Recipient name: Drowned Girl Fuschia
Requested character: Mia Dearden / Speedy II
Story title: 100 Ways to Be a Good Girl
Spoiler warnings: Through Green Arrow #47.
Author's notes: Title snatched from Skunk Anansie.
Acknowledgments: To Te, for making brainstorming more fun than it has any right to be. Thanks also to grit and huzzlewhat for beta.
Summary: "Jesus, would you just get in the car?" Roy asked. His forehead was wrinkled up like he wanted to ask if she was okay, and she really didn't want to have a heart-to-heart thing when Ollie could interrupt them at any moment.
100 Ways to Be a Good Girl
Mia was finishing her homework at the kitchen table and watching Ollie make chili-that-went-to-eleven when she heard a little voice say, "Grandpa!"
She turned to see Roy standing in the doorway, holding a squirming Lian on his hip and wearing a totally stunned expression on his face, and Mia couldn't guess what was wrong, because Ollie making chili was like Ollie holding a bow, except an arrow in the gut would probably be more kind. Lian tugged on Roy's shirt and said, "Daddy! Down!" insistently, and then Ollie roared, "Pumpkin!" and Lian flailed around in Roy's arms until he absent-mindedly bent at the waist to set her on the floor. She ran on stubby legs for about three feet before Ollie swooped down and lifted her into the air, Lian shrieking in delight.
"Hey! I hope you two brought your appetites," Ollie said to Roy, settling Lian on his shoulders. She promptly started using Ollie's head for a drum set.
Roy shook himself like a dog and smiled suddenly at her, a sharp-edged smile that made Mia want to slink down in her chair and make for the shadows, which was weird, because usually she was happy to see him show up. Like a break in the sea of blondness and stoic good cheer the guys in green had been putting on lately for the benefit of the poor, sick sidekick.
"Actually," Roy said, "I came here to see Mia."
"Oh?" Ollie said, his entire face perking up like his disgustingly strong coffee. Apparently, fancy creamer did not exist in Ollie's universe even after he got his memory back, and somehow his claim that it would put hair on her chest didn't make the caffeine any more appealing.
"Yeah, I thought it was time to have a talk." Roy went to the stove and reached to sample the chili, but Ollie smacked his hand with the wooden spoon he was using to stir.
"Mano a mano," Ollie said, nodding.
"Speedy to Speedy," Roy agreed, quickly licking the splatter of hot chili from his knuckles.
"God, you guys are so lame," Mia said.
Roy and Ollie turned as one. "Hey!"
Mia smiled insincerely. "Sorry."
"You can have her for an hour, and then I'll be dishing up my world-famous chili," Ollie said. "Last one to the table does the dishes!"
"Got it," Roy said, ruffling his daughter's hair and kissing her knee. "Back soon, baby girl. Be good for grandpa."
"Bye, daddy!" Lian called.
Roy took her arm and pulled, and Mia had no choice but to follow. He had half a foot and about a hundred pounds on her, and she resented the fact that guys just naturally had more upper body strength. Too bad steroids were, like, illegal.
"Where are you taking me?" Mia asked when they were out of earshot of the kitchen.
"We are going to grab a burger and have a little chat," Roy said, guiding her out of the house and toward his very sexy car.
"Can I drive?" she asked.
"No," Roy said immediately.
"You don't have a license."
"Yes I do, and besides, you let Connor drive without a license," she said.
Roy wheeled on her. "He told you that?"
Mia shrugged. "He doesn't understand your obsession with cars." She ran her hand along the cherry red body. "But this is a Ferrari."
"I know," Roy said.
"Stop fondling my car, Speedy."
Mia felt a jolt when he called her that. She did when anybody called her Speedy, pretty much, because even though she'd thought about it and dreamed about it ever since she'd met Ollie, sometimes she worried that she'd wake up and realize the most important thing she had to do in her life was pass trigonometry.
Then again, she had much crappier things to worry about if this was all real.
"Jesus, would you just get in the car?" Roy asked. His forehead was wrinkled up like he wanted to ask if she was okay, and she really didn't want to have a heart-to-heart thing when Ollie could interrupt them at any moment.
"Fine," Mia sighed, sliding into the passenger seat.
"Buckle up," Roy said.
Ten minutes later, they were miles away from home, and as she staggered out of the Ferrari queasily clutching at her stomach, she muttered, "God, I know who taught you how to drive."
Roy grinned. "Learned in the Arrowcar, baby."
"That explains a lot," she said as Roy opened the diner's door for her with a flourish. A bell tinkled over their heads and the place smelled like old grease and fresh coffee. They sat down in a booth, and when the waitress finally came over to take their order, she gave Roy a dirty look.
"Cradle robber," Mia said when the waitress went back to the counter. He did look the part -- leather jacket, good looks, cocky attitude, and eyes that ate up the scenery like he was afraid he might go blind some day and have nothing good to remember.
"Don't even start," Roy told her, rubbing his palm over his short hair.
"So why are we here? I mean, Ollie's gonna be stuffing our faces in an hour, and I might be a growing girl --"
"You were looking at him," he interrupted, staring at her intently from across the table.
Confused, she said, "Well, duh."
"I mean you were looking looking."
Mia rolled her eyes. "What are you, twelve?"
"Mia," he said, his voice heavy and knowing.
She shifted uncomfortably and felt a flush of heat rise on her face like she'd just downed a beer on an empty stomach. She liked looking at Ollie. She liked looking at Connor, too. It wasn't like she was going to do anything -- or could do anything with the stupid virus swimming around in her blood. Not to mention that Ollie kept conveniently forgetting that she hadn't been a little kid for at least eight years now, and that Connor was still pretty much a monk.
When she didn't want to have sex, she'd been forced to have it all the time, and now that she couldn't have sex without worrying about giving somebody a life-threatening disease, she was surrounded by the pretty. Life? So not fair.
"No harm in looking. Jesus," she said finally, crossing her arms over her chest.
Roy's grin was wry. "Heh. Think so?"
"What's that supposed to mean?"
"It means," Roy said, flatting his palms on the table and making a face as if he didn't know how to say what he wanted to say. "It means that I need to make sure you aren't waiting on the guy."
"Look, Mia -- I trust Ollie with my life, okay? But I know he can be unreliable, and sometimes he won't be there for you when you want him to be. He's not perfect --"
Mia snorted. Like, loudly enough for people to turn their heads on the other side of the diner. "Yeah, no kidding."
Roy blinked for a couple of seconds, his expression a little blank and lost, like his head was somewhere else. The first time she met Roy, he'd snatched an arrow right out of the air, and it had looked so cool. A total superhero move, with the outfit and the bow, and man, just talking to him had been such a rush.
Now? Not so much.
"Okay," Roy said slowly. He fiddled with the saltshaker for a minute. "Connor and Ollie, they're not like us. You know that, right?"
"Why do you think I put on the costume?" she asked.
Roy grinned. "'Cause you can't keep your paws off a bow to save your life?"
"Oh, like you can talk," Mia said.
"Hey," Roy said, leaning on his elbows. "You know I get it, right?"
Mia knew what he meant. "I got the Speedy's Downward Spiral Cliff's Notes, yeah."
Roy nodded and leaned back against the booth's seat, leaving one hand on the tabletop. "The Cliff's Notes were all that I let Ollie get, kid."
"So you were a junkie," Mia said, shrugging. "Been there, done that."
"Oh, yeah? So what were you on?"
"Meth," Mia said, mimicking his casual pose.
"You know, doctors used to prescribe that stuff for heroin withdrawal."
"Are you dissing meth?" Mia demanded. "Because I've seen Trainspotting, man, and it wasn't pretty."
"I was pretty messed up," Roy said. "If it hadn't been for Dinah --"
"God, stop with the Public Service Announcement crap, already. I get it: drugs bad. But come on, I wasn't even on anything when I knifed my pimp," Mia said, just as the waitress stopped at their booth with plates balanced on her arm. One of the plates crashed to the ground, sending a cheeseburger tumbling across the dirty floor.
The total silence but for the hiss of the fryer lasted long enough for the cheeseburger to come to a stop and start sliming Roy's boot with melted slices of American.
"You gotta come visit me in New York," Roy said finally. "Grace will love you."
Once they were safely back in the car, Mia leaned over the stick shift and asked, "You're not going to make out with me now to make me feel better, are you?"
Roy flinched back and stared at her exactly the same way Ollie did whenever she brought up sex, tampons, or the gynecologist. "No."
"Darn," Mia said.