Give Me Head Trauma or Give Me Meatloaf!

December 07, 2017:

Hal and Dinah go back to Coast City to visit his brother's family. It ends a roundhouse.

Coast City

Characters

NPCs: None.

Mentions:

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

Coast City a warmer sunnier contrast to the Tri-City Eastern Coast they've all grown so accustomed to. With the Javelin it takes no time at all to reach a safe area.
Hal would have loved to sit up and talk with Dinah once they got inside the craft but once he hit the chair he was asleep, the sleep being inspired by bouts of cursing, names of people and even a fist swing at nothingness. He never woke though. Despite him claiming he like Superman might be free of the Red influence the angry slumber might very well say otherwise. If Dinah paid close attention while he slept in the pilot's chair she would see the red gleam underneath his eyelids. It only disappears once he opens lids, looks around and wipes a forearm across his jaw.

"Sorry, what did you say? I really didn't mean to fall asleep on you like that." Five minutes in Hal Jordan was snoring. Five minutes exact.

"Hey, we're here. I'd recognize Corsair Park any day. Lets get this thing in some cover and head on over to my little brother's. Jim and his wife Susie. You'll like them." Hal looks at his ring, whispers something of a command and it shines, his brown flight jacket, jeans and black riders boots replace the uniform. Civilian garb a must.
"They have no clue I'm Green Lantern. I'd like to keep it that way." Not as if he needs to tell Dinah how secret identities work. He's just explaining his side of this more or less.

*

Dinah let Hal sleep. Clearly, he needed it if he slipped into slumber that quickly. As the Rage of the Red Light is brought closer to the surface while he dreams, Dinah watches Hal carefully. She reaches out to him, running her fingers through his hair, her rich alto speaking in calming tones to ease his mind and help him back to sleep.

"I said that this will be the first time you and I have really spent time together as Hal and Dinah. Both of us don't really spend time with the others of the League as anything but our masked selves, so this will be a nice change."

Getting out of the Javelin, she nods to Hal as the two try to find a place to camouflage it from prying eyes. "That's a good point. What is our cover story? I doubt they will believe you are working in my florist shop. Unless you are my delivery man?" she suggests as an alibi.

*

Hal appears unaware he slipped in to a 'Red State' and that Dinah had played the calming nurse while he was out. It's just a hitch and he is carrying on, "We'll just claim what they expect. Roll with it, I guess. We're friends and if they assume more its whatever, they already have a low opinion of me and tend to think my disappearances are me off partying in Mexico or something stupid. One day, ONE DAY they'll find out the truth and be eating their own… " A snap of his fingers, "Was right on the tip of my tongue and I forgot it. Oh well."

A flash of a charming smile and Hal Jordan extends his elbow to Dinah, "Short walk. Delivery Man? They'd be shocked if I was your pool boy. Last time I came home I was doing insurance claims over the phone. Lowest of the low."

It's pleasant enough around the area, middle-class, suburbia. Hal's brother is doing alright with himself, Sue is a reporter. A good one but when we get there I'll bring up a funny story you have to hear."

It catches up to him as they're walking along the sidewalk, approaching the end of the cul de sac, "Outside of our masks? The other Lantern, Diana and I are good pals and Kori. If she counts, she really doesn't wear a mask I suppose."

*

"So, you're saying that being a flower delivery driver would be a step up or a step down?" the blonde teases good-naturedly. She slips her arm along with his as he offers, enjoying the closeness. She looks around the area as they walk and Hal probably notices that her surveying is not just to check out the lawns. She's in a new area and looking for escape routes, ambush points, weapons of opportunity. Some behaviors are just too ingrained to stop.

"So, your sister-in-law is a journalist and hasn't figured out that you're not all you appear to be? So, not an investigative journalist then? And if you are planning on embarrassing your sister in front of me, maybe you shouldn't. You might be surprised by how not embarrassing a person makes them like you more," she says with that playful lilt in her voice. "Ollie accused me of being too serious. Not letting people know who I am without the mask. J'onn is about the only one I would really call friend, outside of what we do. Though, perhaps I should change that."

*

"Shes got a low opinion of me. I mentioned that, right?" Hal grins over again. "And I see that, I see you doing the kung fu action hero super spy look for scary corners to beat up thing there. Ease off that while we're here. Its as American safe as it gets and you don't want them to think you're a lunatic."

"But no, she actually got very close. This is the story I wanted to wait and share to embarrass them but she for the longest time, at least until a little after their marriage thought my brother was Green Lantern." A chuckle rumbles free.
"After earlier, waking up and seeing you all in the room with us. Yeah, I think the League could use some changes. Step one might be trusting each other outside of masks and maybe embracing the idea we're more than just a team of nuts in capes, tights and… fishnet stockings." He tugs her closer with their arm loop and whispers, "Which is sooo not a complaint."

Within minutes they're pounding a door knocker and yelling can be heard inside of a typical two story white house with its chain and picket fence.

*

Black Canary has to laugh as she gets caught in the act of scoping the place out. "Hey, you just have to tell them that I'm from Gotham and then my looking for scary corners makes all sorts of sense. It's really not a surprise that we have one of the largest insane asylums in the country, as well as probably the highest number of costumed freaks. That includes the good and the bad."

She listens to the story and has to chuckle at the story of the sister in law. "Is that why she's with him? Because she keeps hoping to catch him in the green and black outfit?" She sees the house as they get closer and has to smile. It's nice. Like a house one would see in a Christmas movie. "So, exactly how many nieces and nephews are we talking about here?" she asks when she hears the yelling inside. "What exactly did I volunteer for?"

*

"Gotham." Hal says again. Such disdain in his tone but hes also teasing as is made obvious by his eyes and show of teeth. "New York can give it a run. You want to actually place bets? I could use some spending cash with Christmas about to spring on us."

The door slings open as if to answer her question, two young kids stand before them, a brunette boy and a dirty blonde haired girl with big smiles. "UNCLE HAL!" they chime in sync before launching themselves in to his lap, he hefts them both up in each arm and swings them around in a circle, making sounds of dismay. No answer for the rest of her questions available. Not yet.

A thin tawny haired woman wiping her hands off is staring at Dinah and Hal from the doorway, a smile slow to come, "Oh look. Its Hal and he brought a guest." A limb extends for a polite shake, "My name is Sue. I'm the sister-in-law that you've likely heard such colorful things about." Sweet-not-so-sweet smile given to Dinah. She then turns her head and screams in to the house, "YOUR BROTHER IS HERE!"

"Jack!?" A man's voice, similar to Hal's shouts from somewhere else.
"NO! The other one."

"Oh… just send him in to my den."
That smile fires back at Dinah. "You guys are just in time for an early dinner. I hope you're okay with meatloaf and salad."

*

Shaking her head, Dinah waggles a finger at Hal. "No bet. Though, I think New York has a more rich alternative genetics community then costumed weirdoes. You know, if you need money, you could always actually take that job doing deliveries for me. It would be cheaper for me then using UPS all the time," she counters.

The blonde smiles openly when the door opens and she sees the children, warm and perhaps a hint sad at the way they interact with their uncle. It's no secret that a family was one of the things that she and Green Arrow fought about often.

*

It might be to Sue's surprise that Dinah doesn't take any offense to Sue's stiff politeness. She takes the offered hand and shakes it, the handshake as warm as her smile. "It's a pleasure to meet you, Sue. I'm Dinah. I've not heard that much about you, colourful or otherwise. And I happen to love meatloaf." Her rich voice holds a genuineness to it, making it seem like Dinah really does like meatloaf. She's letting herself be Dinah, someone that Hal doesn't normally get to see. It's likely Hal is going to learn a lot about the Canary that he didn't know before this weekend.
The kids are put down and they give Dinah their stares, attentions and then are drifting inside, running with the energy little people can manage.

Soon she'll be introduced to a man that looks similar to Hal, a tad bit shorter and thinner. A dad unlike Jordan, a little less lively and more serious but easy to smile. The dinner table is full as Sue said and Hal is seated beside Dinah the kids all eating eagerly… "So, how did you two meet and how long have you been together?" Sue asks. Painted on eyebrows arching high at Dinah and Hal.
Hal chews a piece of meat, slowly, then swallows. "Years ago." Nothing else added. "We met I mean. Not a couple from years ago… " Jordan shrugs his shoulders. "This meatloaf is moist as hell. Its great."
"I told you I don't like that word." Sue shakes her head.
"Hell?" Hal fires back.
"No. The other one."
"Meatloaf?"

The kids giggle at their uncle who grins at Dinah beside him. Jim, Hal's brother just shakes his head. "Thanks, pal. Lets please poke the bear."

*

Dinah smiles down to the kids, hardly surprised that they give her the once over and then just leave her be. She looks to Hal and shakes her head with a smirk. How many women has he brought over that the kids don't even ask who she is. Incorrigible Hal.

She shakes the hand of brother, introducing herself again. She can see why Sue might have thought he was the Green Lantern, but is amused all the same. At the dinner table, she chuckles when asked about how they met. "We bumped into each other while I was practicing my parkour. And we've not been a couple for very long." One could say they had only been a couple for mere minutes.

"You know," she says to Sue, trying to distract Hal from being the smart-ass that he is, "There was a webshow on Youtube about that word, about why it upsets some people. There is actually real psychological reasons for the word to be upsetting. It was rather interesting to find that out."

*

"YOU KNOW PARKOUR!?" Howard shouts with obvious excitement. "Mom, she knows parkour! Can you teach me."
"NO teach US." Jane corrects her brother. She is now looking at Dinah like shes the new Wonder Woman or Captain Marvel.

Hal cocks his chin to the side at the answer given by Dinah but doesn't say anything to correct it or steer anyway else.

"Calm down, kids. YES I watched that! He needs to see it." Sue begins to warm up to Dinah.

"It's Hal, he won't feel a damn thing about it." Jim says, fork being thrust in to the air then back down in to his slab of meat.

"Fine fine, would it be better if I said that it was dry?" Hal taunts Sue further. More giggles come from the kids.

Sue eyerolls. "You never change. One day you'll grow up. How is that job at Starrware?"
"I quit."
"Why?" Jim asks. "That was a choice job, Hal."
"My boss was my girlfriend. We had a falling out. I couldn't just keep the job… "
"You're an idiot." Sue says loudly. "Now what, going back to selling insurance or driving a taxi? What about you, Dinah, what do you do for a living?"

"Yeah, Aunt Dinah, what do you do for a living?" Jane says with those doe eyes.
Harold elbows Jane, "Don't call her aunt. You know the parents don't like that and they dont stay. Shes just one of his skanky girlfriends like grandma says."
"HAROLD!" Jim's voice booms across the table and the boy shrinks himself in to his shoulders.

Hal only chuckles but the fork in his hand starts to bend. A flare of red trickles through his brown eyes.

*

Smiling to the two children, Dinah chuckles. "Only if your parents say it's okay and nothing too dangerous. I don't want your mom calling me up about hospital bills," she tells them good naturedly.

She looks over to Hal's brother then. "Actually, considering what they discovered about words like that one, it might explain why he likes the word so much," she explains. She then looks to Hal with a playful grin. "I'll show you the video later. It has you pretty pegged in terms of why you like that word."

Dinah is being herself right now, so is being honest with the questions. After all, that's what a secret identity is for. "I own a florist shop. Spend all my days with flowers and plants. If I had had a bit more warning, I would have brought you a little something as a hostess gift."

Being called Aunt Dinah causes the Canary to look to the kids with a sweetness that is telling of her feelings towards children. It's when she gets called skanky that the look fades and she looks back to her meal. She tries to laugh off the comment. "Out of the mouths of babes, as they say." Noting that Hal is being manhandled, she rests her hand on his, letting herself be a calming influence. "I've been called worse, Hal," she tells him. "And they only just met me so calling me Aunt really wasn't appropriate anyway." She keeps her voice steady and soft, trying to lull the anger that isn't genuinely his.

*

"Parkour and flowers?" Jane is ignoring all the rest. She whispers to her mom, "Shes so cool." Dinah has made a fan.
"Sorry Dinah" Harold mumbles with his head down.
"No dessert, Harry." Sue says coming back to the table. "Her own florist shop Hal, thats a step up."

The hand on his and the children's voices lets Jordan swallow, his eyes washing back to their normal dark hue, a light smile given to Dinah. "Mouths of babes, yeah. That always had a different meaning for me until these kiddos came along." He forces a smile, a fingertip tapping on Dinah's thumb and he whispers thanks.

"Will you two be staying over or are you coming back to Coast City, back home, Hal?" Jim inquires.

*

Dinah smiles to Jane. It seems the two have hit it off rather well. She looks to Harry when he apologizes and nods her head. "Thank you, Harry. I accept your apology." She then drops the subject. She's developed a thick skin when it comes to being called names like that. After all, the Black Canary dresses like a bad ass Playboy bunny. She's been called a lot of things. Luckily for Harry, Dinah would never do to a child what she normally does to the men that say things like that to her when she's in costume.

Giving Hal's hand a squeeze when he thanks her, Dinah looks to Hal and smiles. She doesn't take her hand away just yet, regarding him for a long moment before she finally looks back to her meal and takes her hand back.

"We don't want to be any inconvenience. We can stay at a hotel nearby." That way she can ensure at least separate beds if not separate rooms. She's not shared a bed with someone in a while and isn't exactly sure how she feels about doing it now with someone she considers a teammate.

*

"We'll be out of your hair tonight. Christmas shopping to be done and it's a long trip back to Metropolis." Hal interjects, the rage welling up inside of him isn't good to have around here. He thought it would be but hes learned now it was a bad call. At least he got to see their faces again. There is a warmth there and it's making him squeeze Dinah's hand one more time before he lets go of it.
"Sue, I appreciate dinner. Kids, be good and Jim… you'll always be one of my favorite assholes."
"Language!" Jane says as if mocking her mother while being serious.

"Right, sorry, a donkey." Hal corrects apologetically to his niece and nephew. More giggles.

Sue rolls her eyes and gives Dinah a brief hug, "Nice meeting you, Dinah and happy holidays. If you guys want… "

Jim speaks, "It is not an inconvenience. You guys can take the guest room like always. Your friend, Sam, she left some clothes that look about Di-"
Sue shushes him. Actually making the SHHHSH noise with a finger up.

"It's okay, like I said. A donkey. We're going to take off but I'll be back with presents!" The kids cheer. "Be good for your parents and Santa. Love you guys."

Its a fast exit for Hal, he lingers just long enough for Dinah to get her farewells in also.

*

Dinah can't help but smile as little Jane scolds her uncle. She gets up from the table and hugs Sue in return. "It was nice to meet Hal's family. I can see why he wanted to come home to visit you so much."

She looks to Jim, a raised brow as if asking him to please continue with what he was about to say about this Sam person. An invitation to put his foot farther down his throat. She gives Jane a quick hug and Harry too if the boy allows it. "If you don't object, I'll send some gifts along with Hal for Christmas?" She only has her mother for the holidays and frankly the idea of listening to Dinah Sr talk about the glory days of when *she* wore the fishnets isn't high on this Dinah's list of priorities.

As the two leave the house, Dinah takes Hal's hand again. She's worried about him. "Hal, how can I help? How do we get this red energy out of you?"

*

"I'm not sure. I need to recharge and we need to get Kal-El, J'onn and Kori quarantined. If I'm losing my shit they might be too and thats a scary thought. I don't think its like it was with Power Girl." They're outside away from the house enough Hal's hand in hers squeezes remarkably hard and then jerks away, his fingers finding his own hair and he releases an odd noise. A half growl half 'Fuck'. Red starts to flicker off of his eyes light fire and lightning. "I hate them! I want to break their bones!"
A lunge. Sudden and out of nowhere for Dinah, the man's eyes are straight crimson. No whites. "GrGoing to rip you apart!"

*

Nodding her head, Dinah starts to walk with Hal towards the Javelin. "I'm glad I came with you then. LIke you said, buddy system. Ow. Hal? You're hurting me," she tells him calmly as he starts to squeeze her hand harder.

When he pulls his hand away, she centers herself. She was worried this might happen but was prepared for it if it did. "Hal, this isn't you talking. It's the Rage of the red. Listen to my voice. Try and find your calm. You're stronger then this."

But her honeyed words don't work this time. Instead, her friend lunges for her. She reacts by instinct. If Hal powers up, it will be a much harder fight, so best to end this quickly. She spins around, knowing she has to make this first kick count. The heel of her boot is aimed directly for Hal's temple, meant to knock him out cold.

*

"Sing birdy! You're going to burn! Tear your heart out with my teeth!" Not Hal's voice at all. If anything had she been in Ungara she would realize the man before her looks a lot like that planet's Natives had as they were ripping apart one another before the Hell Tower went down. Unfortunately for Hal despite the crimson residual coursing him and the corruptive burning influence of Red Lantern's alchemical energies there is no special kung fu moves he possesses to counter Dinah's roundhouse. The man's a good scrapper but he is no Black Canary and while in this state he would rather charge through hits than evade them anyways.

A slap of meat and bone on the concrete. Hal Jordan is down. The man has just been 'onced' by Dinah and not a soul is around to tell the tale….
…Except…
…for the gaping open mouthed stare of little Jane Jordan from her window. Eyes wide as saucers. Its hard to tell if shes horrified or just further in awe of the badass that is the Dinah. A simple florist who parkours for ULTIMATE X new age exercise.

*

Dinah goes to Hal's side after he goes down. She checks to make sure he's alright, but doesn't feel any guilt over the act as she had done what had to be done. "Oh Hal, we need to get you back to the med bay," she tells his unconscious form. She looks up then, wondering how she's going to get this big lug of a man to the Javelin, when she sees Jane looking down at her. Oh dear. She waves to the little girl, acknowledging the fact that the girl has seen her, and then starts lifting Hal up.

"Come on, big guy. Time to start walking. We got a long way to go back to the Watchtower. Wakey wakey. Eggs and bakey." With one of his arms draped over her shoulders and one of hers wrapped about his waist, she heads with him in the direction of their ride home. "I somehow don't think I'll be welcome to Christmas dinner," she mutters to herself.

*

Hal is peeled up off the sidewalk, hefted up to have an arm slung over Dinah's shoulders, head drooped and feet lazily dragging as she drag-walks him away from the cul-de-sac.

Up in that window it's hesitant at first but then Hal's neice Jane gives a big overzealous and youthful wave. It looks like she mouths something along the lines of, "that was so cool!"

No response to his fellow Leaguer from Hal beyond grumbling groans. A murmur of, "Hate your face." That might have not actually been the Red's influence. It didn't sound all haunted scary but who can say, hes coming off like some drunk fratboy right now who doesnt know north from south…

*

Dinah relaxes a little when she sees that little Jane isn't going to hate her forever for having just roundhouse kicked her uncle into submission. That's a relief. She smiles to the girl and gives her a wink as she drags off her uncle.

It's a long walk to the Javelin when one has to half carry a man twice her size, but luckily Dinah is up to the task. "Love you too, you big mook," she tells him. "I'll kiss your boo-boo better, if that makes up for it," she teases. Hal gets to play passenger this time, Dinah making sure his safety harness is on. "No telling me how you're a better pilot, mister, or I hit the eject button."

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