many times by another woman. Neither young hero realized that Barbara only watched to appreciate the beauty, and that set just perfect with the all-seeing Oracle.
Title: Little Monster
Word Count: 100
Summary: Voyeur or concerned?
Author's Notes: Set around Dinah's short-lived return to GA in his book
Her workout has left her somewhat winded, and she knows she pushed herself too hard. She never should have checked the view of her partner, the night before in Star City. Despite all the hardships, the cold, hard truth of how bad they were together, her partner was falling for the archer again. It was all too obvious which direction things were headed, when she clicked it off, having seen a long kiss. A night of restlessness and a hard workout had not exorcised her feelings. That was too hard to do with a little green monster on her shoulder.
Word Count: 100
Summary: Small chat
Author's Notes: Set during the 'vacation' the pair took together
"Why blue?" The questioner was sprawled across the foot of the bed, idly playing with a plush Batgirl toy.
"What?" The one being questioned paused in pulling a sweater over her thin shirt.
"The cape." The lounging blond held out the garment on the plush, indicating the interior of the cape.
"Curious. It's not bat-coda."
"Exactly. It was my statement of me."
"A statement of you, or of the little girl who wanted to be a cop?"
"Daddy was a cop too." She smiled at the consternation on her partner's face. "You're not the only smarty in here."
Word Count: 100
Summary: Barbara still remembers it
Author's Notes: Set while Barbara recuperates from the Brainiac virus
There were a flash of green and a blaze of purple, she always remembered. Then the flash, the noise, and the pain just before the cold and the blood registered. Most people would have called it quits and given up. For a time, she did. Now, it only haunts her dreams, and she fights to banish even that. As the purple looms once more, she instinctively reaches out, and a hand is placed in hers. The hand is graceful and slender, and evokes peace. The purple fades away, replaced in the serenity of black Kevlar, golden birds, and blond silken hair.
Word Count: 278
Summary: Operatives have to be watched
Author's Notes: Just an idle observation piece, set early on in the series
Oracle had to wince as the kick connected right against the transmitter in Canary's ear. The cursing she heard over the mic told Oracle that her operative had gotten feedback off the transmitter being crushed. Oracle keyed security cameras for the area Canary was in to see her fighting a very large freakish Man Bat. The brown fur was mottled and patchy, leading Oracle to wonder what had happened to Langstrom. It was about to be a point that was moot, as Canary dropped one of her pellets that erupted into a Canary Cry, albeit an ultrasonic one. It was enough to give the blonde vigilante a chance to get her feet solidly under herself before launching a vicious martial arts volley. As oracle watched her operative move through the forms, she had to suppress an urge to cheer. Without a doubt, Canary was one of the top form fighters for a strict human.
Oracle was used to the voice and the presence. She did not even look at him. "Better than I was."
No response on that assessment, which meant he agreed. But then, Batgirl had been one to have to work at everything. It was not her natural calling.
"There. She's got him down and cuffed. Arkham can retrieve him," Oracle said.
"Keep her in line, Oracle." The soft whoosh of him leaving made her bite back her retort, as she turned to view the blond again.
"Keeping her in line is not that easy," she murmured to herself, as the crime fighter on the street stood guard over the brown mass of Man Bat. "But then, maybe I don't want her in line."
Title: Fade to Black
Word Count: 286
Summary: Canary's subconscious throws out hope
Author's Notes: set in issue 56's end
She could taste her own blood from the last blow Savant had landed. Her body felt useless, one fireball of pain. The big guy, Creote, was a brutal man, but Savant's cruelty was on par with the little boy who gleefully pulled butterfly wings off. She could barely control her fall as the blackness threatened to take her down. She felt the need to throw up, the need to pass out, and the urge to flee, but only one of these urges could win. In the end, it was the blackness that won.
Her mind retreated from the pain, trying to shield her from the harsh reality that she was a victim again. She had jumped back in the game of heroes, and look what it had brought her, again. Pain, suffering, and helplessness.
"You're not helpless, you know." There before her, clad in tight fitting black Kevlar was Batgirl. A cloud of red hair beneath the cowl, a piercing yellow bat across her nicely rounded bosom, and the oh-so-unBatlike blue cape. "You have her. She'll move heaven and earth for you, Birdy."
"You're a figment of my imagination," Canary retorted, appalled to find herself in her Olivia Newton John look. "And she can't find me if they destroy my transmitters."
"You underestimate the power of the Oracle." Batgirl winked at her. "Especially where it concerns you."
Canary rolled her eyes. "Shyeah, and monkeys god, was I about to say that?!" She touched her head. "Must have a concussion."
"That and a few other injuries, Birdy." Batgirl came and perched on a countertop, peering at her. Canary blinked; it was her apartment in Seattle now. "But she'll come. You'll see." The scene faded out as pain returned.
Title: White Wedding
Word Count: 227
Summary: Why does Canary leave?
Author's Notes: Mere speculation, non-canon as we don't know why the wedding did not happen
Dinah could see it now, in blinding clarity and heartbreaking detail. Barbara would be in white, her chair decorated to match. Dick would be standing tall in his tux, while their two fathers looked on proudly. Dinah herself would be there to support her friend, even as she grieved the end of an opportunity unmet. There would be no happy ending for the bridesmaid in this picture.
"Earth to Black Canary," came the briskly rude voice of the Huntress.
"Sorry, Huntress." The blond gave a false smile. "Look, I have to go tell Oracle tell her good luck and best of wishes." She could not stand by, could not watch this love go away in such a manner.
"Canary, don't." The Huntress's voice softened, becoming Helena the concerned friend. "It's the wedding, isn't it? You think it is a mistake."
"Helena, you don't know the half of it." Canary looked up to the tower they had moved their operations to here in Metropolis. "She and Dick have made their choice. Who knows; if it all works out like the story books, me and Ollie might get hitched before it is all said and done." She revved her motorcycle. "Give Babs my love, but I'm going to follow up on this other case of mine." The Huntress watched her speed off, shaking her head at the mistakes being compounded now.
Title: Movie Day
Word Count: 307
Summary: A shared movie and lost moment
Author's Notes: None really
Dinah threw a piece of popcorn at Barbara, laughing. "Okay, you're the uber-geek! It was 'odorless', not 'colourless'."
"Never doubt a librarian turned information broker about a cult movie line," Barbara intoned haughtily, gaining another shower of popcorn from her hostess. That prompted a laugh and giggle fest, until Barbara's cell rang. "Hello? Dick, hi! Oh. I didn't know." The pretty redhead was too distracted by the phone call to see its effect on the blond. "Yes, we just finished up a movie. Dinah. At her place. No, I don't want to push my luck; she keeps assaulting me with popcorn." A small laugh followed. "Alright, see you at 8."
Dinah had closed in on herself the more she heard Barbara's side of the conversation. When Barbara hung up, she pasted on her best smile and laughed, hoping it did not sound forced. "So Romeo's in town, huh?"
"Yes." Barbara leaned down and gathered the stray popcorn, placing it in her own empty bowl. She then smiled at Dinah as she made the transfer to her chair from the couch. "So, who's the stud of the week with you?"
"Oh, I have my little black book to check." Dinah started tidying her place up, hiding her true feelings as she had for the duration of this partnership. Days like today could take her so high, just enjoying Babs' company, and then reality would crash in as a super villain or a boyfriend rained on their parade.
"Need help, Dinah?" Barbara watched the blond putter in the kitchen.
"No, Babs; you go get ready for your stud." That laugh came easier; she had so many stories of Dick that she could have entertained Babs for weeks on them.
"Okay. Thanks again I had fun." The redhead rolled on her way, out the door, and out of Dinah's personal hell.
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