Over coffee, they flipped through pages if Isla's wedding binder, looking at pictures and notes she had made over the last several months. Despite having planned the perfect wedding last fall, she had to scrap every last detail and start over from scratch. So far, she had done a lot of it by herself with as little help from Ollie as she could get. Planning a wedding wasn't something she wanted to dump on him, not ever. It was stressfull, and even though they were legally married already, she knew he wanted to go about it in a more traditional way. For him, she would do anything, including getting married. During her time with Elena, they sat at the bar in the kitchen and shared ideas, flipped through magazines and talked like they hadn't in ages.
They had been completely caught off guard when the house was broken into, and while neither one of them were prepared for the attack, it definitely wasn't their first rodeo. Oliver's quiver was hanging off the back of one of the kitchen chairs and Dinah was able to use that to her advantage when she was down. Her powers were too strong to use in the house without shattering every piece of glass, but when she was pinned and had no way out, it was all she could do to scramble away from the man who attacked her. Grabbing the arrows, she lodged them in his leg and a third towards his neck, but missed and got his shoulder instead. No one came into her home, the home she shared with her husband and children, and left unscathed. A fourth arrow was in her hand and as she prepared to shove it into this man's heart while she still had the upperhand, everything went black.
When she woke up, both Dinah and Helena were bound and tied somewhere dark and cold. Her mouth tasted like copper and her head throbbed so hard it felt like someone was wedging and ice pick into her brain. She cried out and struggled to free herself from her restraints but couldn't. Her legs, her arms, every part of her was tied and bound and if she tried harder, her bones would break and strain under the sheer force she put into it. If this went on for too long, she wouldn't hesitate, but for now she forced herself to remain calm. She and Helena spoke, tried to find a way out and map their surroundings in case there was something recognizable to them so they knew where they were, but there was nothing. They were somewhere damp, dark and cold, but nowhere they recognized in the slightest.
Tuesday morning was no different than any other morning. Isla had kissed Ollie goodbye, dropped Cyn off at school and argued with Connor about why the last two years of school were the most important for him academically and socially in order to get him dressed and out the door. As usual, she watched with her arms folded and a smile on her face as he waved goodbye and yelled 'bye, mom!' as he jogged off. It was no different than Monday, and it was no different than Wednesday. She had made late morning plans with Helena to iron out wedding details that had mostly been kept secret until now. Dinah had been through this before and the last time she married Green Arrow, their planning was a mess. There was some reprieve this time due to the weeks when Dinah took a vacation and her less aggressive counterpart came back.
If it weren't for the strange generosity of Harley Quinn, both Dinah and Helena would have been in worse shape than they were in. She brought them scraps of food and water, and as strange as it had been to have her around, she was company. "Harleen," Dinah would plead with her, tears escaping from the corners of her eyes. "Why are you letting this happen? Why aren't you helping us?" In front of Harley, Dinah would cry, she would beg and plead and remind the other woman that she had a son and daughter to get home to. She had a husband, who was undoubtedly tearing the city apart looking for her, and so did Helena. "We used to be friends," she'd remind her before she was too weak to talk.
From then on, her memory was hazy. The blood loss played a roll in it, but the pain from her injuries was the biggest culprit. Dinah was nearly unconscious when they found her. Her patience waivered and she fought back so hard she had made it worse on herself. The last thing she remembered about being captive was looking at Helena and laughing in a hysterical manner. "No one does it better," she said through a blood soaked grin, and then it was dark.
The voices were familiar, at least three that she could count. There was Bruce, John and Helena. A female voice she was unfamiliar with accompanied them, but the one that stuck out the most was her beloved. From her unconscious stupor, she came too as she felt his arms around her, carrying her away. In the forefront of her mind, she hoped this wasn't how she died. She prayed that being in the shape she was in and dying slowly wasn't how she would go, but if it had to be like this, at least she was with him.
"Pretty Bird, I'm here. I didn't stop looking for you." Those words gave Dinah the strength to open her eyes and smile as best she could through cracked and bloodied lips. "I love you, Arrow," she whispered, her voice weak and low. With Oliver there and the likes of Batman and Green Lantern, she knew the end of Penguin was soon, and that he would pay dearly for hurting their girls. Tears warmed her cheeks as they ran from the corners of her eyes, her arms clinging to Green Arrow as he held her. Her will to live was strong, stronger than it had ever been, and though she struggled to stay conscious, she fought through the physical and emotional pain that she felt.
Her body entered the warm liquid and welcomed her the way the water in a freshly drawn bath would. The feeling was not unfamiliar to her by any means, and as her body healed from the inside out, Black Canary became more aware of her surroundings. Her senses returned and what was broken and sprained was set back to how it should have been. It didnt take long, but when she reemerged from Talia's Lazarus Pit, literally better than new, she gasped for air and charged out of the water. Dinah was not at all concerned about who was there and what they thought, but the sight of Oliver at the edge of the pit, heartsick and pale from fear ignighted a feeling inside of Dinah in a way she had never felt before.
"Whoever you are up there, please give me back my wife. I donâ€™t care if itâ€™s going to cost me something like a kidney in the future, justâ€¦give me my wife back." The words were quiet, but as Dinah regained full consciousness, she paused to listen to Green Arrow's pleas. "She is all that I have in this world and our other world together. I donâ€™t ask for much, because I donâ€™t deserve much. But sheâ€¦she is my entire life. I need her as much as she needs me." As her heart swelled and shattered into a million tiny pieces, she moved through the liquid and out of the pit to where he was, wrapping her arms around him tightly until they both fell to the ground. "I'm here," she said, moving her hands to his face and holding his cheeks in her hands. "I'm here, Oliver. I'm right here," she reassured, kissing every surface of his face as if it was the first time they had seen each other in a decade. Again, her arms wrapped around his neck and she buried her face into his shoulder, holding onto him like she had never held onto anything before. Dinah's body shook from the terror that had been inflicted on herself and her best friend, and when she was able to, she pulled away from Oliver.
Wiping her tears and straightening herself out, Dinah made her away over to the people who had found her. To John, Bruce and Talia, she hugged each and thanked Talia for aiding in the saving of her life. "However I can repay you for this, just let me know," she told her quietly, one hand covering the other woman's as they shook hands. After she said her thank you's, she turned to Helena and smiled. Her sister in arms, and her truest friend. "No one does it better," they each said, a smug look on their faces. Despite all they had been through, if it wasn't Oliver, Helena was the only other person Dinah would want to suffer at the hands of insanity with. They hugged and Dinah reminded her best friend how much she loved her. "Thank you for always being there."
By Thursday, Dinah was famished and weak. At least one of her shoulders was dislocated from the weight of her body against it. She had struggled and tried so hard to free herself to get out of her restraints, but they were too tight and restricting any movement. Her body ached so bad it hurt to breath at times and it felt like someone was running her over with a steam roller. Every time Penguin came around, she threatened to kill him and he merely laughed at how fragile and weak she was. He toyed with her, and while she didn't give him the satisfaction in seeing or hearing her cry, the second he left her alone, Dinah broke down. If it weren't for Helena's presence, she wouldn't have made it.
But, Dinah was doing what Dinah would do, wasn't she? Dinah was just happy to be alive, but she knew that she needed to bounce back and focus on work again. No one cared about what happened behind the scenes when it came to superheroes, only what they saw up front. So she got kidnapped and beat up a little bit, that was no big deal, right? Wrong. Dinah and Isla were both damaged goods now. As hard as she tried to keep it together for Ollie, she needed moments like these away from him so she could turn to hysterics without his concern and loving gestures. It wasn't that she didn't appreciate his concern, because she did. It kept her going during hard times, but there were also going to be times when Dinah just needed to deal with it on her own, in her own way whether or not Oliver liked it.
Over the near decade of them being together, they had learned what worked for their relationship and what hadn't. Companionship, freedom, committment, support, independence, and in the back of her mind, she could hear Ollie reminding her that fantastic sex topped that list, too. These were all things that had made their marriage as strong as it was and Dinah just needed to remember that. They would be able to get through it as long as they remembered why they had been such a strong duo before. The coddling, the crying, the concern was all okay for now, but eventually they would need to move past that. Despite the fact that it had been less than twenty-four hours, Dinah pushed forward. She wanted things to be okay, and she didn't want to keep putting on a brave face for her husband anymore. She knew that he could sense the facade she put up, and even though he would have done the same thing, Dinah didn't want to hide how she felt anymore.
The one thing she worried about the most was how this would effect the lives of Isla and Ollie. She wanted her to forget the struggle and the strife she had been through and focus on the important things. They had a wedding to plan, and a happy life that didn't involve kidnappings and near death experiences. In Boston, she didn't know any handsome assassins, or caped heroes, she only knew her friends and the people she chose to surround herself with. These weeks when Dinah took over, Isla turned a blind eye and that's why things had worked so well for them. Dinah didn't want Isla to feel the fear that she felt, or the pain that she felt. She wanted her to focus on having a baby and living the life that Dinah and Oliver had always wanted but could never have. Superheroes didn't deserve happy endings, but Isla and Oliver did.
There was a knock on the bathroom door that startled her and Dinah looked at herself in the mirror, not realizing how long she had been locked away from Oliver. "One sec," she said quietly, turning her head towards the door. She sighed and took a deep breath, preparing herself to face her husband again. His sweet concern would grow tiresome eventually, but right now he was the only thing she wanted. Moving to open the door, she smiled as best as she could before walking back into their bedroom.
"You okay, Pretty Bird?" he asked, the look of concern written all over his features. Dinah merely nodded and took his outstretched hand in her own.
"I'm okay," she said, lying as she let him pull her into his lap. They kissed and she let her lips linger there for a minute before pulling away. "I think it's best if we try to forget what happened this week," she finally said pulling away and looking at Oliver. Her hand carressed his cheek and she smiled weakly. "We need to learn to keep our lives separate. You and I might be used to these kinds of things, but Isla and Ollie aren't. Other than what happened in November...things have been pretty good for them." Tilting her head to the side, she watched the concern and confusion on Ollie's face grow and frowned.
She groaned in frustration and pulled away, moving from his lap and sitting next to him on the bed. "You and I won't forget, but they can. And they should. They should focus on the wedding and having a baby and raising a family, like all normal people should. You and I have had this amazing, huge life together and if it weren't for these shifts into this life, we might not have the opportunity to to raise a family and be happy like they do. Isn't that what you always wanted? You and I might be vigilantes, but they're just normal people who deserve a better shot." At this point, Dinah was pleading with Ollie to understand where she was coming from.
"So you want to leave the business?" He asked, turning and looking at her with growing concern.
"No! Oliver, no. I just... I want to give them a chance at happiness. The chance you and I never got. Here in Boston there's no Justice League, there's no Birds of Prey or Titans or Outsiders. There's just us and the alternate lives we built for ourselves. This is our chance to make it work where we couldn't before. And if this continues to happen every month, then we work around it. We've dealt with worse before." She sighed, knowing that Oliver would have a hard time grasping at what she was saying and why she was saying it, but that's only because their lifestyle was far more ingrained into him than it was into her. Dinah let out a small, humorless laugh and shook her head. "Nevermind," she whispered, wrapping her arms around his neck and pulling him back on the bed.
"We have some making up to do, Pretty Bird," he said, pulling his shirt over his head and smirking as their lips collided.
"You hit the bullseye pretty well a few minutes ago," she reminded him, running her fingers down his back slowly. "Got anything left in that quiver of yours?"
"I think I shot all my arrows, but I might be able to nock one more. But first, maybe it's time I pay a visit to Sherwood, m'lady." Ollie kissed down her neck and chest, laughing as he did so.
Dinah, laughing out loud, ran her fingers through his hair. "I don't know about your men, but you're certainly making me merry," she joked, rolling her eyes at him.
"What would Dinah do?" It was hard being Dinah and Isla at the same time. In a perfect world, Dinah would exist solely, they'd be back in Star City and Black Canary and Green Arrow would be doing what they always did; cracking bad jokes and having sex in inappropriate places. But this wasn't a perfect world at all, and in this world, Isla Castiel was very much alive. The question echoed through her brain and she sat on the bed and beat herself up over it. "What would Dinah do?" Over and over and over again, the same question was asked and she desperately searched for the answers.